Reading West and Mid Berkshire Constituency
Reading West and Mid Berkshire Constituency
OgImage:

The FAQ is intended to answer as many questions as I am asked 

but do call me on 07768998370 if you have one for me


  • Being available across the constituency.
  • Provide a voice in Parliament for things of importance to the constituency.
  • Work with whoever is in charge to do what's best for the nation - not just a party.
  • Scrutinise legislation that is being created for a positive output not just to score points.
  • Work with Local councils as their voice in parliament to ensure we address local issues.
  • I have lived and worked locally for 25 years.
  • I am MD of a local business that provides services worldwide.
  • My formal education finished as I graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in Applied Physics.
  • My career has covered small startups as well as large corporates like Intel.
  • The same career has seen me work around the world including USA, Middle East, Europe and ASIA.
  • I have two world firsts associated with my name.
    • The world's first .486 server that Paul Whatcott and myself did when I was a senior engineer at Apricot computers.
    • The world's first voice assistant campaign platform that my team and I created called Brandigniter
  • Check out my career history on LinkedIn
  • Ensure our energy security.
  • Focus our energy production on solutions that cannot be influenced by outside bodies. i.e. Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydro/Micro Hydro and fusion energy.
  • Make sure we emphasise consumer-side energy production as well as centralised production.
  • Without energy independence, we can be held hostage by third powers or other nations.
  • We have more Tidal, Hydro, Wind, Solar and Geothermal energy around, through, over, on and under the UK than we could ever imagine needing.
  • Once built, none of the above alt energy can be easily interfered with from outside the UK.
  • Most of the energy solutions above are on par or lower cost than say Nuclear Fission reactors.
  • Most of the energy solutions above are faster to build than Nuclear Fission reactors.
  • Creating independent, green, cheap limitless energy means we can solve many of the issues in the UK today.
    • Energy costs are one of the key issues with our cost-of-living crisis.
    • Our farmers and food sector can produce more from less space.
    • Our heavy industries get a major cost removed making them competitive again.
    • It provides energy supplies that allow for Green Hydrogen production in large quantities. This in turn can decarbonise transport and heating of homes without trying to move everything to electric and batteries.
    • Cleaner AIR and comfortable heating and cooling in homes will lead to much better health outcomes.
  • I believe that we need community-led homes, for those that need them, where we need them.
  • By enabling councils to build homes again.
  • By tackling land value reform.
  • By fixing the major issues associated with senior living developments i.e. the leasehold and maintenance traps set by developers.

Our constituency is a great place to live, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for it to be even better. I want to work with business and the community to build for the future. We can do this by

  • Moving to community-led building
    1. Working in Parliament to change the narrative towards what communities need not what developers want..
  • Securing our local energy where we can
    1. Although much of the needed effort is in parliament, we do have the opportunity locally as micro hydro, solar and ground wind solutions open new options for us.
  • Supporting schools, further education and skills development
    1. Striving for a fair start and quality education for all.
  • Supporting the rural economy
    1. Working with residents to determine what your village needs in order to keep schools, shops, pubs and local businesses open, making plans accordingly in collaboration with residents.
    2. Supporting communities in developing their own Neighbourhood Development Plans.
    3. Supporting local farmers to get produce into local markets.
    4. Lobby in parliament to ensure that our farmers are not undercut by imported food that is not produced to the same high environmental and animal welfare standards.
  1. Because it’s a new constituency comprising 30% of voters from 3 Reading West wards and 70% of Voters from 12 more rural West Berkshire wards.
  2. Because there is no clear majority for any political and a lot of dissatisfaction with existing party politics, leaving space for a "None of the above" vote. 
  3. Because when I ran a survey people said they wanted someone like me as their first preference. i.e. an independent local person with a career first before politics.
  • I recently went to the Tom Hanks Moonwalkers show at the Lightroom near St Pancras. (Wow by the way). In it was a snippet of the speech by John F. Kennedy. The one where he says “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept”. So, my answer is simple. I bother because if someone does not then nothing changes. I would like to be the candidate that makes change happen.
  • My first jobs were shovelling peas off lorries, bar work and piece work. I know what it took to get out of poverty and so can empathise with people struggling for a fair deal.
  • During my time as a Councillor, I've demonstrated how we can do positive things for the environment which also saves money. I use STEAM (Saving Money And The Environment) or SMATE (Saving Money And The Environment) as acronyms often because there are still many things we can do which have all the benefits without the negatives. Choosing cheaper alt energy solutions is the obvious example)
  • Whilst I often agree with the Greens on what needs to be tackled, I found the solutions are often too extreme to get adopted. I am more a carrot-before-the-stick type of person.
  • In the current world climate, the commitment of the Greens to just get rid of Nuclear is not something I can support. Ukraine giving up theirs (even when the West said ” Don't worry, we will take care of you”) just shows how states like Russia then feel free to threaten and invade.

  • I am the only candidate currently engaging with parish and town councils to ensure the next MP delivers what local residents need in areas an MP can influence.
  • By running as an independent I can fight directly for the constituency and what it needs rather than being tied to only what the party wants.
  • As things stand, I believe it would be better to find ways to work much closer with the EU (something the Lib Dems are frightened of saying for some reason).
  • During the Lib Dem PPC selection process, members selected me. Only when a spurious reason was created was I excluded and Helen announced instead. The English party chair failed to investigate, as did Lib Dem HQ. Therefore I stand in part to be able to represent those Lib Dems who voted for me.
  • I better represent true Lib Dem values than the official candidate and happen to be local - which is why people voted for me in the first place.

  • It is tough to reward and trust the current version of the Conservative party given its significant mistakes and instability.
  • FUD - Using Fear Uncertainty and Doubt as the bedrock of why the Conservatives should be re-elected is just reusing old key on new locks - We all know that does not work.
  • I can ensure your vote is not wasted, and should I win, you can see from my background, that I can help steer the constituency and nation to a better future. I believe I am a safe pair of hands.

Yes - Although I initially intended to run as an independent candidate when I decided to become a District Councillor in January 2019,  a friend who had been a councillor before, explained how difficult it is for an unknown candidate to reach enough people and win the election. My ward has around 7,000 residents. Since I am a centrist in my beliefs and a fair few Parish councillors I knew were Lib Dems, I was encouraged to join them. I read their constitution and looked at what they wanted to do as a group. It seemed that as it was local and I was 95% aligned with their stated aims, it made sense to join the party. I did and was first elected in May 2019

The primary aims of becoming a district councillor were

  • To do something about the football fiasco at Faraday Road in Newbury 
  • To ensure some due diligence was done on the massive development being proposed for Sandleford.
  • To get involved in environmental issues across the district (I became the opposition environment spokesperson at the council). In May 2023 as the Lib Dems took control of West Berks council I became the executive portfolio holder.
  • To become a member of the planning committee and ensure some proper due diligence was being carried out. I first became a member of WAP in 2019 and chairman of WAP in May 2023. I was forced out of that role by the Lib Dems once I resigned from the party in November 2023.

Having achieved my objectives at West Berkshire Council, but also because I was becoming ever more upset with what was happening in Westminster. I put my name forward to run as a Lib Dem for Parliament at the next general election. I took part in the selection process in August 2023. The Lib Dem members of Reading West and Mid Berkshire selected me as their candidate. Despite winning Lib Dem HQ found a way to have my name excluded and instead claimed Helen Belcher was the winner. I went to appeal and tried to have Lib Dem HQ look at the invalid reasons used to exclude me (the reason given was that I used endorsements, I did not, I used references like you do when applying for any job). That left me no choice but to resign as a Lib Dem given it had become clear that some senior people at HQ were not willing to follow their own rules.

I’m still deeply concerned about the current political situation in Westminster. I always believed that we need more local, non-career politicians who are committed to representing cummunity values. After discussing this with friends, family, and people in the constituency, I’ve decided to run as an independent candidate. I have the time and energy to offer my services and I’m excited to make a positive impact in our community.

At the moment no. When I look at the current political landscape, I find that most parties either have policies that are a red line for me, such as giving up our nuclear deterrent without a viable replacement, or their policies and aims are so extreme that they end up producing an unfair society. Additionally, the process by which selection is done means that very rarely do we get people to represent us who are not compromised in some way by the party they represent.

As an MP I could assist local businesses in a variety of ways. I can make private enquiries on behalf of my constituents, raise matters publicly in the House of Commons, speak at events concerning the issue, pledge my support to a campaign or write to the local media on behalf of these constituents.

MPs are not islands and tend to have a constituency office with staff. This can provide advice on business-related matters and even help point business towards government grants.

I’ve often found, in my own work life, that networking solutions together can pay dividends. Therefore, as businesses across the Constituency and nearby get to know me, I’ll be able to connect them together where it makes sense.

As an MP I cannot be financially involved directly though.

Since being established on July 5, 1948, the NHS has undergone several changes to adapt to the changing needs of the population.

It is suggested, and I agree, that having doctors and nurses in charge of designing the change process would be a good thing.

The NHS is already making use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to help clinicians interpret scans and improve healthcare outcomes. The NHS AI Lab is working in partnership with several government and NHS partners to create an environment for collaboration and co-creation by bringing together programmes that address the barriers to developing and deploying AI systems in health care. Once done, I see this adding positively to the answers we need to the challenges faced by the NHS today.

No one should be enslaved by Poverty, Ignorance or Conformity. i.e. there should be equal opportunity for all without barriers because of wealth, race etc. But once the barriers are removed, then we need the best person to do the best job possible. I came from what many consider a poor background. The grant system allowed me to get the education I needed.  I want to fight to fix those issues as a priority whilst ensuring barriers do not exist.

I would be a champion and deliver two things that would benefit our constituency. 

  1. I would be lobbying to have a greater range of services available at the relatively new community hospital that was built on the border of Newbury and Thatcham. 
  2. I would also be a big supporter of building a new hospital to replace the ageing Royal Berkshire one. Looking at its capture area, I would also be suggesting a move out of central Reading but close to one of the M4 junctions to improve the speed of access Junctions 11/12 and 13 being the obvious choices.

Before we look at the above, we need to keep a couple of things in mind. 1 The birth rate in the UK. 2 How the UK is setup in terms of the number of people it needs to remain in what we think of as a prosperous nation. The reality is that the UK birth rate is falling, and a work force is needed to pay for everything that makes us prosperous.

With that said, what gets little to no coverage is emigration from the UK. The latest ONS numbers, June 2023, say 93000 British citizens left the UK. An AXA PPP International report says the main drivers behind British emigration was Poor work / life balance and poor pay and benefits.

First that’s around 3 times the number of people that arrive by small boats according to a Dec 15th Article on the BBC website. In the same story 89000 sought Asylum in the UK in 2022 (Still less).

What’s not said, and what’s hard to find is the socio-economic breakdown in those numbers.

Let’s face it, if we are losing the mid to high earners and only replace with low earners then it’s not a matter of just measuring in and out, it’s a matter of value (or tax revenue if you like). For example. If I lose a Dr. whose average pay is £76K (net £54K) and replace with someone working in retail where the average salary is £23.3K (net 20K) then I’m at least 3 times worse off as the government. But it’s even worse than that, because a single parent earing £23.3K with 2 school age kids living in Berkshire would be entitled to £329.44 per week of benefits, according to money saving experts web site. That’s another £17130 per annum we need to find. FYI the Dr. gets just child benefits at 39.90 per week or 2074.80 per annum.

The extra cost of the 3.3 people on benefits compared to the 1 Dr. is £56.5K. That’s over twice the tax revenue from the Dr.

A GMC report said that 4843 Drs left the UK in the year May 2021 to 2022

Given the above. I’m going to say the emigration part of net migration is something we need to focus on as a high priority. i.e. retain our talent.

It is impossible to have missed the evolving situation in the USA, with a real possibility that Donald Trump might get re-elected. However, even without that, we hear about President Joe Biden’s thoughts on the UK and Ireland. He’s not that positive about us apparently. Or at least that’s what gets reported.

So, I do find myself asking “Would the USA really come to our aid? Would they stay involved long enough to make the difference? Can we take the risk?” Whereas 20 years ago I would never have doubted, today I’m less sure.

Add to this what we see reported from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran means we face the real possibility of our way of life being changed significantly by direct aggression, or by weaponizing capitalism (which the Chinese state has done very successfully). FYI. I try and stay in touch by watching a range of news channels from the BBC through ITV, GB News, Al Jazeera and Sky. Just so I can get different perspectives on things.

The conflation of all this news is that we live in ever more dangerous times. It's why one of the things I’m keen to see is the UK get to energy independence. I.e. Energy security. I have written previously about ways we can do this in an environmentally positive way, but once we have abundant cheap energy security, we can make positive moves to improve food security, we also get positive outcomes for health and industry and importantly cost of living.

But even if we manage to reverse the trends and make the UK independent in the basics of life, we still won’t be secure given the growing aggression in the world.

That's why I support a strong military, not for global dominance, but to safeguard our interests and respond effectively when necessary. Collaborating with neighbouring countries, who share cultural similarities to form a robust alliance—whether within or outside NATO— can deter potential aggressors.

It’s one of the main reasons why staying close to our European neighbours is a good thing. We need to get passed painting the EU as the devil. It’s a long way from perfect but our cultures are closer than many seem to realise.

As a potential independent MP, I would consider evidence and vote in the best interests of the nation, recognizing that decisions in this area span multiple decades and should be independent of party politics.

My position is quite straightforward really.

  • My main concern is to split out genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants
  • Economic migrants need to arrive by safe legal routes. They should apply before they set off on the journey to the UK. They need to be filling a role that cannot be filled by someone already living here.
  • Economic migration needs to be ruled based.
  • I am just as concerned about emigration.

Are we losing skilled people and replacing them with non-skilled? I did a letter to the press on this - see here

https://adrianabbs.uk/Contents/ContentItems/48gx8qefbem1ptvxz620rzaawh

For me, it starts further back and comes down to the economy we are building. Build the right type of economy and emigration of skilled labour falls

It's a tough nut to crack but the speed of processing applications is one key. Being willing to say "no thanks, we don't need your specific skill set" must be something we can do as a nation.




When I moved back from working in Germany my home was at RG30 3UN which is in the East of the constituency. Both my children went to school in Reading.

I currently live on the border of Newbury / Thatcham. The boundary for the new constituency runs all the way to Thatcham. So, I am very close.

The constituency is made up from Rural (West) and Urban (East). As I have lived at both ends, I believe I will bring an understanding to what is needed locally for the Constituency. I also run a business (In Newbury) that employs people who live in places like Aldermaston.

Before standing I contacted several of the current District councillors to see if they would be running. None were who represented a centralist and internationalist perspective. That meant no candidate close to my own principles was standing.

Now that all the main candidates have announced, it seems to remain clear that I can offer a viable alternative to party politics and am someone who has a strong connection to the constituency.

Some of the work I have done as a District Councillor is based in Mid Berkshire (Things like the Grazely solar farm and energy generation at Padworth recycling centre). I also met with people in Beenham when they had a particularly contentious planning app – In an advisor role.

David Tully from Rochdale showed that an Independent can do very well in an election for Parliament. He got 21% of the vote. He was just a local businessman who wanted to do something for his community. Same as me.

Given the Conservative vote is mainly in Mid Berkshire historically and the Labour Vote is strongest in Reading West, we already have a split. Now add in that the Conservative vote splits again because of Reform. The Labour Vote also splits because Tilehurst has historically voted Lib Dem (at least during council elections). This means we have no party with more than ¼ of the votes. Turn outs at General elections are averaging 65%. So around 16 to 17% each

An independent has a chance because. 1) the 35% of people who don’t normally vote now have a viable choice. 2) Many softer Conservative voters are so angry with their own party they are actively considering voting for change or staying at home. They don’t really want to vote Labour and the Lib Dems just don’t have enough people to do the whole area. They have only around 140 members and far less activists (maybe 5-10) across the area I believe. 3) Although the Green candidate is someone I respect, the Green vote is just not a tactical vote this time around in this location.

If we believe in democracy, then we need a solution when electing MPs that represents what voters believe in. 1st past the post has led to some very odd election results with huge majorities that do not reflect the majority. Its very hard indeed to find any example of a single party commanding more than 50% of the publics vote.

Now add in stability. Having been running my own business’s for over 20 years I can say the number 1 thing that benefits growth is stability. Be that inflation or the rules under which business must run.

So, I have come to believe we should adopt a form of PR that still ensures I can elect a person, rather than a party, but then also reflects what voters want. It does mean we will get representatives from the extremes, but we should also get better cooperation and stability.

Here are some of my beliefs

  • I do not believe in the extremes of politics, be that ultra-right or left. If I had to use a single word it would be to say I am a "centrist". That means I can support some of what socialism stands for as well as capitalism.
  • I believe in people being given an opportunity, but that it is also incumbent on those that can, to give back.
  • I do not believe in barriers for people, but also that once a barrier is removed, it should be the best person for the role.
  • I bridge the political divide because I have direct experience of being poor as well as what it takes to create jobs and run a business.
  • Do take a look at this youtube video which shows a vision for  solving some of the bigger problems we face. https://youtu.be/bHyjvxP4KZ8


I do not hold any strong opinion on this bill other than to acknowledge the costs of supporting people's choices. If we have a known product that directly hurts people's health then encouraging them to change the habit would be my go to start position. Taxing those products to ensure the necessary health support later on has to happen otherwise a persons choice falls on other shoulders.

This goes to my belief that people should be able to choose. My only concern is ensuring it really is their choice.

I do not have access to enough information to know if this is even affordable. So sorry I am unable to answer this question at this time.

I do not believe in the breakup of the UK.  So devolving power to allow each part to decide if they wanted to join the EU (or even could) is not something I see as helpful at this time.

The concept of devolved power, in theory, allows a more specific focus by those elected to these parliaments.

The problem is that it costs quite a lot. As the world shrinks, the differences economically also shrinks.

I struggle to see how splitting tax, health etc into smaller parts makes for greater efficiency.

My mind is open but as a businessman, I would want to see the business case and advantages economically of doing it.


This set of FAQs is from people who are politically aligned (i.e they have asked me a questions but are known to be a member of a political party)

My intention would be to remain as MP for a maximum of 3 terms. I have no intention of becoming a career MP

Each ward that makes up the new constituency has its own “biggest issue”. I would want the campaign messages to reflect both local and national issues. I would produce messages for each ward by working with residents and Cllrs. My literature would have a clear message saying “Visit our FAQ to see what your Independent MP will do for your ward”

Integrity for me is saying what you mean and doing what you say. It also means being willing to change your mind should new data leads you that way. It's not about dogma but it is about truth.

A woman’s perception of the issue is what guides my view. Given the numbers are very small, it must be possible to offer women a space that fits their needs during their most vulnerable time. The same is true of transgender women.

Lib Dems are known for their support of minorities. Whilst I 100% agree with that, they too often find themselves trapped into talking on these issues only. They let the media control their narrative. I want to focus more on the issues of the majority like the NHS, Education, Energy etc.

Yes, the way it was done, and the growing effect means Brexit is a disaster. From increased red tape, lack of job flexibility, security concerns and huge chunks of industry starting to move into Europe are just some of the obvious effects. I therefore support finding a path to return to better relations with the EU.

Having people in charge that understand the whole patient journey is essential to solving the problem. Drs and Nurses are best placed to do that. I would have management reflect this. I would also properly fund adult social care to ensure Councils can receive patients back into the community. Design the journey, Fix the bottlenecks, fund it properly and solve the problem.

Riparian wrights provide protection under the law for waterways from pollution. Sewage treatment companies have licences that override this. I would first work in Parliament to remove all such exceptions. There are new technology solutions that essentially eliminate the need to dump in our rivers, So, helping Thames water down this path would be my first move.

It really made me laugh when asked. My answer is, “As fish and chips”. It is a traditional British dish that most people like, is good value and is present in most communities. That sums me up well

This set of FAQs are a response to questions asked when speaking with Parish Councillors during their regular meetings or with residents who attended their meetings.

Yes - As a way of improving participation and efficiency it's the obvious thing to do. I believe allowing Hybrid meetings is the first step as there are still things that need a physical signature. It makes it much more possible for Cllrs (who are volunteers) from all walks of life to take part.

It needs a fix. The obvious answer is to require a builder to begin work once they have detailed planning permission within say 12 months, or maybe 24 months in exceptional circumstances. If they can't or won't, then the local authority could step in and take over the development. If they can't, then it goes to a rapid bid process (max 6 months) and in turn if there are no bids then the planning permission is removed.

There is much more than can be done around building which focuses on having suitable developments brought forward when a council sets land aside in their local plan. Given this process is developer-led at the moment then some form of outlined planning permission must be gained within a decade of the land being allocated.

I would not be by myself. As with other MPs there is a constituency office with staff. This would be made up of paid staff from allowances as well as interns looking to understand how legislation is created and how MPs work.

I’ve come to believe that what the country needs more than anything is long-term vision and stability. These are things that come about when the rules stay the same for a long period of time and when parliament is focused on multi-term outcomes, not just the next election. The hundreds of years by which we’ve had first passed the post seem to have proven that the one thing that’s not delivered is stability. Therefore, I have come to believe in PR as the way forward to solving the U K’s fundamental problems.

Yes, I believe there is a whole rack of laws that could do with some reform. It would be about making existing legislation fit for the current century.

Freedom of speech is an obvious example, being responsible for what you say is not enshrined when we look at social media. So I would want to help modernise and reform the existing laws of the land rather than creating even more. One-in-one-out should be the minimum to aim for.

I often use the terms steam or SMATE. Steam stands for “save the environment and money”, whilst SMATE stands for “saving money and the environment”. Either way there is the reality that money is involved.

I also believe that we must focus on influencing outside of the UK to have any real effect. It's why I introduced a label concept that would allow the UK to set a standard by which anything sold here clearly displays its environmental impact. This label was about giving people the choice and encouraging producers to change through buyer’s pressure.

I stand for practicable change "at pace" that tackles what we can do rather than what we can’t. I do believe in areas such as green energy that we can produce solutions that could then be sold worldwide. An Industrial Revolution version 2 if you will.

I see ways we can individually make a difference but through standards that we can influence others.

Many grants that a Parish council might access have two main issues. There is not enough time to create a bid by the Parish to access the grant. The grant must be spent too quickly to allow for the best value to be obtained. As MP I will be happy to try and help address this situation and so ensure the Parish can get access to the grants but also to ensure the nation gets the best value from it. This is about our civil servant's unstanding of the timeframes associated with the conditions they apply to grants applied for by District councils.

This is similar to the question posed by East Isley which was about Hybrid meetings. The removal of laws stopping hybrid meetings would directly aid and support diversity and accessibility at the parish level. I would be very keen to have this change made by parliment.

Probably the number one complaint when there is any kind of significant housing built is infrastructure. It’s never enough and it’s not quick enough. Although it is a tough area to deal with some fundamental changes could be made.

First, moving infrastructure delivery to the early part of the development rather than waiting until the end. How that is funded needs resolving but impacting existing infrastructure for years before the new is delivered is not acceptable.

Second, Ensuring that the NPPF reflects local infrastructure needs so that an existing local plan or neighbourhood plan carries equal weight and so ensures community-led development becomes practical.

Third, Where large developments are proposed (Say > 250 homes). The associated impact on GP surgeries, schools, roads, sewage, drainage etc are not allowed to be compromised. Communities need teath in the process to ensure the community remains intact.

Three things I will fight for.

  1. Remove the water company's exceptions to Riprion weights
  2. Ensure they invest and move towards new technologies that increase capacity using less energy and remove PFAS from the treated water.
  3. Look at a major program to match the current population to our water and sewage networks. We still rely in large areas on Victorian infrastructure designed for a population of less than half what it is today. This will be my 2nd priority after showing ways to fix our energy security with local, clean cheap energy.

This is where local community input via Parish Councils can have a real effect. 

Giving sufficient weight to the local community in planning terms means blanket bans on needed infrastructure could be better weighed against local needs.

Understanding what is needed in our villages to keep them vibrant can then be more easily balanced against the preservation of our AONB.

I have already committed to holding regular surgeries around the constituency. I believe that this is what an MP must do to represent the whole constituency. 

One of the advantages of not being a member of a party is all the time it saves. That will instead be spent talking to local councillors who can keep the local issues at the forefront of the MPs mind.

Based on a belief in democracy i.e. that if the majority wants something then unless there is a legal reason why it can't be done it should.

I absolutely believe that local people know what is best for their village etc. So if the majority of that location are saying we have a problem can you support us? Essentially I would. However, speed limits are a devolved power to district councils so it would be a matter of writing a letter of support to the relevant council.

I should be clear that all these types of decisions should be based on a majority wanting it and the data supporting the identified issue.

The MP can support residents when they have identified issues where in this case West Berkshire Council highways officer say there should be signage. The MP can write letters and look to ensure correct funding is in place for councils to carry out this work.

When it rains it shows us all the issues, we face with existing infrastructure that has become overloaded from when it was designed and built. It also brings into perspective how important infrastructure is when planning of any type is being considered. It is something I would be keen to lobby on in Parliament because this is where it needs to be resolved. The costly but needed investment has to come from a central resource.

We can do something about sewage as I've outlined here. However, with the predicted growth of the UK population, ensuring planning has teeth to ensure infrastructure is delivered with housing is a must.

For me, it’s not just a matter of providing what we think we need for a specific development, but rather how we deliver that plus a sizable extra margin to take account of future needs. If we did more future proofing then the roads won’t need to be dug up so often.

I’ve been a resident of this Berkshire area for more than 25 years. My journey began in Pingewood, Reading, within the RG30 postcode, after returning from my work in Germany. Over time, I’ve moved through Thatcham, and now I reside on the border between Newbury and Thatcham (RG14). As someone deeply connected to this locality, having both lived here and built my businesses, I have a keen understanding of the diverse elements that constitute the currently divided urban and rural constituency.

One of the great things about being an Independent MP is being there for constituents as a first priority. Too often MPs shy away from planning or other issues because of the party they belong to. Whether it is as obvious as donations from builders to campaigns or more subtle donations that influence the priorities of parties. It is really bad when the party is the ruling party.

I want to bring my  5 years of district planning experience to my role as MP with a focus on community-led development.

The second part of being a good constituency MP will be having surgeries in the community, not asking the community to just one location. This an a strong belief that the MP should be talking to the Parish, Town and district councillors should ensure when something local of importance comes up it gets noticed and addressed.


This one is straightforward. The beauty of being independent is that you can choose to support matters of concern to the constituency. If we have a hung parliament (a possible outcome from the next general election) then those who don't have a party motive can work with whoever is working in the best interests of his constituency or the nation.

This is an opportunity to break away from the politics we wee in Westminster and bring some business acumen to politics.


The parish council expressed there concern on this subject. I was left with the impression that MPs should ensure relevant planning can be enforced where the DEPZ is relevant. It seems far to often that planning goes ahead where it should not.

The parish council expressed their concern on this subject. It has similarities to other areas such as Membury where industrial is built in the countryside and all the associated commercial traffic that is associated with it.  This comes down to having relevant local planning that fits the needs of the landscape. Community-led development with teeth supplied to local planners would go a long way to resolving or mitigating some of the extremes.

The parish council was clear about issues with the relationship with West Berkshire Council (WBC). Somthing  and MP could lobby for if they were focused on local issues.

I would want to use the experience built over the past 4-5 years of being on Western Area Planning for West Berkshire Council, as well as a short period as Chairman to bring the weight of an MP to local planning issues. To often for me they shy away from commenting.

I would be different because of this and the fact that I have seen first-hand what poor planning can do to a community.

Simply yes. This is why I am putting the answers given at various meetings in writing so everything is clear and recorded.

Not every answer will be popular but it will be based on the principles of openness, fairness and transparency.

I was asked the question "If you had not been replaced as the Lib Dem candidate, would you have been standing in front of us tonight as a Lib Dem?" during the meeting. 

My answer is most likely. I became a Lib Dem originally because they were the closest fit to my own beliefs as a centralist. FYI I do not like the extremes of politics and at a local level being a Lib Dem delivers councillors who work hard in and for their communities.

The reason I say "most likely" is that lately, some Lib Dem policy is becoming more extreme. That's the 5 to10% that did not align with my own beliefs. 

Now, as an Independent, party politics has been brought into focus. Something that our new constituency does not need. So I am actually relieved to have returned to being an Independent . This should allow me to put the constituency above anything else. Here you can see the 7 things that being independent can do for the constituency.


Unfortunately, West Ilsley Parish Council responded to my note about this survey with the following, I have followed up with them reconfirming that this is information to be collated for whoever is the next MP me or anyone else.

"Dear Adrian,

West Ilsley Parish Council asks that you not attend the meeting on 20th February because it does not feel it is appropriate for a parish council meeting.

Kind regards,"

This was received from their clerk to the council whose details are available if needed on their website..


After sending a request to all councillors who represent the Norcot ward I received 1 reply from Cllr Jo Lovelock - See below

"Hello Adrian

I have already given my support to Liv Bailey who is both local and was an excellent candidate in 2017.

Best wishes

Jo Lovelock"

I did follow up with her explaining this was to go to whoever wins the next election, but I think this unfortunately shows party politics in action. Not good for the new constituency.


Create your own user feedback survey

News related to the area in which we live

An Independent Vision on how we might solve some of our bigger problems

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

16

April 2024
An Independent Vision on how we might solve some of our bigger problems


Watch out, there a general election leaflets about

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

11

April 2024
Watch our there a general election leaflet about

I delivered my 10,000th leaflet across the new Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency last weekend (7th April_. From doing this its already clear that voters must take great care with what the parties are saying. Whether its Labour delivering leaflets saying how they are the only ones that can win, even though their base out of Reading is just 30% of the new constituency, or the Lib Dems doing the opposite based on Local election results in Mid Berkshire. Voters need to treat the content in a leaflet or canvassing on the door with care. The labour leaflet even mentioned that all polling shows its neck and neck between them and the Conservatives. But based on what polling? They don’t say.

What do I base this statement on! I have had nigh on 400 conversations with Voters as I have been delivering. So that’s my polling so far. The almost universal message is one of not knowing which way to vote and being depressed with the state of Politics. Many people simply saying they are not going to vote because “it makes no difference; all politicians are the same”. Not one person said they were voting Labour! or Lib Dem or Green for that matter. It’s way too early for most people to have decided.

So, how can we trust parties that start campaigning by twisting things? As a demonstration, I’ll use the same techniques used by parties to show how an independent has just as good a chance, if not better, of being elected in the new constituency.

Let’s start with the most recent byelection result from Rochdale. Independents polled 24.5% of the vote and the largest independent got 21%. Now let’s look at Politico and the poll of polls as of 3rd April.

It says Labour 44%, Conservative 23%, Reform 13%, Lib Dems 10% & Greens 5%.

So, 44% of the stronger area for Labour (Reading West) means just 44% of 30% i.e. just 13.2% of the total vote.

For the Conservatives, 23% of the remaining 70% is just 16.1%, but that’s an absolute max as it ignores everyone else’s vote. Reform gets just 9.1%, Lib Dems just 7.77% & Greens just 3.5%. So, any independent getting 21% of the Vote easily wins.

Anyone who thinks about the statement above will see the flaws in it. There are many, but as with the Labour leaflet, its is presenting things in a way that suits the narrative of the presenter.

We all know that the polls are often wrong. The polls for Brexit said it would not happen. No poll was indicating that an independent would do so well in Rochdale. So why should anyone believe what is so obviously a twist of reality?

All I will say is “Please Vote”. If you really don’t know who to vote for, then why not a local businessman who’s independent. Let’s not give up on democracy, but use your vote to bring it back to parliament.

The turnout for the 2019 general election was 67.3% - So 32.7% did not vote. That’s more than enough to return anyone voters choose. The average turnout since the 2001 election (including the Brexit referendum) is even less at 65.7%. Without Brexit, it's just 64.6%. So the reality is that anyone can win – Including the Conservatives.

Learning from Rochdale

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

28

March 2024
The only way to get change is to change how you vote!

Can Reading West & Mid Berkshire voters learn anything from the Rochdale By Election result?

First, it was an unusual election, if for no other reason than the Labour candidate not being supported by Labour in the end. However, something does seem to have been different.

The usual narrative from all the main parties is that to win you need to be a member of their party. It was certainly what I’ve been told in the past.

But Rochdale blew a hole in that argument in two significant ways. First, the winner is from a party, but that party is essentially one unusual person who was able to fight on mainly one issue. Second, Independents made up 25.3% of the vote, which is more than the Conservatives, Labour and Green combined (21.1%)

The leading Independent, who came second, had a simple message. “I’m a local businessman who wants to work on behalf of this constituency”.

It without doubt shows that voting Independent is not what the parties claim i.e. a wasted vote. It shows that change is possible if people want it.

The result encourages me to work even harder. You, as a voter, can make the difference. Standing as an Independent I’ll be delivering the same message as the 2nd place candidate in Rochdale. “I’m a local businessman who wants to work on behalf of this constituency”.

Last week’s West Berkshire council meeting emphasised this further with motions that talked about lobbying the local MP and Westminster.

I’m happy to commit to both Reading and West Berkshire that should I become the MP, I’ll attend District council meetings at least 4 times a year. I would want to hear directly what Councillors' issues are for their specific area. I’ve committed to do something similar for Town and Parishes. How will I have the time to do this? Well, I won’t have to attend party meetings which for anyone involved in politics knows takes up a huge amount of time.

If you want to help get that change, please get in touch with me via https://adrainabbs.uk
Adrian Abbs
Independent Candidate

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

Why it’s important we watch what is happening in the world.

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

05

March 2024
Why it’s important we watch what is happening in the world.

It is impossible to have missed the evolving situation in the USA, with a real possibility that Donald Trump might get re-elected. However, even without that, we hear about President Joe Biden’s thoughts re the UK and Ireland. He’s not that positive about us apparently. Or at least that’s what gets reported.

So, I do find myself asking “Would the USA really come to our aid? Would they stay involved long enough to make the difference? Can we take the risk?” Whereas 20 years ago I would never have doubted, today I’m less sure.

Add to this what we see reported from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran means we face the real possibility of our way of life being changed significantly with direct aggression, or by weaponizing capitalism (which the Chinese state has done very successfully). FYI. I try and stay in touch by watching a range of news channels from the BBC through ITV, GB News, Al Jazeera and Sky. Just so I can get different perspectives on things.

The conflation of all this news is that we live in ever more dangerous times. Its why one of the things I’m keen to see is the UK get to energy independence. I.e. Energy security. I have written previously about ways we can do this in an environmentally positive way, but once we have abundant cheap energy security, we can make positive moves to improve food security, we also get positive outcomes for health and industry and importantly cost of living.

But even if we manage to reverse the trends and make the UK independent in the basics of life, we still won’t be secure given the growing aggression in the world.

It's why I support a strong military, not for global dominance, but to safeguard our interests and respond effectively when necessary. Collaborating with neighbouring countries, who share cultural similarities to form a robust alliance—whether within or outside NATO— can deter potential aggressors.

It’s one of the main reasons why staying close to our European neighbours is a good thing. We need to get passed painting the EU as the devil. It’s a long way from perfect but our cultures are closer than many seem to realise.

As a potential independent MP, I would consider evidence and vote in the best interests of the nation, recognizing that decisions in this area span multiple decades and should be independent of party politics.

Adrian Abbs

Independent Candidate

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

The only way to get change is to change how you vote!

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

26

February 2024
The only way to get change is to change how you vote!

This link will open a .pdf. It is the 1st document that will be delivered to voters and gives an overview of why "The only way to get change is to change how you vote!"

My 2024 West Berkshire Council budget amendments

England

22

February 2024
West Berkshire and Reading

This year I have focused on the capital budget for West Berkshire Council (WBC)

With interest rates high, any borrowing to buy and build things has a long-term effect on the revenue budget.

I believe I found 3.5 million that could be saved now or at least delayed until the council is in a better financial state.

My day job is IT Services, so when I see the council wanting to spend money on things like replacing all devices in one go, I get nervous. It’s usually better to negotiate a contract that allows the buying of quantity over time at a pre-agreed price. i.e. replace when it breaks not replace for the sake of it. That is a £168K approx. saving.

Next, when I see the council replacing server infrastructure, I see an organisation living in the IT world of pre-cloud. Every time I have looked at this for my customers, when the total cost of ownership is considered, then public, private or a hybrid of the two comes out cheaper. WBC wants to do things like replace an air con unit to keep servers cool. That’s £100K. They want to replace a Storage Address Network device, another £150K. Also replace a DB server, £75K. We are already at £325K and all this can be done easily and at a lower cost in the cloud. The above does not even consider the energy, staff, maintenance or space costs associated with having this in-house.

Next, I saw £280K per annum for 2 years to get full fibre to schools. So a £560K cost. But hang on, WBC, under the conservatives, announced they had finished full fibre across West Berkshire ages ago. There are 92 schools, so the proposal is to spend £46K per school. My suggestion will be to go to something like Starlink instead. It works everywhere, already delivers 100’s Mbps and costs around £449. i.e. 1/10th of the proposed per school costs. That saves £514K over 2 years.

Finally, I looked at the line item about building extra storage for records across Berkshire. A legal hangover from when Berkshire County Council existed. That is £2.5Million to build plus some extra revenue costs to maintain where it's stored. Then I hear about how well the programme to have staff work from home has gone, and how the Market Street offices of WBC are now underutilised. Combined with that is speculation about building new offices somewhere in the London Road Industrial estate.

Well, if we have spare room, why are we building more storage elsewhere? Store the records at existing offices that have space and save the 2.5 million.

If we use spare office capacity, then this also benefits the other parts of the old Berkshire County Council including Reading. So other authorities also save money!

Adrian Abbs

Independent West Berkshire Councillor

Independent candidate for Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency.

Fighting inappropriate planning

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

12

February 2024
Fighting inappropriate planning

It's only when you talk to local people that you can understand the effects of large developments on a community.

I went along to the latest meeting for the campaign run by the Say NO to Thatcham NE Development team. Mainly to see if I could help in anyway given the experience gained by standing up for the community in Wash Common and the impact the proposed Sandleford development would have. There are a lot of similarities between the 2 sites.

It's not about no housing, but should all be about the right type, at the right price, in the right place with the right infrastructure!

What the campaign is doing now is critical, because once the local plan is adopted, it becomes very hard indeed to stop the actual development. Much discussion was had about getting Sandleford removed from a local plan. Apparently its not that you can’t, but that no one has ever managed it. Compensating developers was one reason I heard – which is ridiculous as all development is speculation.

In our developer-led planning world it's far less about what a community needs and too much about just profit.

There are exceptions of course but they are in the minority.

I think there are 4 things we could change that would help.

1) Move to community-led development where local people describe what they need to keep their local service etc.

2) Carry out land value reform, so that the development of needed housing does not start with the huge hike associated with profiteering from turning land which is worth a few K to land that is worth millions. Direct that profit (not made by the developer usually) to ensure infrastructure is delivered.

3) Schedule the infrastructure improvements and fixes to the early stages of development. Not to the end as so often happens.

4) Give some teeth back to local planners and more weight to local development plans. They know far better what works for a community than the Secretary of State.

A lot of this is managed and controlled by Westminster.

That’s why we need constituency MPs who are willing to stand up for inappropriate development in their areas.

Adrian Abbs

Independent Candidate

Reading West and Mid Berkshire

Council Budgets

England

08

February 2024
Council Budgets

Council Budgets

Let’s face the facts, it’s not actually a council budget but rather a Government one. As per my letter of a few weeks ago, the single biggest factor is social care, the next is waste. The first is statutory but uncontrollable as inflation and the actual numbers needing this service is only guesswork when setting a budget. The second, for West Berkshire Council, is stuck in a Private Funding Initiative (PFI) contract which has 8 plus years left to run. PFI contracts have been amongst the worst types of contracts, and no one today would even consider them. FYI West Berkshire’s is amongst the most expensive waste service in the country for residents. Who suggested they were a good idea? That would be central government. Central Government also encouraged councils to play the property market. This created a situation where they were competing against each other. The summary of that for many councils is that they bought high and are now selling low.

You will all have seen the Conservative's announcement of extra funding for councils. This is just a small sticking plaster. At the time of writing, we don’t know how much West Berks or Reading will get from this. Therefore, the councillors and officers must guess the number whilst trying to figure out what can be cut to afford the mandatory things. Add to that the accounting tricks which allow capital receipts to be used as revenue, means the real problems do not get fixed. This constant kicking down the road of funding for local services will come back to hurt us.

We need some different types of MP. Not career politicians, but people who bring their careers to politics. People who have lived in the real world, not one of theory.

I’m currently meeting all councils in Reading West and Mid Berkshire to compile a list of priorities the MP should be dealing with in the Constituency. If you would like to share your thoughts, just go to Https://adrianabbs.uk/Constituency-Ideas. I’ve committed to hand it all over to whoever wins at the general election, whether it’s me or not.

Adrian Abbs

Independent Candidate

Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency.

Net Migration / Emigration / Immigration / Asylum seekers

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

22

January 2024
Net Migration, Emigration, Immigration, Asylum seekers

Net Migration / Emigration / Immigration / Asylum seekers.

Which is the most important?

Before we look at the above, we need to keep a couple of things in mind. 1 The birth rate in the UK. 2 How the UK is set up in terms of the number of people it needs to remain in what we think of as a prosperous nation. The reality is that the UK birth rate is falling, and a workforce is needed to pay for everything that makes us prosperous.

With that said, what gets little to no coverage is emigration from the UK. The latest ONS numbers, June 2023, say 93000 British citizens left the UK. An AXA PPP International report says the main drivers behind British emigration was Poor work / life balance and poor pay and benefits.

First, that’s around 3 times the number of people that arrive by small boats according to a Dec 15th Article on the BBC website. In the same story, 89000 sought Asylum in the UK in 2022 (Still less).

What’s not said, and what’s hard to find is the socio-economic breakdown in those numbers.

Let’s face it, if we are losing the mid to high earners and only replace with low earners then it’s not a matter of just measuring in and out, it’s a matter of value (or tax revenue if you like). For example. If I lose a Dr. whose average pay is £76K (net £54K) and replace them with someone working in retail where the average salary is £23.3K (net 20K) then I’m at least 3 times worse off as the government. But it’s even worse than that, because a single parent earning £23.3K with 2 school-age kids living in Berkshire would be entitled to £329.44 per week of benefits, according to money-saving experts website. That’s another £17130 per annum we need to find. FYI the Dr. gets just child benefits at 39.90 per week or 2074.80 per annum.

The extra cost of the 3.3 people on benefits compared to the 1 Dr. is £56.5K. That’s over twice the tax revenue from the Dr.

A GMC report said that 4843 Drs left the UK in the year May 2021 to 2022

Given the above. I’m going to say the emigration part of net migration is something we need to focus on as a high priority. i.e. retain our talent.

This is another thing our MPs should be looking into urgently.

Adrian Abbs

Prospective Candidate

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

Meeting with Police

Falkland Cricket Club

11

January 2024
Meeting with Police

Public meeting with police at Falklands Cricket Club on 11th Jan for up to 50 people. Start approx 18:30.
The agenda will be confirmed later, but having listened to concerns from residents I asked for details of what has been happening crime-wise in our area.
Given the result, I have agreed with Angela Money (A local champion on this in our area) that it could be beneficial to arrange for the Police to bring along a team and talk through directly with the public what we think is happening and to describe what can be done.
The reason for choosing mid-Jan is the time it will take to arrange various diaries, and so we can have a look at a full calendar year.

Post Meeting Update

First thanks to Falklands Cricket Club for lending us the room for this important community function.

Also, thanks to my co-host Angela Money.

The local Safeguarding Inspector Matt Gow and Sgt Lizzie McDowell reported back on what crime is looking like in wash common given the rise that seemed to be happening last year. The first thing to say, was that the gang responsible for vehicle theft have been caught (in Derby as it happens). They are now on remand (behind bars).

Other types of crime are around or a little below pre pandemic levels, so it looks like things are back to near normal.

Others may wish to comment, but I felt we heard from two officers who care about what’s happening in our ward and who want to be proactive in helping address some other issues of concern.

Four other things of note for residents.

1) In addition to the 999 and 101 services we were encouraged to report things using the web from - https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

2) Keep your key fobs in a faraday cage. FYI any electrically conductive metal box (like a cake tin). Lots of cheap ones are available in online shops etc.

3) E-scooters and bikes – Be aware that police are clamping down one-scooters especially. You get one warning not to use then when caught again it will be confiscated. You can only get it back if you can get insurance – which you can’t. So, the e-scooter will be destroyed.

4) Lights on Bikes – We had a reminder that at night, your front and rear lights must have a least 1 always on light – One flashing light is not legal despite almost all lights sold supporting this functionality.

Angela Money’s neighbourhood watch meeting is tonight at the Wash Common Library and she can help you set a scheme up in your area if you would like.

Myself and David Marsh (As 2 of the District Cllrs) are going to work together with West Berkshire council and Police to look at speeding on Essex street and Monks lane. We will keep people posted via Facebook.

Running for MP in Reading West and Mid Berkshire

Reading West & Mid Berkshire

02

January 2024
Running for MP in Reading West and Mid Berkshire

Press Release - A credible, local, independent candidate for the Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency.

I’ve always believed that an MPs first responsibility is to fight for the needs of the constituency they represent. Their 2nd priority should be helping the country no matter who forms the cabinet. These 2 things would be my guiding principles if I am lucky enough to be selected.

I’ve lived in Reading & West Berkshire for over 25 years now, with my children having attended school in Reading. My company (the day job) is based in Newbury.

Having found more time after building my business and wanting to give back to society, I became a Parish Councillor in 2018, then stood and was elected to West Berkshire Council in 2019 and re-elected in 2023. I have real-world experience as a local and international businessman and have demonstrated that I can get ideas adopted both whilst in opposition and when on the council executive. I would look to do the same in Parliament, i.e., work towards solutions, not just oppose.

If asked to describe my own politics, then I would say I’m a centralist who believes in a fair start for all. I’m also very aware of our place in the world and that we can’t isolate ourselves from it.

Also, if pressed to name a single thing that we could do as a nation that would have the most effect. I would point to energy cost & security as the thing to tackle. If we had control of this, then other benefits accrue exponentially and include, health, food, environment and the competitiveness of our business’s.

Before deciding to stand I did a brief survey via local Facebook groups across the constituency. It showed over 94% of those who responded, wanted an independent local person, who had had a career first. This describes me well.

So, if you’re tired of the same old party politics, as are others, make your vote count and send a signal to Parliament, by supporting me, Adrian Abbs, as I announce my candidacy. I can be the lightening rod that starts debate and ensures every vote can count at the next election!

I’m not so sure I see that with most career politicians, their focus is often party first, their political career, and then people. So, like others, I have concluded that party politics is broken, and it’s time for a change. By supporting me, you can help bring about that change. I will no longer be affiliated with any political party, so you can be sure that I will represent the interests of the people first.

In conclusion, if you want to make your vote count and make a difference, then consider supporting me.

You can find out more by going to https://adrianabbs.uk/RWMBC

EV Strategy

West Berkshire

01

January 2024
EV Strategy

EV Charging strategy.

During my 4.5 years as a Cllr, I have been consistently clear that we need the right types of chargers in the right places in the right quantities. I’ve also mentioned at council that what we charge for their use is a very important factor.

Many of you would have noticed that availability and maintenance have also become factors. i.e. Can I get to one and is it working? This becomes even more critical as 2nd and 3rd hand EVs enter the market, but also during the colder months when battery range is reduced.

I’ve shared my thoughts with relevant members of the executive already but encourage members of the public to send their own ideas to me so I can build a body of evidence and ensure we get this right for the future. Just email me at adrian.abbs1@westberks.gov.uk.

Right now, we have extreme examples that can easily be fixed but that are holding back the adoption of clean-air vehicles.

I’ll use two examples that I see almost daily. Example 1 is the charge points installed on West Mill Road, Newbury – There are 2 charge points in this road and they are rated at 5kW. FYI The bigger the charger the faster it fills the car battery. The first thing that can be fixed is their accessibility. There is no priority given to parking next to the charge point. So, most of the time you just can’t get to one. Second, there are time restrictions. It is a max of 2 hours and no return within an hour. Therefore, the best you can hope for, if you’re lucky, is 2 hours of charge. For a Nissan LEAF, 2 hours is about 36.4 miles. Of course, if you’re a resident then you will have a permit for overnight, but you still have the issue of access to the charge point. There is also slightly more bad news as the peak rate is rather high at 79p/kWh and a connection fee. Even off peak its 46p/kWh.

Why is the peak rate bad news? Well, the average UK car drives 38.8 miles to the gallon. As I write this letter the average cost per gallon is 147.8p/litre or £6.72 per gallon. Put another way its 17.32p per mile. In 2 hours, a Nissan LEAF would get 36.36 miles of range using a 5kW charger. However, the cost would be 21.72p per mile. Using the off-peak rate, then it’s just 12.56p per mile.

To add insult to injury the charge points were installed using a government grant. So someone has already had a slice of the cake and yet we don’t make them available and we don’t ensure at least a matching tariff to home use. Instead, someone somewhere wants to turn it into a cash cow.

Now let’s look at a couple of car parks in Newbury. Market Street car park (Council controlled) & Parkway (private). Well, no luck at Market Street as the 2 charging points have been out of action for over 6 months now. Parkway is much better and has 8 of its 10 working. Also, it’s just 30p per kWh to use, so a very low 8.2p per mile.

What I’d like to see happen includes

1) Where a government grant pays for infrastructure (which is our money anyway) then a cap on profits for the supply of power to the public should also be mandated.

2) That access to chargers becomes a priority – Especially overnight when these slow 5kW chargers are best used.

3) That West Berkshire follows through with Veolia on a trial of electric waste vehicles for certain routes and ensures at least some charge points are available in Padworth.

4) That once installed there is an associated service level agreed to ensure they are working.

5) That consultations are completed asap with Parish councils on where fast chargers can be installed on community facilities. Also, ensure engagement with other community facilities.

6) That if we can’t spend grants more wisely, then we don’t spend the money at all. At the end of the day, all this cash comes from tax revenue i.e. me and you.

Adrian Abbs

Independent Councillor

West Berkshire Council

Happy New Year 2024

Everywhere

31

December 2023
Happy New Year 2024

Wishing everyone the very best for 2024

Warmest Regards

Adrian Abbs

Seasons Greetings and here's to a positive 2024

Wash Common

19

December 2023
Seasons Greetings and here to a positive 2024

It is time to change our approach to building the homes we need.

Berkshire

11

December 2023
It is time to change our approach to building the homes we need.

Almost any conversation about homes will sooner or later come back to the selling off of council houses. The next sentence from people is often that the mistake was not re-investing the money in replacing that stock. With what I’ve seen as a councillor, I have concluded, that to get community-led homes, for those that need them, where we need them, then we have no choice but to enable councils to build homes again. If we really want to retain and attract key staff to our highest priority local services, then we have little choice. Land value reform is the long-term solution, because that would address the base problem of the cost of land once it has building permission. However, talk to anyone about affordability and they tell you it no longer exists. If I were to ever find myself in a position of influence in Westminster, then supporting changes to allow affordable homes in Berkshire would have to be a priority.

Speaking of priorities, it was an interesting read on page 10 of the Newbury Weekly News last week about the new Liberal Democrat candidate for Reading West & Mid Berkshire constituency Helen Belcher. According to the article, her top priorities have nothing to do with the constituency. It was about making sure we all know she is Trans and that she wants to move back to her birthplace. I also noted that there was no mention that she has not only lost twice when running for MP in Chippenham, but that the local Lib Dem members did not select her either.

She says at one point “I’m ready now”, therefore I guess we should conclude she was not ready when running before.

I do wonder if others who read the nearly full-page interview will also conclude Helen’s priorities seem to be, me me me. You would think that with so many column inches we would have heard something about what she wanted to do for the constituency!

I seriously doubt voters want another MP focused solely on themselves.

Parking charges as a force for good.

West Berkshire

04

December 2023
Parking charges as a force for good.

According to a quick web search, There are 27 council-operated car parks in West Berkshire and 469 designated parking spaces available on-street in Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham.

The Kennet Centre Newbury car park has 415 spaces all by itself. With just £1 per night, as a permit charge, that’s £151,475 of revenue possible from 1 car park.

At a recent exec council meeting the age-old issue of revenue from parking charges came up. Comments were made about the inevitable rise to help fill the funding gap created by Westminster’s current way of funding councils. I believe there is an alternative that could lead to greater revenue for the council. It also helps stimulate activity in our towns and villages while helping solve off-street parking for people who live near them.

1st Off street parking. With more and more flats, especially from converted offices, finding a parking space is a problem. Simultaneously we have council car parks that are pretty much empty overnight. Why not create resident permits that allow residents to reserve an overnight space?

2nd Time of use. The charge per hour rate can change for parking. Some simple analytics of car space utilisation combined with information from people like “the bid” Newbury, means we can encourage behaviour change. i.e. Making it cheaper when its quiet, most likely leads to more shoppers on quiet days. This should lead to higher overall revenue.

3rd Increasing footfall. The above should help keep our high streets as vibrant and viable places to be.

Overall, I certainly see ways to use parking as a force for good. https://adrianabbs.uk/rwmbc to contact me.

Adrian Abbs

Independent prospective candidate for Reading West and Mid Berkshire constituency

Change can only come by doing something different. It’s time for change.

Vision

UK

23

November 2023
Vision

Where is the Vision from those in charge? Why do we keep choosing the hard-to-do expensive options?

I’m convinced that solving the energy conundrum could lead quickly to a wealth of benefits for the UK. But only if those in charge in central government would focus on what we can do and not what we can’t.

It's irrefutable that we have almost completely lost control of the energy market. We are left to take our chances on the goodwill of others to provide much of the fuel and technology we need at a cost set outside the UK.

Whilst nuclear fission power seemed an answer 30 years ago, we failed to deliver what was needed, and although nuclear fusion reactors are getting closer, they are also 20-30 years away. We now also need to replace the gas-powered stations because our own supplies will run out and that leaves us exposed to states who may have a different agenda than ours.

Even when we had part of the solution come forward i.e., onshore wind, we passed a law that all but killed any development in this area.

There are a series of solutions, that for the UK especially, can work.

First water in our rivers and streams i.e., micro hydro: Waterpower was at its peak just before the industrial revolution with estimates of well in excess of 10K water mills. The Canal & River trust states we have over 1800 locks. Water in our rivers and streams peaks during the autumn, winter and spring periods. Exactly when we need more power. So, we have approx. 12K small to medium generators on existing or historical sites distributed around the UK.

Tidal: More tidal energy goes past UK shores than we could ever use. Its predictable for 1000’s of years in advance. We currently only focus on a fraction of its potential.

Geothermal: We have to go down around 15kM to get to the heat we need, but once there we have again more than we could ever use. The turbine halls needed are not new tech either.

Solar & Wind: It's now well documented that the cheapest forms of power generation come from solar and wind. It’s also true, that there is more solar energy and wind energy on average than we ever need. The one real issue with it is consistency. So, for these two to work we really need energy storage as well.

These five technologies make up everything we could ever need for as long as we can imagine needing them. They are completely renewable and can’t be interfered with easily by anyone outside of the UK. Two are already the cheapest, and micro-hydro is coming down in price rapidly. So, the UK could be totally independent of all outside fuel sources if we choose. It would be at a price that is way lower than staying on older fuel types as these increase due to geopolitics. Yes, we need a transition period, but we can transition and save money whilst being more secure.

What happens when we take back control of energy infrastructure and fix its price to something we control?

Well, first renewable energy can help increase food production over the entire UK by providing farmers with a reliable and affordable source of energy. Farmers can use this energy to power their irrigation systems, greenhouses, and other equipment, which can help increase crop yields. It can also reduce the costs of transportation of food by providing a cheaper and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

Green hydrogen is a promising technology that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and replace oil boilers. Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be used as a fuel for vehicles or to heat homes and buildings.. This helps reduce air pollution and improve public health

Also, the use of this energy will inexorably lead to significant health benefits for the UK. Air pollution is a major public health issue, and it is estimated to cause up to 36,000 premature deaths each year. The use of renewable energy can help reduce air pollution by replacing fossil fuels, which are a major source of air pollution.

Almost as a bi-product, renewable energy can also help reduce the risk of climate change, which can have additional significant health impacts, such as increased heat-related illnesses, respiratory problems, and infectious diseases.

In summary, the use of cheap green renewable energy could help solve the core issues related to the cost of living, food production, transport, and health in the UK.

What can we do in Berkshire? A lot if given half a chance. It just takes those in charge to have some vision. West Berkshire Council is using solar and looking at Micro Hydro. Every person who can afford it can reduce their long-term energy costs by becoming an energy generator. We can do our bit we just need some sensible thinking from those with real control and real budgets.

Let’s write to our MP and demand better.

Change to Social Care

UK

20

November 2023
Change to Social Care

Social care – It’s time we had a fundamental change.

At the moment, local councils are in an impossible situation. By law, they are mandated to deliver certain services, but the funding of those services is not aligned to the need as it occurs.

For example. No one knows how many children will need to be taken into care or how many elderly persons will need assistance from the state and when that might happen. Estimates can be created of course, but that is done well in advance of any council budget.

It’s therefore not a surprise, that with much of a council’s budget going towards costs of this type, and that often the estimates are wrong, its everything else that has to be squeezed to ensure a Council does not break the law.

The changes we need are that costs associated with providing these variable services are dealt with monthly, rather than yearly. Also these costs would go directly to Westminster who are better placed to fund it. They can more easily estimate needs because they are looking at the UK as a whole. They are also the ones who can develop policy that funds this need appropriately.

With social care funding where it belongs, in Westminster, Councils could be better judged on just how well they are managing remaining budgets and other services.

As we have entered general election campaigning territory, now’s your chance to write to your MP and demand change. As many MPs will not return to the next parliament, I suggest you also write to the prospective MPs who will be asking for your vote.


Covid 19 Opinion

UK

17

November 2023
Covid 19 Opinion

Covid – Can we trust the same teams to get it right next time?

We are currently being treated to the revelations of what everyone really thought of each other in the most senior parts of Government and how unorganised they really were.

For me, it still misses some keep points.

No one is saying all deaths could have been avoided, but it’s now clear, beyond any doubt, that more lives could have been saved. It comes down to the reaction speed on key events, with weeks or even days making a big difference as things were doubling daily at this critical time. If things had been done faster, then the peaks would have been lower. If the peaks had been lower deaths and associated costs of Covid would also have been lower, then recovery would have been quicker, if the recovery had been quicker, it would also have been deeper which in turn means the next wave would also have been reduced with the obvious benefits.

Now add in the science that was talked about at the time, specifically the wearing of face coverings. What people needed was protection from the incoming virus not a face covering. The only thing that has a significant effect are masks with a rating like FFP3. Face coverings just protected people from others coughing.

I often hear about how no one could have known. Sorry, but that’s just not the case. We were behind most of Europe and especially Italy.

Even in my role as a Councillor for West Berkshire Council, I was already asking questions in February about how prepared we were and why we did not even have hand gel in the receptions of the Council buildings. At my company, I’d already ordered FFP3 masks for all staff. So, there were people who had less data than the government but who were acting much faster and with greater effect.

Finally, it is often missed, but according to the UK gov in the early parts of covid they were saying we are well prepared for a pandemic – That turned out to be wrong and when we trace things back its because of another decision to deliberately not be prepared. Strange, but that was also a Conservative decision and anyone who looks at Exercise Cygnus from 2017 sees that “it concluded starkly that Britain was not adequately prepared for a flu-like pandemic’s extreme demands”.

At the next General Election, all parties will roll out their manifestos saying how well they have done or how well they will do and how it will all be different because it’s now a new team. It’s clearly not, it’s the same parties, the same type of people being selected and therefore the same outcomes.

How do we get change? We need a “none of the above” candidate. Then everyone knows that if they vote it counts.

Becoming an Independent

Wash Common

20

October 2023
Becoming an Independent

After a long think, I concluded that I can best serve the Wash Common community by becoming an Independent Councillor. 

  • It does allow me to speak freely on all matters of importance to the ward.
  • It better matches the time I have to dedicate to being a Cllr whilst I consider running for MP.
  • It does not alter the balance of power at West Berkshire Council so those that voted for me as an alternative to a conservative administration still have that.

The background is directly related to the prospective parliamentary candidate selection I went through for the Lib Dems. The Lib Dem English party left me with no option but to resign which in turn meant I could no longer be a local Lib Dem. 

Should, anyone like to chat about what that means please just call me or drop me an email.

Warmest Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

PS Should enough people in the ward want me to step down, then I will do that. 1,712 voted for me, so if more than half of that want me to go then I will without question.

Great Community Day at Falkland Cricket club

Wash Common

09

September 2023
Great Community Day at Falkland Cricket club

Great Community Day at Falkland Cricket Club - Really enjoyed being there again this year.


1st Environmental Advisory Group (Open format)

YouTube

31

July 2023
1st Environmental Advisory Group (Open format)


What is WBC responsible for (w.r.t. waste)

West Berkshire

10

July 2023
What is WBC responsible for

The document referenced here will provide an overview of what West Berkshire Council is responsible for and what it is not. The aim is to improve engagement with the public and environmental groups so we focus on "CAN DO"


Big Community Switch

West Berkshire

13

June 2023
Big Community Switch

I am proud to lend my name and position to something directly in line with the principle of SMATE (Save Money And The Environment).

use this link to go to the Big Community Switch

Appointed to EXEC and Chair of Western Area Planning

West Berkshire

25

May 2023
Appointed to EXEC and Chair of Western Area Planning

As well as doing my councillor ward duties I just wanted everyone to know I have two  important extra duties for this coming year.

  • I have been appointed to the executive at West Berkshire Council
  • I have been elected as the Chairman of Western Area Planning.

My portfolio will be Climate Action, Recycling and Biodiversity. I'll also be working with transport of the EV charging infrastructure.

I promise to do my best for West Berkshire as a whole given these extra responsibilities and thank you again for placing your faith in me by re-electing me for these next 4 years.


Sandleford Park (Donnington New Homes)

Wickens Suite, Newbury Rugby Football Club, Monks Lane, Newbury RG14 7RW

06

May 2023
Sandleford Park (Donnington New Homes)

Website https://www.sandlefordpark.com/

Thursday 25th May 2023

3:00pm to 8:00pm

at Wickens Suite, Newbury Rugby Football Club,

Monks Lane, Newbury RG14 7RW

Re Elected - Thank you

Wash Common

05

May 2023
Re Elected - Thank you

Thank you to everyone that voted in the local elections. 6 colleagues and I look forward to doing our best for the Wash Common Ward.

For West Berkshire Council - Myself and Patrick Clark are here to help. 

For Newbury Town Council we have. Meg Thomas, Roger Hunneman, Jane French-Drayton, Sam Dibas & Tony Vickers

Election 2023 Manifesto Launched

West Berkshire

26

March 2023
Election 2023 Manifesto Launched

You can read the full manifesto by using the link here but its also available to  to download using the link below.

Insulation Motion

West Berkshire

01

December 2022
Insulation Motion

So far So Good.

The 3 biggest issues we face with getting homes in West Berkshire to an EPC rating of C or better is

Cost, Installers and Ability.

For many people, it's simply that they can't afford the capital layout, don't have the ability to do it well even if they could and the lack of installers to be able to tackle the 10,000's homes in West Berkshire that need doing.

We all know, that as much as we want the cost of living crisis to be over soon it's likely to stretch through 2023 and into 2024

We also know that the climate crisis is not being addressed anywhere near fast enough.

That's the backdrop to the insulation motion that is now being worked from its initial concept to a scheme that can be presented with funding streams identified to the council executive for sign-off. The motion has already gone through the West Berkshire Environmental Advisory Group once before being presented to the full council last Thursday. It will go back there for a final check.

Finally, we will get a West Berkshire scheme that takes a significant bite into the problem of saving money and the environment as it does.

Response to the key points of the new energy strategy

United Kingdom

08

April 2022
Response to the key points of the new energy strategy

Response to the key points of the new energy strategy by Adrian Abbs Lib Dem Portfolio Holder for the environment and public protection

An energy strategy looks into the future and should therefore contain both tactical and strategic elements. The strategy also needs to encompass what we want to achieve as a society and what we need to achieve.

Therefore, the strategy needs to achieve 4 things. 1) Provide energy security 2) a path to clean energy 3) ensure both businesses and consumers can afford the energy and 4) that we have enough energy to support the needs of society as a whole.
Having looked at the key points announced in the strategy and evaluated against the above criteria there are some parts that are easy to support and parts that seem less than optimum.

Nuclear - The government plans to reduce the UK's reliance on oil and gas by building as many as eight new nuclear reactors, including two at Sizewell in Suffolk. A new body will oversee the delivery of the new plants.

The Lib Dems voted to accept nuclear power as part of a low carbon energy strategy after being urged to do so by Ed Davey when he was still Energy secretary back in 2013. This changed a previous position and came about having listened at length to the low carbon argument – We have not changed that position, so the current Conservative administration setting a target to deliver some is in line with Lib Dem policy of the past decade.

My main issue is the length of time needed to go from concept to delivering power. Even with the new body, I am sceptical about enough being delivered quickly to have any sizeable impact on the coming decade in terms of energy security. It is also very expensive to implement a strategy overlay reliant on nuclear. It would fail the cost criteria but can help with the other 3 objectives.

When (progress is being made) fusion rather than fission arrives we lose the dangerous element often associated with Nuclear. Significant extra investment here is missing from the strategy which is odd given the promise it offers.

Wind - The government aims to reform planning laws to speed up approvals for new offshore wind farms. For onshore wind farms, it wants to develop partnerships with "supportive communities" that want to host turbines in exchange for guaranteed cheaper energy bills.

On-shore wind is the cheapest and one of the fastest to implement in terms of the energy techs we have right now – We would be in a better scenario if the Conservatives had not been opposing it for so long and had not introduced the laws that effectively banned it. As a tactical solution it's a no brainer, but given the intermittent nature of wind, it needs linking up to some energy storage solutions. It does come out positively on all 4 of the objectives mentioned at the start.

Hydrogen - Targets for hydrogen production are being doubled to help provide cleaner energy for industry as well as for power, transport and potentially heating.

Blue of Green Hydrogen? If the focus is not placed on the delivery of Green Hydrogen, then environmentally we will have gone nowhere or backwards. Green hydrogen comes into its own when you have enough Green energy to create it. The amount of energy needed is vast which may explain why the Conservatives are saying 8 Nuclear power stations. When we can produce enough energy cleanly and cheaply then it will be a valuable part of moving heavy industry, trucks and potentially heating. Doubling production will have almost zero effect w.r.t heating change. We will need 10 to 100 times what is planned to have a chance at affecting heating and taking ourselves off imported gas. Also, keep in mind that 1) electric boilers and induction hobs are already common and offer a viable alternative to heating using gas. 2) When you convert energy from one form to another there are losses. Using green energy to produce hydrogen and then using hydrogen as part of the gas mix will not be as efficient as simply using the green energy to power electric boilers or other forms of electrically powered heating.

In terms of delivery, it is not a short-term win and could easily fail objectives 2 and 4

Solar - The government will consider reforming rules for installing solar panels on homes and commercial buildings to help increase the current solar capacity by up to five times by 2035.

First, let’s remember that it’s this government that stopped FITS (Feed-In Tariffs). Let me explain why that is important!

FITSchnage.jpg

The above shows cumulative installed capacity (see data set herehttps://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment)

FITS ended 31st March 2019 but the Conservatives really took down FITS payments rapidly so that by Mid 2017 it was just a few pence per kWh being paid to generate on a typical 4kW system fitted to homes.

The UK had 12546MW in March 2017. Today we have 13743MW (Feb 2022). So just 1197MW added in the past 5 years compared to 11234 in the previous 5 years (just 10%)

Cutting FITS, as they did, meant many firms, installers etc all disappeared and now we must rebuild that pool of talent. So, whilst reforming rules might help it will be the huge rise in the cost of energy that will re-stimulate the installation of solar in homes and on commercial property.

We need a scheme that boosts installation where we can already (i.e. FITS II) even if that means being owned and managed by councils and government.

Solar easily meets all objectives assuming we encourage the use of existing roofs. It does need to be matched to energy storage for the same reasons as wind. This is even faster to deploy than wind and has Agri solar options to ensure we meet other objectives such as security in food

Oil and gas- A new licensing round for North Sea projects is being launched in the summer on the basis that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than doing so abroad.

I don't agree with the statement that it's less carbon footprint because it's not easy to extract compared to other places around the world. However, to have Zero local supplies of Gas and Oil would be a strategic mistake for decades to come. For the future of all, we must ensure we extract the minimum needed and focus on the cheaper and cleaner alt energies like solar, wind and tidal first.

This type of energy only supports objectives 1 & 2 in the near to mid-term. It cannot be the future if we want a planet to live on.

Heat pumps- There will be a £30m "heat pump investment accelerator competition" to make British heat pumps which reduce demand for gas.

For heat pumps to work well they require good installation for the home. To get a government grant homeowners must show Ofgem an EPC with the "minimum standards of loft insulation and for cavity walls" having been met. The technology has been accelerating for a while so I can’t see what the competition will achieve.

Heat pumps are about efficiency improvements when converting one form of energy to the heat we need to be comfortable. It can help with objectives2 and 4.

I would personally say that it’s better to spend 30M on installation. In fact, I would go much further and say we need a scheme with billions available for improvements to insulation. It has a faster and much more direct effect on the heating energy we need as a nation.

Insulation can help across all 4 objectives and is something tactical we can do.

On new builds and large builds heat pumps are a different story because it’s just a small add on to existing costs. However, community energy schemes are also a great way to ensure we stop building more problems. Since the Conservatives have not replaced the code for sustainable homes, we have had builders continue to provide homes that add to the problem rather than contribute to a solution.

If we should have a moratorium on anything, it's that no new homes should be completed without them being net zero. Also, any buildings yet to get planning permission should be built with 5-10% better than net-zero so they can contribute to those that will never get there due to their construction

I also think as a nation we are missing out on our largest predictable and uninterruptable energy source (Tidal). We have more energy flowing around our coastline than we can ever use, most is the tidal flow that is quite slow (just a few knots). Why not run a competition to work out how we extract energy from this energy source?

Sewage and Our Rivers. It Stinks

West Berkshire

12

March 2022
Sewage and Our Rivers – It Stinks

Sewage and Our Rivers – It Stinks

My now ex party (Lib Dems) have been fighting on this for quite a while now around the country. The ex-leader Tim Farron most recently called for local people to have representation on Water Company boards to give some accountability (it’s that bad).

I also firmly believe that pressure needs to come to bear ASAP and are asking people to write to their MP’s for the following actions

First let our MP know that the establishment of a Storm Overflows Taskforce and a date of September 2022 from the Government to publish a plan to reduce sewage discharges from storm outflows is too little, too late to tackle the issue. Second, the rules on sewage discharges must be tightened and enforcement improved, in conjunction with the Environment Agency. Third, housing developers should meet all the costs of the required supply and disposal of water from new homes. Fourth, the Government must make capital funding urgently available to address these issues. Finally our MP writes to the relevant Government Ministers, requesting an acceleration in the capital programme to lower risks of untreated sewage discharges into our rivers, and an assurance that local housing developers will be expected to fund water infrastructure to meet the needs of new housing.

See for yourself how bad it is - The River Trust has an excellent interactive map https://www.theriverstrust.org/key-issues/sewage-in-rivers

The screengrab above from their site looks like the UK has a severe case of measles. No river appears safe.

Hoping you can help

Budget- The current Conservative administration is failing us on Energy and more

West Berkshire

07

March 2022
Budget 2022-2023

Why the current Conservative West Berks Council administration is failing us on Energy and more

The latest budget is now set for 2022-2023 the press release is out.

The administration, as usual, rejected all suggested amendments. Justified by saying we don’t understand, or we are looking at that already. Anyone watching (and I’m not suggesting people should because they have lives ) will simply see pre-prepared positions as to why they are voting against rather than listening and thinking about what is presented. In other words, it’s done simply for political positioning. Not invented here thinking

My shadow portfolio is Environment and Public protection so I’m going to focus on just that.

I thought we had a cross-party agreement when we set the climate emergency declaration just after the 2019 election. The administration has made just 1.3% progress so far and offered nothing new this year that makes any real difference in terms of progress towards our target. The money is being set aside for the 10MW solar facility near grazely, an old idea that was given to them as a budget amendment in 2020, is by far their largest investment that makes an impact on CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, it deals with just 1/3 of the council’s emissions, not the districts.

Further suggestions have been made by myself to increase this Solar to 60MW and add storage (the original suggestion in 2020 FYI). Fingers crossed this happens. We also suggested last year, 2021, that we set up a management company so the council could control the costs of energy supplied from these generation facilities to the public rejected of course).

This year we brought forward an enhancement of that company idea to allow west Berkshire to begin to secure and control its energy at an even larger scale. We were specifically aiming at the non-council CO2 problem which when combined with transport forms the vast majority of what needs to be tackled.

We suggested an investigation only at this time to ensure we could do this without huge risk and to establish how the various solutions needed could be managed.

The vision that the Lib Dems have here is a company or joint venture partnership that would have a remit of managing many complex evolving parts that gives us a way out of the cost of fuel and environmental crisis we are now in. We often refer to SMATE (Save Money And The Environment) because to start with we can invest to save whilst dealing with our climate emergency. For reference the remit we suggested was. 1) To manage all generation capacity created and owned by West Berkshire. 2) To work with communities and individuals who have their own generation capacity (also to seed new projects via grants to further accelerate West Berkshire wide adoption). 3) To work with the National Grid and maybe larger energy providers to install energy storage capacity at the consumer side of transformers. This can flatten out demand peaks from the grid which ensures we are using clean energy as often as possible but also protects against excessive loads on the transformers and so secures supply locally. 4) To again work with communities and individuals who have installed smaller scale storage.

The net effect of this all is that we can share generation capacity where needed whilst storing excess clean energy and redistributing that when things like solar or wind are not there. It is complex, yes, but the good news is that the UK infrastructure Bank is looking for projects like this to lend money to (they have 22Billion to spend here). Cllr McKinnon (Finance Portfolio) complained he did not understand, but much of this year's amendment is simply an enhancement of previous proposals and we had shared all this information with officers before the budget meeting. Many of the ideas are shared with West Berkshire's Environmental Advisory Group (Chaired by Steve Ardagh-Walter) to promote cross-party collaboration on environmental matters. A Group that is only allowed to meet in secret for no obvious reason given what I've seen presented there. Odd that as members of the exec they don't talk to each other.

The other part of my portfolio is Public Protection and for several years now I have been fighting for the council to look at de-fibs as a project across the area. Some work has been successful here in that we have managed to kick off the investigation of this. My amendment this year was simply to set aside a small amount of capital to buy some units rather than just talk about it. To my surprise, Cllr Bridgeman spoke against this siting that we were already looking at this project. My amendment simply asked to fund units). He also said that we had well over 100 already (when I had said another 100 would go a long way to ensuring near-universal cover). Maybe he misheard me, but I created a map some time ago in conjunction with the NHS that not only showed where they were but the area they covered and when they were available. I’ve shared that link many times and it clearly shows the gaps I know exist. So why vote it down when lives are at stake and when it was a trivial amount in the overall budget?

So Sorry - The District Planning committee passed a plan to build Monks lane to step 4

Wash Common

02

March 2022
So Sorry - The District Planning committee passed a plan to build Monks lane to step 4

So Sorry - The District Planning committee passed a plan to build Monks lane to a Step 4 facility last night. Those who voted for it are all members of the Conservative party and at 5 5 the Conservative Chairman used his casting vote to pass. FYI The one public speaker who came and spoke in favour of the application stood as a Conservative candidate in the recent Clay Hill bi-election. Unless a Judicial Review is ordered that means the Conservative-led council will start work asap. It also means all residents of West Berkshire will be locked into a 40-year contract to pay a very large subsidy to rent the land for that 40 years. This is on top of the multiple millions being spent to build it initially. We have a shortage of pitches in West Berkshire - But so much money on 1 does not feel like a good use of our money. You can watch the event on youtube but at nearly 3 hours its a long drawn out event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsEKHRBihM I was asked to fight this to try and do something about the parking issue that results from playing at Step 4. Unfortunately, I failed hence my apology.

Happy New Year Wash Common

Wash Common

01

January 2022
Best Wishes for  2022 from Cllr Adrian Abbs

Here's to a better 2022

Still some way to go, but hopefully we are heading in the right direction

Warmest Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

Merry Xmas 2021

Wash Common

20

December 2021
Merry Xmas from Cllr Adrian Abbs

I just wanted to wish everyone in wash common a Merry Christmas for 2021 after another challenging year.

I hope you continue to find a way to get some cheer in these oddest of times.

I know the community of Wash common has shown such warmth during covid which I seen often as a met people in the ward.

My Warmest Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

1/2 Term report since the declaration of a climate emergency

West Berkshire

14

October 2021
1/2 Term report since the declaration of a climate emergency

Half-Term Report since the Climate Emergency. ‘A’ for the Officers, ‘D’ for the Conservative Administration

Highwood Copse Set to Open September

Wash Common

23

August 2021
Highwood Copse Set to Open September

Highwood Copse schools Opens September


Whilst I'm happy to say the school will finally open I can't say I've been impressed by the delivery. This all started way before I became a Councillor so I've not been able to change the result even though I've been asking from the leader of council to the officers I could find and the project team to do better.

They have a website which is here https://www.highwoodcopse.co.uk/

Please let the Council and Government know that it's just not right.

You decide, but here are some facts

First Environmental: -

Highwood Copse School in Wash Common was meant to have high environmental standards, a connected travel plan and solar energy (or panels) as it's a new school for the future.

What's delivered?

A drop from ‘excellent’ to ‘very good’ as its core environmental standard (BREEAM standard), removal of solar energy and a travel plan that's just not connected.

Why, given the decision to remove the solar panels was made after declaring a climate emergency, does this administration not admit the mistake and fund installation (the building was built with it in mind – it just need funding and fitting). You will likely hear that it's because it's an academy and they would all have to be treated the same. This is a brand-new school! Built with public money! Project managed by West Berkshire council!

Second the competence of the Conservative administration: -

This came to Western Area planning for final approval, so the school can open this September. Why did it come to planning as it's already built you might ask?

Because this council not only chose a builder that went bust, but approved and carried out a huge number of changes to the approved plans without getting permission and so had to submit for retrospective planning permission!

How is that any different than travellers buying a field and just starting to build and then also doing a retrospective planning application?

Also, how on earth do you contract with someone and then not bother to keep copies of the paperwork? This is the main reason why they asked to drop the requirement from ‘excellent’, to ‘very good’ as a standard.

I could go on, but urge the public to take note as a pattern has emerged.

With respect

Cllr Adrian Abbs (Lib Dem)

Newbury College Vaccine

Newbury College

06

July 2021
Covid-19 Vaccine

Vaccine booking available 13th July 2021 see events link to vaccine event Newbury

Sign the Petition

Sandleford Park

15

May 2021
Sign the petition

You can make a difference - Sign the Petition if you are against the development at Sandleford

West Berks Budget Speech and ideas

West berkshire

02

March 2021
West Berks Budget Ideas all rejected out of hand

As some of you might know, I currently represent the Wash Common Ward at West Berkshire but also hold the Shadow Portfolio position for Environment and Public Protection. In that capacity I lead the amendments put forward by the Lib Dems at the West Berkshire Budget meeting on this subject area. Rather sadly the Conservative leadership decided to again rejects all amendments on block. Meaning no matter what the idea, just a dogmatic rejection of everything.

This year I was bringing forward concepts that can lead to around £4 Million of net revenue to the council whilst helping all residents and business’s get lower energy costs (down to approx. 11p per kW hour, rather than the national average of 16.6p.

As you can see from the speech below, I was simply asking to investigate potentially useful things.

I wanted you all to know I am doing my best to achieve what was promised when you elected me.

Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs B.Sc.

Budget speech

Dear members.

The amendments proposed build on previous proposals put forward for solving the energy side of achieving carbon zero.

The “keystone” is to investigate becoming an energy supplier. Something in line with the Energy motion bought forward by myself originally and then again by Cllr Steve Ardagh Walters and approved by council unanimously.

Therefore, we suggest setting aside £100K to allow the detail to be scoped on exactly how we would do this. Estimates shared with our section 151 officer and our new director of place show the potential to fix energy costs significantly lower than current market averages for residents and businesses whilst generating approximately £4 million of net revenue that can support other green initiatives.

Last year we suggested following Warrington’s Council example of building a large solar farm. The welcome stake in the ground that has followed, Grazely, is a good “statement of intent” however the site can be at least 6 times larger than is currently planned. So, 60MW rather than the current 10MW. If Grazely is not a suitable location and to avoid an “all eggs in one basket” scenario alternatives sites may be needed. We, therefore, propose a budget of £100K to carry out this work and ensure we have enough locations to build what is needed.

Third, we’d like to propose £150K so that West Berkshire can focus some efforts on micro-hydro projects. We are lucky to have good candidates for this, including The Kennet, Dunn and of course River Lamborn. The fall across the county leads to an estimate of approx. 60 locations which can run all day and night. They could therefore provide up to another 10MW of power. FYI. Micro Hydro uses around 6% of the land compared to the same power from Solar. This investment of officer time, allows us to fully explore the proposal and even seed some initial projects as location have been previously identified.

The next amendment is for £50,000 pounds worth of officer time to rework all supplier contracts and include the parameters laid out in the Energy label (a copy of which you have all been sent). This gives all our suppliers a clear visual of parameters that will be considered when responding to briefs.

We next move on to Viable Villages. This requires part of an officer’s time to work with parish councils and village communities to truly understand their needs and support things such as energy projects, but also to understand how we might support say the local pub, shop etc. We propose £40K to this end.

Important to us is removing the green bin charge for those in receipt of council tax benefits tackling the poorest first. It would cost just £100K.

Finally, we are proposing to make all the officer expertise available through our community hub so residents and businesses can take advantage of the public money spent evaluating the solutions above and more.

The total cost of these amendments equates to just a fraction of the net revenue from the projects once deployed.

Thank you for listening

SMATE Lights

United Kingdom

26

February 2021
SMATE Lights

As part of the SMATE (Save Money & The Environment) series please find a link to a general guide on how to ensure a good outcome when switching lights at home to LED.

Members Bid Ideas

Wash Common

13

January 2021
Members Bid Ideas

Every Year in May your ward members have the chance to put proposals forward that then go to a panel. 

If successful a grant of up to £5k can be available. This is how I arranged the funds for DeFibs which is still in progress.

If you have any ideas that could benefit the community of Wash Common please contact me to discuss.

Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

Latest Warren Road App

Wash Common

11

January 2021
Latest Warren Road App

Happy New Year Wash Common

Wash Common

01

January 2021
Best Wishes for  2021 from Cllr Adrian Abbs

Here's to a better 2021

Still a long way to go but hopefully we are heading in the right direction

Warmest Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

Saying Goodbye 20 Hello 21

United Kingdom

26

December 2020
Saying Goodbye 20 Hello 21

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a bit poor

However, My company is running a campaign that starts Boxing day that offers 25 chances to win some great Alexa Devices and 11 chance to win the grand prize of a yet to launch Alexa Echo Show 10 3rd Generation.

It easy to enter. Just enable an Alexa skill called KickFire (FYI. anyone can have Alexa voice assistance as long as they have a Smartphone, Tablet or PC)

This QR code, if scanned by your smartphone/tablet, will enable the skill. If your looking at the barcode on any touch screen device then just touch the QR code to activate the link.

KickFire Skill QRCode

Once enabled just say to Alexa

"Alexa - Ask Kick Fire to tell me about Goodbye 20 hello 21"

The voice assistant will prompt you to enter and that's it. You might win an instant prize but you will be in the prize draw for sure.

Hope you have fun entering.




Merry Xmas

Wash Common

24

December 2020
Merry Xmas from Cllr Adrian Abbs

I just wanted to wish everyone in wash common a Merry Christmas

I hope you find a way to get some cheer in these oddest of times.

Warmest Regards

Cllr Adrian Abbs

Update - Sandleford Park App in for 1000 homes goes to appeal

Wash Common Ward

18

December 2020
Sandleford Park App in for 1000 homes

UPDATE - Bloor Homes takes app to appeal

Bloor has formally lodged an appeal on this application that was refused by West Berkshire Council

 https://publicaccess.westberks.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=dates&keyVal=QBC4SGRD04Z00


Sandleford Park App in for 500 homes

Wash Common Ward

24

November 2020
Sandleford Park App in for 500 homes

Donnington New Homes have an amended app in

Joint working groups are looking at it with Urgency and meet on 26th November

I will be representing the ward along with Tony Vickers as members of the Joint working group

Do contact me if you have input on this particular application.



Easy to use planning map

Wash Common Ward

18

November 2020
Easy to use planning map

To try and help the community I'm pleased to say that I have been able to add a planning map for both Wash Common and Greenham to this site. It's there so that people in the ward can check out applications that have been made to West Berkshire.

Just go to the Planning Apps tab to see all local applications as a list or on a map.

Feedback most welcome

Abject Failure of LRIE project

Newbury

16

November 2020
Abject Failure of LRIE project

Existing, business, residents and community groups are in near-unanimous agreement about the abject failure, by the Conservative administration, of their last proposals to redevelop the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE). 

We have this one last chance to ensure the development becomes something of real value to the community. 

I now watch with dread as the current administration starts the next push without really listening first. 

Why am I so nervous? First the head man is the same person (Nick Carter), The administration is still run by the same party who's executive seem driven by the same ethos (money above community). 

They are still ignoring the wishes of the residents and business there, they won’t even listen to perfectly valid options from business people. 

Add that they can’t say sorry, because I assume they don’t think they did anything wrong means it is a recipe for another million of waste. 

Who will end up picking up the pieces – We the council tax payer.

Achievements year 1

Wash Common Ward

01

May 2020
Achievements year 1

Things I managed to get done in the first year

  1. Got up to speed on planning matters and became a member of Western Area Planning
  2. Became shadow portfolio holder for the environment and public protection
  3. Joined the  West Berkshire Environmental Advisory Group contributed a wide range of practical ideas for immediate action
  4. Had success with my members bid for more defibs within wash common
  5. Got Newbury Town Council to add extra defibs to their strategy to enable support of my member's bid
  6. Contributed ideas to Newbury Town Council on Alternative energy solutions
  7. Support  several residents with the council matters
  8. Kicked off ward surgeries and help face to face meetings ar the Falklands Memorial

COVID-19 If I can help

Wash Common

20

March 2020
COVID-19 If I can help

Please do give me a call if you need some help during this time. If I can't help myself I'll be sure to connect you to the right person or people who are offering assistance.

Even if it's just a chat feel free to call me on 07768998370.

Wishing you all the very best as the world faces this Pandemic.

Your ward councilor

Adrian Abbs

Tel 07768998370

Environmental Strategy Feedback

West Berkshire

18

February 2020
Environmental Strategy Feedback
West Berks Lib Dem Group Environmental Strategy Feedback

Our feedback and proposals are aimed at tackling the biggest issue, but also the ones we can do something about quickest. We are also urging West Berks Council (WBC) to do things in parallel, rather than the current approach which appears sequential. Our feedback covers Energy, Transport, Offsetting, Waste, Building (Planning), Speed of delivery and Finance. The full response and explanatory background can be found here.

Summary of proposals 

We urge and suggest West Berkshire Council adopt the following:-

  • The Executive to work with all parties in order to define a clearer vision and allow us all to achieve the needed goals.
  • Reworking of the whole strategy to embed the philosophy of o Use less o Increase efficiency o Find carbon-friendly alternatives o Offset what’s left
  • Working cross-party and with the public to ensure improvements in the key targets area. We have provided some detail about how to ensure the correct energy requirement is calculated for instance.
  • Take advantage of many of the concepts already provided to EAG by the Lib Dem Group.
  • Alter strategies to focus on Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (RRR) in parallel with the longer lead time renewable generation projects.
  • We propose again that the green bin charge is removed (as per our standard policy)
  • That the recycling centres become non-permit centres, allowing a much wider range of recycling and possible reuse of products (as per our standard policy).
  • To embed ethical finance sources for all environmental related funding.
  • That the Council begins looking at employing parallel activities based on proposals already delivered to EAG for consideration from the Liberal Democrats and others.
  • Move to ULEV as a minimum whenever a vehicle is replaced and beyond this to zero-emission as soon as lifetime costs become with 5% of each other (this should happen within 3 to 5 years).
  • To ensure a parking strategy must be associated with any deployment of EV charge points, we propose that reserved bays are immediately created next to all existing EV charge points.
  • Stopping any further cuts to transport and that an increased emphasis is placed on improving existing services to promote better use and therefore viability.
  • That the council reinforces the need in planning to establish passive house standards for new builds and that commercial builds requirements be lifted to BREEAM Outstanding immediately.
  • Identify land immediately for use as carbon sinks.
  • Create EPC linkage to business rates – Incentivise landlords to improve the environmental credentials of existing properties and stop penalising them for making improvements that benefit the environment.
  • Undertake a rapid expansion at all WBC buildings in their use of renewable energy.
  • Undertake a rapid reduction of energy used by WBC buildings for lighting and heat.
  • Undertake rapid improvements in the insulation of WBC buildings to promote more efficient heat energy use.
  • Using near free renewable energy during the night by storing and time-shifting the energy to when needed during the day on WBC assets (schools, offices, etc).
  • Working with the National Grid, Tesla and others to create a grid of batteries that can then time shift near free renewable energy at night for commercial and home use during the day.
  • The promotion of concepts outlined in the Lib Dem SMATE (Save Money And The Environment) document.
  • The promotion of concepts outlined in the Lib Dem SMATE-4Biz document.
  • Launch a public information campaign highlighting the savings associated with reusable cups and the availability of free water. 

For a full review that led to these proposals please read this pdf.

HELAA Use your voice

Wash Common

03

February 2020
HELAA Use your voice

West Berkshire HELAA Out

This is a very important piece of public information to review! It shows where new land for development is being considered.

HELAA stands for Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment

There are a significant number of sites coming forward that will impact Wash Common, so please look and get your feedback into the council asap!

This is not a consultation but the next steps will use this information to justify why certain sites are thought as as OK. NOTE the additions at Sandleford in particular!!

Happy New Year 2020

World Wide

01

January 2020
Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year Wash Common

Just to wish everyone a happy new year. Don't forget you can contact me at any time via the form or using adrian.abbs1@westberks.gov.uk

Tackling Climate Change

World Wide

30

September 2019
Tackling Climate Change
Lib Dem Tackling Climate Change

The Lib Dems are the first to provide a detailed and realistic plan to get the UK to carbon zero whilst influencing the rest of world to the same end game.

It's not easy and not as quick as some would want, but finally a major party has provided a how to guide to get there.

Use this link to read the motion just approved at conference

Environmental Impact Label

West Berkshire

05

September 2019
Environmental Impact Label

Environmental Impact Label Proposal

Understanding the impact on what you buy on the environment can help the UK influencve the world and how it produces goods. I'm proposing that the UK introduces a labeling scheme silimar to the food labeling scheme so that people can see at a glance 4 key criteria that will help environmental impact.

Environmental Impact traffic light system

Link to download Environmental Impact Label Proposal

Coffee Bonanza Update

West Berkshire

02

September 2019
Coffee Bonanza Update

COFFEE SAVINGS! Update

I've added in another 4 Independent coffee shops in Newbury to the 5 that were in the original. The independents seem to focus on the environmental side of one use cups as well as allowing you to bring your own cup in.

Results from the update of the survey.

Original Blog Post

It turns out one of the ways you can help the environment also helps your pocket. If like me you enjoy a coffee on the way to work, then you’re more than likely to have switched to using a reusable cup. The great news is that there's no extra reward for doing that from lots of coffee shops.

I conducted a quick survey of coffee shops on Newbury High Street last Friday (19th July 2019). I was staggered to find that one of the largest providers has no way for you to use a reusable cup! To name and shame them, it’s our ever-present McDonald’s. The reason they gave was safety, but it’s really because their machines can’t accept anything but their own sized cups. A bit lame if you ask me. The good news is that everyone else would at least let you use your reusable cup.

Out of the 14 places checked, here are the best and the worst in terms of coffee in a reusable cup (it’s probably similar throughout West Berkshire).

The cheapest coffee was from Greggs at £1.70.

Pret, Paul and Waterstones offer the best discount for a single cup at 50p off when using your own cup.

The best discount against an original price was with Café Nero, as combining a reusable cup with their stamping scheme means an effective 25% off your annual coffee bill – i.e. a saving of £150.

Greggs is also best overall, as long as you use their app-based loyalty scheme: this is £346 assuming 5 cups a week and 50 weeks a year.

The most expensive coffee was from Costa at £2.75. Also, given that their loyalty scheme is quite bad compared to others, that same per annum consumption is a whopping £600 vs £346.

My tip! Avoid coffee shops that won’t let you use your reusable cup, and don’t have a loyalty scheme.

FYI. The average saving per annum across all those I checked that had an offer was £79.65 – an improvement on the £65 noted in my SMATE document.

The survey criteria used a Latte as the drink, and assumed you are using a reusable cup at the same location each working day. All the loyalty schemes gave a stamp or points no matter what drink you purchased so the result should be similar for your favorite drink. I did not take into account the size of their standard Latte or the number of shots of coffee included.”

SMATE-4Biz Save Money and The Environment

West Berkshire

22

August 2019
SMATE-4Biz Save Money and The Environment

SMATE-4Biz.

Save Money and The Environment the business edition. To help West Berkshire business as a whole get started I've bought together some information on various ways business can save  money whilst saving the environment and reaching the goals of carbon zero by 2030. You can download or read the document using the link below

Link to download SMATE document in .pdf format.

West Berkshire DeFibs

West Berkshire

08

August 2019
West Berkshire DeFibs

West Berkshire DeFibs.

As a Trustee of Stroke Care Newbury & West Berkshire I'm aware of how life changing this event can be. I'm also well aware of how important it is to have access to a Defib as quickly as possible when the event occurs.

To that end, as a Greenham Parish councillor we started looking at this some months back (and are deploying Defibs shortly). Now as a Wash common District councillor I want to ensure there are no gaps for people in the ward.

I first needed to plot where all the current DeFibs are in West Berkshire and the NHS have made that data available to me. My colleague at TEEC (Dan Megarry) was kind enough to do the programming and now you can check whether one is near you yourself using the link below.

Link to the DeFib Map

The circles show the 400M radius around each DeFib. You need to be within 400M of one to be directed there by he NHS. The colours tell you if it's 24X7, down for repair or only available during certain opening ours. Just click on a pin to get the location address and details.

Free Tap Water Survey

West Berkshire

29

July 2019
Free Tap Water Survey

And Now the Good News!

Having just surveyed 14 cafes in the centre of Newbury its really great news. Every single place I asked confirmed that Free Tap Water was available and that anyone can pop in and fill up their water bottle. Even better, Coffee#1 in parkway provided iced water and Pret on Northbrook street offers Filtered water.

So, no need to buy bottled water and a very easy way for anyone to help the environment.

Of course, there are apps you can download that will give you official locations, but if my survey is anything to go buy, the whole of the business community in Newbury is already on board.

Top tip of the week to save money! Carry that reusable water bottle and use it

Results of the survey.

Save Money and The Enviroment

West Berkshire

19

July 2019
Save Money and The Enviroment

SMATE.

Save Money and The Environment. To help West Berkshire as a whole get started I've bought together some information on various ways we can all save ourselves money whilst saving the environment and reaching the goals of carbon zero by 2030. You can download or read the document using the link below

Link to download SMATE document in .pdf format.

Climate Change Principles

West Berkshire

02

July 2019
Climate Change Principles

Climate Change Principles.

I was asked to be the shadow spokesperson for climate change and wanted to share what I believe to be the guiding principles against which idea's, solutions and strategies can be measured to ensure success. These are:- 

  • First that all solutions should be carrot-based. They should deliver benefits to the people implementing them, be that Businesses, the Public or the Council.
  • Second that the solutions take into account whole energy principles – i.e. They are carbon positive schemes that ensure a net benefit – We must avoid making things worse in the hope they will be better later.
  • Third, that they are practical & cost efficient. So the Community, Business and Council can implement the ideas very quickly, with everyone saving themselves money whilst saving the planet.

I'm currently trying to persuade the council to adopt these principles.

Action and Appointments

West Berkshire

05

June 2019
Action and Appointments

We are off and running.

It's been a month since the election results and I'm pleased to say myself and my Liberal Democrat colleagues are up and running having done all the required induction training. I’ve been chosen for some additional roles which I’m really looking forward to helping with. Obviously my first duty is to you as the people who voted for me, however, I’m (as expected) on the Western Area Planning (WAP) Committee as well Licensing Committee and as a sub for District Planning (DP) Committee, Personnel, plus Governance & Ethics (G&E). Finally, I’m honored to have been selected as Shadow Portfolio holder for Climate Change and Public Protection. I gave my first speech on this at the Climate Emergency Petition extraordinary meeting on 30th May. Fingers crossed we can start to make a difference for Wash Common and the people of West Berkshire.

Thanks for Your votes

Wash Common

07

May 2019
Thanks for Your votes

A big thanks to the 1830 people who voted for me..

I'll be doing my very best to represent the wishes of the voters of Wash Common. You can contact me using adrian.abbs1@westberks.gov.uk and I'll try and get back to you asap.

Thanks again for your votes.

Cllr Adrian Neil Abbs

20 mph and idle-free zones

Wash Common

23

April 2019
20 mph and idle-free zones

Having 20mph and idle-free zones outside schools to improve safety and air quality.

Anyone on the Andover road knows there's an issue with speeding outside of the schools. That's why I and the Lib Dems want to ensure a 20mph zone is created outside of them. We also want to encourage parents who collect kids from school by car to be “idle aware”. It's one of the simplest ways to improve air quality around schools and even saves money for parents.

Flawed LRIE project

Newbury

11

April 2019
Flawed LRIE project

£500,000 of taxpayers' money in flawed LRIE project.

For some years West Berks Council has been trying to regenerate Newbury’s London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) and this month the council have finally revealed £5,665,181.08 of public money has been spent on the project to date. Investing in West Berkshire's towns to create new homes, and develop employment opportunities is a good thing, but the way this has been handled by the current council has meant all West Berks taxpayers have had to foot the bill.

The council claim most of the money has come from government grants and other contributors. However, it has now been revealed that, at the very least, £523,000 of West Berkshire taxpayers’ money has been thrown at the scheme.

This project has been full of calamity with £109,000 being spent on entering into an agreement with a private developer that has since been ruled unlawful and spending £363,545 on defending itself against a legal challenge that it has ultimately lost.

The Liberal Democrats have asked the Conservative-run Council to explain how it could spend over £350,000 on a legal case which it lost, especially in a year when it announced it is cutting funding to vital services for the elderly and vulnerable in a bid to save £295,000.

We are committed to finding out the truth behind the incompetent decisions that led to such a waste of money as we care about how our taxpayers’ money in being used, when there are so many other priorities that we could be investing in.

We want to know what you think the council should be funding, so please let us know using our contact page.

We look forward to hearing from you and we will, as always, report back in the regular Focus newsletter and here on our website.

Can You Help Us?

Wash Common Ward

02

April 2019
Can You Help Us?

Can you help us?

As your Liberal Democrat candidates for the upcoming local council elections (May 2nd). Adrian Abbs & Tony Vickers need to ensure we get the message to as many people in the Wash Common Ward as possible. Are you available to help? Our intent is to ensure we restore some balance to West Berkshire Council by being elected and providing some due diligence on any proposals coming to and through the council. With 7255 people to talk to and 3624 doors to knock on any help would be most appreciated.

Call me on 07768998370.

Unlit Footpaths

Wash Common Ward

12

March 2019
Unlit Footpaths

As your Liberal Democrat candidates for the upcoming local council elections (May 2nd). Tony Vickers and myself would love your feedback on installing solar powered motion sensitive lighting using CIL (Community Infrastructure Levey). We have identified 3 paths in wash common. One between Newton Road and Paddock Road, a second that connects Andover Road with Culver Road and a 3rd that connects Andover Road with Sidestrand Road. Please drop us a note via the contact us form if you know anything about the ownership of the land

Scrap the Green Bin Tax

West Berkshire

19

February 2019
Scrap the Green Bin Tax

I’m totally against the Green Bin Tax. I really don’t see the sense in introducing green bins to encourage us to separate our waste and then slapping an aggressive charge on its use. The liberal Democrats have a campaign you can join to have this tax scrapped.

I believe that recycling shouldn't be a hassle or cost. It should be encouraged by our councillors in order to protect our green spaces

Speeding on the Andover Road

Wash Common Ward

04

February 2019
Speeding on the Andover Road

Whilst canvasing over the weekend it became very clear why residents are asking for the speed limit on the Andover road to be reduced to 30mph.If elected I will be pushing for this change on your behalf.

Deciding to run for the Wash Common Ward

Wash Common Ward

11

December 2018
Deciding to run for the Wash Common Ward

I first joined Greenham Parish Council early in 2018 and it's become clear that there is a need for fresh thinking on the District council level given what appears to be some very poor decision making related to Sandleford Development by Bloor & Donnington New Homes.

So, I decided to run as a candidate for the Wash Common Ward which is most affected by this development and hope you will support me when it comes to the voting on 2nd May 2019.