Feb 172017
Sir Nicholas Winton

Liberal Democrats have renewed calls on Theresa May not to abandon child refugees by scrapping the scheme which would save thousands of vulnerable children from squalid camps and people traffickers.

This comes as pressure mounts on the Prime Minister over the decision, which was criticised by the daughter of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British humanitarian who organised the Czech Kindertransport operation that saved 669 children on the eve of the second world war.

She has called on Theresa May to remember her father’s example and “do the right thing” by reconsidering the decision to close the Dubs scheme for vulnerable refugee children.

May attended Winton’s 103rd birthday party as his local MP. His daughter Barbara has written an open letter reminding the prime minister of how she described him as an “inspiration” at his memorial service after his death aged 106 in 2015.

The letter says: “At his memorial you very generously described him as ‘an enduring example of the difference that good people can make even in the darkest of times’ and said: ‘I hope that his life will serve as an inspiration for us all … and encourage us to do the right thing.’
“As the world once again teeters on the edge of dark times, I ask you to remember those words.”

Pressure has also come from an open letter from over 200 high-profile celebrities and campaigners and by the Archbishop of Canterbury who called it “deeply unjust.”

Lord Dubbs, the refugee rights campaigner claimed that Sir Nicholas would have been horrified by the scrapping of the scheme.

Tim Farron said: “The Prime Minister said she believes in tackling burning injustices. But where is the justice in abandoning thousands of vulnerable children to squalid camps and people traffickers?

“The government want us to forget this humanitarian crisis, but we have not forgotten and neither have millions of people across the country.

“I am proud of Britain’s role as a sanctuary for the desperate and persecuted. Theresa May must stop betraying that legacy and do the decent thing.”

Feb 012017
Furze Platt set to expand after intervention by Simon Werner

Pupils across the Borough, including those from a disadvantaged background, have performed well at Key Stage 4 as the confirmed results show above average attainment in many key areas.

The new Progress 8 measure saw five Borough schools ((Newlands, Charters, Furze Platt, Cox Green and Windsor Boy) achieve above the national average with four others maintaining progress above the floor standard.

KS4 pupils in the borough collectively ranked as equal 22nd out of 150 areas for Progress 8 results, placing them in the top 15 percent in the country. A good performance was also recorded for children from a disadvantaged background with our pupils from the borough ranking 25th out of 150.

Cllr Simon Werner says, “Well done to the children and young people who have worked so hard to achieve such a great result.”

“This clearly demonstrates the worth of our Borough Comprehensives – the Council interferes with their success at their peril!”

The rankings come from the Department for Education data published in January and relate to the 2015/16 cohort for KS4.

Feb 012017

A new recycling scheme launched by the Borough Council may well be doing more harm than good say local Lib Dems.

The new textile collection is currently picking up around 200 bags a week of textiles – but to do it, one of the lorries is travelling along every single road in the Borough every single week.

Lib Dem Cllr Simon Werner says, “The scheme had originally involved collecting the textiles on the recycling vehicles that were travelling the routes anyway – that was a sensible scheme.”

“By having a vehicle doing this every week just to pick up the textiles is ridiculous! Just think of the carbon footprint of this collection service – and to only pick up 200 bags for recycling.”

When challenged about this strange decision at the Sustainability Panel, the council said that this was only a temporary solution for 6 months – and that after the 6 months they intended to collect the textiles in the vehicles that collected the rest of the recycling.

Cllr Simon Werner continued, “Textile recycling is so important – but if the scheme was not ready to go for six months – they should have waited rather than introducing this ridiculous solution.”

Nov 112016
Furze Platt set to expand after intervention by Simon Werner

Local Liberal Democrats are increasing worried about education in the Borough.

Recent research has shown that without the Government changing their minds about school funding, Borough Schools will be considerably worse off.

Figures show that without changes to funding, schools in the borough will lose £3.5 million – that is the equivalent of losing £195 per pupil or 95 teachers!

Local Lib Dem Councillor Simon Werner says, “Schools are already struggling financially. Class sizes are rising, curriculum choices are being cut, pupils with special needs are losing vital support and school staff are losing their jobs.”

“In Pinkneys Green these cuts mean Alwyn could lose 2 teachers, Courthouse and All Saints – a Teaching assistant each, Furze Platt Juniors – 2 teaching assistants and Furze Platt Senior School – 2 teachers.”

The figures are based on the estimated reduction in the school’s annual budget by 2020 in real terms, under current Government policies. These include plans to reallocate school budgets according to a new national funding formula, and not increasing funding per pupil in line with inflation and have been worked out by the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Nov 042016

Local Lib Dem Councillor Simon Werner has condemned the proposals for the new leisure centre as lacking in ambition.

He says, “It is obviously fantastic that we are getting a new updated leisure centre. The old one is 42 years old so it does need significant renewing.”

“I am however disappointed by the lack of imagination that is going in to the new centre. Apart from a slightly bigger swimming pool and some investment in the gym, there is nothing new and exciting being considered. What about a full length pool, or a diving pool for instance?
“And don’t forget under the current plans we are losing the ten pin bowling and the shooting range unless they can find alternative homes.
Local Lib Dems have also raised the problem of the location of the centre which will only really be accessible by car.
“The Town Centre is the hub of the community – all routes lead to the town centre. However when it is moved the edge of the town – it will not only take away a significant draw to local people to come to the town centre, but will make it more difficult and more expensive for others to get there.”
“A huge amount of money will come to the council for the sale of the current site this should be invested in creating an outstanding new home.”
“Please make sure you respond to the council’s consultation with your suggestions of what improvements you would like to see – like a full size swimming pool. And also comment on the location if you can.”
Comments can be sent to braywickleisurecentre@rbwm.gov.uk until Friday, December 30. Alternatively, written suggestions can be sent to Community Services, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead SL6 1RF

Nov 042016

The decision today to expand Heathrow will come as a fresh blow to East Berkshire residents. As Tim Farron has said it’s a betrayal of environment and communities.

The Heathrow decision has shown how the Government is out of touch with the very people they were supposed to serve especially our local MP’s including the Prime Minister herself who has gone back on her own words.