I suppose I better post this before both Labour and Tory parties post their lies, or the city status bid supporting Reading Post puts their obvious pro-bid anti-Lib Dem slant on it.
The Tory and Labour yelps of outrage were predictable (so predictable in fact that I'd scripted them!) but it is a fact that they never asked us to back the bid... just assumed that we would. Usual arrogance. And if they'd bothered looking through my posts on getReading dating back many years, they'd know my opinion of wasting money on city status anyway.
Instead of facts we got pure hogwash about American companies looking for cities to invest in. Poor old Bracknell. They must really be annoyed that HP decamped from Reading and moved there. Tories and Laboiur have never allowed a good fact to get in the way of a poor argument.
This will be the third bid. When banging one's head against a brick wall for the umpteenth time, isn't it common sense to stop.
So here you go, my notes for my speech for the Full Council (26th Jan 2010) item on city status:
It's clear from their fixation earlier with spending council tax payers' money on criminal record bureaux checks that aren't needed that Labour are still prepared to waste council tax money on unecessary things.
We've been told that this will not cost anything, but it allocates council officers' time to it which could be better spent doing council business. That is not a zero cost.
I also note that the motion calls for the setting up of yet another board. What's up? We have the Civic Board which is now going way beyond what it was set up to do with IT being added to it. There's been mention of a board to look after the Abbey ruins. Now they want a board to investigate City status.
Is the administration admitting it is completely incapable of making a political decision any more. What ever happened to the good old days when the Labour party would decide what was best for the town and impose it on everyone. It's like watching frightened bunnies in the headlights.
Unless the bid is accompanied by a land grab of Calcot, Woodley and Lower Early it is worthless. We'd have a City unable to run its own transport system without begging South Oxfordshire, Wokingham and West Berks to play ball.
We are apparently the capital of the Thames Valley. We are told that we have world class compaines such as Microsoft and Oracle who have mmade their homes here.
Except Oracle is in Wokingham.
Microsoft is in the Maidenhead constituency.
And they seem to have settled in the area without the carrot of City status.
Would being a city have kept the town centre free from ice? We couldn't even keep the main bus routes open. That would be embarrassing for a city. I'd suggest that if businesses have £60,000 to play with that there are far more meaningful ways of spending it to benefit the town. Perhaps some salt and grit bins?
And if it's about Civic pride, then shame on you for not having pride in what we have.
Lib Dems have been accussed of having a lack of ambition. Untrue. Our ambition is to see the bankrupt party that has been ruunning this place for the last 23 years kicked out of office. This just demonstrates that they have run out of steam and are only left with gimmicks.
We are also accussed of a lack of vision form the Tories. We have a clear vision, To stop the Tory charlatans from slipping comfortably into Labour's slippers and carrying on business as usual. Look through the record people. The Tory - Labour love in has characterised council meetings for the last two years.
Only one party actually seem to understand that its not about vain-glorious efforts of self-agrandisement, it's about what we can do for the town and what we can do for the people of the town.
Running Reading isn't about poncey titles and wearing fancy dress at the mayor making ceremony. It's about doing the best for the residents. The people who pay their council tax and simply ask for the council to provide value for money services.
The City of Reading will make absolutely no difference to people in their ordinary life.
In fact they only thing I can think being called a city will do is help poets complete their rhymes.
I'll be very pleased to blog that voters should not worry about whether to vote Labour or Tory at the next election as there's obviously there's not much difference. Maybe they should should form a joint administration of national unity?