Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Deal or No Deal

The Labour Party are putting predictable spin on the news that the Lib Dems and Conservatives have come to an agreement to run Reading Borough Council. Their justification for holding on to control in Reading is that they gained a councillor from the Tories in Minster. Wow, Labour win back seat in Labour stronghold shocker! What we have in fact been seeing since 2004 is the long slow death of Reading Labour not being reflected in the number of wards they hold.

The basic facts are that Labour lost Katesgrove, which now joins Redlands as 100% Lib Dem. They lost Park. Battle was not a real gain as the "independent" councillor they won it from fought it as a Labour candidate last time. On their share of the vote, Labour has only justified having 14 or 15 councillors since 2006 and in the last local elections more than one in four people voted Lib Dem. Labour lost any legitimacy to run the town many years ago.

Perhaps what Labour are really scared off is the return of democracy to Reading. And if they are, they are right to be worried.

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