The political parties in Reading have made their case to voters for the 2023 local elections.

All four of the main parties have released their manifestos for what they hope to achieve if given control of Reading Borough Council.

The Labour Party is seeking to retain its grip on the council and take seats from their rivals.

Councillor Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote), the leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “The balance between maintaining a strong local economy, investing in modern new facilities for residents and providing support to those who need our help the most during the cost of living crisis is not an easy one to strike, but I believe our plans achieve just that.

“Our priority remains helping Reading realise its potential and creating new opportunities so that everyone who lives and works here can share in the benefits of our amazing town’s success.

“I hope you’ll once again lend Labour your vote.”

You can view the full Reading Labour manifesto here

Meanwhile, the Green Party is hoping to maintain their status as the main opposition party.

They have a 12 point plan for Reading which involves tackling poverty, protecting public assets such as pools and children centres, which they accuse the Labour party of closing, and providing affordable housing both through building projects and a mass insulation scheme.

The Greens have also pledged to tackle alcohol and drug dependency by protecting recovery programmes, encouraging the creation of more school streets and doubling the tree cover in the town.

You can view the full Reading Green manifesto here

The Conservatives have a 11 point plan for the elections, which includes freezing council tax, fixing pot holes 'as a priority' and introducing kerbside glass recycling, which is also something the Greens have promised.

Conservative group leader cllr Clarence Mitchell, a representative for Emmer Green said: “Across our wonderful town, the Conservative Party is once again fielding a full slate of 17 candidates offering every voter the choice of electing strong Conservative candidates.

“They come from all walks of life and fully reflect Reading’s vibrant BAME communities.

“Indeed, our slate this year is, once again, one of our most diverse and inclusive on record. All our candidates are putting the best interests of Reading at the heart of everything they say and do.

“All of them are absolutely committed to making Reading an even better place to live.

“For far too long, the Labour administration has been failing Reading, while taking its residents for granted by still expecting them to pay the highest council tax rates in the Berkshire area.

“Voting Conservative means we can deliver the better deal and positive change for our town that every resident deserves.

“So we are delighted to be able to offer the people of Reading that choice by fielding our strongest, most diverse and inclusive slate of Conservative candidates yet.”

You can view the full Reading Conservative manifesto here.

The Liberal Democrats have six aims if elected, which involve building a stronger economy, making communities safer, building sustainable services, helping children and young people, providing health and care for all and improving transport.

Their manifesto states: “Reading has suffered from a lack of vision and

leadership for too long.”

Additionally, cllr Meri O’Connell the Lib Dem group leader and representative for Tilehurst said: “The Liberal Democrat proposals for a better Reading

recognise that economic, social and environmental issues are inseparable.

“Social and environmental development can provide exactly the bottom-up

economic development that Reading needs.

“Our aim is for Reading to respond to its challenges and be a high-performing Borough in all areas, with vibrant and supportive local communities.

“A borough where individuals, companies and communities can be freed

from obstacles that stop them from reaching their aspirations and realising their full potential.

“We want to make a distinctive shift in power away from the centre, encouraging decentralised decision-making, partnership working and empowerment of communities and individuals.

“Others want to do things to you, or do things for you: Liberal Democrats want to do things with you.”

You can view the full Reading Liberal Democrat manifesto here.

The election takes place on Thursday, May 4.