A handful of seats could be considered competitive in the Reading Borough Council elections this year.

This election will be a battle for the Greens and Conservatives to hold onto seats they won in 2022, while the Labour party pushes for greater dominance of the council.

These political battles will be focused in Caversham, East Reading and a leafy area of West Reading.

In the seats to the north of Caversham, namely Caversham Heights and Emmer Green, Labour will be pushing hard to oust the Conservatives.

In the all out elections last year, the Conservatives took two seats with Labour candidate Sue Kitchingham coming in second place with 1,343 votes.

Incumbent Conservative councillor Paul Carnell came third, so Labour will be hoping to win with their candidate Sam Juthani.

Caversham Heights is also being contested by Vania Costa-Krol from the Liberal Democrats and Danny McNamara, the Green Party candidate.

Slightly to the east, the Conservatives are hoping to keep the Emmer Green seat vacated by Harry Kretchmer.

Their candidate Stephen Goss was a history lecturer at Queens University and stood as the Conservative candidate for Abbey ward last year.

He is being opposed by Matt Buckley from Labour, Pieter de Bosierie of the Liberal Democrats and Wendy Rooke from the Green Party.

In Kentwood in West Reading, a big fight is expected between Conservative incumbent councillor Raj Singh and Labour hopeful Manuna Naz, who ran in Katesgrove last year.

The vote is set to be a nail-biter. In the 2022 all out elections, all Labour and Conservative candidates received over 1000 votes, with cllr Singh being the only Conservative to get enough votes to be elected.

Even then, cllr Singh came in third place after two successful Labour candidates.

Cllr Singh has been active recently calling for more action to be taken on road safety following the deaths of Sheldon Lewcock and Ralph and Brenda Jenkins.

He has also raised issues about accessibility for the disabled in the town centre, joined other councillors in expressing ongoing concerns about what is happening to the Tilehurst allotments, and raised waste issues such as flytipping and pushing for kerbside glass recycling collections.

Cllr Singh keeps residents up to date using his Facebook profile.

Cllr Tony Page is eager to see cllr Singh go, chiding him during council meetings.


The seat is also being contested by Caroline Hearst from the Green Party and Jonathan Barker from the Liberal Democrats. 

In East Reading, Labour will be seeking to hold its seat in Redlands for its candidate cllr Will Cross.

As a councillor, Mr Cross has successfully campaigned for an ultra narrow bin lorry to be used to collect household rubbish in narrow streets, and highlighted the issue of a 'forest' of housing agent signs in the university area.

The Redlands election is expected to be hard fought, as the Greens are fielding Kate Nikulina hoping to make all councillors for Redlands from the Green Party.

Redlands appears to be one of the only places where the Labour party could lose one of their council seats.

It is also being contested by Abdoulaye Diouma Sow for the Conservative Party, Francis Jakeman of the Liberal Democrats and Melanie Dent from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Slightly to the south west in Katesgrove, the Greens want new cllr Doug Creswell to remain.

He faces stiff opposition from Labour, who's candidate Marg Cobb ran in Redlands last year.

Katesgrove is also being contested by Ian Binge, the Conservative candidate, Margaret McNeill from the Liberal Democrats, Lilly Challice of the TUSC and independent candidate Jean-Louise Pascual.

Finally, in Park ward, the Green Party is eager to hold onto the two seats that are up for grabs this time round.

Turnout among voters in the area is higher than other areas of the town.

During the all-out elections, the three winning Green councillors won seats by getting over 1,500 votes.

Cllr John Williams is up for election, with fellow Green candidate Sarah Magon hoping to hold the seat vacated by Brenda McGonigle.

Meanwhile, Labour are fielding Oliver Williamson, who ran for election for Park ward last year, and new candidate Ram Galami.

The Conservatives are standing Allison Carnell and Adam Phelps, and the Liberal Democrats have selected Henry Wright and Chris Dodson as their candidates.

The election is taking place on Thursday, May 4.