This afternoon Reading’s Liberal Democrat party met together under the Maiwand Lion in Forbury Gardens.

They gathered for the announcement of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidates for three new constituencies: Reading Central, Earley and Woodley, and Reading West and Mid Berkshire.

Tahir Maher has been elected as the candidate for Earley and Woodley and Henry Wright is running for Central Reading.

Helen Belcher was announced as the candidate for Reading West and Mid Berkshire last October.

Mr Wright who was born in the Royal Berkshire Hospital and has lived in the town all his life said that the Conservative party is failing the country and Reading.

“The main areas where I want to push for change are fighting the cost-of-living crisis, issues within the NHS, and environmental concerns,” he said.

Mr Wright said that he thinks that people in Reading are not getting access to vital public services and that their needs in general aren’t being met.

He also thinks it’s important that the government fights climate change.

“It would be a dream if one day we were able to swim in the Thames like rivers that flow through other major cities. But Thames Water has completely destroyed that by dumping sewage.”

Candidate for Reading West and Mid Berkshire Helen Belcher said that she has accumulated her plans through talking to people in the community.

“A lot of people believe that nothing is working anymore,” she said. “They have also expressed that they are scared about falling ill as they believe they will not be able to get a GP appointment.”

“People are also all very concerned about the water issues that we have been facing, like the flooding and recent shortage.”

Helen Belcher said that public services are on their knees and that she wants to hold the government accountable.

“Ultimately, I want to give locals a voice,” she said.

Tahir Maher said that he is honoured to have been elected by his party as the first candidate to run for the Earley and Woodley constituency.

“What I really care about is pushing forward the ideal of a caring society,” he said. “I despair at how communities are falling apart. People aren’t getting support anymore who need support.”

“We need a better NHS, a better more supportive society, and a society where people are not made to be scapegoats. There is such a strong blame culture in other political parties.”

“We want to work with people, not for them. We all need to work together in order to achieve these goals.”