The Labour Party which currently runs Reading Borough Council has launched its 2024 local election manifesto in the hope of maintaining power this year.

Local elections are held on an annual basis in Reading, with a third of the councillors being elected each time for a four-year term.

This year, 16 councillors will be up for election, one for each of the wards in the borough.

In their manifesto, which was published on Monday, April 2, Labour candidates have pledged to ‘ensure that everyone can share in Reading’s success’ in an 86-point plan for what Labour would do if they maintain power.

The manifesto launch comes amid some big personnel changes for the ruling Labour Party.

Both the current council leader Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote) and Tony Page (Labour, Abbey), who has served on the council for 51 years are standing down this year.

READ MORE: Reading council leader and 'titan' of town politics to step down this year 

Nevertheless, cllr Brock still wrote the preface to Labour’s manifesto this year.

He claimed the council is facing huge financial pressures due to the mounting costs of providing care for children and adults, and finding suitable homes for people to live in.

Cllr Brock explained: “These are all fundamental Council services which support some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and a responsibility we do not shy away from.

“The reality, however, is that it will cost the Council a net £16 million extra this year alone to provide the services so many residents rely on.

“Much was made recently of some additional funding announced by the Conservative Government as part of this year’s finance settlement.

“Yet, for Reading, it amounts to just 10 per cent of our additional costs.

“Absolutely no leeway is made for towns like ours where demand for Council services is considerably higher than in some of our leafier and wealthier neighbouring boroughs.”

He also claimed that Labour has undertaken ‘prudent planning’ to remain financially stable.

Reading Chronicle: Reading Labour councillors and members out on campaign in West Reading. Credit: Reading LabourReading Labour councillors and members out on campaign in West Reading. Credit: Reading Labour

Despite the challenges, cllr Brock argued that Labour is ‘delivering for Reading’ notably in opening leisure centres, and train stations and launching new bus services.

Cllr Brock said: “Labour remains dedicated to ensuring Reading’s success and that everyone here can share in that success.

“I hope you’ll lend us your vote so that we can continue delivering for you.”

Key priorities in the manifesto include delivering council-owned affordable housing, securing economic success by making Reading a ‘Living Wage Town’, ‘protecting and enhancing’ the lives of adults and children, and encouraging people to use public transport by expanding services.

You can view the full manifesto on the Reading & District Labour website.

The local election takes place on Thursday, May 2.

In the run up to the elections, the Local Democracy Reporting Service will be reporting on each party’s vision for the town.

To get in touch with your thoughts or feedback, email