The Green Party has pledged to work for a ‘fairer, greener and cleaner’ Reading as they make their case to the electorate.

The party has released its manifesto to create a fairer and cleaner town ahead of the Reading Borough Council elections on Thursday, May 2.

Priorities include providing financial support for those in need, providing more affordable housing and urgent support for home insulation.

They also want to double the number of trees being planted in Reading, fix potholes and tackle rubbish problems, particularly by introducing doorstep glass recycling.

The Greens became the main opposition party after the all-out elections in 2022. They now aim to increase their standing on the council, and are competing in all 16 wards.

Reading Chronicle: Green councillors at the first session of the council year at Reading Town Hall in 2023. Credit: Reading Green PartyGreen councillors at the first session of the council year at Reading Town Hall in 2023. Credit: Reading Green Party

Councillor Dave McElroy (Green Party, Redlands Ward) said: “Under the Labour-run council our area is blighted by potholes, overflowing bins, antisocial behaviour, congestion and air pollution. Carbon reductions have stalled, people can’t find a dentist and we don’t have enough affordable housing. Greens have campaigned tirelessly with residents to tackle these issues.

“Over the last year Greens have had success tackling bin problems, poor quality privately rented accommodation and road safety issues.

“There are many wards in Reading where the Green Party stands a good chance of winning this year, but the results are going to be close, including here in Redlands.

“Labour have a massive majority on the council and it’s highly likely that they will run the council whatever happens. The current balance is 32 Labour councillors, seven Green councillors, five Conservatives, three Lib Dems and one independent.

“Voting Green will mean you get not only a hard-working representative on the council making a difference all year round, but keep a strong main opposition party holding Labour to account for their actions.

“Vote Green for a fairer, greener and cleaner town.”

You can view the full local election manifesto on the Reading Green Party website.

Cllr McElroy is also the Green candidate for the Reading Central parliamentary constituency.

On a local level, he will be defending his seat on the council against a strong challenge from Labour candidate Dr Sunila Lobo, and other challengers from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Fellow cllr Sarah Magon will be defending her seat in Park ward against candidates from Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

The Greens are also hoping to pick up a seat in Katesgrove vacated by Labour cllr Liam Challenger.

There will not be a council election next year, meaning the next chance for people to vote will be 2026.

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