A Liberal Democrat candidate for the general election has slammed the Conservatives for failing to deliver a new Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Clive Jones the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for the Wokingham constituency and a Wokingham Borough councillor has blasted a Conservative rival councillor Pauline Jorgensen the Conservative candidate for Earley and Woodley.

Councillor Jorgensen recently visited Royal Berkshire Hospital to redouble a Conservative government pledge to deliver more than 40 new hospitals.

However, that pledge has been blasted by cllr Jones (Liberal Democrats, Hawkedon) who has accused the government of failure, with no site for the new hospital being selected and no planning application for the project being submitted.

Cllr Jones said: “She is so out of touch. It was promised in the 2019 general election. The building should have started in 2024 for completion in 2030.

“Does she know that it’s been put back until after 2030. Is she aware, or is she so out of touch?

“It’s incredible. It’s just another empty pledge similar to Boris Johnson’s empty pledge.”

Cllr Jones also argued that funding pledges for the programme fall short of the amounts needed. He said: “The new hospital building programme is going to have a fund of £20 billion.

“That’s not enough. It’s about half of what is needed for the 44 hospitals in the programme. “She [cllr Jorgensen] is redoubling their pledge to do nothing.”

The Liberal Democrats stated that they would urgently release the funds that the Government has already committed, so that construction on new hospitals can start as soon as possible, and commit to a 10-year major capital programme to ‘give long-term certainty to delivering new or replaced hospital buildings’.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital programme has been put in ‘cohort 3’ for new sites to be funded after 2030, as  the Conservative government prioritised hospitals that were built with crumbling RAAC concrete.

For her part, cllr Jorgensen stated she will push for the project to be completed, and touted government efforts to clear health appointment backlogs that built up during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “I am keen to help the RBH in any way I can to deliver this important new project. I’m pleased to see that the Prime Minister has focused on clearing the post-pandemic backlogs with success – but there is more to do and I know only a Conservative government with a clear plan will deliver the quality healthcare residents in Earley and Woodley deserve.”

The two politicians regularly clash as rivals on Wokingham Borough Council, with cllr Jorgensen serving as the leader of the opposition.

Cllr Jones faces off against Lucy Demery, who became the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wokingham following the retirement of Sir John Redwood.

The other candidates in Wokingham are Monica Hamidi for Labour, Merv Boniface for the Greens and Colin Wright for Reform UK.

Meanwhile, cllr Jorgensen in Earley and Woodley faces Yuan Yang for Labour, Tahir Maher for the Lib Dems, Gary Shaclady for the Greens and Alastair Hunter from the Social Democratic Party.