Shinfield residents had a chance to meet their borough election candidates at a special hustings event on Wednesday, April 24.
Organised by Jim Frewin, the independent candidate for Shinfield South, the event allowed visitors to tour tables in Shinfield Parish Hall where they could discuss issues with candidates and their supporters.
Mr Frewin, who decided to stand over what he feels is the overdevelopment of Shinfield, said that his campaign had been going well.
“I’m happy with how things are going. Lots of people have been talking to me,” he said.
“I’ve even had people stop me to ask for election literature.
“Have I got political aspirations? No.
“Am I Lib Dem in disguise? No.
“Am I determined to get a voice for Shinfield residents? Yes.”
He added: “There is an effort to try and party politicise a resident who is ready to stand up for residents.
“I am a true independent – that’s what I will be [if elected].”
Incumbent Anthony Pollock (Conservative) said: “I always enjoy getting out and talking to residents. I’m happy to meet with them on the doorsteps.”
Brexit aside, he said that there was a desire for more primary and secondary school places in Shinfield and he felt that he was re-elected he would work to see what could be done.
“Oakbank is full, Bohunt is full for two-and-a-half years,” he said.
He also highlighted residents’ concerns over GP surgeries. “Hopefully if I’m reelected I will be able to do something about it.”
Standing for the Greens is Hilary Murdoch who met with potential voters.
“It’s important for the Green Party to have a presence, people can vote for us if they have a chance to,” she said, adding that a Green voice on the council would have an influence.
And with issues such as climate change and plastic pollution resonating with the public, she felt that the party’s core messages had something to offer Shinfield residents.
“People are receptive to Green issues, maybe people don’t realise just how much,” she said. “A change is needed.
“People are worried about infrastructure, buildings, emissions – everything people worried about are green issues.
“That’s why I got involved and decided to stand for the Green Party. We’re fighting for our natural environment. Fields with birds and trees, being able to go out as a family and pick brambles – it’s what people want.”
Several other ward councillors were present including Hurst’s Cllr Wayne Smith and Swallowfield’s Cllr Stuart Munro.
Also visiting was Lynn Forbes, who is standing as an independent in Evendons ward.
“I’ve been getting great support,” she said. “People stop me in the street and say, ‘You’ve got my vote’.
“People want change in Wokingham and to have people who will stand up for them.”
Also standing in Shinfield is Labour candidate Marcus McDowell, who was unable to attend.
Other Evendons ward candidates are Daniel Hinton, Conservatives; Tim Lloyd, Labour; Adrian Mather, Liberal Democrat; and Louise Timlin, Women’s Equality Party.