Reading East MP Rob Wilson thinks “it’s not his job to stand up for Reading Borough Council”. The man who continually puts his parties interests above those of Reading residents will presumably continue to do so. It is Mr Wilson and his party who vote through cuts to Reading Council that will see its funding fall from £53m a year to £2m, a £185 cut per head of the population compared to just £116 in Mr Wilson’s favoured Wokingham.
Mr Wilson denies these budget cuts are even happening, and claims that school budget pressures “aren’t about budget cuts”. Were Caversham Primary lying when they asked parents for £190 each to plug their funding gap? He says 90% of that schools budget is taken up by wages. But the average salary of a teacher is under half of what Mr Wilson earns, and teachers don’t get to claim lavish expenses like he does. Teachers have also faced a year on year pay cut since 2010, not getting to vote through an 11% pay hike as Mr Wilson did for himself.
Schools are struggling because budgets have been “frozen” but pupil numbers have increased, national insurance contributions and pensions contributions have risen, costs have risen and school improvement budgets have been slashed. It’s time to stop running Mr Wilson, these are you and your parties cuts. Time to stand up for Reading and not your party.