LAST WEEK’S local elections results at first glance suggest business as usual.
The Conservatives are still the largest party, just four seats smaller than it had been.
But actually, it is an earthquake.
The Conservatives lost the town centre seats it had been contesting and the opposition claimed two big scalps.
The council will be a poorer place without David Lee and Mark Ashwell and we wish them well for their future endeavours. They have always strived to put Wokingham first.
To lose these councillors means that the electorate has sent a message to the Conservative leadership: It is time to listen to us, the voters, rather than your colleagues.
The temptation among the party may be to change course, or even to look back at previous leaders. It may look like an easy task, but the challenge is not to try and reclaim the past, but to build for the future of the borough.
The decisions that led to last Thursday’s results have come from previous management.
It would be a huge folly to hark back to them.
Instead, there needs to be a time of reflection and serious listening to the residents.
The tinder box is already lit and with decisions to close Langborough Road again, more fuel is being added to the flames.
The electorate has spoken. Listen, look forward and don’t look back.