Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Are the Conservatives In Touch?

I was astounded. The Conservatives have put a leaflet through my door! (Link to Conservative leaflet - google docs) For ages I been going on and on about the lack of political literature. Now after 8 months I thought the Conservatives would have lots to say. Indeed they have. The leaflet is very well presented and easily readable.

The leaflet, itself, is an attack on the Liberal Democrats. In my opinion the Conservatives are scared of the voters. Djanogly and his expenses are one thing. With car park charges introduced and toilets being closed down by their friends in Huntingdon, the Conservatives seem to feel vulnerable to the Liberal Democrats.

And they should be. The Conservative run HDC has to make £6.1 million of unidentified cut to a £24 million budget. Of course this fact isn't mentioned in this leaflet.

So what have the Conservatives got to say about the Council budget. For starters we have Council Tax - The Truth(?). This article sets out to destroy the Liberal Democrats for wanting to increase tax by 0.5% more than the Conservatives. In real money this adds 60 pence to an average property.
Remember this 60 pence when looking further into this leaflet. These are the same Conservatives that were looking to nearly double Council Tax a few years back.

They may boast of being the 19th lowest in the country but the Conservatives are spending as one of the above average Councils. This is achieved by draining reserves of £4.7 million to pay for this. £6.1 million of cuts are due over the next 4 years.

Part of the consequences of the £4.7 million deficit for 2010/11 is the need to cut and cut hard and/or to find extra income. The HDC Conservatives (of which many St Neots Conservative Councillors are members) took this decision to charge for these car parks. The Conservatives gloss over this little inconvenience to attack the Liberal Democrats for not doing enough?!

These "difficulties" currently experienced by HDC have been around since at least 2004. For the last 6 years the Conservatives have been sitting on the "time-bomb" of a deficit
Whilst heralding the £2.9 million being spent on upgrading this facility, I would like to know where this money is coming from? As the Council is out of capital reserves and is using the money from in the General Reserves to prop up the budget, where is all this money coming from? HDC is planning it own debt mountain. This will have a corrosive effect on the budget. As debt and interest payments mount up so further cuts in the services to pay for this interest.
I have issues with the Liberal Democrat run St Neots Town Council. Indeed, I've been pointing out the shock to some of the tax increase to the annexed residents. Just look at blog!
What I find in this section is the cat calling the kettle black. Conservative run HDC has to cut £6.1 million. Is going to spend £4.7 million from diminishing reserves. And gone from being debt free to building up a debt mountain. These Conservatives have the sheer cheek to say the Liberal Democrats "..can't manage our money"!
This is the Cllr Farrer repairing the Church Car park, instead of the taxpayer. Wow! The Conservatives have yet to inform the residents why they feel this church car park should be paid for by the council taxpayer. Of course this has now changed to a community car park.
Good headline. But this deal is a Conservative Stealth Tax on St Neots. It is reckoned an extra £30,000 will be added to the tax town. That is an extra £2.50. So the Conservatives criticise the Liberal Democrats (from earlier) for a proposing a 60 pence rise whilst telling it is wonderful to eventually increase our taxes by 250 pence.

If this is the Conservative message I have no doubt this is why HDC is in such a mess.

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