Monday, January 24, 2011

St Neots Tories Shocked At Town Council Grant News

St Neots Tories Shocked At Town Council Grant News:

I thought I would look in a bit of detail at the political responses to the "racist playgroup" story.

The Liberal Democrats have been very quiet. The news story broke on Wednesday morning and yet the Town Council "rushed" out a statement late on Thursday night. It was a pretty pathetic statement:

"St Neots Town Council does not operate the ‘Making Links’ group which is organised by the Open Door Church. St Neots Town Council grants have been awarded to a variety of community organisations and groups including ‘Making Links’.
A £1000 grant awarded to this group was entirely within our rules and regulations for grant aid to the community."

But then that is what Councils do when faced with a story against them. When it is story a Council delights in then you can't shut them up.

Now I'm not having a go at the Town Council for making the grant. The Town Council has to trust that people will spend the money wisely and for why it was granted. Otherwise it is a new set of red tape which will cost the Council Taxpayer yet more.

Not that it was a cash grant. The money was paid to The Priory Centre so this part of the Town Council didn't charge Making Links for the use of a hall.

The Liberal Democrats have really not liked this story and have hidden from it. The Conservative response is different and goes to town on the Liberal Democrats. Well it is a good story. Why shouldn't they?

The Conservative press release:

St Neots Tories Shocked At Town Council Grant News  Wednesday, 19 January, 2011

St Neots Conservatives were today critical of the news that the Liberal Democrat led St Neots Town Council had awarded funding to a playgroup that excluded British parents and children from attending on the basis of their race.

Conservative Councillor, Paul Ursell commented, (Standing for election in May 2011)

‘I am astonished that in today’s society it is felt appropriate to provide services on the basis of race. I recall that when Making Links came to the Town Council and asked for their grant, the Conservative Group questioned who would have access to the group and were subsequently accused of having racist undertones to our comments.’

Andy Jennings, Conservative Action Team member for Eaton Socon added, (Likely standing for election in May 2011)

‘This story seems absurd and has made St Neots Town Council the laughing stock of the nation. I thought that this kind of attitude had died a death sometime ago and we are shocked an appalled that British children and mothers are not allowed to mix with other ethnicities.’ (Over simplification of what was going on)

Simon Burton, the Constituency Organiser for the Huntingdon Constituency said, (Organising the elections in May 2011)

‘It seems strange that the Liberal Democrats have been complicit in what can only be considered segregation by the back-door. (The use of the term segregation is wrong. This is not segregation in the strict or loosest term.)

‘I recall that when he was selected a year ago the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman, Martin Land, accused the Conservative Party of being full of ‘closet racists’. (Not actually full) Given that his party control the Town Council and have done for many years, his comments now seem even more ridiculous than they did at the time they were first made.’ (Town Council elections in May 2011)

This press release is a bit of jumping on the bandwagon. It allows both potential candidates for seats, where the Conservatives want to win, to get their names in the newspapers.

No comments: