Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Liberal Democrats asking what St Neots wants?

On their webpage St Neots Liberal Democrats have put up a survey. In the preamble it says this:

"Four years ago we asked residents what they wanted for our town. We prepared our manifesto accordingly. It's not been easy, but we've achieved a great deal, despite endless attempts to obstruct us and the actions of the District Council, such as doing away with free parking and closing toilets. We've built the new £1.2m Eatons Community Centre, refurbished the Priory Centre and all our playgrounds. Put in new Christmas Lights and bus shelters are made real progress towards a new pool and a cinema. This survey is designed to ask you what our priorities should be if you re-elect a Lib Dem Town Council in May.

The phrase: "despite endless attempts to obstruct us...." needs examination. The only people obstructing the Liberal Democrats have been the Liberal Democrats. With a majority of 8 (Liberal Democrats 13 - Conservatives 5) on the Town Council the Liberal Democrats should have been able to push through their programme without any opposition. They didn't and therefore the Liberal Democrats can only blame themselves for 4 wasted years.

The main problem has been finance and the inability of the Liberal Democrats to balance the budget for much of their term in office. So who was obstructing from within the Liberal Democrats? Cllrs Giles and Thorpe are prime candidates. The idea of setting up a Policy and Resources Committee was a good idea, but badly carried out. The idea of having a Council Leader was a good idea but was also badly carried out. The Town Council descended into financial crisis which was covered up for a time with not holding Policy and Resource Committee meetings and when they did eventually hold a meeting it was not to discuss finance. The only obstructions the Liberal Democrats encountered were their own.

Another phrase the needs examination is: "..the actions of the District Council, such as doing away with free parking and closing toilets." What has car parking to do with the Town Council? Now closing the toilets did put extra spending on the Town Council of £30,000 pa but shouldn't have deflected the Town Council from its course. The Town Council didn't have to takeover these toilets. Again deflecting the blame for the Liberal Democrats own problems.

Also: "refurbished... all our playgrounds.What about Shady Walk/Lane? This hasn't been refurbished. Turnstone Estates are looking to turn the whole area into a car park! Hardly refurbishment! This statement is saying something that hasn't happened.

Lastly: "This survey is designed...".There is something the Town Council produces which is called the Forward Plan. This plan says where the Town Council is going for the next 4 years. Were the public consulted over the formulation of this plan? Of course not. The Liberal Democrats put this through Town Council without asking what the public thinks of the future. Also when the Town Council was in financial crisis Cllrs Giles and Thorpe dumped the essential Town Plan, something which could have been used to point the way.

The preamble is about shifting the blame from the Liberal Democrats to somebody else. This is a classic tactic.

Whilst having a blast at the Liberal Democrats it should be noted the St Neots Conservatives have done nothing yet. At least the Liberal Democrats have done something. The Conservatives have closed their local website and the Huntingdon one doesn't have much to say about say about St Neots.

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