Saturday 21 November 2015

Local Tories branded as hypocrites

BelperStuff never takes any statement at face value so always delves and checks background facts before posting. It does not matter who has made the statement, Labour, Tory or some other .......... BelperStuff always checks the facts. Yesterday, hearing about a press statement just issued by Amber Valley Tories led by Clr. Alan Cox the first instinct was to question both the Tory claim and Labour's response. This post contains the evidence that was uncovered. The item in question was this:

Link to Tory lies and hypocrisy article , the stop press piece on the Amber Valley Labour Group website. Clicking on the link you will find:

Following last night's  Full  Council meeting ,at which the  proposal to support Whole Council elections was rejected. the Tory group issued a press release  criticising the Labour group for not supporting the proposal by saying it will result in the loss of £250,000 of savings between 2019-2023.

It goes on:

The sheer hypocrisy of Cllr Alan Cox's comment about saving money is laughable. Cllr Alan Cox and his group voted against  a similar proposal  put forward by Labour, when we were in control of the Council, on 2nd March 2015 which would have saved £235,000 from May 2016-2019 and the additional £250,000 between 2019-2023 a total of £475,000. The Conservative proposal would only have become effective from 2019 and saved £250,000. I think the question for Cllr Alan Cox is why did he voted against making saving of £475,000 only 10 months ago.

BelperStuff contacted the leader of the Labour group, Cllr Paul Jones and asked him for details. He suggested that a careful reading of the minutes of the Special Full Council Meeting held on Wednesday, 2 March 2015 at the Council Chamber in Ripley would be enlightening (this is the link). Contained in those minutes is a fulsome report on the issue of changing the election process of the AVBC which would have taken effect from 2016. There are also details of the vote that was taken and it is plain to see that 20 Tories voted against the proposal (including Alan Cox). Obviously if Cox and his party decided to oppose the change in March but in November choose to vote for that change to be effective from 2019 it would seem that they have foregone the chance to save £235,000; money that would have been available to offset at least a small portion of the cuts to the borough finances that are being inflicted by Westminster Tories.

But why did the Labour group vote for the change in March but in November voted against? Delving more deeply into this we find that following ongoing consultation with local voters and organisations it emerged that there was a 69% majority to maintain the status quo. The Labour group, having debated this internally informed Cox that they would not be supporting the change in the November vote and it would have been prudent to cancel or postpone the meeting. Even with the knowledge that there would not be a two thirds majority (the rule for constitutional matters) in favour of the electoral change the Tories still pressed ahead with the meeting and the inevitable vote against. Their press statement followed immediately after, blaming Labour. 

BelperStuff is reminded of the statement to the press that Cox made just before the May election regarding the Council car park in Ripley (link to Alan Cox car park post). BelperStuff subsequently found out that the original decision to put the Town Hall car park up for sale was made over 4 years ago by the then Tory controlled Council. BelperStuff just does not have the time nor the inclination to subject every local Tory press statement to in depth scrutiny .......... life is too short. What we need from our councillors is wisdom and a willingness to search for what is best for the people who live in the borough and not this petty pint scoring (freudian slip - forgot the "o" in point) nonsense. Of course councillors should be free to comment on the actions of their political opponents but we have the right to expect that those comments are honest and reliable. Selectivity of facts is not a new phenomenon in Tory circles:

 In 1796 Edmund Burke wrote:
"Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever: But, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth."

 Edmund Burke is regarded by many Tories as one of the founding fathers of Conservatism and it would seem that Burke would find kindred spirits in Amber Valley Tories. 

1 comment:

It's ok to listen to the grey voice said...

A comment was sent to BelperStuff that I unfortunately cannot publish. It contained a personal observation about the character of Alan Cox. What can be published is the comment about the Tory led AVBC and the "£1.6 million spent on a bungalow to knock it down and fence it off - shameful", (referring to the land off Field Lane in Belper).