I will comment at length later, but before I go out for my Father's Day dinner, I thought I would add the press release which went out today in response to the Sunday Express story regarding Norwich Unitary. A couple of radio stations have done interviews and all the newspapers have been onto me today so I think this may cause a stir tomorrow - and yet more damage to what remains of the fragile credibility of the LibDems and Labour's political white elephant:
Commenting on the Sunday Express story regarding the Norwich Unitary Bid, in which it is claimed that a leaked letetr between Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly and Deputy Prime Minister John prescott reveal the weakness of the case for Norwich Unitary, Conservative Group Leader and Bowthorpe Councillor Antony Little said:"It is good to know that Ministers and Civil Servants see all the same faults with the bid that we do - a costly re-organisation that can only put up tax and make services worse. The fears expressed by the Minister regarding the impact on Education and Social Services are well founded. City Hall is an "inadequate" authoritiy sekeing more powers from one that is 4 star rated, so they are right to be worried."
"Also, as we expressed at the time, there are concerns that it is not financially stable and the Ministers warn against the risk to taxpayers of having a Unitary Norwich."
"The fact is that Norwich should never have made the shortlist. If Norwich now gets through it is clear that it will be Ministerial plotting rather than the strenght of the bid that does it."
"This is a massive blow to Labour and their LibDems allies on the council. Only the Conservatives warned against Unitary and voted against Unitary. The next time a resident can't get bushes cut back, or street signs repaired, or community centres refurbished because of council cutbacks, they ought to remember the vast amount of money wasted on Labour's political Unitary project."
"Norwich should never have put this bid in - we know it, the County Council know it, the civil servants know it, the Minister knows it. Will they have the guts to back up their instincts and reject the Unitary bid or will Labour do a dodgy-deal with their pals in Westminster to get this expensive, dangerous and flawed project through?"