I was very pleased to note the honesty of Labour's Bert Bremner in the Evening News when he acknowledged that I had voted at council to support Bowthorpe residents with a massive injection of cash into our play parks. I am grateful to Bert, but it is a pity though that this honesty didn't make it into the latest Labour leaflets in the area which make claims about both myself and my colleagues in Bowthorpe. Maybe I could take this chance to set the record straight?
At that meeting we were being asked to vote for a big package of spending which included money for the playparks in Bowthorpe, as well as elsewhere in the City. I had some doubts about the package as a whole but I could not see this vital invetsment into my community be lost. That is why I voted in favour of the investment; in addition I would have spoken up on this too but unfortunately I was not called to speak in the debate despite wanting to.
However Labour seem not to recognise this fact; nevermind that the weak LibDem opposition at City Hall failed to support the money altogether, they must be so worried about the threat that the Conservatives pose that they attack me personally over this issue.
At the time my colleague Councillors were unable to make that vote; it was before the Conservative triumph in the by-election and thus Andrew Wiltshire wasn't elected. Sadly Niki George was very ill on the day of the meeting and wasn't well enough to stay until the end. The fact that Niki dragged himself into City Hall when very ill to oppose Labour's 3.9% council tax hike and rent hikes for council tenants was quite impressive; but still Labour wish to blacken his name by accusing him of deliberately not staying for the vote. You might have thought that given their troubles with Labour trying to smear Conservatives they would have thought this through more carefully.
So I really want the people of Bowthorpe and Earlham to know exactly what their Councillors did and why - honestly and openly. It is sad that Labour cannot find a way to campaign in a positive way; such negative and dishonest attacks only turn people off voting altogether. I want the Conservative campaign in this election to be honest, upbeat and positive about our local communities and what we can achieve together.