Monday, March 22, 2004

I’m afraid that life hasn’t got any less hectic the last couple of days. Friday I took my year 10 pupils to the European Conference organised by Norfolk County Council at Carrow Road. Lovely lunch but a few rather dubious speakers I felt. Mr Clarke was his normal bullish self, Tory Euro MP Bashir Khanbhai spent his slot advocating foreign language lessons for 5 year olds and Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb said what he thought people wanted to hear. Still, nice lunch.

Afterwards it was a leafleting session on Riverside. Got a call halfway through from the press about a complaint I had made to Norwich City Council. See press release:

LITTLE: “Lib Dems Council Tax insult to Norwich”

Norwich Conservatives have claimed that the 24-side glossy booklet put into all council tax bills by the Lib Dem run Norwich City Council was a “gross insult” to all those who had been hit by steep tax rises.

The massive document – full of photos and quotes from Lib Dem Councillors – is in stark contrast to the much smaller and cheaper version inserted by Norfolk County Council.

Norwich South’s Parliamentary Spokesman, Antony Little, was outraged when he opened his council tax bill to find the expensive City insert.

“The document from the City is so much larger and more expensive than that from the County, yet contains no more information. I even doubt how many people would study such a long document. When more and more pressure is being put on Norwich taxpayers, I have to ask: how much are we being asked to pay for this Lib Dem propaganda and spin? Could they not have produced something cheaper like the County Council? How much lower would our bills have been without this document?”

“I agree an explanation is required regarding the bills but this document is a gross insult to every council taxpayer in Norwich. I hope the Lib Dems have the decency to apologise for this error and accept that at this point in time in our City such an expensive waste of our money is at best unfortunate but at worst entirely disgraceful.”

It made it into today’s Evening News, which was good! Afterwards I met a large canvassing team to start our campaign in Town Close. It was generally a very good reception (where people were in). A few switchers from Labour, Tories in good spirits. Found a new member and a new poster site. Plus the bonus of one voter saying she was going to vote for me because the Lib Dems couldn’t win in Norwich! Very true, I told her!

Saturday morning was spent on correspondence (five new members in the week that I have been Parliamentary spokesman for) and then out canvassing in my home ward of Bowthorpe. Again, really strong name recognition – which is good news at this early stage of the campaign. So many Labour voters coming over to us because they see Clarke as a stay-away MP.

Bought back down to earth today at school – very tiring!

No comments: