Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Council Dossier Row Engulfs LibDems

LibDem hypocrisy exposed: “They’ll blame anybody but themselves,” say Norwich Conservatives

The LibDem criticism of County Council Leader Alison King’s council dossier has backfired after the Norwich Conservatives revealed that the Lib Dem run Norwich City Council had too blamed the government for dumping legislation on them without adequate funding.

Alison King had put together 135 government acts in dossier to prove to a constituent the pressure being put on Norfolk by the Labour government. However, LibDem Leader Barbara Hacker once again chose to side with Labour and accused Cllr King of using a “pretty lame” excuse for the Conservatives’ running of the County Council and said that the council was more responsible for tax hikes than the government.

However, in the March edition of the LibDem leaflet “Lakenham Focus”, then-Councillor Linda Harper also attacked Labour for putting more and more legislation on councils. Under the front page headline “Government Dumps more onto councils”, Focus reports that Cllr Harper is “highlighting that the Labour Government has dumped more things for the council to do – but makes you pick up the bill through higher council tax.”

Norwich Conservative’s Parliamentary Spokesman Antony Little blasted the LibDems for their “blatant hypocrisy” whilst campaigning with the South Norfolk Conservatives at the Easton By-Election.

Antony commented: “County LibDems love to blame the council, not the government, whilst City LibDems love to blame the government, not the council. This shows the blatant hypocrisy in the LibDem position.”

“They love to blame anybody but themselves. If Cllr Hacker is right, then the LibDems should take the blame for City council tax hikes. However, it is clear that the Conservatives in Norfolk have got it right, and it is at least decent of the Norwich LibDems to agree with them.”

“Or is this another example of how Norfolk LibDems never agree with the Norwich LibDems? Two messages for two different groups of people. It is especially strange as Cllr hacker represents Thorpe Hamlet – a ward in Norwich City!”

Antony’s stinging attack on the LibDem position went on: “It is almost as if they make it up as they go along. Not quite sure what to say, but trying to please everybody. The LibDems made a hash of being in power in Norfolk and now once again they’re backing Labour to try and defend the government. It is becoming ever more clear that when the LibDems are trusted with power they don’t know how to behave.”

“Norwich market, community wardens, Magdalen Street flyover, chaos in the snow and now Council Tax. The LibDems love to stick their fingers in their ears, shift blame and hope nobody noticed. We’ve noticed and we’ll campaign day-in-day out to make sure the residents of Norfolk and Norwich know.”

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