Who are the real cowards in Southend?

St.Laurence Tories In Touch propaganda rag has surprised Labour councillor Stephen George.

The leaflet states: Snakes Lane had a regular bus service until 4 years ago, but this was scrapped when the bus subsidy was withdrawn.

However it fails to mention that David Garston was a member of the Cabinet that took the decision to withdraw the subsidy in the first place!

A surprised Councillor George commented ‘the Tory candidate for St Laurence has taken the level of hypocrisy in local politics to a depth he had until now never seen before’

Mind you, the headline ‘Cowards’ is both eye-catching and misinformed. It is an attack on Councillor George, in particular his speech in response to the Tory administrations proposed budget for Southend, It is worth quoting the whole of Councillor George’s speech:

Mr Mayor,

Since coming to power in Southend a decade ago the Tories have had five different Leaders and whilst the presentation of the Budget and its eloquence may have improved the philosophy that has underlined their last ten budget statements remains the same.

Simply the policy of the Conservatives has been to try and vindicate the Town’s Unitary status by keeping any increase in Council tax as low as possible.

Earlier this week I recorded the Channel Four programme Shameless and watched it today. Clearly the producers must have friends in high places as it appears that they knew the outcome of our bid to become the UK’s City of Culture before anyone else. In one of the scenes in this weeks episode one of the main characters Frank Gallagher says ‘I went to Southend on Sea once the Sixth Circle of Hell’

Over the last ten years the Tories have in the name of a lower Council Tax :-

Cut bus subsidies affecting those that are unable to drive or cannot afford to run a car, the elderly, the young, the disabled and the poor all who rely on public transport the most. It’s no good giving people free bus passes if the buses are not there for them to use!

Closed Community Centres across the town.

Managed to have several schools put into special measures despite the vast amount of money they received from central Government.

Constantly increased (until this year) car parking charges, the words stable door and bolt spring to mind but not in the case of our parks where a policy of keeping gates unlocked has been pursued to save a little extra money but with little concern for the increased risk of vandalism.

Closed our public toilets on the seafront only to trumpet their re-opening when public opinion and defecation in the sea has forced them into doing so. Frankly a town with 6 million day trip visitors should not have closed these facilities in the first place.

Lobbied for a super casino and wasted tens of thousands of pounds in the process.

Wasted huge amounts of time and energy on trying to widen a stretch of carriageway that would at best by their own calculations save 3 minutes of journey time.

Held onto the belief that a town the size of Southend cannot sustain a swimming pool in its centre when a new University and College have been located there in the last few years.

And now, as one deposed Iraqi Leader would have said, the mother of all political stunts as we discovered from the front page of yesterday’s Echo that an extra million pounds has been found in savings and as a result the Council Tax increase can be slashed by 1%!

I for one can think of better ways of spending the money, it could have gone on better street lighting, or better street repairs, or better street cleaning. In fact I would suggest to Councillor Holdcroft that this smacks of political desperation. I would further advise him that as a political party we shall in the forthcoming elections be using an alternative but similar slogan. Southend Deserves Better.

In fact he might like to thank his Party Leader, David Cameron, for coming up with the shortest suicide note in history – Vote for Change. I along with my colleagues in May will certainly be asking the people of Southend to do just that as quite frankly its time we were rid of this arrogant, school failing, tree destroying, road building, history bulldozing, fag end of an administration and if he thinks that the people of Southend cannot see through his blatant attempt to buy their votes with an extra 1% cut in their Council tax then I think he may have underestimated, to his political cost, their intelligence.

Mr Mayor,
I will in no way be supporting a budget that is putting the short term needs of the Tories before the long term needs of the people of Southend.

Gloaters, self-praisers, and spinners

If you want to know what the Tories think of our performance in the county elections read this > The scale of defeat. Do not expect unbiased reporting, in fact I hope the gloating nature of their reporting may inspire comrades in the struggle ahead.

Similarly, UKIP are praising themselves here > Local election result best ever for UKIP. I though the Churchill family had objected to UKIP using his image (especially as dear old Winston came up with the idea of a United States of Europe).

For the Lib Dem spin, this is as good as any > Local elections ’09: the LDV verdict

The Tories in Essex will lower standards in the name of profit

On the 30th November 2007 I issued a press release on my visit to Cornelius Vermuyden School on Canvey Island. This press release can be seen at https://warelane.wordpress.com/press-releases/2007-press/

“I was very impressed with attitude of the children here, all of whom I spoke to were very positive about the school, its teachers and facilities” – this is a quote from me about the school, following my visit.

The teachers are now in a lather about the Labour Party leaflet that we have been distributing recently. On this leaflet is the legend “lower standards in name of profit”. This is not a reference to the school, but rather a reference to the Tory administration in Chelmsford’s promise to privatise all services run by Essex County Council.

Far from being a slur on the school, it is a warning that all services, including educational, will suffer if the Tories retain power in Essex.