Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Other candidates' election literature has started to appear, and it varies from the amusing to the (to say the least) misleading. The candidate described as "Independent" has actually been proposed by one Mark Ereira. Mark is the former Labour councillor (standing again for Labour) who was deputy leader of Ray Nowak's Labour led "rainbow coalition" in 2002/3. That administration's legacy included a 9.9% council tax rise. This "independent" candidate's nomination paper was also signed by David Dawson, an unsuccessful Labour candidate in Abbeygate in 1999. How "independent" is that? His leaflet includes the statement: "Do we really need new offices out of town? I see this as an unnecessary expense for little reward." Does he not know that: these offices (known as the Public Service Village - or PSV) are replacing old ones which are increasingly expensive to maintain; they will be shared (as will the cost be) with Suffolk County council; in the long term we shall be saving money; this building is fully "green" and fulfils BREAM standards; it will mean the public can access all Borough and County services at one place? It makes one wonder how well researched or accurate his other statements are. I've yet to see the Liberal Democrat candidate's leaflet, but if its anything like the one they have produced for Southgate ward it will be somewhat economical with the truth. The facts and figures in their own section on the PSV look decidedly confused, whilst they seem to have missed ten million pounds off a number in the Cattle Market bit. Their criticism of the Conservatives having "kept the (town) council" is bizarre, given that there is no obvious or simple mechanism for disbanding it - in any case not something I've ever heard their erstwhile Town and Borough Councillor calling for. Their apparent understanding of Pathfinder Status as "rule from Ipswich" is equally strange and misinformed, whilst their claim to have "acted" on Gypsy Lane is one of the most blatantly misleading statements in the whole leaflet. I chaired the Cabinet meeting about this issue and not a single LibDem councillor even attended, never mind spoke. Indeed, they have not exactly been a force to be reckoned with since the last elections. I shall look forward to the Abbeygate LibDem leaflet in due course. Will it tell me that the candidate lives in a village approximately five miles from the centre of the ward she wants to represent?