Fact Checker

Lies, Damned Lies and Link-Road Logistics.

Reading this page you might have formed the opinion that Stockport Liberal Democrats are somewhat predictable. Not so – on occasion they really retain the capacity for surprise.

We were recently surprised, for example, to read a press release in which Liberal Leader Cllr Mark Hunter has been attacking the Labour leadership for taking the unprecedented and unnecessary step of allowing them a vote and a say in a major Council decision- on the M60-A6 link road next steps.

Apparently the Liberal Democrats are not in favour of openness, debate and democracy– nor having a say themselves – on such issues: all things we find both surprising and interesting.

On this one, the number and nature of spurious claims are such that we have broken them down as a list:

Claim: ‘Cabinet split down the middle’
Reality:

Three cabinet members were against proceeding to ‘next steps’, however we are comfortable with a diversity of opinion within our group on big issues, and welcome debate and scrutiny.

Claim: ‘Leader ‘freezes’ at difficult decisions’
Reality:

To take the step of allowing the whole Council a say and vote on this issue is unprecedented. It would have been easy to wave the report through with a Cabinet majority. However, we chose to allow all councillors to have their say and scrutinise the Council’s policy (even Liberal Democrats).

Unlike the Liberal Democrats – when in power the Labour Leadership has been unafraid of being straightforward with the council and the electorate across a range of issues – and have a strong record of making timely and difficult decisions – not simply based upon electoral calculations.

Many of these decisions had to be taken because of Lib Dem inaction over many years in administration.

Claim: ‘a note had to be circulated to Councillors on the morning of the meeting explaining that their role would be advisory only’
Reality:

A note was circulated – at the request of the Liberal Democrats, (we have the text and email chain) to clarify the procedure of bringing a neutral report to a vote.

This was not to do with the vote’s advisory nature, which was made clear in the meeting papers published a week in advance of the meeting available here, and the decision to allow a vote was immediately advertised by our press release ahead of this here.

Claim: Labour’s decision to allow a vote and debate ‘will result in yet further delays to this long awaited relief road’.
Reality:

This is simply not true and this assurance was also provided to the Liberal Democrats during the meeting.

…..if the Liberal Democrats have a problem with openness and debate, then so be it. We are happy being attacked for this approach, something we were elected upon, and something we will continue taking a bold lead upon in Stockport.

…plenty to be getting on with from the playbook. We just have a feeling there may be more in the new year…

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