Claim(s): Mark and Lisa ‘set direction’ of SMBC, Liberal ‘alternatives’ on housing and the mysteriously vanished coalition.
…the Lib Dem ‘Summer 2017’ Bramhall and Woodford leaflet contains interesting claims including:
- Cllrs Mark Hunter and Lisa Smart are ‘setting the direction’ of Stockport Council, in particular on the need for more investment in police and on ‘importance of neighbourhood watch’.
- Libs are providing ‘alternatives’ to ‘Labour and Tory’ plans to ‘force up to 4000 more houses on Stockport’ under the GMSF which will ‘defend our green spaces’.
- …whilst also ‘leading the fight’ against ‘Conservative’ school cuts.
Realit(ies): Lib Dems don’t know what Local Government is, are against both brownfield and green belt development (but plan more of both), and devised the very cuts they disavow.
Firstly – Neighbourhood Watch is not a Local Government matter, and nor does the Council make operational decisions or fund the police either. So when former MP Mark Hunter and former Parliamentary Candidate Lisa Smart claim to ‘direct’ Stockport Council on these (or anything else for that matter), this is nonsense.
- Readers may however note that Mark Hunter, as an MP was himself part of the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition (2010-2015) which designed and implemented a 20 percent cut (19,000 officer) reduction in police resources.
Secondly, the GMSF plan details building homes only in accordance with projected need (we have no idea where the 4000 figure originates), with a clearly stated brownfield first policy. We can find no evidence of the Liberal Democrats offering viable ‘alternatives’ other than criticising existing plans – including an attack on brownfield development proposal in the very same leaflet (!!).
- However, the GMSF framework means Councils can ‘trade’ developments across Greater Manchester… meaning we have already negotiated almost 1000 away from our green belt, taken up by authorities which desperately need more housing. Labours clear focus is upon minimising this green belt incursion, however the Liberal Democrats want to take Stockport out of this arrangement.
- Therefore the LibDem ‘alternative’ should read ‘our plans for 1000+ additional homes in Stockport’.
- SIDE NOTE: the GMSF is devised at GM level, and Liberal Democrat Leader at the time (2015), Sue Derbyshire was the lead member on this.
Finally, the Liberal Democrats claim to ‘stand up for our schools’ while Cllr Paul Pogress (Councillor for Cheadle Hulme North inexplicably appearing in a Bramhall leaflet) notes ‘our schools are in desperate need of more investment’ and derides the ‘conservative attack on our schools’. However:
- Simply –the Liberal Democrats in Government with Conservatives devised the austerity cuts agenda leading to the current need for investment.
We at Stockport Labour agree the Conservatives should be ashamed. The Liberal Democrats should be DOUBLY ashamed of devising these disastrous policies, then whitewashing their own role in the consequences.