The Thick of It


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lib Dem Council annual report - Summer 2007

I have just received a copy of James Kempton's (Lib Dem Leader of Islington Council) annual report, dated Summer 2007. Not bad getting that in mid-January 2008.

So taking a look at his claims I thought I'd see how many Lib Dem "achievements" are actually because of Labour Government policy or money. These three stand out:

More police
All secondary schools refurbished or rebuilt
Building new homes

In the centre there is a map of Islington with arrows pointing to specific points, where it implies specific improvements have been made. Only political zealots like me will read this, but I did and it transpires this is just another list of Islington's achievements, which are actually because they have either been forced into them by government policy, like improved recycling, or given ring-fenced money by the government for specific purposes.

Affordable housing: Kempton claims the borough has built 3000 new homes. Actually, developers and housing associations have built new "affordable" homes. Islington has failed to meet the Mayor's standard of 50% affordable, instead falling well below 20%.

More police and PCSOs: Safer Neighbourhoods is another Labour policy. Cutting crime? Crime figures have fallen nationally for several years.

Common sense parking
: new parking guidance for councils is to be implemented nationwide from March, on the basis of Department for Transport guidance.

All this simply reinforces my view of Islington's Lib Dem council, they haven't offered a vision of change for the area, they have simply managed the council. We could really do with much better at a time when we've seen so much public renewal. Perhaps it wouldn't be possible to produce a leaflet showing only their own achievements as there would be nothing on it. Got to get rid of that glossy paper some how.

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