So now we know where we stand in this borough of Burnley. It is now Labour controlled, supported by the Liberal Democrats (Lib-Dems).
At Burnley Council’s budget meeting, Labour proposed an increase of 1.99% in council tax, which was approved by all the Labour councillors and supported by the majority of the Lib-Dem councillors and I quote the statement made by Lib-Dem Coun. Margaret Lishman that the Labour budget “was fair and reasonable”.
How can anyone say an increase in living costs is fair and reasonable? We have had Labour and the Liberals castigating energy suppliers for the increase in energy costs and yet vote for another increase which will have an added financial impact on every householder in the town. More money out of everyone’s pockets, whether it be band A or band H. It does not matter, it costs everyone regardless.
The Conservative group put forward an amendment that was pure and simple and if accepted would have frozen council tax with zero increase. This amendment was of course rejected by all the Labour councillors, and yes you have guessed it, the majority of the Lib-Dems also. So what you have got now is a Labour Council supported by the Lib-Dems. Vote Lib-Dem, get Labour.
Coun. Anne Kelly stated at the budget meeting that the Lib-Dems would have frozen the council tax. Why did they not do so then or, better still, support the amendment that we, the Conservatives, put forward?
What hypocrisy, as they did not put forward any alternative budget to Labour proposals, as it was obvious to everyone, they did not have one. The only thing that was frozen was their ability to put forward an alternative amendment.
We, the Conservatives, put forward an amendment to freeze council tax at 0%. The Liberal Democrats then went ahead and voted against a freeze. One minute they said they would have frozen council tax and the next minute voted against it. Obviously they must have thawed out in the time between the start and finish of the debate and like all frozen matters, reduced themselves to little drips.
The Lib-Dems of this town of Burnley have nailed their colours to the mast. Like others in the past, The Independents, BNP, The Lib-Dems are just another one-man band. Make a promise to get elected and then slowly disappear. For all their bravado and promises in previous elections, they have now lost control of Burnley Council and lost four Burnley County councillors’ seats to Labour.
Is it a case of now you see them, now you don’t? Or are they looking to the future to perhaps form a coalition with another party? But I can assure everyone it will not be with the Conservatives in Burnley.
We, the Conservatives, never make promises we cannot fulfil or jump on someone else’s bandwagon to further our aims. We slowly but surely set our targets and when we have achieved them, get on with the next.
Councillor for Cliviger and Worsthorne