by Jill Hope on 27 April, 2011
Sticks and stones etc.
But I draw the line at outright lies.
A few examples from the latest Conservative leaflet:
“Closed public toilets”
No we didn’t! The Conservative budget of 2007 closed all the public toilets. The Lib Dem Council kept open the award winning Sheep Street toilet and reopened the ones in St. James Square, and introduced a Community Toilet Scheme, whereby large shops and pubs opened their toilets for the public. The council also open the Guildhall toilets for the public.
“Axed the Balloon festival”
No we didn’t! The Balloon Festival is still taking place every year and by all accounts is doing well now at Billing Aquadrome. We took over a Festival that was costing local taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year under the previous Conservative council and earlier Labour councils. We tried to make it financially viable and implemented charging for the entertainment in the evening. That didn’t work, so we handed it over to a commercial organisation which has delivered the Festival extremely well. Councils are not really in the commercial business of event management.
“Run-down town centre”
It was certainly well and truly run down when we inherited it from the Conservatives! We have worked hard to attract more people into the town with ‘Britain in Bloom’ and the ‘Pride of Northampton’ lions, as well as the improvements to the market square with attractive lighting and the fountain. Result – a significant increase in visitors to the town and to the market. Visitors to the market square are up 22% on last year, the number of traders using the market square is up, mainly due to the specialist markets – antiques and art markets in particular. The number of empty shops in the town centre is one of the lowest for other towns in the East Midlands of a similar size.