Skip to main content

Lib Dems and the truth - a marriage of convenience?

Leave aside for a moment the betrayals, lies and right wing politics of the coalition. If you really want to know what Lib Dems are like, just take a very close look at the way they behave in your borough, Southwark. Sometimes I am left breathless at their behaviour. They will do and say simply anything if they think they can get a vote out of it.

Let me give you a recent example. In the neighbouring ward to our own is a Lib Dem Councillor, James Barber. He has recently written a blog post about what he calls Southwark Labour's "Wedding rip-off".

He is scathing in his criticism of the council for putting up wedding and civil parntership fees by 27%. He goes on: "Labour Southwark are penalising people for falling in love. Rather than saying 'I do' couples will be saying 'I’m sorry but I can’t afford it.' It is a heartless move from a mean spirited Labour Council ..."

First things first. It's clear to anyone who's been awake for the last 18 months, that the council is being forced to make savings it would never otherwise have made simply because of the precipitous, growth sapping cuts of a Lib Dem-Tory coalition Government. They, for example chose to cut funding far more harshly for boroughs like Southwark than for leafy Tory areas like Richmond.

But what is even more incredible about Cllr Barber's position is that the Liberal Democrats (who controlled Southwark Council up until May 2010) had an IDENTICAL policy when they were in power. Let me prove it to you.

Here is the Labour report and decision on Marriage Fees and Charges which Barber is referring to. As you will see Paragraph 6 of the report agrees to increase Fees and Charges for marriages and civil partnerships in line with the Medium Term Resource Strategy for 2010/11 -12/13. It states: "The (MTRS) 2010/11 – 2012/13 has been referenced as part of this review. In particular the report acknowledges that Fees and Charges should be set at a level, at a minimum, that is equal to the most appropriate London average except where this conflicts with council policy, would lead to adverse revenue implications or would impact adversely on vulnerable clients."

So far, so good. But now take a look at Southwark Lib Dems own Medium Term Resources Strategy 2009/10 to 2011/12 “Shaping Southwark Together”. This agrees: "To generally increase discretionary fees and charges by 2% above the current rate of inflation for the type of service being provided with the objective of ensuring Southwark’s fees and charges are at a minimum at least equal to most appropriate London average (e.g. inner London, family, groupings etc)..."

So, even without £34m of cuts the Lib Dems intended to increase marriage fees in line with other inner london boroughs which is precisely what Labour is having to do. I could give you many, many other examples of this kind of behaviour. It's the kind of dirty politics which drags everyone down with it.


Popular posts from this blog

Details of events in August and September funded through the Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council Fund

Below is a table showing a list of events that will be taking place in the Nunhead and Peckham Rye area thanks to funding from the community fund. If you're interested in any of the event and you want further details, please e-mail the contact addresses given in the table.

If you're having trouble reading the table, click on it to make it bigger.

Free schools: A project cooked up by Tories who claim to be committed to social mobility has failed our children

(This post from Victoria about the closure of 'Southwark Free School', first appeared on LabourList.)

Last week saw the demise of yet another free school. Southwark Primary, which opened four-and-a-half-years ago in temporary buildings, will hastily close by February half-term never having made it to its permanent site, after being developed at great public expense. As Southwark council steps in to pick up the pieces and find places for children at other local schools it is difficult not to grind the axe about the government’s free school programme. We remain pragmatic that the programme is here to stay. However the government must reconsider the need for free school applicants to have a local and outstanding educational experience. At a time when many areas are experiencing a shortage of school places, and schools’ budgets are being cut, they must also stop wasting money building schools where there is no established demand. The story of free schools in Southwark makes clear …

A Proud Record. A Fairer Future

Vote for Victoria & Renata on 3rd May – Two Local Voices for Peckham Rye, with Labour Values
Being a councillors for Peckham Rye since 2010 has been an honour and we're seeking your support once again in the forthcoming local elections on 3rd May.

We are proud of our record since 2010. We have:-

- Introduced free swim and gym for all residents;

- Introduced free healthy school meals for all primary school children and now plan to roll them out to school nurseries;

- Raised standards across our schools and created more school places;

- We’re building new council homes and making existing ones warm, dry and safe with quality kitchens and bathrooms so now 97% are decent;

- We’ve kept all our libraries open and opened new ones;

- We have the best recycling rate in inner London; and we have made the borough cleaner, greener and safer.

We have done all of this while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in government have slashed the council’s budget and made it harder to deliver…