When council leader Julian Bell talks about investment he gets even further into trouble. He says:
Thirdly we have made huge investments even in these tough times. We are spending over £260m on providing new school places. The council itself is providing over £103m of this money. We are also providing £18m for the new Acton town hall complex that will include a new swimming pool, leisure centre, library and community facilities, and money for road resurfacing, footpath repairs and shopping parade improvements across the Borough. Labour is delivering the capital investment that the people of the borough want.
When he talks about school places he fails to mention that £150 million, almost two thirds, comes from central government, or the Tory-led Coalition as he might call it. When he talks about the Acton Town Hall project he is talking about a project that the Conservatives kicked off and set £12 million aside for in 2010. He might explain why the bill has gone up £6 million. On roads and pavements Labour is spending 40% less than the previous administration. Cutting frontline services that residents value 40-50% is typical of this administration. The shopping parade programme is another Conservative programme that we are happy to see the current administration take forward.
Just about the only new idea in the capital programme is the £5.5 million Southall car park which has no economic justification. Bell is strangely quiet on his boss’s new car park.