The Labour party paid for someone to push this through my door today whilst we were in the park, Walpole Park as it happens. Let’s take apart Labour’s spin and lies.
Let’s start with the “Investing” box. The council spends almost nothing on cycling. It merely rebrands the London Mayor’s spending on cycling as its own. The cycle hub was paid for by Transport for London, not the council. It would certainly have happened if the Tories were in power.
Not quite sure what they mean by “a new transport interchange at the station”. There is a modernisation of the railway bit of the station going to happen with Crossrail and a new frontage. Hardly a new transport interchange and all paid for out of the Crossrail project. Nothing to do with the council. The council might have insisted on escalators, an exit to the east of the station and a more sympathetic frontage but all three of these have slipped through it grasp. When the Tories were in power we kept a close eye on Crossrail with a scrutiny panel. I would hope we would have got a better deal for Ealing out of Crossrail than this council has.
The Walpole Park line particularly rankles with me as I kicked the project off in 2008. The early stages of these things take a while. It was a Conservative administration that allocated the council’s share of the money for this and I personally met the Heritage Lottery Fund to argue the case for this project, more here. It is great that the Labour council has continued this project (it was so far advanced it would have been hard to stop frankly) but to try to claim it as a uniquely Labour achievement is simply unjust.
Much of what happens in local government is uncontroversial. Good ideas prosper hopefully but take a while to work through the system. More than 4 years often. This kind of dividing lines nonsense is just another big Labour lie.
The current Labour administration has had little flexibility in capital spending, like ours before, due to the demands of school expansion. Where it has had latitude it has spent £2.5 million on an empty car park in Southall and £10 million on new offices for council staff. The car park really was their idea and one we consistently fought. The officers tried to interest us in building them new offices, we said no. Funny how these two don’t appear in the leaflets.
Looking at the right hand box, the local Tories also wholeheartedly approve of the Labour group freezing council tax for four years (like just about every other council in the country). It might be nice if Labour acknowledged the £20 million of council tax freeze grant it has pocketed from the government to pay for it in large part (which is why most other councils also did the same thing). We might have gone further but I am certain that we would not have put up the council tax at all at the very least.
The “Tories attack Ealing families” logo simply shows you just who is the nasty, name calling party in this borough at least. No-one is “attacking Ealing families” unless you call leaving Ealing’s roads unmended and dirty an attack on families. I wouldn’t use that language. I would say that the Labour party is lying to “Ealing families” on a massive scale though.