Why the Tories are “Out of Touch”
The Conservative Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council Councillors and Members of Parliament supported by the Liberal Democrats tell us that they and the Coalition Government are not “Out of Touch”.
Well let’s look at the evidence.
Brian Binley MP for Northampton South is on record in comparing the coalition with “sleazy backstreet second-hand car salesmen”, accusing George Osborne as having “lost his economic toolbox” and now saying after the disastrous local election results that the Prime Minister and Government “need to wake up and smell the coffee”.
Basically Mr Binley is supporting what Labour are saying and have been saying for almost two years, that the Government, his Government is “Out of Touch” on economic policy and its impact on ordinary hard-working families.
In Northampton the Conservatives are demonstrating their lack of understanding and empathy with the struggle being faced daily by people and families in choosing to isolate themselves from the public preferring to ‘hunker down’ in the Guildhall and County Hall.
In refusing to support the fully costed Labour alternative budget which would have delivered an additional three Neighbourhood Wardens, fully funded and reversed the Conservative cuts to Police Community Support Officers, provided one additional Park Rangers and switched the streetlights back on in all of Northampton’s sheltered housing areas they demonstrated that they were not only out of touch but in reality don’t really understand the issue.
As I have said before this was backed up by a senior member of Northampton Conservatives who is on record as telling those who raise the public safety issues and those who in has a direct effect on to “give it a rest”.
In refusing to hold and attend a public open meeting to give the people and especially bus users in Northampton the opportunity to raise their concerns and receive answers to their questions the Conservative Leadership has been accused of being scared of facing their critics and like the previous Liberal Democrat administration appear to be using the excuse that they can’t face the public because it’s to political.
Yet another example of being of touch with public opinion.
In admitting that they are not going to be held to the promise made in their manifesto and deciding that the sheltered housing of some of our most vulnerable residents will be transferred from Northampton Borough Council to a Housing Association in spite of the results of a Labour survey in which 98% of residents say they don’t want to transfer the conservatives have again shown that they are both out of touch and don’t care.
At a time of austerity where the hard-working people across the whole of Northampton are facing unemployment, and struggling to meet even their every day bills through increased inflation, reduced incomes and a stagnating economy the Conservatives decided unbelievably to vote to award themselves £3,000 a year each of taxpayers’ money to spend on ’pet projects’ costing a total of £xxx over the next 3 years.
A clear example of being “Out of Touch” and I’m even told that some Conservative Councillors are intending to spend the money on purchasing one of the safari animals?
In cutting the funding for dealing with those who through no fault of their own find themselves becoming homeless the Conservatives have clearly demonstrated that they don’t see homelessness and the impact it has on families and their children as a priority.
What of course is ridiculous is that they are now thanking the Coalition Government for giving an additional £500,000 to deal with homelessness because of the deplorable situation of having temporary tented encampments springing up in and around the town.
So from cutting funding for the police and streetlights increasing the fear of crime and public safety, from cutting support for the homeless, from awarding themselves a ‘slush fund’ of taxpayers money, from threatening to transfer the landlord responsibility for some of our most vulnerable residents the Conservatives on the Borough Council continue to demonstrate just how out of touch they are, and it is all down to a very deliberate policy of not listening and treating the people of Northampton with contempt.
It is in fact an extension of the way the Conservative controlled Northamptonshire County Council have treated Northampton for years, cutting support for the vulnerable, elderly and disabled, for education of the towns young people, failing to honour their promises to repair and maintain our roads and footpaths, cutting police funding, switching off half of the towns streetlights without consultation which all intents and purposes demonstrates treating Northampton and the people who live here as second and even third class citizens.
Of course the reason the County Council can and have up to now got away with treating Northampton with such contempt is that the Conservatives have a majority by virtue of the support they have in the rural areas.
There is now less than 12 months before the people of Northampton have an opportunity to register their views on the County Council so you and we can all expect in the coming months to suddenly see an upsurge of Conservative Marketing P.R form those we haven’t seen since the last County Council election asking for you/us to vote for them again.
It will be another example of a party who are so out of touch they don’t understand that the public and especially the people of Northampton will not fall again for the marketing spin and will instead be looking to those who will keep their promises not suddenly change direction within six months of an election.
Northampton Labour is Listening to Northampton and will keep its promises to the people of Northampton not as the Conservatives continue to demonstrate ignore them and break their promises.