Conservative Spin- Cuts No Ice with Northampton People.
Over the past 6 months or so we have seen a public relations and spin onslaught designed to persuade the people of Northampton that the Conservative administration in the Guildhall are the greatest thing since the invention of ‘sliced bread’.
Of course it would have worked if the public had as intended and hoped for disregarded the fact that the Conservative administration have not only taken their eye off of the ball leading to the Legal and General Grosvenor debacle, the Bus Station/Interchange chaos, the Enterprise contract waste collection and grass cutting fiasco, the cuts to PCSO’s and public safety including switching off half of the streetlights amongst others and believed their attempts to spin it all as a success.
Labour has continued to Listen to Northampton and have taken the lead in supporting the public and raising the issues, not only holding the Conservative administration to account and revealing the flaws in their all-encompassing stage-managed and arrogant approach but also the contempt that they demonstrate towards the people of Northampton, and we will continue to lead and support the town and its people not ignore them as the current administration have chosen to do.
The outturn information for the last year clearly demonstrates that the people of Northampton are not as gullible and daft as the Conservatives think and unsurprisingly have made it clear what they think of the administration with 64.6% saying that they don’t feel they have any influence of decisions in their neighbourhoods, put simply “they don’t listen to us so we’re not involved”.
It is always dangerous to believe that you and only you know what is best for everyone; it quite simply is an insult to people, but it may also be that is what the Conservatives policy is aimed at, disenfranchising the people to avoid being challenged.
The problem is exacerbated by a lack of consultation and information from the Conservatives who continue to demonstrate that what the public think can be discarded or ignored altogether as shown by the fact that over 53% of people don’t feel they are well-informed about services and almost half being dissatisfied with the way the council runs things.
Where and what it always comes down to in the public’s mind of course is the question of what they getting for their taxes when they see front line services to the elderly, disabled and vulnerable cut, when they see cuts to policing at a time when crime is increasing, when they see streets and areas plunged into darkness sentencing people to the reality of being under self-imposed home confinement through fear and then seeing the neighbourhoods they live in declining through a lack of care, so is it any wonder that 68%, more than 2 in 3 people think that the Council doesn’t provide value for money.
It is all very well for the Conservative administrations at both the Guildhall and at the County Hall to say we have to deliver ‘more with less’ if they were actually doing it.
What the public are saying is that they are getting ‘less, and a great deal less whilst having to pay more’, in effect while they see Councillors looking after themselves and awarding themselves funding for self-promotion the public know full well that it is they who are having to not only bear the pain but also pay for the cost of Councillors for them to concentrate on pet projects for the sake of good PR opportunities.
What the results clearly show is that after only a year the public confidence in the Borough Council Conservative administration has rapidly faded away and no amount of spin and PR will retrieve it.
Labour in contrast is ‘Listening to Northampton’ and clearly leading the agenda, with the Conservatives regrettably now in a position of their own making where all they can do is react to Labour initiatives, in reality the Northampton Borough Council now has a Conservative administration who have lost credibility with the public and who have gone into opposition mode having to react to issues and events rather than being in control of them.