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Medway Lib Dem Chair speaks out against cuts

March 8, 2016 7:31 PM
By John Castle

The Medway Liberal Democrats have issued a Press Release stating that the changes and cuts being made by the local Conservative administration and blamed upon the central Conservative Government are a result of Tory mis-management since 2000.

Their Chair John Castle said "The whole issue of the cuts should act as a wake up call to the residents of Medway. The Council has been mis-managed by the Tories for 16 years and the Labour opposition group on the Council are just not vocal enough to fight the cuts. The fact the Tories control the scrutiny Committees means that proper interrogation of the Cabinet just can't happen. How can Tories challenge other Tories? It just doesn't happen and the result is unchallenged mis-management."

Some years ago the Conservatives seized the chair of all the committees saying that the Opposition was incapable of doing the job properly. The Liberal Democrats believe it was to ensure that Conservatives had greater power and more control to avoid adverse publicity over the cuts and their mis-management.

John Castle has called for the return to Opposition members chairing the Committees in order to allow true challenge upon Tory policies in Medway. He said "This isn't about being anti-Conservative. This is about the anti-democratic processes in Medway where the Cabinet's policies are not being properly tested. This is about one-party having the ability to dictate policy via a cabinet they fully control, where all oversight is carried out by committees they chair. It means no oversight at all, after all which Tories would want to risk their political future by attacking the policies of their own party."

Mr Castle went on to say that "The UKIP members on the Council are stunningly quiet and it's surprising they even bother to turn up to committees and Council considering how little they do. Of course they are somewhat short handed with one following her former local MP husband who has been selected to fight for UKIP in Wales and one member who no sooner elected as UKIP Councillor resigned the whip to become an independent. The Labour Party are just too dis-jointed to be effective.

"We need strong opposition in Medway to bring the Tories to account and we are not getting it."