News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's not often that I agree with a Lib Dem, and it's even less often that I say anything positive about them. I do have to say that the letter published on the Shepway Lib Dems website outlining their opposition to the cuts to Folkestone's fire coverage makes some very valid points, that should certainly be considered by Kent Fire and Rescue. The campaign against the cuts s very strong, not least because it is a cross party campaign, with support for the cause from all levels of government from town council to our MP, regardless of political affiliation.

It is a shame that things started out so poorly. The Lib Dems did seek to hijack the issue for party political gain, as the letters on the Hawkinge Gazette website show:

Lib Dem letter
Conservative response

Moreover, Michael had already raised the issue some two weeks before the Lib Dems lept onto the bandwagon, which they now claim to have been leading. I firmly believe that the response that Shepway was able to produce from its in depth analysis is much more powerful that the glib motion first put by the Lib Dems, which seemed more like a publicity stunt than any genuine attempt to prevent the cuts from going ahead. The Lib Dem leadership either played fast and loose with the issue in an act of political point scoring, or demonstrated their dangerous lack of experience and understanding of the way the decisions are made. In this isntance, given the small number of Lib Dem councillors and the fact that most are new to the role, I do think it's quite possible that they just made an error of judgement and most didn't understand what was actually going on. I'm not conviced that goes for all of them though.

Nonetheless, all party political differences aside I am glad that the arguement has been put by all of our representatives, regardless of colour, and can hope and pray that the powers that be see the gaping holes in the proposals and stop the cuts at Folkestone fire station.

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