In an election leaflet edited by Mrs Dobson in spring last year, she spun a story that Whickham School was about to be rebuilt. The leaflet said that "building work may begin this year (2007)." Another leaflet edited by her claimed rebuilding the school would start "eight years earlier than originally planned." No building work has taken place on this new school. That's because under current plans the earliest start date is 2015. What had been agreed was some money to renovate the kitchens. New cookers of course hardly amount to a new school, except in Labour eyes.
And then, with Labour thinking there was going to be an election in October last year, Mrs Dobson chose to edit and promote a leaflet which made the following claim about Lib Dem controlled Newcastle Council: "Lib Dems in Newcastle rushed through a policy (on recycling) which they have had to reverse after committing huge resources and wasting millions."
This was completely made up by Labour. There wasn't even a shred of truth in it. It was after this leaflet was produced that I wrote to Mrs Dobson asking her to withdraw the allegations. I received no reply.
More embarrassingly for Mrs Dobson and her Labour chums is the fact that over the past year Lib Dem run Newcastle has soared ahead on recycling, having the largest increase in percentage of waste sent for recycling in the North East. Labour Gateshead on the other hand was bottom of the league on recycling in the region.
And finally, Mrs Dobson took the amazing decision to have a go at the Lib Dems for wanting to support Sunniside post office and give them permission to install a free to use cash machine that can be used 24 hours a day. Labour threw out the plans arguing that it was dangerous to have a cash machine on a front street as it could lead to traffic. Perhaps that is their reason for wanting to close so many post office branches. Mrs Dobson was pretty strong in her condemnation of the Lib Dems. She argued that "road safety would be significantly compromised had the machine gone ahead."
I am delighted to say that Mrs Dobson's arguments were comprehensively flattened by the Planning Inspectorate. The machine is now to be installed. And there are plenty of angry people in Sunniside who are waiting for an explanation and even an apology from Labour over their petty behaviour towards this planning application and the local post office.
All these claims and the bizarre attacks by Labour simply undermine their credibility. Hardly surprising that Labour performed so badly in the local polls here in the Whickham area in May. It waits to be seen how Mrs Dobson will do in the by-election. We will know in 13 days' time.
Finally, I find it amazing that Labour ever allowed these leaflets to be published in the first place. I am left wondering if the local Labour branch is out of control.
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