Thursday, January 08, 2009

Does Newcastle City Council have a Conservative councillor after all?

It seems a daft question to ask as no Conservative has been elected to Newcastle City Council since 1992. However, listening to Labour Group Opposition Leader Councillor Nick Forbes, I can be forgiven for thinking his briefings come straight from Conservative Central Office.

In early January, Lib Dem run Newcastle announced plans for a council tax rise of 2.9% which would pay towards helping residents and businesses of the city through the recession. The Council will take advantage of loans at low interest rates to invest in homes and businesses.

But Cllr Forbes has attacked the plans, claiming, people are "in a better position than the council when it comes to deciding how to spend their money."

So this begs the question, what does Cllr Forbes think of his own beloved government’s decision to borrow to invest in projects that aim to create jobs and get Britain through the recession?

Judging by what Cllr Forbes has said about Newcastle, I can only assume he is joining with the Tories to attack his own government’s investment plans.

But no, Cllr Forbes is certainly not that consistent! Whilst he takes the view that it is terrible that the Lib Dem run Council should be borrowing to invest, late last year he sang the praises of the government from the rooftops for allowing £400 million of taxpayers' money to be invested in the Tyne and Wear Metro. He claims that "the additional investment in public transport is a boost for the region’s economy and jobs at a difficult time."

In February last year, Cllr Forbes laid into the Lib Dem council, claiming there was not enough council housing. Given that much of the new Council investment is to go into housing, his attack on the investment plans don’t quite square with his previous posturing.

Not very consistent, are you Nick?


Jonathan Wallace said...

If the person whose comment I have just removed wants to write abusive posts about the Lib Dems, I suggest you do so without using the cowardly cloak of anonymity.

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