Have you seen the leaflet from the Libs entitled "Labour shame"?
This is a Lib-Dems distortion #LibFibs
Have you received a full-colour leaflet from the Lib-Dems headed “Labour shame : resident(sic) anger over cuts to local police funding”? If so, you were probably puzzled by it – especially if you regard yourself as a “traditional Labour supporter” because the Lib-Dems reckon that you are “up in arms” about something! Reeling from the red-top headline “Labour’s shocking plans revealed”, you might have wondered what this is all about.
The Lib-Dems delivered this city-wide and, we believe, often using paid leafletters. We expect more “LibFibs” leaflets reflecting how much money they are throwing at the Cambridge campaign and how worried they are (which is why we still want your donations to set the record straight!).
The leaflet makes a totally false claim by implying that Labour City Councillors have cut police services in the city. The facts are as follows:
- Policing and police staffing in Cambridge is not the responsibility of the City Council but is funded directly from Council Tax paid by all the county’s households, plus national contributions, towards the Cambridgeshire Police annual budget of £128 million.
- When we took over the City Council last year we discovered a range of defective financial arrangements including a relatively small annual payment of £51,000 to Cambridgeshire Police for staffing that had gone unreported to councillors or the public for a decade.
- When our councillors checked they found that this payment yielded no specific benefit to Cambridge. While we happily fund joint public safety initiatives, there is no justification for Cambridge residents funding police staffing twice over. After senior Cambridge police and the Police Commissioner’s office both confirmed that ending this funding would make no difference, the Council advised the police that the payment would cease. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem unreasonable?
- The council is now re-using the bulk of this money to fund a new Cambridge Co-ordinator to tackle domestic violence which is largely against women, working with city police, and fund Neighbourhood Resolution Panels where crime victims can meet their perpetrators and decide suitable reparations. Overall, the council spends £350,000 on joint projects with our excellent city police team to make Cambridge safer, and tackle anti-social behaviour across the city including in areas like Mill Road.
- This was part of Labour uncovering around £20,000,000 in reserves and funding that was not managed properly by the Lib-Dems, also losing residents at least 5% or £1,00,000 income every year.
- If the Liberal Democrats really wanted to help police finances, their MPs would not have voted to cut the Cambs police share of national funding by £19.8m a year since 2010. They could also support Labour’s plan to end the wasteful new Police Commissioners, voted for by Julian Huppert and Liberal Democrat MPs. The Cambridgeshire Police Commissioner’s private office costs £1.2 million a year, money which would fund 30 extra Police Constables.
So, please remember the figures. All this nonsense is about £51,000 in terms of a police budget of £128m; it’s a distraction aimed at misleading the public.
Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of the City Council, has written to the Cambridge News to set the record straight. And, for the News account of Labour’s budget and city plans for 2015 see last weekend’s article http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-council-tax-expensive-area-latest-rise/story-26098534-detail/story.html We hope that Camaraderie readers will pass the word around and be properly suspicious about future Lib-Dem attempts to smear and denigrate.
SADLY, THIS WILL NOT BE THE END OF FALSE LIB-DEM CLAIMS because the Lib-Dems are desperate. So watch out for more, and for a link in the next Camaraderie to pages on Cambridge Labour Party website rebutting, and adding home truths for the Lib-Dems for good measure.
And look out for our literature on local achievements later in March. The first year of Labour running Cambridge has cleaned up the mess left by the Lib-Dems and made massive improvements to services and fairness, and a big backlog on housing, transport, open spaces, efficiency savings etc.
You may want to follow #libfibs on twitter to see the other 'porky pies' that the libs are telling.
Have you noticed that the local MP is hardly mentioning his party on his leaflets?
Labour are the party of law and order - we want our streets to be safe and that is why we have started to implement Public Safety Protection Orders