Cynical Lib Dems use vulnerable as political football.

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tim & nick - Copy

PICTURED: SMILES ALL ROUND!! A jovial Prestwich Lib Dem Tim Pickstone with Nick Clegg. Sadly the joke is on us. They lied about tuition fees, they lied about raising VAT (it was 17.5% 4 years ago) and now they are using the vulnerable as pawns to mislead people in Prestwich about investment in other areas.

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When in coalition with their Tory allies on Bury Council from 2007 to 2011 the local Liberal Democrats achieved nothing for Prestwich. A regeneration document was drafted and left on a shelf. They only thing they actually achieved was in 2010 when they lined their own pockets with special responsibility allowances. A party of only 8 Councillors (from a total of 51) got Chairmanships of the Council’s Planning Committee, Scrutiny Committee and a place on Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). All remunerated positions. A bounty of tens of thousands of pounds.

 

That was the price the Lib Dems demanded of making sure the Tories never lost a vote in Council. Cllr Alan Quinn accused them of this that year, they reported him to the Council’s Standards Committee, it was thrown out.

 

Cynically, the Lib Dems latest leaflet now says that in just over 2 and a half years Labour has poured money into Radcliffe at the expense of Prestwich. Not true. £12m was spent on an existing school for pupils with special needs which serves all of Bury. Only the Lib Dems would use the most vulnerable in our society to try and score political points, but it’s no surprise because in 2012, the coalition’s Maria Miller (yes, her of the expenses scandal) closed 37 Remploy factories and threw thousands of disabled people on the dole. Many have never worked again, this couldn’t have happened without Lib Dem support. They have no shame.

 

Other ‘investment’ in Radcliffe that comes at the ‘expense’ of Prestwich is the Redbank Extra Care Scheme. This serves the whole of Bury as does Rose Court.  Yet again facilities that support  vulnerable people (this time with Dementia) are treated as pawns in a game of political chess by the Lib Dems. They have no shame. Yes, we did close Redcliffe Care Home on Hilton Lane, because it only had 4 residents compared with 18 empty beds at a time when we had millions to save (due to Nick Clegg’s cuts nationally). Many elderly people prefer to live in their own homes rather than a residential home, which is why several of the private residential homes in Prestwich have spare capacity.

 

For the record, we’ve invested £330,000 in Prestwich at Clarkshill Sheltered Scheme and on the new eco-friendly homes at St Mary’s Court for our elderly residents.

 

The Lib Dems highlight that we have spent £3m of Council money on converting derelict houses into family homes. Properties in Radcliffe are substantially cheaper than Prestwich which means we can buy more to help deal with the growing demand across Bury for Council support. The scheme will be rolled out to Prestwich but first it’s vital to house young families, who are desperate for a home but cannot afford a £20,000 deposit. We will not play politics with people’s lives. The Lib Dems will.

 

The £1m quoted for the bus station in Radcliffe is not Council money, it’s from TfGM’s coffers and as Prestwich doesn’t have a bus station this is a red herring.

 

The Lib Dems claim to “Love Prestwich”, but they don’t sit on the Prestwich regeneration group because they can’t be bothered to turn up. They miss local Police meetings, of the five consultation meetings regarding the concerts in Heaton Park; they’ve missed 4 out of 5. They come late to functions, take a picture, leave early, post it on Facebook and claim they’ve been there all day. They have no shame.

 

Figures show many Prestwich residents work in the NHS, local government and in education. It’s Prestwich people that are bearing the brunt of targeted government cuts, privatisation by stealth of our NHS and having no pay rise for four years. The Lib Dems have their fingerprints all over this attack on our public services, although they will deny it, uttering their well worn mantra “nothing to do with us”.

 

Think back to 2010 and Nick Clegg: five words sum up the Liberal Democrats: “We will scrap tuition fees“. Now they are some of the highest in Europe.

 

You cannot trust the Lib Dems anymore. You never could.

Ivan Lewis YOUR MP for bury south

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