At a time when so many ‘populist’ politicians are reverting to plain speaking, Wirral’s Labour Administration seems to be increasingly tongue-tied.
We’re seeing more and more statements which are easily refuted by facts.
And when facts are more readily available than ever before, this is a dangerous strategy for an increasingly divided and desperate local Party.
The furore over the future of our Green Belt being the best example.
This ‘row’ was manufactured by the Town Hall’s Cabinet and their shadowy advisers.
The sole purpose is to deflect from the facts, and the failures, of the last 14 years.
In other words, they want to blame anyone instead of taking responsibility.
More important, they have yet to tell us how they will put things right.
Take the latest claim - that the Government has ‘rejected’ the recent population figures from the Independent Office for National Statistics.
This is utter rubbish, or to quote the perma-tanned President in the Oval Office, it’s fake news.
On 26 October, the Ministry of Housing started a consultation on how data and evidence should be used when reaching housing targets.
There has been no letter to Wirral rejecting the ONS figures for this Borough.
To claim otherwise is just another attempt by those running the Council to shift the blame.
There is no secrecy about this consultation – it’s on the gov.uk website and any resident, community group or Council can take part.
I’m guessing even the Cabinet has heard of Google.
When we get to the stage of a public hearing over the Local Plan, this waffle and spin will be discounted.
What will matter is hard evidence, facts and reasoned arguments as to why Wirral’s Green Belt should be protected. And why areas such as Liscard and New Ferry, so long neglected by the Town Hall, should be developed instead.
Wirral’s Conservative Group, along with the many hundreds of people we have met at public meetings and on the doorstep, believe these facts favour protection of our Green Belt.
If Labour want to be taken seriously on this issue, they should drop the spin; apologise for the 14 year delay in producing a Local Plan and put this Council’s efforts into using the facts to win the argument instead.
Councillor Ian Lewis
Leader of Wirral's 21 Conservative Councillors