Alarming gaps have emerged between what the local Lib Dems claim in their promotional literature and what they actually do in office. These gaps appear in their:
- Shapley Heath Policy.
- Environmental Policy.
- Financial Policy.
Two-Faced Liberal Democrats: Shapley Heath
The leader of Hart Council and portfolio-holder for Place are both Liberal Democrats. All Lib Dem councillors have voted in favour of Shapley Heath (or its predecessor Winchfield New Town or Policy SS3) at every opportunity. The portfolio holder for Place is the Cabinet champi0n for the project. He described removing Shapley Heath from the Local Plan as “a bit of a defeat”.
Yet, they have put out literature claiming they were instrumental in defeating the Winchfield proposals.
And at the last local election, one candidate claimed that the “Liberal Democrats are totally opposed to a 10,000-house new town AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN”. Perhaps he’s in favour of 9,999 houses.
They also claimed the new town is “not extra housing”.
However, in the official bid for funding from the Government, they clearly showed the potential for “up to 10,000” houses. They also boasted about how they would deliver Shapley Heath in addition to the Local Plan requirement.
On Shapley Heath, they push it as hard as they possibly can when in office and claim the exact opposite in election literature.
Two-Faced Liberal Democrats: Environment
The Liberal Democrats have made a series of claims about their green credentials. First, Graham Cockarill, the Shapley Heath champion has said he is “the man with a plan to save our green fields”.
Quite how you can protect green fields by concreting over them is not explained. Another candidate greenwashed herself by claiming she would help our countryside flourish.
Yet, it’s the Lib Dems pushing Shapley Heath that plans to develop around 500 acres of the 1,046 acres in the area of search to deliver “up to 5,000” houses. More if the town grows to the 10,000 capacity. This is against their own climate change commitments and would put at risk dozens of red-list bird species as well as bats and hares. They say one thing, then do another.
Finally, two of their cabinet members claimed they were delivering a “balanced budget”.
Dave Neighbour, the Lib Dem Council Leader even claimed there wasn’t a deficit.
They did this even as the papers they were considering that night showed there was a deficit of £381K.
There is no plan to address the even wider deficit of over £1m next year.
The Liberal Democrats seem to have a problem with telling the truth. They are mendacious about Shapley Heath, making false claims on the environment and dissembling about the budget. They cannot be trusted.