As we approach the election, in Kenn Valley, We can see the leaflets circulated by the candidates.
The claims in the Conservative leaflet are horrendously misleading.
Support for employment and spending
They talk about Teignbridge Lib Dems failing to spend £2 million that we were supposed to have had to support employment. This sum was “Approved borrowing” subject to a robust business case. It is not money that we had. No suitable projects were identified to justify borrowing the money, so we did not borrow it.
In the same leaflet they talk about Teignbridge Lib Dems having a hole in the mid term financial projections. Decades of Conservative austerity have devastated funding for our Teignbridge services. The revenue support grant from central government once brought in many millions per year to supplement our council tax but has recently dwindled to zero. New homes bonus, once over £3 million a year is being phased out. There is no clear replacement that can be safely factored into future budgets. Inflation runs at 10% and council tax is capped centrally at 5%. All the same services must be provided, as the government continues to take away the funding.
Despite Conservative cuts, under Lib Dems, Teignbridge is still balancing the budget, while the conservative leaflets promise to spend more AND fix the shortfall. This is utter fantasy.
Kevin Lake Introduced plastic recycling.
This is clearly false. Teignbridge started plastic recycling back in 2004. We’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years,. It was launched under the Liberal Democrats.
Teignbridge is now the 29th best recycling council nationally – up from 33rd just a few years ago. Teignbridge recycles 55.9% of its waste and the best council nationally is at 64.2%!
It isn’t new that Kevin Lake didn’t know what was happening in his own department. Shortly after we were elected in his place, he wrote to the newspaper claiming we had broken our promise to freeze the green bin charges. After careful checking the rise in price he referred to was in the previous budget when Kevin Lake was in charge of waste. He voted for it in person. Did he not know about the price increase he oversaw, or was he deliberately lying in claiming it was us?
Attendance at Parish Councils
Kevin Lake claims that our Lib Dem group has a poor attendance record at Parish councils.
This is based on misleading evidence published by Kenn Parish Council. The clerk of Kenn Parish Council is John Goodey, former Conservative councillor, and former colleague of Kevin Lake. It implies all councillors are supposed to be at every meeting which is not true.
We responded to Kenn Parish Council robustly and our response is on page 3 of the minutes of the January meeting.
We work as a team and try to ensure that one of our members is at all Parish Council meetings.
When Whitestone was added to Kenn valley an additional councillor was appointed to share (not duplicate) the additional workload.
We note that there are occasions when members of our group did attend Kenn parish Council, but the Kenn Parish council meeting itself was inquorate. This are counted as non-attendance in their dodgy “evidence”.
There is at least one occasion when John Goodey’s attendance figures show none of us present, but Alan Connett is minuted as answering a question.
Some parish council meetings occur on the same night, for example Kenn and Shillingford.
We have really good relationships with most of our parish councils, and work hard to maintain the connection we have between the community and the district. We utterly reject these claims. I am very proud of the work we have done, and the relations we have built up.