The Lib Dems sometimes appear to have only a nodding acquaintance with facts. Never let a good story get in the way of the truth must be the motto in Lib Dem HQ! In Southwark, as well as putting out horrendous literature in the Brunswick Park by-election and peddling a malicious lie about a Labour Councillor's council tax status, they twist reality in weird ways. Labour plans for a new library in Camberwell are presented by the Lib Dems as plans to build a new benefit office on Camberwell Green. I don't understand who benefits from this kind of distortion. Perhaps it's just a case of desperate times requiring desperate measures?
But I was horrified to hear Simon Hughes on The Politics Show at the weekend claiming that we as a Labour Council in Southwark were deliberately making political choices in our budget which were "blatantly unfair" and that we were deliberately making more council employees redundant than was necessary in order to make a point against the government.
This is utter nonsense. We have made choices in our budget which are informed by our values and budget principles - believe it or not Simon some of us still have those. We anticipate that we will have to make 150 people redundant this year on the basis of this year's budget. Although any job loss is a job loss too many, I think that's not as bad as it might have been when you consider that we are losing the equivalent of one sixth of our budget - and compares very favourably with Lib Dem run Newcastle which is laying off 2000 of its' staff.
Like his Lib Dem colleagues on the Council, Mr Hughes has made no contact with me about our budget choices or made any suggestions of his own. Throwing about loose allegations and accusations for the sake of a soundbite is irresponsible and bad politics. So, what is the basis for your claims Simon?