Local Conservatives have a nerve

Local Conservatives have a nerve boasting about putting ‘meat on the bones’, when their government has both stripped funding and hoisted council tax

From the blog of Martin Shaw County Council Candidate https://seatonmatters.org/

Posted on May 3, 2021


The Conservative candidates for Seaton and Axminster, in a paid advert in the Midweek Herald, say they are working to put ‘meat on the bones’ on the services we need in the area. This is incredible hypocrisy after their government has spent over a decade stripping the same services back to the bone.

Devon County Council’s funding has been reduced by far more than £100 million per year. Highways and Libraries are on standstill funding, i.e. reducing in real terms.

Austerity is still with us

Lest you be fooled by loose talk about austerity being over, let me remind you that golden boy Rishi Sunak has made it very clear that most areas of public services will be on starvation rations for the foreseeable future. Even local NHS managers are expecting funding constraints to return with a vengeance once the Covid emergency is over. These are the Government’s political choices, while they spend lavishly in other areas.

Local cuts

When you vote, just remember that in the last few years, Seaton, Axminster and Honiton hospitals have lost their beds because of Conservative spending cuts. NHS Property Services, which owns the hospitals, spurred on my the government’s incentives for property sales, put the Seaton and Axminster hospital sites forward for housing development.

Colyton Fire Station was almost closed for the same reason. Colyton Health Centre faced possible closure because NHS PS hiked their service charges 5 times. The town’s public services could have been decimated for the sake of land sales.

Only vigorous protests by the local communities, with my support as County Councillor, have held the line in these three cases. On the other hand, Conservative councillors from East Devon voted through the cuts in hospital beds.

‘Cutting Council Tax’ – a pure lie

Local Conservatives’ nerve is almost on a par with that of the well-known liar Boris Johnson, who last week claimed that the Conservatives were ‘cutting council tax’. That will be the same Conservatives who have RAISED Devon’s council tax by 30 per cent in the last 6 years, at the same time as CUTTING services.