The following has been sent to the Welwyn Hatfield Times in response to a letter that was published on Feb 24, 2016
I write further to Councillor Alan Franey's letter to residents saying how great the recent budget settlement from Welwyn Hatfield Council, and how we've never had it so good.
Like so much in modern politics, the setting and presentation of our local budget has devolved into an activity based in spin and sound-bytes rather than anything of meaning to local residents. Where something new is trumpeted like a 'special task group', little detail is given, because the reality is at that point that no thought whatsoever has gone into it other than it would sound good.
It comes as little surprise then that very few residents or indeed this paper felt it necessary to attend the budget meeting itself, and I look forward to the day where this fiasco is available to view online.
Where cuts to rent and council tax are announced, no mention is made that both will actually go UP due to Conservative policy decided elsewhere. It is important that our community is aware of this; the truth.
If Cllr Franey feels moved to congratulate himself and his Conservative colleagues on this kind of behaviour - after fourteen years in charge - it speaks volumes about their ambition.
If they think this is what the public want, it speaks volumes about their sense of reality.
Cllr Kieran Thorpe
Welwyn Hatfield Labour Party