It’s difficult to know what to believe these days.
While we are told this is the post-truth era of politics, in reality there have always been those who see little issue in misleading the electorate in order to get an advantage.
Locally, the way the liberal democrats attempt this is to mislead people into what the Labour Party in Welwyn Hatfield does or has done.
Having taken a break from writing to residents that the EU referendum was terrible because of all the lies that were told, local lib dems have been campaigning for the forthcoming by election in Haldens, a ward where during the last by election, they amassed a total of 66 votes.
Clearly fearing they would again be the gooseberry in this traditional Labour/Conservative marginal, they’ve put out their usual election fare, pointing out overgrown shrubs and, pot holes, while asking how this could possibly happen unless the existing Councillors are bad at their job.
Of course anyone having travelled through the few areas of Welwyn Hatfield with Liberal Democrat representation will know they are shining beacons of paradise where fly tipping does not occur and the grass is cut every day…..
Realising there’s more to politics than just gardening, they also mention the ‘local plan’ for Welwyn Hatfield. A process to select where housing growth and associated infrastructure will go. It’s a long drawn out process that has been going on for several years now, and one Labour have been actively involved with since the start.
So when the Liberal Democrats delivered a leaflet to residents exclaiming “only the Liberal Democrats voted against this”, it was a depressing reminder of their ability to re-write history and pull the wool over people’s eyes.
There have been several years of discussion on this local plan, including more than one consultation with local residents. Before each of these consultations, Councillors met to discuss the content of the consultation before it has gone out to the public.
Labour Councillors have voted against the plans on every such occasion. Of course we realise there will be new housing come what may, but each iteration of the plan has been so deeply flawed that it was not something we could hand on heart support.
This wasn’t done in secret, we have been open and honest with residents the entire time.
Labour has consistently voted this way, the last time only back in June where Councillors Glyn Hayes, Pankit Shah and Max Holloway all voted to reject the plans as they currently are, including Panshanger Airfield.
Before this over the years, Councillors Astrid Thorpe, Margaret Birleson and I myself had all done the same.
Quite some difference from “only the lib dems” eh?
Lib Dem councilor Paul Zukowskyj has refused to confirm who had written their leaflet for their Candidate Anthony Dennis, but has stood by the bizarre claim anyway, given that on one occasion, in 2014, myself and Councillor Astrid Thorpe did not vote to adjust the classification of the Panshanger Airfield housing site, for the simple reason we had only just voted against the entire plan anyway.
Worse still, several Haldens residents we have spoken to on the doorstep claim they were told only the Liberal Democrats have voted to stop the brown bin charges in Welwyn Hatfield.
To date, there has been no vote on the brown bins but Labour has ensured this is on the agenda at a Council meeting on the 21st November.
This carefree attitude shames these Liberal Democrats and exposes their hypocrisy over the outcry following the EU referendum’s “shameful misleading campaign”.
Put simply, this is a Party that attempts to make themselves look important by lying about what others are doing.
You deserve better. Even if you don’t agree with a decision taken, you deserve to know what actually happened.
If there is something you really should be aware of, you don’t need to be told its already been voted on.