In the lead up to the 2023 May local elections the Constituency Conservative Association has circulated outrageous claims and in some instances, what are patent lies.
It started at the end of 2022 with a Conservative newsletter making grossly misleading claims about the Local Plan, the finances of the council, even blaming the R4U administration for potholes and road maintenance when these are the responsibility of Essex County Council (Conservative-controlled, unsurprisingly). You can read our response to that newsletter here https://proudlyindependent.uk/2023/01/08/honesty-matters/
This pattern of dishonesty has continued in Conservative candidate election literature – a masterclass in the dark arts of misdirection, lies and propaganda. So much so it is difficult to know where to start. Here are just a few examples:
The Conservatives claim to be proud of a strong legacy in the delivery of social and sheltered housing. However that legacy includes failures in gas & electrical safety checks on such a scale and over such an extended period that when they were recently discovered it triggered an automatic referral to the Regulator of Social Housing
Then there is the discovery of an almost total absence of fire safety systems in Reynolds Court. When built, this sheltered accommodation was held by the Conservatives to be a crowning glory of their administration. It may yet be the subject of criminal investigation.
A so-called ‘strong legacy’ turns out to be a catalogue of neglect and penny-pinching budget manipulation that has endangered lives and is costing the council a lot of money to fix.
The Conservatives are claiming credit for fixing something they caused! Essex County Council (under Conservative control) reneged on a long standing agreement with Uttlesford for the operation of the Local Highways Panel. It was only as a result of strong action by the UDC administration that funding of local highways projects was reinstated.
The Conservatives claim the failed 2019 Local Plan could have been saved but HM Planning Inspectors were clear in their assessment. Paragraph 128 of their report from January 2020 says “…we are of the view that withdrawal of the plan from examination is likely to be the most appropriate option.” That was the third failed attempt at a Local Plan under the previous Conservative administration.
Planning & housing development
Just about everything the Conservatives say is a reversal of the truth. For instance, they blame the R4U administration for the Govt’s intervention in the council’s day-to-day processing of planning applications. But that was based on failures that mostly took place when the Conservatives were in charge of the council. You can read more about this here https://proudlyindependent.uk/2022/02/09/govt-insult-to-democracy/
A decade of decline
The Conservatives present themselves as a safe pair of hands, yet since control of the council changed so much has come to light that is wrong that they clearly are masters of both deception and incompetence. Everything was rosy so long as the Conservatives got re-elected. https://proudlyindependent.uk/2021/04/25/look-back-in-anger/
What has happened at a national level has been reflected locally. More on that topic here: https://proudlyindependent.uk/2023/01/12/decade-of-decline/