Monday, 30 April 2012

Town Councillors Accused of Misleading Voters

More Lib Dem Lies 
Hedge End and Botley's local election campaign descended into name-calling and threats today as the Conservatives called in County Council supremo Ken Thornber to refute claims made in the latest Lib Dem election pamphlet, accusing two Hedge End town councillors of  untruths and of misleading the electorate.

St Johns independent campaigner and blogger Ray Turner drew attention to their "half-truths" and "porkies" in his blog on Sunday.  As he points out, the message in their "Outrage" "newspaper" is deceptive because it conveniently ignores the Lib Dems' own plans to build nearly 4000 houses in Hedge End and Botley.

What Ray does not mention is the unresolved question why - if the Lib Dems really wanted to say "no" to more building and even more traffic in our area - they refused on no fewer than four occasions last year even to debate the Borough Council's plans at Hedge End Town Council meetings.  After all, Cllr Welsh has been chair of the Town Council for the last year, and Cllr Kyrle has been a member of the Town Council, even though he has only turned up for seven meetings since being elected.

I had planned to blog along those lines this evening and asked both Lib Dem and Tory sides for a reaction to Ray's article.  Conservative candidate Paul Redding replied in less than ten minutes (at 9:05):

Hi Keith

I think Ray said it all Keith, I couldn't possibly better what he said.



Fourteen hours later I have had no reply from Cllr Kyrle, Cllr Welsh or their agent, Cllr Anne Winstanley.

I did follow up with Paul Redding on one detail of the Lib Dems' claims (at 9:10 am):

OK Paul, thanks- what's the Conservative line on the Tanhouse Lane site?


Paul replied (12:16 am)

If you are looking for an official response to that question, then i'll ask my collegues at HCC to respond if you wish?


Keith to Paul (1:07pm)

It would be good to know.  The Lib Dems claim to be opposing HCC plans to build at Tanhouse Lane.  If HCC does want houses there, then - as Ray says - the Lib Dems are being hyprocritical and opportunistic.  If HCC has no plans to build there, then they are making things up and lying, which is a much more serious allegation.

Paul to Keith (1:14pm)

I have made enquiries Keith, I'll get back to you as soon as i can.


Imagine my surprise to see at 10:13 this evening on Eastleigh News that Cllr Ken Thornber has issued a press release refuting the Lib Dem claims, accusing them of misleading the electorate and threatening them with the Electoral Commission if they do not retract their false claims.


  1. The "Outrage" story was on the front page of the Lib Dems "Botley & Hedge End's Voice" newspaper.

    It is one of many pieces of campaign material that the Lib Dems have dropped through my letterbox over the last few weeks, many of which have made the same sort of claim about the Conservatives plans for Tanhouse Lane, but not with such a strong a headline as the word "Outrage".

    As I've been following the development of the draft local plan and I know what the Lib Dems have in mind for the area, their "Outrage" story just seemed wrong to me. I had to blog about it...!

    Although I also write for E.N., I too was sidelined on the news of this press release. I received a couple of hints that something "big" was coming, but none of the detail.

    Actually I'm glad that I was out of the loop, given that I set things rolling with my original blog.

    And I'm sad that you were not given the answer to what was a very pertinent question.

    But if you hadn't asked it, the world might not have got that press release at all...

  2. Jenny Schwausch1 May 2012 at 08:32

    Just shows what two dedicated Independents can achieve - Hedge End (and Eastleigh) needs you both!! Keep up the good work.