South Gloucestershire Lib Dems have reacted angrily to a decision by the Council’s ruling Conservative group to provide publicity for Conservative MPs using council taxpayer funded staff.
The Conservatives, who recently had their majority on the Council cut by the Lib Dems at May’s local elections, pushed through the change as part of the council’s new media protocol. It says that the council’s press officers will now not only have to publicise the council’s activities but also the work of the area’s Conservative MPs, when they are invited to events by Conservative councillors.
Lib Dem Group Leader, Cllr Claire Young said: “This is a clear abuse of power and council resources by a Conservative administration which has no respect for what is right or proper. When residents pay their council tax bill, they don’t expect it to go on subsidizing party-political publicity for the Conservative Party.”
Cllr Mike Drew, Lib Dem spokesperson for Resources said: “Why should this council provide media support for Conservative MPs, when these are the people who are going to Westminster each week and voting to cut council services, and funding for our struggling local schools? They don’t support local government so why should local government support them?”
Cllr Tony Davis said: “The council’s press office is supposed to be called Corporate Communications, not Conservative Communications. This is further politicising what should be a council service for residents, not just a service for the political party running the council. It stinks.”