I'm in disagreement with one of my Conservative colleagues in Montgomeryshire. At first, I was uncertain of my ground. But after speaking with several councillors today, my confidence is returning. The subject of disagreement is my approach to a promotional newspaper being distributed by by my Liberal Democrat opponents. It suggests that they were influential in delivering a lower Council Tax increase. It also implies that Lembit Opik MP and Mick Bates AM are working with the Council and have played a significant part in switching street lights back on. Many people I've spoken with today share my view that these assertions are very deliberately misleading.
Now to the disagreement. My inclination is to trust Montgomeryshire people to see through this sort of stuff. No need for me to wade in - except on my blog where I do occasionally give vent to private thoughts. But one of my colleagues is more punchy - and its a lady as well. She wanted us to distribute leaflets telling people what we reckon is the truth - which is that the Liberal Democrats Councillors were in such disarray over Council Tax that they finished up arguing with each other, reducing the entire Council Chamber into convulsions of disbelieving laughter. They had no idea what they were doing, and withdrew any proposal that they might have made because their figures didn't add up. The position with street lights in even more outrageous. The above MP and AM did meet with Council officials, but taking with them a single supplier of LED lighting. Bearing in mind the requirement for a tendering process, I guess this must have been a bit embarrassing for Council officers. And LED lighting was nothing new to Council officers anyway. I'm told that they have been considering it for a while - and there was already one LED array up and shining in Builth Wells. Disagree with the Council's policy of switching off the lights in the first place is fair enough. But it was entirely the work of listening local councillors and Council officers that led to many of them being switched back on. Trying to usurp other people's efforts only works in the short term. Eventually, the truth will out.
Anyway, several people have been expressing to me their outrage at the behaviour of the Lib Dems today. I reckon that making all these unjustified claims are backfiring on them.