The local election results for the Rothwell ward for 2008 are as follows:
Liberal Democrat 2534
This is the third time I've stood for election in Rothwell and the last two times I narrowed the Lib Dem majority and took Labour closer to winning. Both times I lost, fair and square. The voters of Rothwell looked at what the candidates offered and decided to stick with the devil they know.
This year was different. It wasn't a fair campaign, because the Liberal Democrats were so desperate for power that they resorted to dirty tricks and lies.
That's why this year I couldn't congratulate Don Wilson, although I don't actually believe it was his fault that the Lib Dems lied.
The fault lies with Councillor Stewart Golton, who apparently took pleasure in fronting the lie campaign.
When Stewart Golton went to the Yorkshire Evening Post with a story about an eco-town being built near Rothwell he must have been either lying or stupid.
That's because he should have known that the plan by GMI Property and Oulton Hall Estates already hadn't made it on to the shortlist.
Far from being a secret the plan was submitted before Christmas and rejected by the Department for Communities on April 4, more than two weeks before Councillor Golton took the story to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
If you're being charitable you might believe that he didn't know, but you'd expect a councillor to be bright enough to think of checking the official government web site.
This was simply a pre-election stunt, which I was gobsmacked that the Yorkshire Evening Post actually fell for and ran a week before the election.
When I spoke to the reporter who ran the story, he said that people had a right to know. Know what, that an application which had not been shortlisted had been submitted?
The Lib Dems also miraculously had a leaflet ready to go at the same time, which proves that they had been holding onto this till the last minute before the election.
Further to this, MY INVESTIGATIONS revealed that GMI and Oulton Hall Estates actually withdrew their application to concentrate on their other submission. The Wakefield Express ran this story on election day (see previous post), but despite knowing this since at least Monday this week, the YEP hung fire with this story. Obviously people don't have a right to know this information which would have reassured local people and had a huge impact on the local result.
Yes, our result was affected by the national trend (which I will post separately about) but it would have been, and was expected to be close. The Lib Dems, with the help of the YEP made sure they weren't going to have a close result by planning the timing of this very closely so that Rothwell Labour Party had little chance of rebutting this. Although the result stands, I wanted it put on record why they won with such a majority.
The Lib Dems have really surpassed themselves at this election and I really don't know how they can sleep at night. Winning is obviously so important to them that they will do anything to achieve it, if they can't rely on their own personal records what's the point?
The reality of this result is that our vulnerable older people are going to be harder hit over the next two years. There are no local elections next year so the Lib Dems and Tories will have a free reign. They are planning further cuts in vital home care services. Also, the Lib Dems may make a noise about green spaces for effect but let's see how many planning applications actually get turned down and how many more go through.