“Breathtaking cynicism of Tory propaganda” says Dunster candidate

Tory propaganda being ‘appropriately filed’.

The latest attempt by the Tories to portray themselves as a responsible administration in Somerset has drawn scorn from Labour candidates.

A “newspaper” called Bridgwater and West Somerset Matters is being delivered across the constituency. It tries to claim that the Tories are investing in Somerset – but the claims fall apart under examination.

The half-truths start on the front page, Tory leader John Osman is pictured at the topping off ceremony for the new Chilton Trinity School in Bridgwater. No mention of the fact that the building work at Chilton Trinity was approved under the Labour government’s Building Schools for the Future programme. Since the Tory-Lib Dem government came to power, it has done its best to stop investment in schools. To try to claim credit for investment agreed under Labour is a sign of desperation.

Brazen cheek

The other front page story shows even more brazen cheek. Under the headline “Library Book Boost” Cllr Osman says “despite what people may have read, the Conservatives have not closed any libraries in Somerset.” Most readers will remember that the only reason the Tories didn’t close any libraries was because the courts wouldn’t let them. After a tireless campaign by library supporters, the plan to shut libraries down was declared illegal.

It’s the same on the inside pages. A story on community grants highlights a payment of £2,153 to Home-Start in West Somerset, to help families with young children. Grants like this are welcome – but they won’t go far to recompense for cuts of £1.4 million in the budget for family support workers and teachers at children’s centres.

Deep cuts to vital services

west som cands
Labour Candidates for West Somerset- Left to Right;- Andy Lewis (Dunster) , Maureen Smith (Dulverton and Exmoor) Alan Bond (Watchet and Stogursey) Lesley Culverhouse (Minehead)

The Labour candidate for Dunster, Andy Lewis, said: “The cynicism of this Tory propaganda is breathtaking. This “newspaper” has come out only weeks after the Tory administration revealed a budget making deep cuts to vital services.

“The Tories are trying to make us think they believe in public investment. But they are making savage cuts in the most important investment of all – help for young children and their families.

“If the Tories had the courage of their convictions, they would explain why they are making £16 million in cuts which will mostly hit the vulnerable. Instead, they are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of voters. We must make sure they don’t succeed.”

and in Yeovil…

Terry  Ledlie (Yeovil South) adds “In Yeovil South, they have put a paper called Yeovil Matters covering Chard,Crewkerne,Illminster, South Petherton, Yeovil and Surrounding villages. Also a leaflet for Tom Parsley Local campaigner for Yeovil South. A substandard leaflet which took me a while to realise that the leaflet was a Conservative. This could be a ploy to get people to read it as on first instances you would think the leaflet would be a independent candidate.  It’s like they are ashamed to put their logo on the front.”


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