29 November 2009

And what else does Greenhalgh really think?

After the blast of honesty from the Tory leader of H&F council about David Cameron's shadow cabinet, hfconwatch looks forward to Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh's real views on:

* Shaun Bailey, Conservative candidate for Hammersmith
* Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Tory plans to take over control of the police
* the cabinet in H&F, particularly giants like Cllrs Ivimy, Loveday and Bristow
* the future of Charing Cross hospital, the super sewer and other Tory scaremongering
* the Tories' plans to sell off all H&F council estates for redevelopment - perhaps not, we know Greenhalgh is fully behind this
* H&F councillor Harry Phibbs, columnist on the Daily Mail, which has run the Greenhalgh piss-up story
* and of course more about his boyhood with the shadow chancellor

It's also an opportunity to give another shameless plug for the leader's blog: http://lbhfleader.blog.co.uk/

27 November 2009

Greenhalgh tells the truth shock

Tory leader of H&F council, Stephen Greenhalgh, has been reported tonight as saying: "My mates are all in the Shadow Cabinet, waiting to get those boxes, being terribly excited. I went to university with them, they haven't run a pissup in a brewery. They're going to get a department of state, in one case running the finances of the nation."

The picture Greenhalgh paints of his colleagues is one of a nepotistic, arrogant and incapable group, not ready to lead this country at a time of recession.

25 November 2009

Bailey comes unstuck on housing claims

Has Tory candidate Shaun Bailey been misleading readers of the Gazette or is he just ignorant?

In an interview with the local paper last week, Bailey claims that Tory H&F council - now notorious for demolishing council homes - has built more affordable homes than Labour did.

The council's own figures show that 870 housing association homes for rent have been built in the borough since the Tories won the 2006 council election. But they also show that 750 of these were given funding and planning consent under the previous Labour council, which actually had the best record on providing affordable homes in the whole of London.

And what about the other 120 new homes? They were in two major schemes in Shepherds Bush where the Tories negotiated down the number of rented homes to maximise those for sale at full cost - these flats now stand empty and unsold while thousands of families wait for decent homes. And on every other scheme that has come up in the last three years no new rented housing has been allowed by the Tory council, contrary to planning policy.

So which is it Mr Bailey - out of your depth or telling pork pies?

17 November 2009

Kettles and pots

High fee-charging Ryanair-style H&F council is attacking the Mayor of London for putting up bus and tube fares.

The sight of a Tory council attacking a Tory Mayor for hiking up charges is bizarre.

London's public services need investment, but the Tories are not prepared to put their money where their mouths are.

08 November 2009

A very strange boast

Announcing their plans for the council tax in 2010-11, Tory H&F council boasted that they have axed over one thousand jobs since 2006.

This boast - particularly peculiar during hard economic times - must have stuck in the throats of many local people on lower incomes who used to work for the council.

06 November 2009

Singing the blues

The more people hear about Tory H&F council, the more they are worried about what a Cameron government would do if elected: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-harsh-truth-about-tory-policies-1815642.html

Read all about it

A new blog which hfconwatch readers will enjoy: http://lbhfleader.blog.co.uk/

03 November 2009

H&F propaganda exposed by Tory MP

Philip Davies is a Tory MP. Last week his select committee summoned Tory H&F councillor Mark Loveday to justify the council's publication, H&F News. Here is what happened.

Philip Davies: …we will start off with Hammersmith and Fulham. This is, let us face it, council propaganda masquerading as an independent newspaper. There is nothing here to the casual reader that would indicate that this had anything to do with a council publication. This is masquerading as an independent newspaper. If you are so proud of your publication, let us have it plastered all over it that this is a council publication so that everybody who reads it knows exactly where they stand when they read it. Why are you not upfront about what this is?

Councillor Loveday: I can bowl for Britain on the subject of propaganda, and Sefton Delmer and the radio stations that were set up in this country during the war, and the distinctions between black propaganda and other propaganda, and so on, but in terms of residents knowing that this is a council newspaper, my simple answer is that we do test this, and the latest survey showed that 80% of residents said it was clearly a council newspaper. People are aware of that. I suspect that 80% is a pretty good score by any means.

Philip Davies: I will give you a better score, which is 100%. I guarantee to you that, if you were to put on the front of your paper (and plaster it quite prominently) that this is the newspaper delivered to you by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, you would be able to improve on your 80%, you would probably be able to get to 100%. We would all know where we were and also you would not need to spend any money testing out whether or not people knew; you would be able to know straight away that people knew. I know you are obsessed with saving money at Hammersmith and Fulham Council. I have given you a perfect money saving idea, so can I now expect you to save money on testing it out and plaster over it that this is council propaganda so that your residents know exactly what it is they are reading?

Councillor Loveday: Can I ask you a question?

Philip Davies: No, I am asking you a question.

Councillor Loveday: Will you give us the £400,000 to put it through our paid-for local media, because that is not going to happen.

Philip Davies: I am asking you, on here, to make it abundantly clear to your residents that this is a council publication, right on the front page. You are saying how good it is. Why are you ashamed of it? Surely you should want to be proud of the fact that the local authority is putting out this kind of propaganda. Let everybody know why you are hiding your light under a bushel.

Councillor Loveday: The majority of copies, I think, certainly did have a strapline reference.

Philip Davies: I am just unlucky, am I?

Councillor Loveday: No, I have not followed the details of the straplines on the various editions. The front cover, of course, is a slip advert, or a wrap-around advert.

Philip Davies: Yes, inside is even worse.

Councillor Loveday: Inside this, obviously, the front page---

Philip Davies: Yes, I know exactly what you are doing: you are putting out propaganda and masquerading it as independent news.

Councillor Loveday: Propaganda is a loaded word.

Philip Davies: It is indeed.

02 November 2009

Tory tax con means cuts in services and higher charges

Tory H&F council's latest tax con announced today heralds more cuts in local services and higher fees and charges for local residents.

Hundreds of local jobs have already been axed, local streets are dirtier and services for children, older and disabled people have been decimated while the borough's council tenants fear for the future of their homes.

The Tories have also claimed responsibility for an array of developments which were either down to the previous council or have been funded by the government.

The announcement of the tax con today was made weeks before the Tory council is due to present its budget figures for the coming year, so the bad news is still to come.

Expect an avalanche of Tory leaflets through your letterbox very soon.

PS Last Thursday’s Standard reported some London councils are auctioning off assets to pay off debt – but getting about 20% less than market value. Guess who was in the top four with £16.5m raised in the last three years. Tory H&F council , of course, happy to waste £4m of your money for short-term income to cut tax in the run up to the local elections. These were the sales of voluntary sector premises – leaving their clients more likely to need state support – and homeless hostels, meaning families would be moved to private accommodation at a cost to the taxpayers three times greater.