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LibDems Lash 'Biased’ County Council Annual Report

August 1, 2012 10:33 AM
By Nik Alatortsev, (Herts Lib Dems’ Press Officer)

Herts County Council have published an Annual Report for last year, but opposition Liberal Democrat councillors have attacked it as 'one-sided' and 'biased', only reporting good news and omitting the bad.

It is supposed to be impartial.

Resources spokesman Cllr Malcolm Cowan (Handside and Peartree) said 'We have pointed out several errors and the failure to fully report all relevant news about the county council. But the ruling Conservatives have decided instead to ignore our comments and issue a 'rose - tinted' and one-sided report at the taxpayers' expense.

"It is close to being an item of party propaganda and it is far from impartial", claimed the councillor.

The Liberal Democrat opposition group cite several failures to report facts, including no mention that the external auditor was unhappy with the Council's annual accounts last year, and that tens of thousands of pounds had to be spent to correct them and pay for a re-audit.

The Lib Dems have again slammed the Conservatives for failing to report a court finding on Moor End Bus Lane in Hemel Hempstead, which found that road fines were incorrectly collected. This is costing the council over £1.2m as the fines now have to be paid back.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Central Watford and Oxhey), also hit out at the Conservatives: "Whilst there are some clear successes, and we recognise the hard work by council officers in ensuring that most of the County's services are well run, there are a number of clear disappointments. Yet the Conservatives want to say everything is ok. Well, it's not. For example, there is no mention that Herts Highways, which is now being replaced, is one of the highest costing services in the country and has low performance

"Equally, we have had six months of a highways fault reporting system that has been almost impossible for the public to use and issued incorrect works orders. Even the Conservatives admit it is a disaster. Both of these have been white-washed from the 'official' Annual Report, which means it has ended up being biased.

"If the Conservatives cannot be honest with the public about the failures we all know about, one has to wonder what else they are trying to hide", concluded Cllr Giles-Medhurst.