Propaganda from Hammersmith and Fulham Council in 2014/15 cost the Council taxpayer £412,000. This was far more than £313,000 which was budgeted thus indicating the Council is spinning out of control.
In my first term as a councillor from 2006 to 2010 there was a Labour Government. I had plenty of arguments with that Government as did my Conservative colleagues. But we did not use Council resources to attack it. We would pay for Conservative leaflets ourselves.
Yet now we have a Labour council and a Conservative Government. A different approach has been taken. The Labour Party constantly use Council resources for their Party political attacks on the Government. The messages are routinely dishonest. Political pressure has meant the requirements of the Local Government Publicity Code have been ignored.
For instance there was a claim that the Government had “suggested” the Council should increase Council Tax. In fact the message from Ministers is that the Council should cut Council Tax – as the previous Conservative council did and as Labour promised to continue doing. There was also a claim that councillor allowances have been cut when the reality is they have been increased. Labour promised to reduce the number of Cabinet Members from eight to seven – but have increased the number to 10.
Yet the greatest irony of spending £412,000 – equivalent to almost one per cent of Council Tax revenue – has been promoting Labour’s message about the severe austerity they operate under. If the Labour Party paid for their own propaganda they could have more funds for council services and lower Council Tax for hard pressed residents. Instead when it comes to spending our money of their campaigning they don’t even keep withing their own budgets.