9 hours ago
- From the section Northampton
Tuesday 10th May
10 am to around 12 noon
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Michael Crick, Channel 4 News’s political correspondent, has spent months investigating the Conservative Party’s election expenses from last year’s general election, focusing on the party’s “battle buses”, which moved activists around the country, and the associated costs incurred (e.g. hotels).
Last night’s programme featured another report, this time looking at the use of the buses in the South-West, where the Conservatives successfully targeted every one of the 14 seats held by the Lib Dems:
In response to Crick’s investigation, the Conservatives accepted that they had failed to declare some expenses for hotels due to what they termed an “administrative error”.
Yet the more fundamental question which the Electoral Commission is apparently investigating is whether the costs associated with the battle bus should properly have been accounted for on local rather than national expenses returns. The Tories insist that they should not, but if the Electoral Commission takes a different view it on the face of it could mean that in several constituencies, the Conservatives exceeded spending limits.
Last year Local Lib Dem Councillor Dennis Meredith ( Talavera), arranged a survey to find out why Billing Brook Lakes were silting up and polluted.
There were problems with water flows, blocked culverts , run-off from Round Spinney Industrial Estate and rubbish dumped in water courses. The report highlighted years of neglect and possible health hazards.
Thanks to Dennis’s persistence both the Environment Agency and Northampton Borough Council did extensive work this, together with more rainfall last winter, means the lakes are looking much healthier this spring
Following further disclosures that MP David Mackintosh's campaign received money intended for the Cobbler's , Cllr Sally Beardsworth is once again demanding that the local Conservatives repay the £30,000 to the council.
The demand comes after new revelations today from the BBC.
Northampton South MP's election bid funded by 'missing millions' firm
Image copyright PA Image caption
A Tory MP's general election bid got donations from a firm at the centre of an inquiry into the disappearance of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money.
A total of £30,000 was sent to David Mackintosh's Northampton South Fighting Fund from 1st Land Ltd.
It received council loan money intended to rebuild the town's football ground.
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County Councillor Jill Hope ( Lib Dem Sixfields)
Lib Dem Jill Hope says " There are too many councils costing too much money in Northamptonshire
8 councils - 1county council and 7 district councils.
THAT’S 8 chief executives, 8 council leaders, 8 teams of paid officials and 8 groups of
THE 2 councils in Northampton, the borough council and the county council
are both in financial difficulties, really struggling to make the cuts that have been imposed by central government, and
really struggling to deliver the services they should be delivering."
"IF THIS was a business, the councils would have merged years ago." says Jill
"NORTHAMPTON needs a single council running the whole town, not two councils. Most residents don’t have
much idea which council is responsible for which service -it simply confuses them.
South Northamptonshire has already announced that it is leaving the county council and setting up its own
arrangements with Cherwell Council .
THE rest of Northamptonshire outside Northampton could easily manage with two unitary
councils, one in the North and one in the east. AT a stroke this would save millions.
THE one fly in the ointment is the expensive and unnecessary brand new HQ being built for the county council in Northampton town centre.
Too late to stop so let's finish it and sell it"
The Conservatives #HousingBill risks making the housing crisis even worse. Right now, Liberal Democrats are fighting this damaging bill. Stand with us in the fight to fix housing across Britain→ http://change.libdems.org.uk/housing