Thursday, 25 September 2014

District Council Spends Thousands Promoting Tory Election Candidate

Jonathan Chatfield the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Cambridgeshire South East in next year’s general election is demanding to know why East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire District Councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership spent thousands of pounds of tax payer money on promoting his Conservative opponent at a business event in Ely.

East Cambridgeshire District Council alone spent £1,486.

The “South East Cambridgeshire Funding Fair” held on September 5 at the Maltings in Ely was sponsored by the three authorities using public funds and promoted the Conservative candidate to local businesses seeking government funding.

Jonathan Chatfield said: "This was an audacious act to promote the Conservative candidate at an event that should have been non-political but it involved public bodies spending a considerable amount of tax payers money on what was in effect an election ploy.

“It is most disappointing to see so much public money being spent on the active promotion of one political party's candidate for the forthcoming general election. Inviting the local MP is entirely appropriate, but to also invite and publicise the newly selected Conservative Party candidate without inviting Labour, Liberal Democrat or any other candidates is quite outrageous.

“I can understand why the Tory candidate from London would need to get to know our constituency, but it is outrageous that this should be paid for by our local council taxes.

“As a South Cambridgeshire councillor I shall be arising this with the council’s chief executive before considering taking it further.”