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Lib Dems hit back over Tory Anti-Social Behaviour claims

November 17, 2009 1:59 PM

I would like to correct the inaccurate spin contained in comments from local Conservative Councillors in last weeks paper about the Council's action towards anti-social behaviour. Tackling anti-social behaviour always has been and will always remain a top priority for the Lib Dem administration. The motion at the last Council meeting from the Conservative Party was no more than political grandstanding and in my view a sick and desperate attempt to make cheap political capital out of the recent tragic Pilkington Case.

I have an area of open space near my own home, I have suffered with having stones thrown at my window and a tree next to my house set alight. I have first hand experience of what it is like to be blighted by anti-social behaviour and so I'm angry and refute most strongly any claim that me and my administration isn't taking this matter seriously.

My group used the debate to reaffirm the Council's commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour and we will do all we can to make sure cases of crime and anti-social behaviour are stamped out. I am disappointed that the Conservative Party could not support our pledge to make tackling ASB a top priority. Cllr Richards' who proposed the motion has not reported a single case of anti-social behaviour to the Council's special ASB unit since she became a councillor. I find it hypocritical that she should make criticisms against the Council when she herself hasn't reported any problems.

Since the Lib Dems came to power in May 2007, many initiatives have been undertaken to help the fight against ASB. Cllr David Cope set these out clearly in the debate in the Council meeting. Statistics show that overall levels of crime and ASB have fallen in those two years. The Borough Council has won two prestigious Beacon Awards for it's pioneering partnership working and joint approach to tackling what is a national problem. Of course the problem cannot be solved by the Council alone. The Police, County Council, the Probation Service, and other agencies such as drug and alcohol charities must continue to work together for any action to be effective. A large part of the responsibility must also be with the parents of the young people who are causing the problem. Through new initiatives such as the Hinckley Club for Young People, improvements to our parks and Leisure Centre and a new cinema and bowling alley on the way through the bus station project we will continue to do what we can to make sure our young people have things to keep them occupied and out of trouble.

So instead of cheap political point scoring lets all parties, residents and the other agencies work together and send out a strong message to those minority of thoughtless people that we will identify you and we will stop you causing misery to the decent people in our Borough.

Cllr Stuart Bray (Lib Dem)

Acting Leader of Hinckley & Bosworth BC