Kerbside aftermath: following the discredited waste contracts and the Calderdale failed coup, Labour sends open letter to Lib Dems

Monday, 19 October 2009

Cllr Janet Battye
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
Calderdale MBC
Town Hall
Halifax HX1 1UJ

Dear Cllr Battye

At the Council meeting on 1st October 2009, you moved an amendment calling for the sacking of both the portfolio holder and the chair of the scrutiny panel, alleging that both were responsible for the many failings relating to the waste contract.

I understand that within days of this, the Liberal Democrats also started circulating a leaflet with the headline “They Should Have Been Sacked” – referring to both Cllr Reason and Cllr Metcalfe.

Under Cllr Metcalfe, you also say “Where was he when the bins contract was awarded”? The answer, as you well know, is that he was asking his scrutiny panel to refer the award of the contract to full Council, but that this did not happen because the Liberal Democrat members on the panel declined to support him.

Further, your leaflet fails to point out that, had you voted together with ourselves for the amendment proposed by Cllr Diane Park, Cllr Reason would have been sacked.

I understand that at the Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny Panel last week, the Council’s Chief Legal Officer, Bernadette Livesey, stated clearly that it is not possible for a scrutiny panel to consider the tendering process for Council office space whilst the process is still continuing. This was accepted by all members of the panel, including yourself and other Liberal Democrat members, and is exactly the position that the Health and Social Care panel was in with regard to the waste contract.

It is therefore now clear that your group’s comments at the full Council, and in the leaflet referred to, are nothing more than a gross smear of Cllr Metcalfe. I can only assume they have been made to provide your group with political cover for your failure to support our resolution to remove the Conservative Cabinet.

I am therefore now writing to you to challenge you to apologise publicly to Cllr Metcalfe for the attack made against him, and undertake that your party will cease to distribute the inaccurate and misleading leaflet already distributed in a number of areas of Calderdale.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Tim Swift
Leader of the Labour Group
Calderdale MBC

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