Responding to the news that Wyre Forest Tories have blown £6million of council taxpayers money on an out of town office block, Labour’s Stephen Brown said: “This is Investment that would have benefitted our District had they purchased or built some low rate start up units for local businesses. This would be better in the long term for the redevelopment of the District and its economy. It could have also been used to attract inward investment and outside business to set up here bringing much needed good jobs into the District. As it is, this outside District bung only benefits private company property speculators to the tune of £6million, and using Wyre Forest residents money to pay for it. Hart & Co would do well to remember the value of investments goes up as well as done in the type of free market economy they are enthusiastic campaigners for. They’re great at spending money that isn’t theirs it seems, and no doubt this will add to the Council’s already eye watering debt levels. They should be running our public services not acting as property speculators which they are ill equipped to do if past experience is anything to go by. The measly return of £125k per year will take an incredible 50 years before it breaks even, it’s the economics of the madhouse. They’ve got some serious questions to answer.”
Labour’s view is that all of this is essentially subsidising Tory austerity with zero benefit for the local jobs or economy. It would appear that no one in the Tory Party locally has either the backbone or gumption to call out austerity for what it is, a wrecking ball of services, wages, good jobs, and the local economy. This is not going to end well for local taxpayers when it inevitably goes wrong. They should reflect on the fact that buildings gets sold for a reason in an economic downturn.
Stephen Brown added “As for the geographical justification of using the LEPs, and the fact we fall within what is quite a wide area, I think most people will find it a bit of a stretch. In general terms anyway, LEP’s are unaccountable unelected quangos that I’d like to see gone under a Labour Govt. They need to be replaced with democratic structures so local people get to have a real say in what will best benefit the local economy. Local Tories are so out of touch with reality they may as well be on the moon.”
Labour has plans for a National Transformation Fund that when in Government will offer our District the chance to redevelop our local economy, its infrastructure, for real local growth projects, and which will benefit the many not the few. It will put an end to destructive austerity and hairbrain Tory schemes like the office block fiasco which forces local taxpayers to stand as guarantors for Tory councillors clearly out of their depth, and desperately seeking answers to their own austerity disaster. Our National Transformation Fund will seek to put local people in charge of it. Wyre Forest Labour’s Stephen Brown has already lobbied our National Shadow Treasury team on this matter and the local Party has discussed this matter over the past week. It’s time for change and Labour is the only Party offering hope to the many.