A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another week, another lying Lib Dem Focus

Last week I mentioned that the Hackney Lib Dems are delivering a by-election Focus leaflet saying "it's a two horse race" in a ward where they came 4th in in 2006.

This week they've followed it up with "Labour cut funding for our most needy children..." which would be terrible if we had, but in fact Hackney's Labour council hasn't made any cuts to children's services either this year or in any of the previous five years - we've had growth budgets with increased spending in every year since 2002. But hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good Focus leaflet.

Promoted by Luke Akehurst of Flat 1, 8 Beatty Road, London, N16 8EB on behalf of Mohamed Munaf Zina of 91 Kyverdale Road, London, N16 6PP. Hosted (printed) by Blogger.com (Google Inc) of 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 who are not responsible for any of the contents of this post.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Freedom for Clapton said...

Vote Monty Goldman!!

9:19 am, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hackney's Labour council hasn't made any cuts to children's services either this year or in any of the previous five years."

Yet Hackney Council Social Services still manages to frog march innocent children into the hands of (known) dangerous killers.

If spending cuts aren't the reason for the Council's rotten track record on child care, what's the Council's excuse this time for being lily white/innocent/blameless/spotless/not my fault/more than my job's worth ... ?????

1:04 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmm you forgot to mention all that hey Luke. Remember this judge critising the council do you?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6925390.stm

1:35 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Hackney's childrens services were awarded a 3 star "good" rating by OFSTED on 27 November this year. They don't agree with the picture anonymous presents of a "rotten track record".

2:11 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hackney Gazette 30 November 2007

An investigation into failings by Hackney social services, which may have contributed to the deaths of two children, has been delayed for the second time this year.

The children's father, Gabriel "Jimi" Ogunkoya, who lived with them in Trehurst Street, Lower Clapton, has already accused Hackney's social services of "frogmarching" his children to their deaths.

2:23 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes - a terrible, terrible case that lessons must be learnt from - but not representative of the generally high quality of children's services in Hackney in recent years.

2:28 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Reuben Thompson (Hackney Liberal Democrats) said...

One should always be careful when accusing people of lying.

I point you first to the Council's budget for 2007-8 - see Table 5 in Appendix 8 - item 1 (it's on page 144 of the report of the Mayor to the Council (agenda item 8.1) on 26th February of this year. You will note that the Council has cut £187,000 from the budget for respite care at Albion Grove - a cut which was opposed by the Liberal Democrats.

Then see http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?AId=56737&ATypeId=1&search=true2&srchstr=Chaya%20Spitz&srchtxt=1&srchhead=1&srchauthor=1&srchsandp=1&scsrch=0 which is one of many instances of which we have heard where parents have been threatened with having their children's care packages cut.

I think you will agree that this proves our point with Focus.

I also note that you have neglected to mention any of the other stories on the Focus - most notably the second half of the story to which we refer - "...and give taxpayers' money to the Labour party". For the uninformed, this refers to Hackney Labour's decision to spend £10,000 of taxpayer's money on a stall at the Labour conference. I hope you won't mind if I quote Cllr Sharer's comments here:

"I think it's an appalling waste of money for one of the poorest boroughs in London and a waste of money to lobby a government that may not even be in power in a year's time."

...

"The council claim it gave Jules Pipe the ear of the prime minister. For a man who claims to be at the heart of the Labour Party, Jules Pipe seems to have a major problem getting access to ministers."

"In the nineties, the Tories were getting paid cash for questions by rich businessmen. Now it seems the Labour Party is so cut off from reality it is having to pay for access to itself - with our money"

Reuben Thompson
Agent for Brian Stone (Liberal Democrats)

Published by Reuben Thompson on behalf of Brian Stone (Liberal Democrats), both of 15 Isabella Road, LONDON, E9 5DX.
Hosted (printed) by Blogger.com (Google Inc) of 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 who are not responsible for any of the contents of this email.

10:38 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Akehurst wrote
"Hackney's childrens (sic) services were awarded a 3 star "good" rating by OFSTED on 27 November this year. They don't agree with the picture anonymous presents of a "rotten track record"."

Yeah, Luke, but then OFSTED didn't have their children killed, did they?

11:31 pm, December 05, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abrahams channelled his money to Labour through intermediaries. Hackney Taxpayers had their £10,000channelled through the Labour Council. At least Abrahams had a choice.

8:37 am, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke said - "a terrible, terrible case that lessons must be learnt from".

Is that NewLabourSpinDoctorSpeak statement the nearest we are ever going to get to seeing or hearing Luke admit that his crew did something wrong? Or am I mistaken?

9:41 am, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this and weep Luke

An inquiry has been launched after a school was stripped of its "Sats" test results amid allegations of cheating.
Springfield Community Primary in Hackney, east London, had its results for the national curriculum "Sats" tests taken by 11-year-olds quashed.

10:58 am, December 06, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Reuben

My understanding (I'm checking to confirm) is that Albion Grove was only half used, but staffed fully throughout the week. The respite care packages for the families that did use it have been re-provided for them on an individual basis (i.e. instead of pitching up to a day centre, it’s bespoke and set up around what those parents need). No family has lost respite care, and the saving was the net saving of closing an underused building and providing the respite care in a different way. I call that efficient use of taxpayer’s money, which was reinvested into more children’s social care.

Another good example of how we have done this elsewhere is moving children out of private children’s homes into local foster care – by increasing the payments for foster carers – which required investment up front, but reduced costs significantly in the longer term, placed children locally and provided a far better service for our most vulnerable children. Hackney has a 17% foster rate for looked after children, the London average is 10%.

The JC article is basically down to the fact that every care package is assessed against eligibility criteria (in fact we have more generous criteria than other London Boroughs) and inevitably some families will feel frustrated that they have not got as extensive care package as they would hope for. This is just the way of the world in social services. In fact we are investing in a new multi-disciplinary centre for children with disabilities – the building next to the Petchy Academy on Cecelia Road. I understand that this year’s budget in January will almost certainly show growth in care packages for children with disabilities.

11:23 am, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

If Hackney Fib Dems want to be the champion of children then they should talk to their colleagues in Camden to stop them knocking down Frank Barnes School for the Blind (the only BSL only school in London) and forcing two other special schools to merge with no real plan.

Oh yes, and at the same time please could you ask them restore some money for youth services they cut in deprived wards.

Nice one.

11:56 am, December 06, 2007

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I think its pathetic for any one party to blame another for particular incidents, which have nothing at all to do with political control.

2:23 pm, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Dalston Dave said...

What about the £10,000? Are the council taxpayers of Hackney getting their money back?

2:39 pm, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silly Dalston Dave! Doesn't he realise that, as a result of bending the ear of Brown, Julian Pipeshaft obtained an extra £10,000 (which he'd already donated to the Labour Party). So really, the whole thing was a money laundering exercise, e.g. Labour Government gives £10k to Hackney Council who, in turn, give £10k to Labour Party.

What funding crisis?

11:47 pm, December 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Dalston Dave said...

So it's like when Labour gives the money back to Abrahams. I think I understand.

£10k to Labour from Hackney Council - that's still sleazy.

10:51 am, December 07, 2007

 
Anonymous observer's friend said...

Sleazy? yes! But, as long as it can be argued by some high-falutin' barrister that it is not against the rules it is, according to Akehurst, ethically without fault.

Would you want this man to represent your interests?

2:29 pm, December 07, 2007

 

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