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‘Deckchairs on a sinking ship’ taunt

Coun David Howarth
Coun David Howarth
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A leader has defended his party’s decision to send out 5,000 leaflets branding South Ribble Council “inept” and “chaotic” after the latest in a catalogue of bust-ups within the authority.

Lib-Dem chief Coun David Howarth said a scathing attack on the running of the Tory-led council, published in the latest edition of his group’s newsletter, was sparked by exasperation at the continuing unrest.

“We’ve just had enough,” said Coun Howarth, one of three Lib-Dem councillors at South Ribble. “The whole council is a shambles and the residents out there need to know what is going on in their council.”

In the article in Higher Penwortham Focus headlined: “Deckchairs on a sinking ship,” the Lib-Dems say: “This inept Tory-run council is a chaotic mess the likes of which you just couldn’t make up. Sadly though it is not a joke and our residents deserve much better than this. Less than two years after a taxi licensing scandal, with the council found to have ‘weak political and senior management leadership,’ the Tories are on a third chief executive and fourth council leader as experienced staff head for, or are shown, the door.”

The article says there were “farcical” scenes setting a budget and claimed Chorley, who share some services with South Ribble, were now “considering the relationship.”

Coun Howarth told the Post: “It’s the residents who have to foot the bill for this and have to put up with it. And they face another 10 months of this until the election.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is aware of a political leaflet currently being circulated in Higher Penwortham by the South Ribble Liberal Democrats.

“As a council, we do not comment on political leaflets from any of the political parties – or independents – that currently hold, or are running, for office at this council.”