Luton’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Michael Dolling, has called on Luton South MP Margaret Moran to withdraw a “patently untrue” statement made in the House of Commons, and apologise for her misleading remarks.
Councillor Dolling made the call in a debate on Crime and Policing at Luton Full Council last Wednesday. He referred to a comment made by the controversial MP that Bedfordshire Police had been refunded all the money it had requested for work done preparing for the Government’s unpopular and eventually failed Police merger plans.
Ms Moran told MPs that Bedfordshire were refunded a full £23,500 for work done towards mergers. In fact, the cost exceeded £103,000, and this amount was requested. The Government refused to refund it all, leaving local taxpayers £80,000 short – a fact that received considerable local publicity.
The MP also claimed Luton received too small a share of resources within Bedfordshire. In fact, while Luton residents pay 26% of the local tax burden, Police Authority members secured an understanding from the Chief Constable that sees 44% of resources allocated to Luton, reflecting Crime levels. Liberal Democrats say more Police are needed overall.
Councillor Michael Dolling, a Beds Police Authority member, says: “It’s regrettable that the Luton South MP has made such clearly untrue statements in the House of Commons. When MPs concentrate more on protecting their backs and those of the Government, than on fighting Luton’s corner, it brings politics into real disrepute.”
“People know about the Liberal Democrats’ local campaign opposing Labour’s plans to merge Luton Police with Clacton, and that £80,000 is still owed to the Force, so it’s regrettable that Ms Moran thought she could get away with this. She should accept she has been rumbled, and apologise to MPs and the Luton public. She should also think twice before making such false statements in future.”
The motion agreed by Luton Council – with Labour walking out before the vote – accepted much of the Lib Dems’ 5-point “We Can Cut Crime” plan, namely :
Fund more Police instead of wasting billions of pounds on ID cards
Give communities real power to shut pubs and clubs that cause trouble
Sentences that mean what they say – “life should mean life.”
Compulsory work and training in prison, to end “revolving door” repeat offences
Better compensation for victims, paid for by prison work.