LETTER: My challenge to leader of Lancashire County Council

I WAS interested in the content of the article in Tuesday’s Express (“A war of words over funding”) about our campaign against the county council’s recently announced policy of charging unfunded voluntary groups for using their own community centres.

Monday, 29th October 2012, 9:44 am

Coun. Driver seems to be suggesting we should simply accept his assurances they have made budget provision to prevent financial hardship for groups.

It should be noted the initial letter we received on August 18th made no reference to any financial support for groups and the message contained with this correspondence was a hard-edged and unambiguous statement of fact about the future charges.

We were also given assurances detailed information about the charges would be provided within two to three weeks of the letter, which would have been around mid-September and one month on from that time we still haven’t been told what they will be or what support will be available.

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I call on the leader of the county council, Coun. Driver, to turn his vague assurances into a cast-iron guarantee that unfunded voluntary groups will be able to continue their valuable work on the same financial basis as before.

Once this has been received we would be more than happy to suspend our campaign and concentrate on delivering services to our community.

I was also concerned to read Coun. Driver was accusing me of having an ulterior motive for campaigning on this issue.

I think he should publicly state what he thinks this ulterior motive is and what evidence he has to back up this claim as I believe this is an unwarranted attack upon my integrity. Every citizen has a right to defend their community and I will continue to do this without fear or favour as long as I have breath in my body.

If Coun. Driver isn’t prepared to back up his personal slur through a public statement I believe he should have the decency to retract it.