Wiltshire Council elections - Misleading conservative advertising? - latest circular

Written by David Thornton on .


I had the latest election advertising circular through my letterbox today from conservative candidate Mr Stewart Dobson.  In it I note in the reference, "Freeze Council Tax", that he seems to have resiled from his earlier and unsupportable claim:

"Thanks to the Conservatives our council tax has not increased for the last four years"

published by him and similarly by two other conservative candidates Mr Barrett-Morton and Mr James Sheppard, and the extraordinary published claim of conservative Councillor Jemima Milton;

"Thanks to Jemima your council tax has been frozen for FIVE years".

I doubt any of the candidates were the authors of the claims, but they do bear their names.  Hopefully they will all now have removed the spurious claim from their advertising too.  Sadly, most people will still connect their references to a freeze in council tax, to their earlier incorrect advertised claims, which remain published online. 

What is necessary is a public retraction and apology for their errors.  This latest circular would have been an ideal vehicle to do so.

No one minds if an innocent mistake is quickly corrected, but the obstinate obfuscation and a refusal to do so, points to behaviours that may not appeal many voters and further diminishes the view of politicians and their parties in the eyes of the public.

Hopefully more senior members of the conservative party will see that this matter of misleading and/or false information, now exposed, needs to be settled well in advance of the election.


David Thornton
(Marlborough East Ward)