Now campaigner Val Compton takes a swipe at “hugely disappointing” Tory election propaganda
Another Marlborough town councillor has added to the growing criticism of Conservative candidates standing in Marlborough’s East and West wards for seats on Tory-controlled Wiltshire Council.
The election leaflets of Stewart Dobson and Noel Barrett-Morton, both also Marlborough town councillors, declare that council tax in the county has been frozen for five years thanks to the Wiltshire unitary authority.
But as Marlborough resident David Thornton has demonstrated this is a misleading and factually incorrect claim. And retired chartered account Andrew Ross, who chairs the town council’s finance committee, has added his support by demanding an apology and retraction of the claim.
He is now supported by independent town councillor Val Compton, who quit the Conservative Party last year, and is generally unimpressed by the Tory election literature.
“I was interested to read David Thornton’s letter in your columns and await the outcome of that issue,” she told Marlborough News Online.
“What the Tories don’t seem to be getting -- and the perfect example is Stewart Dobson’s leaflet-- is that people are sick of politics, crowing and making promises. The man in the street is looking for people who have a track record of getting stuff done.
“They are looking for people who are happy to get in and roll up their sleeves, put the work in on projects. People with a passion for Marlborough – not a passion for politics.”
Mrs Compton, who has complained about the “toxic” atmosphere created by party politics at town council meetings, added: “If I didn’t know Stewart Dobson from a bar of soap – I certainly wouldn’t feel inclined to vote for him from a leaflet that is just a churned out piece of Tory propaganda.
“I expect local councillors, who are now Wiltshire Council candidates, to be able to tell us what they’ve done so far, what their achievements are, where their interests and passions lay.
“I’m completely mystified by Stewart’s mention of the Leisure Centre, Coopers Meadow and Rogers Meadow – I’ve only been here 17 years, but those things were all in existence before I arrived.
“As far as I know, he and his wife haven’t been huge supporters of what’s gone on in Coopers Meadow with the conservation grazing project. The history of the Leisure Centre might well include Stewart. Perhaps even as a borough councillor, I really don’t know.
“But what’s he done in the last term of office on the town council? There must be projects he’s lead? Aren’t there?
“The only link I can find with Rogers Meadow is that he and his wife own three of their seven houses there, as shown on the official Register of Councillors’ Interests.”
She insisted too: “The generic Tory leaflet is a huge disappointment. They’ve totally missed the point of people first, politics second, but it makes a nice twin for Noel Barrett-Morton’s one – they are sitting side by side on my desk like Tweedledee and Tweedledum... ‘We’re Tory so we must all think the same’.
Oh please NO. God help us if they both get elected!”