War of words over leaflet

Terry Rogers , Fleetwood Town Councillor
Terry Rogers , Fleetwood Town Councillor
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A WAR of words has broken out over an alleged “leaflet of lies” in Fleetwood.

Three town councillors have complained to the police over an election flyer which says the town council increased its council tax bill by £90,000.

The authority froze its council tax precept at £90,000 this year, but the leaflet says that figure was an increase.

Independent town councillors Terry Rogers, Bob Winston and Steve Clarke also say other statements on the leaflet are untrue.

Town council chairman Terry Rogers, who is also standing as a Labour candidate for Wyre, said: “These people are hell bent on destroying the town council.

“It’s a leaflet full of lies. It could affect the election.

“If we lose the election I will be shouting foul from the stage at the Marine Hall. I will take it to the Electoral Commission.”

The leaflet bears the names of Conservative candidates Marlene Colby, Keith Riley and his daughter Michelle Riley, who are standing in the town council and borough elections in Rossall Ward on Thursday.

Coun Riley defended the flyer of which around 1,500 had been distributed inside a Conservative leaflet.

He said: “Their first budget was £40,000 which was borrowed from Wyre. The second budget was £90,000, of which £40,000 was to repay Wyre so that’s a budget of £50,000.

“The one just recently is £90,000, an increase of £40,000 on last year, whichever way you look at it. In the present economic times I think it’s disgusting.”

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of the Conservative group on Wyre, said: “If you look at the Labour leaflet they’re saying all levels of service have been affected by reduction in staff and there have been increases in charges and they are among the most expensive in the country.

“If it’s OK to lie in one leaflet and not another your complaint doesn’t hold water.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “We have no jurisdiction over the content of leaflets. In the first instance it would be a matter for the police.”

Insp Andy Bunn of Fleetwood police said: “We have been approached.

“We have spoken to the returning officer and election manager at Wyre Borough.

“There is no criminal inquiry.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council said it was not a matter within the council’s jurisdiction.