Friday, 13 February 2009

Same old nasty party

When I hear traditional Tories argues for lower taxes - even if that means less help for the victims of domestic violence - I remember why I went into politics in the first place.

And that's exactly what happened at yesterday's meeting of the Sussex Police Authority An unholy alliance of Conservative councillors - including Brighton and Hove's own Geoffrey Theobald - tried to withdraw funds from a domestic violence centre in Worthing.

Fortunately the £185,000 lifeline to the nationally-renowned Worth Centre - which helps victims of domestic violence from across Sussex - was approved, as part of a £250m police budget which will improve neighbourhood policing and create 114 much-needed jobs.

It was adopted by 13 votes - including mine - to four.

Don't let that nice-seeming Mr Cameron persuade you otherwise: the Tories really are the nasty party, who just want to cut taxes at any price, closing services for some of the most vulnerable, and devastating communities along the way.

I am glad they haven't got their way this time.

All the consultation - and the sentiment I hear at almost every public meeting I attend - tells me that people don't mind paying a few pence more a week for better, more visible, neighbourhood policing.

Recent stories, like the senior officers' meeting in the iconic Grand Hotel - and the awful pictures of Sussex coppers apparently intimidating those who attended an Earth First! meeting in London Road last week - do decrease confidence in the police, but I don't think the answer can lie in undermining job creation or worsening neighbourhood policing.

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