I had held nine consultation sessions

SOMEONE once told me that there are only two kinds of politician the ones who tell you whatever you want to hear and the ones you never see. It seems

SOMEONE once told me that there are only two kinds of politician - the ones who tell you whatever you want to hear and the ones you never see.It seems that North Somerset's ruling Conservatives fall firmly into the latter category when it comes to consultation on their budget for next year.By this time last year, when as an elected councillor I was responsible for North Somerset's budget, I had held nine public consultation sessions in Weston, Locking Castle, Winscombe, Yatton, Wrington, Clevedon, Long Ashton, Portishead and Nailsea to listen to local views and explain what the council planned to do.I had held numerous meetings with members of the Senior Citizens Forum and other local interest groups. I do not pretend that we all saw eye to eye or that necessarily everything changed as a result. But with my Lib Dem colleagues I did at least try to listen and explain our plans.The Conservatives have done nothing and plan more of the same. In their budget proposals they propose millions of pounds worth of cuts, job losses by the score and significant changes to local services including extra charges and higher tax bills. But they don't want to know what local people think about any of it.For them, the way to get the answer you want is not to bother asking the question. It is symptomatic of the arrogance we have seen from Conservative councillors since May but is nonetheless disappointing. We all expected more.MIKE BELL - Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Weston-super-Mare, George Street, Weston


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