Tory anger at Garstang Labour group’s petty politics

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GARSTANG’S Conservative councillors say they will no longer meet with the town’s fledgling Labour Party, after a Labour officials issued a critical press release following the two parties’ first ever face to face discussion.

Tory councillors Lady Dulcie Atkins (pictured, right), Tom Balmain and Alice Collinson had thought the meeting, at a councillors’ surgery in Garstang Library had gone well.

But they were shocked when a report of the meeting, sent to the Courier by Labour official Michael Banahan, included critical comments of Coun Collinson for being unable to download a document Mr Banahan had sent her via her computer.

Mr Banahan said: “A comprehensive document based on this year’s budget statement had been sent to Coun Collinson a week before the surgery.

“Imagine our dismay when we found out that she had been unable to download the report, and perhaps, more importantly, had not advised her two colleagues of her dilemma. The meeting was aborted after ten minutes.”

Mr Banahan added Coun Atkins had told him that Coun Collinson had been unable to access any of her Wyre Council documents on her council-supplied computer between last November and January.

Labour had been hoping to reconvene the short-lived meeting within the next few weeks, but Garstang Conservatives have now pulled the plug on any future meetings.

Speaking for the three Tory councillors, Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins said they had met the Labour officials in good faith to discuss community matters.

She said she thought the meeting had been amicable, but after being approached by ‘The Courier’ for a comment on Labour’s press release on the session, had decided against any future meetings.

She said: “We are surprised at the petty nature of their press release which does not coincide with our view of the meeting - consequently we will not be meeting them again.”