The Labour Party's Parliamentary Candidate for Darlington has come out publicly in opposition to her Council Group's deplorable plan to axe the Early Year's Inclusion Service. Cllr Chapman, who has only just stepped down from the Cabinet to concentrate on fighting the General Election, would have been party to the decision to propose the axing of this service.
The Labour Group is firmly whipped: yet here is one of their most prominent members speaking publicly against a Labour Group proposal: a proposal, by the way, which would save relatively little money, yet which would remove an invaluable caring and life-enhancing facility from a very disadvantaged group in our town.
Call me cynical (and, where the Labour Party is concerned I plead guilty) but it seems to me that they have caused huge anxiety and distress among parents and staff by proposing to axe this service, yet have never had any intention of actually doing so. I'm prepared to bet that this proposal will be dropped following the "consultation" phase, allowing Cllr Chapman to claim the credit for saving the service.
After all, the alternative, if they do go ahead with their proposals, will be to paint Cllr Chapman as ineffective - and, of course, she'd be morally bound to vote against the budget proposals when they come to Council (though she was not at Council last night, so maybe she would find some other pressing engagement when the Budget Council Meeting is held) and in so doing would presumably be expelled from the Labour Group.
If my suspicions are correct, this would be an entirely reprehensible and cynical ploy by the Labour Party: to cause huge public upset and anxiety, simply to gain a short-term political advantage for their Parliamentary Candidate. Mind you, that's what they're doing over the Stroke Unit, so it's not as if they haven't got previous here.