By-election Round-up

With just two days left until polling day, the Lib Dem campaign in the South Staffordshire by-election has still to get off the ground.

Candidate Jo Crotty tried to paint herself as a “local campaigner” just a few weeks after standing and losing as a “local campaigner” some xxx miles away in Eddisbury during the May 5th General Election.

This fact has not only hampered a lacklustre Lib Dem camapign, bit it seems to have caused some embarrassment for Lib Dem high command. Their website lists all the Lib Dem candidates at the General Election in every single constituency bar one – Eddisbury. Take a look here.

Meanwhile in the Cheadle by-election caused by the death of sitting Lib Dem MP Patsy Calton, we suspect the campaign is being taken a little more seriously. But was their choice of Stockport council leader Mark Hunter as their candidate a wise one? He presided over what the Stockport Express called a “school cash scandal” that ultimately led to teachers in the borough being sacked:

Incompetent officers ‘LOST’ almost £1m from the council’s budget for schools, it’s emerged.
A series of letters leaked to the Stockport Express reveals a huge accounting error in which the borough’s education budget was miscalculated by a staggering £840,000.

The blunder meant cash-strapped schools set up inaccurate budgets for the year 2002-3, which forced them to face the prospect of losing teaching staff, having to combine classes, and cutting other resources like books and building repairs.