South Lakeland District Council is under Lib Dem control. A third of the seats are up for election on Thursday. This is a Council which, having already massively increased spending on publicity, in December advertised in The Guardian for a new £33,000 communications post dedicated to Twittering. This is a council that rips up new paving stones 17 days after installing them. Their response to the recession was to hike parking charges.

Since they took over the Lib Dems have routinely imposed inflation busting Council Tax rises. This year they imposed a 2.84%. They rejected a Conservative proposal for a freeze.

In terms of the General Election the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency is our 14th target seat. This is in the Lake District where I have memories of going for long walks fortified by Kendal Mint Cake. The seat was won by the Lib Dems last time. Of the 38 relevant wards the Conservatives only won six when last contested compared to 32 for the Lib Dems. So a bigger challenge for our candidate Gareth McKeever than its Swingometer position would suggest. On the other hand this was a seat we held even in 1997. Good luck to Gareth.

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