Senior Tories in Portsmouth took a group ‘thumbs up’ picture outside a children’s centre they’ve axed, and dismissed the criticism as “paranoia”.
The thumbs up picture, apparently taken after a hard day of campaigning, was outside the Havelock Community Centre – the home of Southsea Children’s Centre.
Except that Neill Young, one of the councillors featured in the picture, had ruled last month that the centre’s Ofsted-recognised programme would be taken away, to cut £205,000 from the council budget.
Lib Dem Central Southsea councillor Lee Hunt told Portsmouth News:
They have just closed the children’s centre and there they are stood outside it giving the thumbs-up. It looks like they’ve made a right pigs ear of things. It looks to me like they are gloating, and I am very, very angry.
The Tories are either politically incompetent or they just don’t care, and I suspect it’s an element of both. It’s an absolute own goal.
Councillor Young hit back:
We were out campaigning, we had a good response, so we put a thumbs-up. It wasn’t anything to do with the children’s centre…
There will still be some services out of the Havelock centre. There will just be a different way of providing it.
Presumably, “a different way” is euphemism for “less of”.