Walsall Council’s attempt to prove that the retail sector in the borough isn’t facing a complete catastrophe has proved a disaster, claims Walsall’s Labour opposition.
They go on to state that the re-jigged figures released this week by the Conservative council have backfired when the best they could claim was ‘only’ one in five enterprises have had to shut up shop.
The leader of the opposition Labour group , Cllr Tim Oliver, said the Tories’ attempt to disprove the borough’s town centre is not ranked in the top ten for empty shops proved how out of touch it is with economic reality.
“Despite having changed the goal posts by counting in warehouses and office space to try to disprove research showing that nearly 27 per cent of shops are empty, the Conservative’s best efforts shows it is ‘only’ 20 per cent!
“Frankly even that figure is nothing to boast about but the Tories are so desperate to hid the truth before the May elections they are now grasping at any straw to persuade voters to stay with them.
“It amounts to saying ‘it’s not a complete catastrophe just a disaster’ and is insulting to both those who have lost their jobs and to the voters who the Tories are hoping will fail to see through this blatant spin doctoring. We all know that these are hard times, but it is time to acknowledge the facts that Walsall is amongst the hardest hit boroughs in the country as a result of government policies which have brought the double dip recession and the massive public spending cuts.
He added: “It shows a complete disregard for the real hardships people and businesses are suffering and it‘s even more insulting coming as it does on the day that 200 people at Homeserve were told they would lose their jobs.
“If there was any need for evidence that the Tories should go, surely this is it.”