The Liberal Democrats' cynical ploy to whip up a storm around a much needed school simply to get elected was laid bare by their very own independent report into the matter. Turing House School, a free school in temporary accommodation, was offered a site in Hospital Bridge Road, Whitton, after all other options were dismissed as not suitable. Even when the Liberal Democrats had the information as to why other sites were not viable, the party put Turing House at the centre of its campaign, effectively promising to move it. The Griffin Report and the Liberal dominated Finance and Performance Overview Committee have now accepted that this was never possible and that the party had been made aware throughout.
Cllr Jo Humphries, newly elected Whitton Cllr, stated that she was “voted in to prioritise the David Lloyd site” but must now accept that she and her party built this pledge on a lie. Cllr Wilson, elected to Heathfield Ward, faced accusations that he politicised the school’s plight and that its search for a permanent home has been put at risk because of this and his party’s actions. The Liberal Democrat's own Environment Director also made clear that the impossibility of the alternative David Lloyd site and the efforts to find other alternatives were repeatedly explained to the Lib Dems, both in a private briefing and public meetings.
It is now for the leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrats to apologise to the community for this deception and to stand by its pledge of an open town hall. Let’s hope Cllr Roberts will accept this and seek to treat residents with respect from now on.