Letter: Local government demands the highest standards of probity

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The Independent Online
Sir: I don't know where David Walker got his facts but, as a Labour member of Southwark Council, I take grave exception to claims that my borough is infected with the "Monklands syndrome".

Labour-controlled Southwark is one of the toughest local authorities in the country on cracking down on housing and benefit frauds. Staff who misuse their positions are sacked and Labour councillors who tried to use their influence to swing a grant or to dodge paying rent or council tax have been thrown out of the group.

Do you want to know the difference between Labour and the Tories in local government? Labour councillors in Monklands are suspended for allegedly getting their council houses repaired faster and appointing their cronies as council caretakers (big time they ain't). Tory councillors in Westminster, slammed by the District Auditor for alleged gerrymandering, and selling off thousands of council homes while spending millions on keeping homeless families in bed and breakfast, are still in office.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Gibson

Chair of Housing

London Borough of Southwark

London, SE5

21 June