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Delegates to Labour's European and local government conference were told by Tony Blair to expect the 'longest, toug...
Delegates to Labour's European and local government conference were told by Tony Blair to expect the 'longest, toughest, campaign of our lives,' and described the complacency of some party members as 'chilling', The Birmingham Post reports (p5).

The Labour leader praised six councils that were presented with awards for excellence. He said Birmingham, one of the prize winners, 'for over 100 years has been a symbol of strong and successful local government, from Joseph Chamberlain's great advances of the last century to the transformation of Birmingham with a Labour council today.'

Meanwhile, reports the Post, Birmingham City Council has announced that it is cutting the subsidy to the city's International Conference Centre by £6m at the same time as shadow environment secretary Frank Dobson described it as an example of 'the brilliant work forward-looking Labour councils can do to attract investment, develop partnerships, promote economic regeneration, create jobs and restore civic pride.'

Leader Theresa Stewart said the subsidy would be reduced from £18m this year to £13m in 1996/97 as part of budget reductions of £45m. 'I don't see any irony in telling them to be businesslike in their operations. We are saying that we want them to produce less of a deficit.'
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