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Cameron pledge to 'unpick' regional agenda

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David Cameron has pledged that a Conservative government would hand power back to councils and “unpick the regional agenda piece by piece”.

In a landmark speech on the future of the countryside to the Campaign to Protect Rural England , the Conservative leader criticised regional planning authorities for making decisions without taking local sensitivities into consideration.

He added: “If Oliver Letwin [chairman of the Conservative policy review and also present on the panel] and I are fortunate enough to be part of the next government, we look forward to unpicking the regional agenda, piece by piece.”

'Social values undermined'

Mr Cameron also claimed that social values had been undermined by Labour’s failed bid for economic efficiency.

“For the last decade, in the name of modernisation, rationalisation and efficiency, we have been living under a regime of government by management consultant and policy of Powerpoint. The result has been the explosion of bureaucracy, cost and irritation, endless upheavals and pointless reorganisations.”

The closure of rural post offices, Mr Cameron said, was an example of short-term economic gains leading to long term costs - both social and financial.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears dismissed the speech as pure rhetoric. Ms Blears said: “David Cameron's warm words for local communities are pure political opportunism, because they are not backed up by policies to help local people. He is saying one thing to local communities but quite another back in Westminster.”

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