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Clegg slams form-filling costs

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Nick Clegg has slammed the government for making councils spend£1bn a year on filling out inspection forms.

In his keynote speech rounding off the annual Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth, the party leader said the money could be better spent on frontline services.

“When we want local government to respond to the needs of local people, why are they spending more than a billion pounds filling in forms for Whitehall inspectors?”

“Making these savings will mean we can afford to spend money on things that really matter.

"These kind of savings meant that more money could be ploughed into the areas that mattered, such as affordable housing and care for children and the elderly,” he said.

But he also criticised council officials for snooping on parents to check where their children spend the night as part of a wider criticism of the creeping use of surveillance powers by local and central government.

He accused the Conservatives of failing to make any concrete policy commitments despite having published thousands of pages worth of policy documents over the last few months.

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