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'It is Labour which now dominates local government' maintained Jack Straw at the Labour party conference in Brighto...
'It is Labour which now dominates local government' maintained Jack Straw at the Labour party conference in Brighton this morning.

The Shadow Secretary for the Environment continued: 'We have more councillors, and we run more councils than all the other parties put together. And it was we who won the shire county elections on 5 May . We are now the largest single party in Essex, in Suffolk, in Hertfordshire, in Leicestershire. We took control of Northamptonshire, and we gained the largest share of the popular vote in what was once the Tory stronghold of Norfolk.

'People don't vote for us out of sentiment, they do so because it is Labour councils which provide the services which people want and need; nursery places, home helps, discretionary grants for students, job creation and economic development, improved public transport.

'It is Labour councils, working with the public service trade unions, who have fought against privatisation, against Compulsory Competitive Tendering and against the obscene exploitation of council workers.'

Jack Straw went on to castigate the Tory manoeuvre of power from local authorities to quangos: 'Quangos are less efficient, less accountable and less well managed than elected councils. For every £1 of public money mis-spent in local councils through fraud, corruption, or serious mismanagement, £60 is mis-spent by quangos, or by central government.'

Mr Straw further demanded that the government unlock £5,000m of capital receipts to be used to build new homes.

The Liberal Democrats were criticised for activities surrounding the BNP victory at Tower Hamlets.

'The Liberal Democrats are the party who will do anything, say anything, pledge anything, print anything, to get a vote. Yes, the party which passes wordy resolutions about anti-racism, is the same party which produced these leaflets. Leaflets which plays the race card, which set white against Asian.'

'It is our record which voters in the South of England, and elsewhere have endorsed in their millions. This summer alone Labour has taken control of two more councils in the south - Gravesham in Kent and Hillingdon in London. The Tories are now scared stiff of Labour in the South, as never before.

'Next May we're going to win in the South, in the Midlands, in the North, in Scotland and in Wales. Just as Labour Councils are rebuilding local communities Britain desperately needs a Labour Government to rebuild the country.'

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