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Tory spokesman for London Richard Ottaway said today: ...
Tory spokesman for London Richard Ottaway said today:

'Labour have been betraying Londoners - step by step.

'Although there is a referendum on 7th May, the real elections in London are the London Borough Elections. The unnecessary decision to hold the referendum on the same day as the London borough elections is likely to obscure the real issues in those elections, which is the proper administration and efficiency of London's local government.

'Only last month Mr Blair told us 'There are just too many councils failing to deliver acceptable standards of service to their citizens''. He is right - there are too many Labour councils failing their local communities.

'We believe that the Labour Party's record in local government over the last four years is appalling. Not only does Labour control the boroughs with the highest council taxes in London, it controls the councils with the worst records for tax arrears, debt, empty homes and the worst GCSE results.

'Labour Barking and Dagenham have been condemned for their Social Services. In Labour Camden a 1/4 million a year is frittered away on non-jobs.

'A social worker in Labour Hackney was able to abuse children in care without being suspended or properly investigated. In Labour Hillingdon, consultants were paid 100,000 to advise the Labour Council that 'there is poor morale, a form of blame culture, and a lack of confidence or willingness to implement decisions'.

'Labour councils are failing Londoners with high Council Taxes. Labour councils are failing Londoners with poor exam results. Labour councils are failing Londoners with shoddy services. It's little wonder that Mr Blair is so keen to deflect attention away from his Party's record. It's a record of failure, and Londoners deserve better.

'Furthermore, there are further council tax rises to come. Labour have saddled London's councils with a Pensions Tax costing almost 50 million a year. From Barnet to Croydon, and from Hillingdon to Bexley, it is London's taxpayers who will have to foot the bill.

'Labour are simply not being straight with Londoners. By ignoring the issue until the elections are out of the way, they hope Londoners won't notice. Meanwhile a massive bill is already mounting up. Labour should come clean now, and tell Londoners how much they will have to pay.

'Finally, Conservative councils are manifestly the better run and better financed councils in London. In outer London, why is it that Conservative Bromley can offer a council tax hundreds of pounds cheaper than Liberal Richmond and still finish sixth in the whole country's primary and secondary school league tables?

'Why is it Wandsworth can provide the lowest council tax in the country and win 14 Charter Marks for the quality of its services?

'Only Conservative councillors will stand up to Labour's dominance. Only Conservatives will give Londoners a voice. Its time for a change in London. It is time for a fresh future for London which only Conservative councillors can provide.'

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