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The Labour party's 'prospectus for business', launched today by leader Tony Blair, includes a section on local gove...
The Labour party's 'prospectus for business', launched today by leader Tony Blair, includes a section on local government.

In the prospectus, designed to reassure industry about the party's plans in government, Labour says:

'Communities benefit from strong partnerships between their local authorities and business communities. Up and down the country, Labour councils are building such partnerships to the benefit of their communities and local business.'

Public/private partnership

'We will end unnecessary restrictions on the ability of local councils to establish responsible partnerships between themselves and business.

'In the delivery of services, we will not force councils to put work out to tender, but there will be a tough requirement for them to obtain best value for local residents and businesses. We believe this approach will provide fresh opportunities for the private and public sectors to work together in delivering efficient and effective services.'

Capital resources

'The phased release of capital receipts from council home sales will allow local councils to raise their investment in the local economy.'

Business promotion funds

'Local businesses in certain areas - for example, a district shopping centre - sometimes face particular problems that can only be addressed by the business community and the local authority acting together. We are examining whether councils should have the ability to raise a special business promotion fund to provide specific and local services and support to the businesses concerned.

Business rate

'We want to give local businesses a bigger role in local government policy making. We propose to return the business rate to local control subject to protection for local businesses. We will be consulting with local business about the most appropriate way of achieving these goals.'

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