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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN

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As in so many other areas, the contrast between the Conservatives and Labour on local government could not be stark...
As in so many other areas, the contrast between the Conservatives and Labour on local government could not be starker.

A couple of weeks ago, a Tory local government spokesperson let slip that they were again looking at the poll tax. You'd think that even they would have learned that lesson.

Now, staggeringly, Caroline Spellman, shadow secretary of state for local and devolved government affairs, is at it again. She says: 'All you need is something like the old compulsory competitive tendering regime, to ensure that councils are providing value for money.' (LGC, 4 June)

The problem with CCT was precisely that no one was looking at value. It was all about lowest price, irrespective of value for money. Services to local people suffered as a consequence. If Ms Spellman had any experience of local government, she would understand that.

I am proud that one of the first things this government did after it was elected in 1997 was to abolish CCT and replace it with best value. If there was no other reason for a local service user to vote Labour, and there are a great many, that alone would be sufficient.

Nick Raynsford

Local government minister

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