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LGA LAUNCHES MANIFESTO TO MARK LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEK 2000

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LGA leaders have challenged politicians to base their general election manifestos on pioneering proposals to tackle...
LGA leaders have challenged politicians to base their general election manifestos on pioneering proposals to tackle issues such as crime, unemployment and drug abuse in local communities.

The association's four political group leaders have called on their parties to adopt 48 schemes outlined in the LGA's own manifesto, called 'Opportunity to prosper: A New Agenda for Local Communities.'

Recommendations in the document, launched on Monday September 11 at the start of Local Democracy Week 2000, include:

- a firmer LEA approach to tackle truancy and exclusions

- closer council and NHS working to prevent bed-blocking

- supporting 16-25 year old unemployed men who turn to crime and drug abuse

- training for people in their 40s and 50s who face redundancy

- task forces in 60 high unemployment areas

- lowering the age people can stand for council from 21 to 18 years old

Sir Jeremy Beecham, LGA chair and Labour group leader, said: 'The LGA and its partners have drawn up this manifesto because election pledges made by political parties will have an impact on, or be implemented by, local authorities.

'But even before the first vote is cast, councils have started work on many innovative proposals to improve their communities.'

Sir Jeremy added: 'There is a tendency for whichever party is in power to try to address issues from the centre but problems cannot be tackled from Whitehall.

'Now the LGA challenges the political parties to acknowledge the importance of local government and local choice in their election campaigns and to give councils the freedom and resources to meet the needs of their communities.'

NOTES

1) Local Democracy Week 2000 runs from September 11-16 2000. A full list of events to be held by each council is available on request. For further details on events, please contact individual councils.

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