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LGA TORIES ATTACK CHAIR

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The Local Government Association's Conservative group has launched a savage attack on LGA chairman Sir Jeremy Beech...
The Local Government Association's Conservative group has launched a savage attack on LGA chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham following his appearance before the environment select committee's local government finance inquiry.

Gordon Keymer, the group's finance spokesman, said: 'Sir Jeremy had already made things difficult for the LGA by refusing to have cross-party representation at the hearing. His presentation was at times defensive and rambling. He did not enhance the standing of the LGA in front of the MPs and the public. Those who were present must have been left with the impression that the LGA is a weak, divided body, which is certainly not the case.'

Sir Jeremy said: 'LGA Conservatives seem to have been taking lessons in consistency from the Murdoch press. It's a bit rich to be criticised for allegedly failing to stand up for local government by the people who supported the poll tax, capping, CCT and the hijack of capital receipts and the business rate.

'I affirmed the LGA's opposition to capping, attacked the department's evidence suggesting there was no connection between autonomy and the level of external funding, opposed the government's proposals on council tax benefits and called for a radical position on the business rate and capital.'
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