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MINISTERS DEFEATED IN TORY VOTE TO ABOLISH CAPS

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The Conservative Party conference voted overwhelmingly to abolish capping on Wednesday. ...
The Conservative Party conference voted overwhelmingly to abolish capping on Wednesday.

'I don't know if there has been another occasion where conference has passed a motion which is essentially against government policy,' local government minister David Curry said after the vote.

'I tried to explain that the implications are greater than people realised. It just wasn't a case of saying 'lift the cap, let everyone see how awful these councils are'.

'It has a spillover into national expenditure as well as local expenditure, and you will know the nature of this year's expenditure round.'

Speakers were frustrated at the huge losses Tories have been suffering in local elections, and claimed capping prevented them showing voters that Tory local authorities had lower council taxes than Labour ones.

'Scrap the cap - we've got to gamble. Return the Tories to the town halls,' said Les Byrom, leader of the Conservative group on Sefton MBC.

Earlier on that afternoon Mr Curry accused Labour of 'town hall dictatorship', and bowing to trade union pressure in its local government policy.

Labour's plans to abolish CCT meant 'power to the town hall unions, beer and sandwiches in the leader's office, the council run as a fiefdom of political interest'.

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