David Cameron has launched the Conservatives’ local election campaign, highlighting council tax bill freezes and localism as key issues.
The prime minister launched his party’s campaign with a speech in Nuneaton in Warwickshire.
Highlighting localism, he said that “in years gone by, it might not have mattered much who you voted for in local elections”, because the “only person in the country who pulled the strings in our councils” was former deputy prime minister John Prescott.
“We’ve changed all that,” Mr Cameron said.
“Labour’s empire of top-down, target-driven, big, bossy, bureaucratic, we-know-best arrogance has been turned upside down.”
He said that while organisations such as regional development agencies and regional government offices had gone, “we’ve given councils much, much more freedom”. But it was “Conservative councils who have run with” this freedom.
On the issue of the council tax, the prime minister told the public that their every pound was “hard earned”, but after long shifts, “then you come home and there, on the door-mat, is the council tax bill”.
He added: “There is a clear moral imperative to keep that tax down.”
Without mentioning the Conservative councils which raised council tax, the prime minister said: “There are some councils – some Labour councils – who just don’t get it.
“On the one hand they’re talking about spending cuts meaning ‘the break up of civil society’. On the other, they’re still spending your money like it’s theirs.”
Examples of Labour ‘spending your money like it’s theirs’ given by the prime minister
Sheffield – who have 391 employees on salaries of £50,000 or more
Durham’s council chiefs – who get a clothing allowance of £12,000… the latest line from ‘Geordie Armani’
Greenwich – whose town-hall newspaper is about as balanced as Pravda
Lambeth – which scare-mongers about cuts – but funnily enough still has cash for posters all over the borough attacking the government