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TORIES' THINK-TANK RESOLVES TO TARGET LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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The Conservative party is to target local government as the starting place of its resurgence. The Guardian (p2) rep...
The Conservative party is to target local government as the starting place of its resurgence. The Guardian (p2) reports that Tories aim to double the number of Conservative councillors between now and the next general election. After their two-day think-in in Eastbourne vice-chairman Archie Norman emerged to say:

'We have spent 18 years diminishing the importance of local government and of those who stand for election to it. It was an unintended byproduct of Thatcherite policies. 'Localness' is a Conservative idea; pushing power and influence down to the people is a Conservative idea.'

The Tories are thus reconsidering their policy of capping council spending. Environment spokesman Norman Fowler will chair a review before the next round of local elections in May nest year. The party's plan for internal reform also envisage giving councillors a much bigger role within the organisation, with formal channels of communication to tie them in to the main structure, and an enhanced status within the party hierarchy.
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