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TORY LOCAL GOVERNMENT RECORD 'A DISGRACE' - ARMSTRONG

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Hilary Armstrong, local government minister, responding to the launch of the Tory local election campaign said: ...
Hilary Armstrong, local government minister, responding to the launch of the Tory local election campaign said:

'The Tories say they have learnt the lessons of their general election defeat. But their record in local government shows this is just not true.

'Just 16 days ago boundary changes put the Tories in charge in Essex county council. And the Tories' priority was to cut education spending by£3 million, social services by£8 million and spend more money on roads.

'This is proof positive that the Tories can still damage your children's education, can still threaten family prosperity and are still only interested in the politics of the past.

'The Tories have not changed. How could a party dominated by figures of past like Cecil Parkinson, Sir Norman Fowler and Michael Howard want to do anything other than turn the clock back?'

Commenting on Tory claims that Labour councils had failed Ms Armstrong pointed out that the recent Local Government Chronicle Awards for the best councils had been dominated by Labour authorities. She said:

'The best authority was judged to be Labour Birmingham, the best business partnership was from Labour Ipswich, the best contractors were Labour Greenwich, the best innovators were Labour Birmingham, the best legal department was in Labour Lewisham, the best management team was Labour Birmingham, the best personnel department was in Labour Dudley and the best public relations team was in Labour York. This is a record of excellence and achievement.'

In response to Lord Parkinson's claim that the Tories were standing more candidates in London than at anytime since the 1970s Ms Armstrong said:

'The Tories have always had a casual relationship with the truth and the facts are simple. In 1994 the Tories stood 1835 candidates for the 1917 London vacancies and this year they are standing only 1808 candidates for the same number of seats.'

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