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Liberal Democrat councils fighting crime and acting on the environment across the country

April 3, 2007 11:18 AM

Launching the Liberal Democrat local government elections campaign, Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell highlighted the real and positive change that the party is making in local communities across the country.

He emphasised that it is Liberal Democrat Councils who are putting in place practical measures to cut crime and tackle the issue of climate change while giving power back to local communities.

He attacked the Labour Government for being "the most centralising and authoritarian government of the modern era" and the Conservatives for learning all the wrong lessons - "the soundbites, the spin" - from Tony Blair.

Menzies Campbell said:

"Liberal Democrats are not just present on councils in the north and south, east and west, and Scotland and Wales. We are leading them too.

"From the urban north, where the Conservatives are nowhere to be seen, to the rural South, where Labour is all but invisible. There are no areas where we cannot fight.

"The Liberal Democrats are a national party of local government."

Highlighting the success of Liberal Democrat councils in cutting crime he said:

"In Liverpool, a Liberal Democrat council has slashed domestic burglary by 24%. In Newcastle, a Liberal Democrat council has cut violent crime by 12%, after it doubled under Labour's control. And in Islington, a Liberal Democrat council has reduced anti-social behaviour through the innovative use of anti-social behaviour contracts.

"We know that the liberal approach to crime works. Because our local councils are proving it.

Lauding the environmental record of Liberal Democrat councils, he said:

"On the environment, our party has a record of awareness and achievement that is second to none. Our Green Tax Switch would move the burden of national income tax away from people and towards pollution.

"By doing so, we could change polluters' behaviour.And we could use the money it would raise to cut national income tax for millions of low and middle income earners."

Attacking the Labour Government, Menzies Campbell said:

"This Labour government is the most centralising, controlling and authoritarian government of the modern era.

"Labour uses the language of local democracy. But its Whitehall directed, target driven, wrong-headed, dogmatic obsession with command and control of the public services puts paid to those words.

Criticising the Conservatives, Menzies Campbell said:

"David Cameron's Conservatives have learned all the wrong lessons from Tony Blair - the soundbites, the spin - the willingness to say anything in order to win votes.

"How could the Conservatives make a difference to local government when they cannot tell us what they believe in?"