Magazine article Public Finance

Local Government Proposals Provoke Delegates' Wrath

Magazine article Public Finance

Local Government Proposals Provoke Delegates' Wrath

Article excerpt

The Liberal Democrat frontbench suffered a humiliation over local government when members threw out policy proposals as lacking substance.

In an excoriating speech to the conference on September 19, Richard Kemp, leader of the LibDem group at the Local Government Association, tore into the document, Your community, your choice.

He said that it contained nothing new end ignored the fect that the party represented some of the most deprived wards in the country.

'Nothing in here will be of use when [LibDem local government spokesman Andrew Stunell] faces Ruth Kelly on the white paper. There's nothing I can use when I negotiate on behalf of councillors,' he said. 'I call on you to abstain and let this resolution go into the cat litter of history.'

The paper puts forward a vision of power devolved from Whitehall to the lowest practical level and community decisionmaking, accountable to residents rather than ministers. …

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