Menzies Campbell today launched the Liberal Democrat local elections campaign by highlighting the real and positive change the party is making in local communities across the country.
Speaking this morning in London, Menzies Campbell 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 cited the examples of Liverpool, where a Liberal Democrat council has slashed domestic burglary by 24% and Newcastle where the Liberal Democrat council has cut violent crime by 12%, after it doubled under Labour’s control. In Islington, a Liberal Democrat council has reduced anti-social behaviour through the innovative use of anti-social behaviour contracts.
The Liberal Democrat Green Tax Switch proposals would move the burden of national tax away from people and towards pollution. The money raised would then be used to cut national income tax for millions of low and middle income earners.
Sir Menzies highlighted that on a local level, Liberal Democrat Councils successful track record on the environment:
- Waverley Council has increased recycling rates from 14% under the Conservatives to 40% under the Liberal Democrats.
- Cornwall County Council has formed a Sustainable Energy Partnership, which has set challenging targets for renewable energy.
- Richmond upon Thames has implemented groundbreaking parking charges to ensure that residents in controlled parking zones pay for their permits based on the CO2 emissions of their vehicles.
The Liberal Democrat Leader attacked Tony Blair’s Government for being the most centralising and authoritarian government of the modern era, and criticised David Cameron for learning all the wrong lessons about soundbites and spin from him.
He also stated that there are no ‘no go’ areas for the Liberal Democrats, as the only truly national party of local government. Liberal Democrat are not just present on councils in the north and south, east and west, and Scotland and Wales, they 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.