Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today


8:30 am - February 11th 2011

by Sunder Katwala    


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A government source confirms to The Times (£) that Eric Pickles’ relationship with local councils has become dysfunctional.

They hate him and he hates them.

As a result, LibDem council leaders have asked Nick Clegg to step in so that they don’t have to deal with the Tory Community Secretary.

The paper reports that LibDem LGA leader Richard Kemp, who helped coordinate yesterday’s Times letter warning against the scale and front-loading of local cuts, has requested on behalf of colleagues that they should deal with Clegg and other Cabinet office ministers so as to “minimise” contact with Pickles, with whom their working relationship has collapsed.

In a further letter to The Times (£), most of Labour’s senior council leaders welcome yesterday’s LibDem letter, and call for cross-party cooperation on this “urgent issue”, arguing that residents “are relying on councillors of all parties to work together in the interests of the public and be their voice during tough times”.

The letter is signed by councillor David Sparks, Leader, Labour Group, Local Government Association and 130 colleagues, including many Labour council leaders (listed here).

They write:

David Cameron acknowledged in a speech in 2009 that “local government is officially the most efficient part of the public sector”. As councillors and elected mayors we will work to continue to drive down the costs of delivering quality public services. However, we feel that the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles, has been disingenuous about the impact his cuts will have on our ability to provide services. The design and depth of the cuts to local authority budgets will undoubtedly hurt local economies and damage frontline services.

Because of the costly long-term impacts these cuts will have to our communities and our local economies we believe it is important that we keep the discussion with the Government open. We therefore invite Liberal Democrat councillors to join us in writing to their fellow Liberal Democrat, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, to ask him to ask Eric Pickles to look again at the unfairness of the Tory-Lib Dem Government’s cuts.

Meanwhile, one Tory councillor from Wookey Hole in Somerset begs to differ, and writes to the paper to attack the LibDems for failing to live in the real world, while congratulating Eric Pickles for his “Churchillian resolve”.

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About the author
Sunder Katwala is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is the director of British Future, a think-tank addressing identity and integration, migration and opportunity. He was formerly secretary-general of the Fabian Society.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Local Government ,Westminster

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Reader comments


1. Dick the Prick

But Labour burnt all the money ffs

Yeh,,,amusing really. Labour knacker the current account, tories get the blame and Lie-Libs go crawling. Labour should avoid all contact with these gutless creeps.

@1

Labour didn’t burn all the money ffs. This is Tory ideology at work.

meanwhile, an ever more desperate Clegg veers his party to the right. in the hope of grabbing a few votes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/…/lib-dems-to-target-tory-votes-as-clegg-sees-his- constituency-slip-away-2211230.html

It tickles me really. These gutless wonders called Labour councillors go crawling to the Lie-Libs to help get a working class tory off their backs and the Lib-Dems are doing everything possible to move their party to the right at national level. Meanwhile at local level, Dim-Libs are pulling every dirty move possible on the tories ! Tell me again why the public look on all politics with such mistrust ?

“one Tory councillor from Wookey Hole ”

The witch of wookey hole?

@3 But labour did burn all the money, as Liam Byrne helpfully pointed out. Had we had sufficient reform of public services during the New Labour years, to boost efficienct, we would be in much better shape. The reform is coming now, this time there is no Gordon Brown to block it.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today http://bit.ly/fbk5Tj

  2. M McLaughlin

    RT @libcon: Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today http://bit.ly/fbk5Tj

  3. downinjamaica

    RT @libcon: Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today http://bit.ly/fbk5Tj

  4. Jane Phillips

    RT @libcon: Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today http://bit.ly/fbk5Tj

  5. Double.Karma

    RT @libcon: Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today http://bit.ly/fbk5Tj

  6. Rachel Hubbard

    Work with us to stop Pickles, say Labour councillors today | Liberal Conspiracy http://goo.gl/er0u3





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