Lib Dems campaign with promise to 'shake up' local govt

Nick Clegg launches Lib Dem local election campaign
Nick Clegg launches Lib Dem local election campaign

The Liberal Democrats have launched their local election campaign with a promise to facilitate change and return power to local communities.

Leader Nick Clegg urged voters to look at the record of the Liberal Democrats' 29 councils when voting on May 1st.

The Liberal Democrats have around 700 seats to defend in the local elections in England and Wales but are hoping to gain seats from the Conservatives and Labour.

Speaking in Sheffield Hallam, Mr Clegg said the Lib Dems had already taken on and defeated Labour's "one party fiefdoms in the north and the Tories in the southern shires and boroughs that they seem to think they were born to rule."

He argued Lib Dem councils have a record of "shaking things up" when elected and have a record of producing value for money and real solutions on housing, education, crime and the environment.

Mr Clegg said: "Practical solutions on housing that have made our communities like Cambridge, Chesterfield, and South Shropshire fairer places to live.

"Practical solutions on crime that have made cities like Hull, Liverpool and Newcastle safer places to live.

"And practical solutions on the environment that have made areas like Birmingham, Northampton and Richmond greener places to live."

In contrast, he said, Labour had been talking tough on crime without reducing it and paying lip service to climate change without tackling. The Conservatives likewise have no idea on policy and only green gimmicks.

Mr Clegg urged voters not to follow Labour's "trail of broken promises" to the polling station, or be "beguiled by David Cameron's brand of political fakery".

The local elections mark the first electoral test of Mr Clegg's leadership, who has struggled to gain momentum after taking over in May.

The Lib Dem's hope to capitalise on the government's own floundering popularity and Mr Clegg told supporters "every Labour candidate will know that their fortunes on the ground cannot be divorced from Gordon Brown's record in national government."


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