Conservative leader David Cameron has launched his party's local election campaign in Dewsbury.
There are 152 local authorities up for grabs in England as well as Wales' 22 unitaries in this year's local elections on May 1st.
With Labour struggling in the polls on issues like economic competence, the Tories are hoping to persuade voters to "vote blue, go green" in their ongoing campaign to improve local areas' environmental policies.
"This is not some namby-pamby soft idea - it's recognising that one of the most important things that councils do is dealing with the environment," Mr Cameron told supporters at Dewsbury town hall this morning.
'All of our customers are international and we need those transport links to be as efficient and effective as possible'
'Because key gateways have been capacity constrained, a lot of freighter services now terminate in mainland Europe'
Improving energy efficiency and crackdowns on graffiti, fly-posting and fly-tipping will make a difference on "environmental change", but Mr Cameron also pressed the importance of the "better value-for-money" offered by Conservative councils.
"On average, Conservative councils levy lower council taxes than their Labour or Liberal Democrat counterparts. That really matters, especially at a time of economic difficulty," he pointed out.
Mr Cameron said the Tories were committed to keeping council tax down through "practical steps" and generally relieving local government of the "unfunded burdens, regulations, inspection and red tape that have forced up council tax".
Such efforts to empower ordinary people and create a "safer" and "greener" Britain, "where families are stronger and society is more responsible", is of "national importance" to Britain, Mr Cameron said.
And he expressed enthusiasm at the chance to deliver Labour a blow before the next general election, saying the local polls were a chance to "send a message to this failing Labour government".
"It's time to go and make way for a party with fresh ideas," he concluded.
"Every Conservative vote on May 1st will help to turn these aspirations into reality."