Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson: Tories and Lib Dems are

Bill Esterson

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government's Localism Bill is nothing short of a smokescreen for more council cuts.

The MP warned the bill falls way short of its promise of providing community empowerment and is nothing more than a Tory-Lib Dem tool to accelerate cuts and privatise local services.

Bill said it was all part of David Cameron's Big Society con.

Bill said: "Like so many other things from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the truth behind the Localism Bill isn't as described.

"Instead of giving power to the local community, this bill simply creates opportunities for businesses to step in and take control of services which have traditionally been provided by the council.

"But instead of improving services, the bill will simply take control away from elected councillors and put them in the hands of big business.

"Instead of seeing the community have more of a say in the provision of services, the financial bottomline will be the driving factor."

Bill said he was concerned that the bill will have a wide reaching impact on vital services, including social housing.

Bill said: "As if the Tory-Lib Dem cuts weren't enough, they are taking things to a whole new level with these reforms. And at the core of the argument is David Cameron's Big Society con.

"While I have no problem with having a referendum on elected mayors, this is nothing but a smokescreen for further cuts to the public sector. Behind this bill is something which is really sinister.

"The cuts being imposed by the Tories and Lib Dems go too far as it is, but these proposals make things a whole lot worse for us here in Sefton.

"We already know that the government wants to reform social housing so that people don't have the right to a house 'for life', but instead have fixed term residencies of as little of two years, and that the constraints on rent control will be lifted, but by putting the control of social housing in the hands of a separate business again the bottomline becomes the driving force.

"Services are being eroded by the government's cuts and the council jobs are being axed. Instead of empowering Sefton Council, the Tories and Lib Dems are weakening our local authority - and they call that localism!"