As the employment figures this week demonstrate ahead of the pre-budget report we are in the midst of a severe global recession which will impact nationally but have serious consequences locally as well. The party nationally has offered good ideas about how to tackle recession, but Conservative councils should be doing more to demonstrate effective local policies to help maintain household incomes, improve job prospects and mitigate unemployment.
Westminster, at the heart of London is facing an historic challenge to maintain the wellbeing of our residents and the prosperity of the city's businesses. That is why we have drawn together a far-reaching 15-point package of measures aimed at helping residents and business in central London fight the economic downturn.
I hope that this might serve as a blueprint for how Conservative councils can respond to the current difficulties and combine fiscal prudence with targeted measures to mitigate the downturn. The key measures include an extra car-free day for the West End to boost income for the capital's premier shopping streets, loans for those struggling with mortgages and a recommended freeze on council tax for 2009 - 2010.