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Keeping Local Government Conservative

OsbornConservative councillors attend lots of meetings which press them to forget their Conservativism, Cllr Paul Osborn of Harrow Council recommends going to one event to remind them of it

These are challenging times for local councils. They are subject to significant reductions in funding from central government due to the Spending Review while still facing pressure from local residents to do the right thing and reduce council tax.

Over the next few years councillors will have to decide how to adjust to this new funding reality at the same time as maintaining the level of service expected by local residents and protecting those most in

It is tempting to think that the only solution is for local authorities to cover the gap in their income by raising council taxes or slashing spending on core services like street cleaning or rubbish collection. This need not be the case.

On Saturday 29th June, just days after the latest Government Spending Review, Conservative Way Forward IS holding a Local Government Conference to share solutions and experience to help Conservative Councillors deliver on our low tax principles at this difficult time. We will be joined by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles who will set out his thoughts on the future of local government.

Representatives from some of the local authorities that are leading the way in cutting taxes and maintaining services will also be there to share their secrets with fellow Conservatives. They include Cllr Greg Smith of Hammersmith & Fulham, a council which has managed to reduce its council tax by 3% this year - the sixth year out of seven they have done so, Cllr Gary Porter, who has led South Holland District Council in cutting council tax for two years in a row and Jonathan Isaby of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, who will give tips on making effective savings. Harry Phibbs, Local Government Editor of Conservative Home, will also be setting out the questions that all councillors should be asking their authorities and Emma Carr of Big Brother Watch will talk about how councils can resist intruding too much into residents’ privacy.

This promises to be a great place for councillors and prospective councillors to meet and share their ideas on how to run local authorities effectively and efficiently.

We would love you to join us on Saturday 29th June and in the sprit of tax cutting we’d like to offer ConHome readers a 20% discount. Just go to and get your ticket.

Full list of confirmed speakers:
  • Mike Burton (Editorial Director, the MJ);
  • Emma Carr (Deputy Director, Big Brother Watch);
  • James Cleverly AM (Chairman, London Fire Authority);
  • Sir Merrick Cockell (Chairman, LGA);
  • Jonathan Isaby (Political Director, TPA);
  • Sir Edward Lister (Deputy Mayor of London);
  • Cllr Teresa O’Neill (Leader, London Councils Conservative Group);
  • Cllr Harry Phibbs (Local Government Editor, ConservativeHome);
  • Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government);
  • Cllr Gary Porter (Chairman, Conservative Councillors Association);
  • Cllr David Simmonds (Deputy Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council);
  • Cormac Smith (Chairman, LGComms);
  • Cllr Greg Smith (Deputy Leader, Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council).


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