8 days to go: Conservatives launch manifesto for London

Michael Howard has unveiled the Conservative Manifesto for London, with a ten point action plan to tackle the issues that matter to the people of Britain's capital city.

He pledged that an incoming Conservative government will provide funding for an additional 8,500 full-time police officers and 1,000 special constables to be deployed on the streets; will boost parental choice by allowing popular schools to expand, while tackling London's chaotic secondary schools admission process; and will scrap London's bureaucratic strategic health authorities, putting matron back in charge to clean up dirty hospitals.

Conservatives will also abolish the 2007 council tax revaluation, block new council tax bands, and halve council tax bills for pensioner households of 65 and over; expand home ownership by raising the stamp duty threshold to £250,000, and extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants while increasing support for shared ownership schemes.

Other measures include tougher licensing controls to curb binge drinking; more local accountability by granting the Mayor greater control over policing, while increasing the powers of the London Assembly to scrutinise and amend the Mayor's budgets and strategies; moving ahead with the Thames Gateway development, while protecting Green Belt in and around London; scrapping the rest of John Prescott's flawed Communities Plan; and promoting improved rail links in and around the capital.

Mr Howard said: "London is Europe's leading city and one of the greatest cities in the world. It is modern, cosmopolitan and dynamic. But alongside success, there exist poverty of aspiration and lack of opportunity, rundown inner city areas and high crime. No city can remain great when crime gets out of control."

He continued, "London pays far more in tax than the national average. But it has some of the worst-performing schools in the country. London has world-class teaching hospitals, but the NHS in London is under severe pressure from Mr Blair's targets, and is not providing the quality of healthcare needed in a major capital city. Londoners know that quality of life issues matter, and Conservatives will take action on them."

Reiterating the party's support for the London 2012 Olympic bid, Mr Howard stated: "The choice before London on May 5th is very clear. They can either reward Mr Blair for eight years of broken promises and vote for another five years of talk. Or they can vote Conservative, to support a Party that's taken a stand and is committed to action on the issues that matter to Londoners."


You can download the manifesto here in PDF format


story from: www.conservatives.com