Prime Minister David Cameron pledges to build 'a land of opportunity' (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Prime Minister David Cameron pledges to build 'a land of opportunity'
6:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
David Cameron will today pledge to “build a land of opportunity” in an attempt to lift the mood of voters after years of grim cuts.
In his close-of-conference speech, the Prime Minister will set out how his Government has an optimistic purpose beyond “deficits and decimal points and dry fiscal plans”.
Mr Cameron will promise “a dynamic economy and fantastic schools” for everyone prepared to “put the effort in”.
And he will tell the Tory faithful: “Our dreams are about helping people get on in life. Aspiration, opportunity – these are our words, our dreams.
“So, today, I want to talk about our one, abiding mission. That, as our economy starts to recover, we build a land of opportunity in our country today.”
Mr Cameron will also seek to reach out to the entire country, telling the Manchester conference: “It makes no difference whether you live in the North or in the South”.
And he will launch an attack on Ed Miliband for being anti-business, after the Labour leader vowed to impose a price freeze on energy companies.
A Conservative source said: “It was extraordinary what we heard last week, to have to explain to someone why business is important in 2013. That’s a big element of the speech.”
However, Mr Cameron is not expected to make any fresh policy announcements, after a week in which the Tories have promised help with mortgages, tax breaks for marriage and a fresh crackdown on the workshy.
Meanwhile, Local Government and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has vowed to fight a Labour housebuilding plan hailed last week by Bradford’s Council leader – insisting it would “confiscate private land”.
Ed Miliband has pledged to give councils “use it or lose it” powers, allowing them to levy fees on developers hoarding land with planning permission.
They would also enjoy beefed-up compulsory purchase powers to grab back land that has lain empty for years, despite having been approved for badly-needed homes.
David Green, Bradford’s Labour leader, backed the idea, arguing it could help protect the city’s green land.
The Telegraph & Argus revealed about 9,000 homes across West Yorkshire have approval, yet work has not started – including in Bradford (2,364), Kirklees (1,253) and Calderdale (428). Coun Green said: “We need to have strong powers to force developers to get work started, or to do it ourselves, so I’m pleased that this is an issue that Ed has picked up on.”
But, speaking at the Conservative conference, Mr Pickles, a former leader of Bradford Council, said Labour would “build nothing but resentment”.
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