Strong stuff at Conference this afternoon from Eric Pickles & Iain Duncan-Smith and what the Party troops need to hear.
Eric Pickles spoke first and gave clear pledges on the Green Belt and strengthening councils’ powers to deal with traveller invasions. He said “There has been a lot of press speculation in recent weeks on the green belt. Protecting the character of the countryside is stamped deep into the heart of Conservatives. Let me tell you; the green belt plays a vital role in stopping urban sprawl and we will protect it.
He went on to announce new powers for councils to deal with travellers who illegally occupy land, frequently over bank holidays when councils are least prepared to deal with them. Local authorities are to be given immediate powers to issue stop notices and to enforce unlimited fines on ose who transgress planning laws.
Iain Duncan-Smith was next to attack the benefit dependency created by the last Labour government. This was not on attack on those who have chosen a life of worklessness and benefit dependency but on the culture of a Labour government that has encouraged it. This was powerful speech, full of passion from an ex-Party leader once branded as “the quiet man”.