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Nick Clegg Says Liberal Democrats 'Delivering' Ahead Of Local Elections

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Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats are
Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats are "delivering for ordinary people" within the Tory-led coalition as he rallied party activists ahead of local elections in a month's time.

Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats are "delivering for ordinary people" within the Tory-led coalition as he rallied party activists ahead of local elections in a month's time.

Speaking ahead of the launch of English part of the party's campaign for the May 3 electoral test, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the hike in income tax allowances as a key achievement.

The Lib Dems took a severe battering at the ballot box in last year's local elections - the first after they joined the Conservatives in government - and will be desperate to avoid a repeat.

Some experts have predicted further losses in the elections - which are also taking place in Scotland and Wales - that could see a party's town hall presence slump to a quarter century-low.

Mr Clegg has faced some internal criticism for failing to secure sufficient rewards for dropping his opposition to the axing of the 50p top rate of tax in George Osborne's Budget.

Last week the party lost its deposit in the Bradford West by-election.

Mr Clegg will visit Stockport and hail the work of council as typical of Lib Dem-run authorities.

He said: "This is the time to be proud to be a Liberal Democrat. We've always worked hard and delivered for people locally but for the first time in living memory, we are doing that nationally too."

Seeking to focus attention on Lib Dem achievements within the coalition, after a fraught week for the Government, he said: "The Liberal Democrats are delivering for ordinary people in government.

"Over the next week, our policies will mean nearly 25 million people will get a £130 tax cut on top of the £200 tax cut we gave them last year.

"Schools will get over £1 billion more through our Pupil Premium to help the most disadvantaged children and pensioners will see the biggest ever cash rise in the state pension of £5.30 a week.

"My top priority is jobs and growth, in Stockport, Liberal Democrats are leading the way with the highest increase in the number of new business start-ups in the north west and the highest number of new 16-18 advanced and higher apprenticeships in Greater Manchester.

"We're rebalancing the economy with the £2.5 billion Regional Growth Fund; delivering record numbers of apprenticeships and yesterday our £1 billion Youth Contract was launched, which will ensure that every unemployed young person has the opportunity to earn or learn.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to deliver fair policies for people throughout Britain."

He went on: "Liberal Democrat councillors across the country are working to protect the services that people value most while Liberal Democrats in government clear up the economic mess Labour left behind.

"I'm visiting Stockport where the Liberal Democrat led council is saving money while both protecting libraries and freezing council tax. Every Lib Dem council in the country has frozen council tax."