David Cameron arrives in Birmingham for his party conference - with a warning that the city council may be cutting thousands of jobs for no reason.

The Prime Minister hit out at the local authority, which is axing 6,000 jobs, and rejected claims that Government funding cuts were to blame.

Mr Cameron also said his Government was taking action to ensure there could be no repeat of the Trojan Horse scandal, when school governors imposed an intolerant religious culture on secular city schools.

And he said the Conservative Conference, at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, would be used to showcase Tory plans for five more years in office - including a pledge to end unemployment.

But Mr Cameron arrives in Birmingham after Sir Albert Bore, Labour leader of the city council , announced the authority was set to axed 6,000 jobs by 2018, on top of 7,000 posts already cut since 2010.

Earlier this month, Sir Albert warned the council would have to reduce the services it offered to the public, and insisted the Government’s “unfair” funding cuts were to blame.

He said: “Firstly the cuts are the result of the unfair distribution of austerity measures across public services . . . the government has distributed this cut unfairly between different parts of the country.”

Mr Cameron insisted: “Every job loss is a tragedy for that person and their family. However, the numbers in this case have been determined by the city council.

“The government has only announced what money councils will receive until 2016, so for Labour to speculate what might happen in 2018 is fabrication.”

Birmingham received it’s fair share of funding, he insisted.

Leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore
Leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore
 

“Birmingham City Council receives a fair deal – in fact it will have £2,459 per household to spend when it comes to 2015-16. That’s against an English average of £2,183 – so Birmingham has £276 more to spend per household.

“Yes, cities like Birmingham have complex problems to address – which is why they generally receive more funding to help address them. But more can – and should – be done to ensure properly run services offering good value to the taxpayer.”

He warned Sir Albert: “There should be no need to cut frontline services in order to achieve this.”

Schools

Mr Cameron said teachers would be encouraged to blow the whistle on problems in schools, to help ensure there was no repeat of Trojan Horse.

He said: ”We have been clear that where we find evidence of these things we will have no hesitation in taking decisive action. That’s what you have seen in Birmingham.”

Mr Cameron added: “Already the Trust members at the affected schools have been changed and the new boards are working tirelessly to turn things around. Ofsted are monitoring progress closely.”

The Government had also appointed former Ofsted chief Sir Mike Tomlinson as Birmingham’s Education Commissioner, charged with helping the council improve schools, he said.

“More generally, the government is introducing a requirement for all schools to actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

“This will help to guard against a repeat of what we saw in Birmingham. We have also improved the way we deal with whistle-blowers so that people will find it easier to come forward as and when they have concerns.”

Scotland

Mr Cameron highlighted plans to introduce “English votes for English laws”, ensuring only English MPs get to vote on issues affecting English schools and hospitals.

It follows the Scottish independence referendum, when Scots voted to stay in the UK after they were promised more control over their own affairs.

Unionists gather in George Square, Glasgow, following the Scottish independence referendum.
Unionists gather in George Square, Glasgow, following the Scottish independence referendum.
 

Mr Cameron said: “Birmingham’s elected Members of Parliament don’t get to vote on matters in Scotland like local government, education or housing. Yet Scottish MPs can vote on these policies that apply to Birmingham.

“This is unfair and inconsistent, and something we need to fix in tandem with the devolved settlement to Scotland.”

But the Government would also give more power to Birmingham and the West Midlands, he said.

“This Government has done a lot to decentralise power and funding in England, and there is certainly scope to do more. Localism should be about devolving power to the lowest appropriate level – down to councils, to neighbourhoods and individuals.”

Garden Tax

Mr Cameron slammed Birmingham City Council’s decision to impose a £35 charge on the collection of green garden waste, a fee with Tories have dubbed the “garden tax”.

And he predicted the Labour authority’s decision could help the Tories win seats in the city, such Northfield and Edgbaston, both currently held by Labour.

He said: “We have some excellent candidates who have been campaigning incredibly hard, such as Rachel Maclean in Northfield. Her work on the Garden Tax has highlighted the poor decisions the Labour city council have made, which caused a waste dumping chaos on the city’s streets.

“In Edgbaston we have Dr Luke Evans, who has lived in the constituency since attending medical school. He now works as a GP as well as throwing himself wholeheartedly into winning Edgbaston back for the Conservatives.”

Conference themes

The Birmingham conference, the last Conservative annual conference before the election, would set out the party’s vision for a second term in office, he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron during his keynote speech at the conference at the ICC in 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron during his keynote speech at the conference at Birmingham's ICC in 2012
 

“This conference is about setting out our plan to secure Britain’s future. Over the past four and a half years we have worked flat out to get the deficit down, create jobs, cut taxes, cap welfare and give young people the best schools and skills. That’s our long-term economic plan, and it’s working.

“But the job is far from done. We don’t just want more people in work; we want full employment. We don’t just want to cut the deficit; we want to get rid of it. We want this to be a country where everyone, whatever their background, can reach their potential. That’s the scale of our ambition for Britain – and that’s the message I want to ring out from the conference hall here in Birmingham.”