The Tories have promised to scrap a huge list of quangos, including the Government’s new planning body.
Shadow local government secretary Eric Pickles said the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which will take major decisions on projects such as airports and power stations, would be abolished.
Mr Pickles told the Conservative Party conference the IPC, which will be created under the Planning Bill currently going through Parliament, would be staffed by “quangocrats” and take power away from local councils.
In a speech to party supporters, he said: “Next month we will set out our plans to give more power to local councils and through them directly to the people.
“Real power, real control and real accountability.
“To start with, we will scrap a number of unelected, unaccountable quangos.
“I am not going to read out a long list. All you need to know about them is that they are useless, pointless and they are going to go.”
Included in the list of targets to be cut were regional development agencies including Advantage West Midlands, whose work should be divided up between local authorities, Mr Pickles said.
He added they were unrepresentative and unaccountable, and the best thing that could be said about their performance was that they hadn’t done any serious damage.
But a spokesperson for Advantage West Midlands said: “Advantage West Midlands is successfully transforming the economy of the region through projects like the redevelopment of New Street in Birmingham, the development of a world-class research and development centre at Ansty Park in Coventry and flagship business park at the i54 site in Wolverhampton.
“We have consistently met output targets set by Government that support business and create jobs, and in March 2007 our excellent performance was recognised by the National Audit Office, which concluded the Agency was ‘performing strongly’ and awarded us the highest possible rating of four out of four.”
On top of the quango cuts, Mr Pickles promised a UK-wide return to weekly rubbish collections, pledging to take on what he called the “bin bullies”.
He said at the current rate weekly rubbish collections would disappear by 2013, adding: “Conservatives believe that decent rubbish collections are a vital frontline council service to help protect the local environment and public health.
“We reject Labour’s army of bin bullies and bin taxes. That is why David Cameron has pledged that we will provide funding to allow all councils to introduce proper weekly rubbish collections, on top of recycling.
“Under a Conservative government, the weekly bin collection will be back and recycling will go up.”
Cutting back on red tape and unneccesary public spending was a big feature of many speakers at the Conservative conference, which finished yesterday.
But critics of the party said their sums did not add up, and they would not be able to both freeze council tax rises and improve local services.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears described the move to increase spending on rubbish collection while promising a freeze in council tax as a ‘con’.
She said: “The truth is their council tax pledge is a con and they have failed to set out where they would find any of the savings needed either to freeze council tax or to spend more on bin collection.”