The Conservatives have launched their manifesto for next month's city council elections, promising a cleaner, greener, safer Birmingham.

But the document steers clear of mentioning the coalition that has enabled the Conservatives to run the council in partnership with the Liberal Democrats since June 2004.

Instead, the manifesto is sprinkled with references to a "Conservative-led" administration.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto, which will be published shortly, is expected to make similarly coded references to the party's role in running the council and is unlikely to mention the coalition or the Conservatives.

Both parties have agreed unofficially to concentrate their fire-power on May 4 on Labour-held council seats.

A shake-up of the council cabinet after the election seems almost certain, since the Liberal Democrats now have 32 councillors against 40 Conservative, but only two of the ten cabinet places.

There are 45 Labour councillors, two Independents and one vacant seat.

The Conservative manifesto - Birmingham's getting better, don't let Labour blow it - is dominated by pledges to continue existing policies. There are few new initiatives.

In his introduction to the document Mike Whitby, the council leader and leader of the Tory group, writes: "In less than two years Birmingham City Council, under this Conservative-led administration, has undergone a complete transformation.

"It has gone from being a weak, under-performing council that was constantly failing the citizens of Birmingham to a vibrant forward-looking organisation that is delivering excellence and innovation to the people of our city.

"Since gaining control we have introduced strong financial and managerial stability to the way the council operates and we have improved and invested in our local services, gaining significant praise from the Government's own inspectors.

"We have raised the profile of Birmingham locally, nationally and internationally, as a global city with a local heart. We have successfully promoted Birmingham throughout America, China, India and Europe which, I am sure, will lead to future commercial investment and recognition for our great city."

Pledges outlined in the manifesto include:

* Law and order crackdown, including the possible ban of hoodies in shopping areas;

* Zero tolerance policing and fines for people who spit and allow their dogs to foul public areas;

* Appointment of a cabinet "champion" to help promote work with the voluntary, charitable and faith-based sector;

* Free access to selected sports and training facilities during the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games;

* Development of proposals for a 50-metre swimming pool.

The Conservatives say they will continue to improve Birmingham's once failing social services department. More than #40 million will be invested in new special care centres and #50 million for sheltered housing.

The manifesto adds: "In 2004 the Conservative-led administration inherited a social services department that was underperforming, under-funded and neglected by Labour. We have pledged an extra #82 million to improve services and motivate staff, which has led to the Government's own Audit Commission awarding us a star performance rating for the first time."