Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Saturday, 1 March 2008

'Mend broken politics' - Cameron

David Cameron at Llandudno
David Cameron spoke of public disappointment after Labour's 11 years

Conservative leader David Cameron has told the Welsh party conference that he wants a "mass movement for change".

He told delegates in Llandudno: "Public faith in our political institutions is draining away."

Mr Cameron said that "people in Wales were fed up with Labour" and only the Conservatives offered a new agenda.

He said there was a breakdown of public faith in the political system, with a need to end spin, directly engage the public and "mend broken politics".

Mr Cameron blamed the behaviour of a minority of politicians of all parties and also behaviour in the Commons.

But he also pointed "broken promises" by Labour on European referendum and tuition fees.

He also attacked Labour's "systematic culture of spin" and "top-down, centralising control," which had left so many people "giving up on politics".

Mr Cameron said Prime Minister Gordon Brown was making things worse.

He said the Conservatives would use independent statistics, cap the number of specialist advisers in Whitehall and bring about more direct citizenship.

This included local referendums and giving the public a right to petition for bills in Parliament.

"At a national level, if a petition is submitted to parliament signed by a set number of voters, for example 100,000, there would be a formal debate on the topic," he told delegates.

"We propose that the public, if backed by a petition of a million electors, should also be able to table a bill for parliament to vote for, to vote against or to amend."

Mr Cameron said the party offered the only alternative to Labour in Wales, after Plaid Cymru's "astonishing" coalition deal to form the assembly government and the Liberal Democrats, who "got jilted at the altar".

Nick Bourne AM
Nick Bourne wants 'significant gains' at the local elections

In his speech Welsh Conservative leader Nick Bourne emphasised the need for change and for new ideas for Wales

"It's about solutions, building for the future", an approach he said was "essential as we prepare for government."

Mr Bourne wants to build on its 12 seats in the assembly by making "significant gains" in the local council elections.

"Our solutions rely on empowering people and communities. People not governments know what is really needed," he said.

"People not governments are best placed to deliver it. Wales deserves better and it is our job to deliver it," he said.

In a bid to "ensure we remain responsive and understanding on the key issues affecting Wales" Mr Bourne announced a root and branch policy review.

This would led by David Melding AM.

There would also be health and social services and environment commissions, in addition to the current enterprise commission.

Commissions on rural affairs, social justice and heritage would also be launched over the coming months.


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