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Conservative Party Conrerence: Welsh chief is hopeful of success.

The leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly yesterday delivered an upbeat message to party members on the opening day of his party's conference in Blackpool.

Nick Bourne said he was confident the Tories, who do not hold a Westminster seat in Wales, could turn things around.

He said: 'The challenge for Welsh Conservatives is to build on the excellent Assembly results in future elections.

'We were the only party to increase its share of the vote in every electoral region and our share of the vote increased in 35 out of 40 constituencies.'

Speaking on the impact of devolution in Wales at Blackpool's Winter Gardens, he stressed Welsh Tories were determined to make the Assembly work.

He said: 'While regional assemblies are in my belief an undesirable move that could lead to the balkanisation of England, with Welsh Conservative policies devolution can work for the people of Wales.'

But Mr Bourne criticised the Labour Assembly government accusing it of wasting taxpayers' money. He insisted Labour should concentrate on reducing waiting lists rather than spending cash on a new Assembly building.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 7, 2003
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