SIR Keir Starmer says Labour’s push for power in Dudley’s council house is based on tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

The Labour leader was in Dudley on March 28 to launch his party’s campaign for local elections across the UK.

Local elections are set for May 2 and Labour’s Dudley leader, Cllr Pete Lowe, was present to hear his boss outline their plan to take control of the borough from the Conservatives.

Speaking at the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology, Mr Starmer said economic growth was the way out of financial problems, including for local authorities.

Mr Starmer told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “Dudley Council, like councils of all stripes, is being squeezed because of choices the Tories have made over 14 years.

“Pete Lowe and the team have some great plans to help with the cost-of-living crisis and to get the local high street thriving again.”

“What is crucial though, is Labour’s policy for local government funding. 

“These one-year settlements aren’t providing the stability that councils need with their finances. 

“We will introduce three-year funding settlements to allow councils greater certainty so they can plan properly.”

The man aiming to be the next Prime Minister is a fan of levelling up but claims his Conservative opponents don’t have a plan.

He believes councils need more power to create local plans which will help shape where regeneration takes place.

Mr Starmer told the LDRS: “Levelling up is vital. Of course, a town like Dudley wanted that hope to be real. Not just the promise of a better future that we all need.

“A Labour government will ask councils like Dudley, working with a Labour mayor hopefully, to develop a Local Growth Plan setting out a clear strategy about how they will kickstart growth in their area. 

“We will give them increased power to make those decisions. So that we can restart economic growth.

“It’s then up to local representatives to decide whether that is in Dudley town centre, Stourbridge, or Halesowen. 

“Of course, we want to make sure everyone feels the benefits of levelling up across all corners of the country.”