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17Sep92 UK: LIBERAL DEMOCRATS GET TOUGH ON COUNCIL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS.

Construction contractors should face tougher rules on training and pay and conditions before they are awarded council contracts, say the Liberal Democrats.The party's conference at Harrogate this week agreed to restore many of the contract compliance powers used by councils until outlawed in 1988 after a campaign led by the Building Employers Confederation.The Liberal Democrats wholly or partly control one-quarter of local authorities.They called for work to go to private contractors only when they offered pay and benefits equal to those of direct labour organisations.The motion said private contractors should be excluded from council work if they offered training and apprenticeship packages inferior to those of the public sector. The party also committed itself to scrap compulsory competitive tendering, giving each public body the right to decide which services would be put out to tender.