A short but clear message from 35 Tory council leaders in the Daily Telegraph today:

SIR – As leaders of Conservative local authorities, we are sick of hearing Labour ministers crowing about how they have helped keep council tax down this year.

Readers should be aware that we have managed to keep taxes low in our authorities despite the efforts of John Denham and his department.

Labour red tape has led to the unprecedented council tax increases since 1997.

The average increase is so low this year through a combination of two factors. First, Conservative authorities have been committed, as always, to efficient and low-cost public services. Second, with every passing year, more high-tax Labour councils are failing at the ballot box.

Cllr David Burbage
Leader, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Cllr Edward Lister
Leader, London Borough of Wandsworth
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh
Leader, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Cllr Stephen Baines
Leader, Calderdale Council
Cllr Barry Dare
Leader, Gloucestershire County Council
Cllr Daniel Cox
Leader, Norfolk County Council
Cllr Jim Harker
Leader, Northamptonshire County Council
Cllr David Parsons
Leader of Leicestershire County Council
Cllr Roger Evans
Leader of the Conservatives, London Assembly
Cllr Bob Blackman
Deputy Leader, London Borough of Brent
Cllr Lynne Hillan
Leader, London Borough of Barnet
Cllr Ken Maddock
Leader, Somerset County Council
Cllr David Ashton
Leader, London Borough of Harrow
Cllr Kevin Carroll
Leader, Conservatives on Torbay Council
Cllr Merrick Cockell
Chairman, London Councils and Leader, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Cllr Teresa O’Neill
Leader, London Borough of Bexley
Cllr Peter Thompson
Leader, London Borough of Hounslow
Cllr Francine Haeberling
Leader, Bath and North East Somerset Council
Cllr Michael Rye
Leader, London Borough of Enfield
Cllr Keith Mitchell
Leader, Oxfordshire County Council
Cllr Mike Fisher
Leader, London Borough of Croydon
Cllr David Williams
Leader, London Borough of Merton
Cllr John Fuller
Leader, South Norfolk Council
Cllr David Lee
Leader Wokingham Borough Council
Cllr Matthew Colledge
Leader, Trafford Council
Cllr Mary Mears
Leader, Brighton & Hove City Council
Cllr Paul James
Leader, Gloucester City Council
Cllr John Furey
Leader, Runnymede Borough Council
Cllr Andy Mercer
Leader, East Northamptonshire Council
Cllr Robert Vines
Leader, Tewkesbury Borough Council
Cllr Lynden Stowe
Leader, Cotswold District Council
Cllr Nick Daubney
Leader, King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
Cllr Harvey Siggs
Leader, Mendip District Council
Cllr Peter Amos
Leader, Forest of Dean District Council
Cllr William Nunn
Leader, Breckland Council