The Conservative led Coalition Government Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and previously the Chairman of the Conservative Party Eric Pickles. Conservative Member of Parliament for Ongar and Brentwood since 1992 when he first entered the House of Commons. Elected to Bradford Council in 1979 and he was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in 2007. In 2010 he handed powers to ministers that would allow them to cap rises in local council tax, which appears to contradict his statement that he 'wanted to hand power to local people by reversing the notion that Whitehall knows best'. The reduction in the ability to raise taxes has created real problems for many councils with services suffering and some having to resort to a once monthly waste bin collection.