Partners in the coalition in county battle
They may be in national government together but Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a savage attack on Conservative priorities as Liberal Democrat troops gathered to prepare for the battle for Somerset.
He accused the Tory administration of Somerset County Council of wasting taxpayers' money and making cuts to services and staff which "have forced this county to its knees over the last four years. The Lib Dems want to run services with down-to-earth commons sense," he said.
Conservatives took control of the county council in 2009 after 16 years of Liberal Democrat rule. They accused the Liberal Democrats of running up £360 million worth of debt and launched a three-year programme of spending cuts.
On Saturday Mr Clegg and former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, joined MPs and candidates at the launch of the party's bid to win back control of the council.
Addressing candidates at the Moorland Hall, Highbridge Mr Clegg said: "The Conservatives think it's ok to have underspent £18 million last year, to have underspent reserves of I think £20 million and spend £4 million on furniture and a million pounds on PR and then slash youth services by 75 per cent.
"They think it's more important to spend money on PR and their own furniture than young people in Somerset, and then there are the 12 bus routes that they slashed right to the bone.
"I don't think we should ever flinch from difficult decisions as we make the painstaking job of reforming the deeply damaged British economy. But when you are faced with an environment where there isn't very much money that is when your priorities count and we are unapologetic in saying that we look at young people ahead of office furniture and we look at Police Community Support Officers in front of under-spending reserves and bus routes in front of PR consultants."