COUNCILLORS are to be given English lessons as part of a drive to outlaw jargon.

The campaign has been launched by the Liberal Democrat group on Pendle Council in a bid to ban phrases such as 'overarching stakeholder strategies' and 'holistic partnership initiatives.' The proposals will be introduced in a motion to the council's annual meeting tomorrow when Liberal Democrat leader Coun Tony Greaves will call on members to back moves for all its "reports, plans, letters and other material" to be "written in plain English".

He wants a guide to plain English for council staff and councillors, and to organise a training programme.

Lord Greaves said: "A lot of work has been taking place and results are starting to show. This is the time to get the backing of the full council."

Lord Greaves said a lot of the "verbal garbage" was handed down from central government and Quango type bodies.

He added: "We hope to see the end of rubbish phrases such as 'overarching stakeholder strategies' and 'holistic partnership initiatives'.

"The real purpose is to stop everyone writing and talking in council-speak'.

"The test should be - is this how people say and write things in their ordinary lives?

"Will most people understand what we are saying? If the answer is no we must say it some other way."

Already, a guide"has been produced for council staff, and plain English checks are taking place on some council leaflets and reports.

Lord Greaves said: "We are going to have plain English guides and training meetings for councillors.

"It is too easy to hide behind jargon which means nothing to the outside world - and councillors are sometimes the worst culprits."

A spokesman for the Plain English Campaign said: "This sounds very encouraging."

George Dodds, head of communications at Pendle Council, said: "Councillors and top managers all agree that plain English is really important."