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News round-up 21/5: Rotherham apology in UKIP adoption case

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

Foster care

Rotherham MBC has apologised over its handling of a controversial case in which three eastern European children were removed from their Ukip-supporting foster parents, the Guardian reports. It says that following a review of the case, the council has concluded that the decision was taken in the children’s best interests, but mistakes were made.

 

Care homes

A coroner has ruled that “gross neglect” by staff at a care home led to a grandmother dying of thirst, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says 11 failures had been identified at the Druids Meadow home in Birmingham, in relation to the care of 71-year-old Norma Spear.

 

Schools

The thinktank Reform has said school budgets could be cut by a fifth because there is “no correlation at all” between pumping money into schools and improved exam results, the Daily Telegraph reports. The Times also covers the Reform report. It says spending on schools could be cut by a fifth without harming results. The thinktank analysed variations in funding for nearly 20,000 schools and said only 70% of it could be identified as covering needs-based allocations.

 

Swivel-eyed loons

“Those aren’t loons, they’re just the over-60s” says the headline to a Times column about the discontent in the Conservative party in which Rachel Sylvester asks if political leaders should reflect the views of their party members. She says gay marriage is a flashpoint of the mismatch between Conservative members who are disproportionately over 60 and the rest of the country.

 

Scottish independence

Speaking on the Today Programme, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said the Scottish Government had today published a paper setting out the country’s key economic strengths and level of fiscal control.

Over the last five years, Scotland would have been £8bn better off if it had been independent, he claimed. Addressing the question of North Sea oil and gas, the First Minister said the retail value of the resource over the next 40 years could be £1.5 trillion. He emphasised the potential benefits of channelling some of the resource value into an oil fund to help Scotland weather uncertain times.

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