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A raffle was held at this year's Convention of Scottish Local Authorities conference in Crieff and all the delegate...
A raffle was held at this year's Convention of Scottish Local Authorities conference in Crieff and all the delegates handed in a five pound note for a fund-raising trek in the Andes.

Helen Law, COSLA's education spokesperson, raised more than£500 towards a pledge of£2,500 for autistic children in the raffle.

It has been suggested that Glasgow City Council make up the difference since it saved£300,000 by pulling out of COSLA to spend more money on children with learning difficulties.

The Convention's new chief executive Rory Mair won£100 in cash. Not quite enough to cover the difference in salary of£90,000 for COSLA's chief executive, compared with most council chief executives in the light of the McIntosh report.

The report, commissioned by COSLA, recommended a salary increase of more than 21% for Glasgow leader Jimmy Andrews, taking his salary to nearly£140,000.

For information and donations to Ms Law's trek for the Scottish Society for Autism contact David Kennedy at COSLA on: 0131 474 9205.

The government has just launched its draft national strategy for e-government, but DTLR staff don't seem to have got used to the technology themselves yet.

A statement said: 'Copies of the consultation paper are available from www.local-regions.dtlr/egov.' This address does not exist and no-one at the DTLR knew how to get the information.

It seems the technology got the better of them and local government minister Nick Raynsford said: 'I am pleased local government is rising to the challenge.' Let's hope his department catches up.

The grim findings of a survey of archive websites show the inquisitions of Reading's coroner archive is one of the 40 most favoured in the country.

The website lists inquests in the town between 1839 and 1912, which include those of Henry West, killed by a whirlwind at Reading station in 1840, and executed trooper Charles Woodbridge whose death formed the basis for Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol.

But one has to question why Reading BC's press publicised this bleak claim to fame, when the site is already in the top 40.

Middlesbrough has a controversial ex-cop standing as mayor and now neighbouring Hartlepool has its own contender to up the media coverage of the US-style elections next month.

Hartlepool's most famous resident, a monkey, is fighting for the all-powerful post - backed by the local football team.

Call centre worker Stuart Drummond has the financial backing of Hartlepool United to dress up as their monkey mascot, H'angus, and stand as mayor. It will be interesting to see what a monkey does for the turnout of these inaugural elections.

If you wish to disseminate any gossip, please e-mail me on

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