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FEW LAWS ON THE WAY

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The establishment of environment agencies is likely to be the only legislation announced in next week's Queen's Spe...
The establishment of environment agencies is likely to be the only legislation announced in next week's Queen's Speech to directly affect local government, after ministers apparently decided to ditch plans to change council house waiting list rules.

Two agencies are to be set up, one for England and Wales and the other for Scotland. They will merge the functions of the Pollution Inspectorate, National Rivers Authority and local waste authorities.

The abandonment of the controversial homelessness plans was being blamed on a lack of parliamentary time, but that was prior to the Cabinet's decision to shelve Post Office privatisation.

Other possible legislation affecting councils is a bill improving the system for dealing with alleged child abuse, in the wake of the Orkney cases, and reform of pension law after the Maxwell scandal, which could raise the pensionable age for women to 65.
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