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NATIONAL PRESS - ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES - UPDATE 10.10AM

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PORTSMOUTH CITY CHIEF'S FEARS OVER PAEDOPHILE PROTESTS ...
PORTSMOUTH CITY CHIEF'S FEARS OVER PAEDOPHILE PROTESTS

Further anti-paedophile protests took place last night on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth. The Daily Telegraph (p1) quotes acting chief executive and finance and resources director, Roger Ching, saying he feared that the protests could spread to other areas of the city. A 'peace plan' has been agreed by Portsmouth City Council with police and protest leaders which included a pledge to relocate people who felt threatened, the Telegraph reports.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth North Labour MP Syd Rapson, a former city councillor, said that public fears will only be eased by giving paedophiles longer sentences and convincing people that the police and local authorities could monitor them after their release.

MET POLICE WANTS PARTNERSHIPS WITH COUNCILS TO TACKLE MURDER RATE

New statistics show that the big rise in violent crime in London has concentrated in particular hotspots. Between 1997-99 there were 429 murders with at least 100 drug related. The Guardian (p6) reportsthat the metropolitan police is encouraging partnerships between local authorities and the police. It features Bexley LBC which cites its community safety initiative as a success story.

'ADOPTION HAS NEVER BEEN MORE CHALLENGING' - MORE KIDS SENT BACK

A survey of adoption professionals for Community Care magazine has found an increase in the rate of returned adopted children to chidren's homes or foster care, reports The Times(p4). A London conference yesterday heard Sheffield City Council fostering and adoptions service manager Nick Hughes explain that social workers were trying to find adoptive families for children who would previously have been left in residential care for their whole childhoods.

OBIT FOR INFLUENTIAL SOCIAL WORKER BARBARA KAHAN

The Times(p19) carries an obituary for Barbara Kahan, the social worker who insisted that residential care for children should be improved. She died on August 6 aged 80. In 1991 Barbara Kahan co-published the so-called 'pin-down report' into abuse in children's homes in Staffordshire. Barbara Kahan held a lifelong belief that children's homes should be staffed by properly trained, remunerated and esteemed specialists, writes The Times.

CALL TO MAKE ALL PUBLIC TRANSPORT FREE FOR THE ELDERLY

Campaigners for the elderly have expressed disappointment that John Prescott's announcement yesterday of a half-price bus fare scheme for all pensioners see LGCnetdid not include train journeys. Help the Aged said: 'Older people want local train services to be as affordable and accessible as buses, and they need all services to be safe, rreliable and integrated.' The Financial Times (p2) points out that councils have powers to offer discounts to pensioners, 'resulting in a patchwork of different concessionary schemes.'

By LGCnet news editor Gary Henson

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