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NATIONAL PRESS - ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES - UPDATED 11.10AM

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£100M BOOST FOR EX-COALFIELDS IN EAST MIDLANDS ...
£100M BOOST FOR EX-COALFIELDS IN EAST MIDLANDS

The Coalfield Alliance will today unveil its strategy to bring jobs and investment to the former coalfields of north Derbyshire and north Nottinghamshire. More than£100m will be sought, including£60m in public and private funding, reports the Financial Times(p4).

CALL FOR SAFETY NET TO BAIL OUT STRUGGLING ATTRACTIONS

Many national lottery-funded visitor attractions face financial difficulties because project visitor numbers were 'wildly over-optimistic', Museums Association president Patrick Green said in The Independent(p6). They needed a crisis fund to help them survive. New figures from the Millennium Commission showed that three out of 13 of its biggest projects nationally have had lower than expected visitor numbers.

CHRISTIAN VOLUNTEERS TURN ROUND MANCHESTER HOUSING ESTATE

A deprived council estate in Swinton, Greater Manchester, has been transformed by a group of 1,000 Christian volunteers. 280 tonnes of rubbish has been removed, a park and community garden has been constructed. The Guardianreports (p8) that the project was organised by the police and Message 2000 which was in the city for a summer youth Christian festival.

ADVICE ON PLANNING AND ORGANISING OUT OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

The Guardian(p6) revisits guidance published two years ago by the department for education and employment on school trips in its coverage of the British coach accident in Dordogne yesterday. It also reports that teachers increasingly complain that school trips involve too much paperwork.

PSAs: 'COUNCILS ARE NOT DOGS IN PAVLOV'S EXPERIMENTS'

Putting into practice public service agreements (PSAs) raises awkward questions of responsibility, according to The Guardian's David Walker (p13). He asks whhat would happen if Audit Commission inspectors overlapped or conflicted with the PSAs. 'Councils are complex grtoupsings of public, politicians and officials, professionals and amateurs,' he writes.

PLANS REVEALED FOR SPLIT OF KPMG

Details of KPMG's separation were announced yesterday. The Financial Timesreports (p17) that its consultancy arm will be a public company worth up to£3.7bn. Its accountants will retain a 20% stake and about 55% will be offered for sale. Proceeds will partly be invested in infrastructure.

MPs RECOMMENDS PLAN TO LICENCE HUNTING

The cross-party Middle Way Group has proposed a new statutory hunting authority with up to 20 inspectors. The Daily Telegraphreports (p9) that licence holders would be required to follow a code of conduct to protect animal welfare, avoid trespass and ensure public safety.

By LGCnet news editor Gary Henson

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