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NATIONAL PRESS - ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES

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LONDON CONGESTION PLANS ATTACKED ...
LONDON CONGESTION PLANS ATTACKED

The Greater London Assembly's transport policy committee has said introducing charges on drivers will not relieve congestion but create bottlenecks around the capital. Lynne Featherstone, the committee chairman, said yesterday: 'We don't want to see traffic which has been displaced from the central zone causing chaos in other parts of London,' The Financial Times(p6) reports.

FORMER STEEL TOWN LOOKS TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE

The Financial Times(p7) carries a report on efforts to revive the County Durham town of Consett, whose steelworks closed down 20 years ago. Unemployment is now 8.3% - twice the national average - but the Derwentside Industrial Development Agency now hopes that it is beginning to foster a broad-based, dynamic economy.

HUMAN RIGHTS ACT SET TO CREATE FLOOD OF CLAIMS

Home secretary Jack Straw has said he has put his faith in judges to hold the line against an expected flood of challenges under the Human Rights Act next month, reports The Times(p12). He also dismissed the view that the Act would be a 'gravy train' for lawyers, although he said that they were 'skilled at spotting opportunities'.

By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor

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