Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Brothers and sisters in the care system should be separated if it will increase their chances of a successful adoption, the Times reports ministers as suggesting. Proposals to be published today also question whether it is in a child’s best interests to maintain contact with birth parents that have abused or neglected them.
The chancellor George Osborne is set to scale back subsidies for renewable energy, due to fears support for wind power is deterring investment in gas-fired power stations, according to the Financial Times. However, the paper quotes the head of the CBI, John Cridland, as saying Mr Osborne’s battle with Liberal Democrat colleagues over the level of renewable subsidy is holding back investment in Britain’s energy sector.
Schools are being assessed by “inspectors who have never passed a qualification in teaching,” the Daily Telegraph reports. It says a leaked email suggests at least five “lead inspectors” are carrying out inspections for Ofsted, through a company called Tribal, without being qualified teachers.
A Labour government would consider stripping private schools of their charitable status if they failed to serve the broader community, the Guardian reports. In an interview with the paper, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said the Charity Commission should be “much tougher” in ensuring private schools fulfil their obligation to offer bursaries to poor pupils.
PCS strike action
The government has strongly criticised the decision of the PCS union to carry out a strike on 26 July, the day before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, according to today’s Times. The union, which represents around two thirds of the 7,500-strong UK Border Force, is set to walk out on the day hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to arrive for the Games, it adds.
In its front page story, the Telegraph reports that Tory MPs are calling for the government to draw up plans to outlaw strikes unless more than half of a union’s membership has supported action. It quotes PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, who defends the strike, saying that “the lives of staff have been made intolerable” by cuts to staff numbers and the privatisation of services.
The IMF has warned UK property prices remain too high, with prices set to correct by a further 10 to 15% relative to people’s incomes, the Times reports. In its latest report on the state of the UK economy, the organisation raises concerns that by prioritising deficit reduction, the government has choked off economic growth for the next few years, the paper adds.
The Daily Telegraph reports that more than a third of people who voted Conservative at the last election “will refuse to back David Cameron in future,” according to research. It says a detailed analysis by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft found Mr Cameron “faces a formidable challenge to win the next general election.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that from December, GPs will be assessed every five years to make sure they “remain competent.” It says feedback from patients and colleagues will also be part of the “revalidation” assessments.