Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Source: Radu Razvan
The Financial Times reports £ on shadow chancellor Ed Balls’ multi-billion pound plan to bolster Britain’s stagnating economy, but insists that Labour must prove it is capable of “showing fiscal responsibility in the national interest”. Given the lack of credibility attached to Gordon Brown’s old fiscal “golden rule”, Mr Balls is putting his faith in the independent Office for Budget Responsibility - set up by George Osborne - to ensure Labour’s new rules are met, the paper says.
The Times £ carries a trail of Ed Miliband’s conference speech today and says the Labour leader will set out plans to target jobless council house tenants and asset stripping companies as part of a “new bargain” for Britain.
In a comment piece in the paper £, Rachael Sylvester says that Labour won’t be regarded as credible until it works out how to govern when there is no cash to spend.
The Guardian reports that Labour is considering boycotting the first elections for police and crime commissioners now scheduled for next November.
The NHS cash crisis is so severe that services cuts and the closure of the accident and emergency and maternity wards are inevitable, the Guardian reports on its front page.
Dale Farm travellers have been given another stay of eviction after a judge ruled enforcement notices served by Basildon BC were insufficiently clear, the Guardian reports.
AQA exam board has proposed to rank A-level students by the school they attend in order to allow universities to discriminate against pupils from private schools, the Independent reports on its front page.
Ministers dodge FOI
Ministers and political advisers “routinely” contact corporate lobbyists about government business using text messages in order to slip through the net of Freedom of Information requests, the Independent has learnt.
Welfare reform threat
There is a “very real danger” that the government’s plans to reform welfare payments could fail because of a lack of skilled staff, the Daily Telegraph reports. Referring to an initial report on the introduction of Universal Credit, written by a central team of procurement experts, the paper reports fears that the Department for Work and Pensions may lose crucial staff for the project through headcount reductions.
The Financial Times reports that the business model of the Big Four accounting firms is under attack from the European Commission, which is pushing for tough rules to abandon their consultancy businesses and share audit work with smaller rivals. The draft regulations, seen by the paper, are designed to restore “trust” in financial reporting in the wake of the 2008 crash.
The Commission will publish a final proposal in November. The paper says it will face a “formidable challenge” winning support from the European Union member states and the European parliament.
The Daily Telegraph reports in “Streets go dark to save council money” that Shropshire Council will become the latest authority to switch off street lights in the middle of the night to save funds. The paper said that converting 12,500 of the counci’s 18,500 street lights to part-night operation could save £162,000 a year out of an annual bill of £830,000.