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News round-up 13/3: School building bonds considered

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

 

Bonds

Education ministers are considering the bond market as a way to raise funds for new school buildings. The Financial Times notes that the news comes as the LGA continues to seek Treasury support for a body which could raise bonds for councils.

 

Business rates

Business secretary Vince Cable is lobbying the Treasury for an extension of business rate relief beyond 2015 and opposes the delay to the revaluation from 2015 to 2017, the Financial Times reports. Mr Cable has also suggested other aid for high streets, such as a higher charge for out of town shopping centres.

As reported by LGC on Tuesday, council chief executives have similarly called for the Budget to provide some relief to high street businesses.

 

Translation costs

Eric Pickles told councils to stop translating all basic documents into foreign languages for the benefit of immigrants, reports the Times. In a written ministerial statement, Mr Pickles said councils’ legal duty not to discriminate did not mean they had a legal duty to translate documents.

 

Alcohol pricing

The plan to tackle binge drinking through introducing a minimum price for alcohol has been abandoned, the Times writes. Following opposition from ministers and Tory backbenchers, David Cameron has been forced to ditch the plan he has personally championed. Home secretary Theresa May, communities secretary Eric Pickles and education secretary Michael Gove are understood to be among those sceptical of the policy.

 

Hinkley Point

Negotiations between energy company EDF and the government over the building of a new nuclear power station in Somerset have reached a “critical” point with the firm scaling back the number of promised jobs, the Financial Times reports.

As previously reported by LGC, the business rates which will come from the power station have been cited by senior civil servants as part of the solution to West Somerset DC’s financial troubles.

 

Child poverty

The majority of children will grow up in families struggling “below the breadline” because of welfare cuts, tax rises and wage freezes, the Independent leads with. Analysis by the TUC found that within two years almost 7.1 million of Britain’s 13 million young people will live in homes with incomes below the necessary minimum for a decent standard of living.

 

NHS paradigm shift

Patients need to be kept out of dangerous hospitals, say GPs who are demanding a “paradigm shift” in NHS care with most people seen in the community, reports the Times. The appeal by the NHS Alliance comes in the form of a letter to the paper and a five-point plan to be submitted to the NHS Commissioning Board.

 

Housing

Ministers are planning to extend support to second home buyers by offering to underwrite mortgages, the Guardian reports. A new bottleneck has emerged in the housing market with people looking to buy their second home struggling to raise a big enough deposit or trapped in negative equity.

 

Chief constable suspended

A police and crime commissioner is facing legal action from a chief constable who wants to know why he has been suspended from duty, reports the Times. Neil Rhodes, the acting chief of Lincolnshire Police, was suspended without explanation two weeks ago by Alan Hardwick, the county’s PCC.

 

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The government in general and IDS in particular are in a convenient denial of the effects on child poverty of the welfare cuts and austerity. Why dont they publish a government wide impact assessment on child poverty, the disabled, ethnic minorities and women of their social and economic policies.

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