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News round-up 21/9: Former care minister says Treasury is blocking Dilnot reforms

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

Social care

Former social care minister Paul Burstow has written in the Daily Telegraph that the Treasury is attempting to block the Dilnot plan, which would give financial help to elderly people who currently have to sell their assets to pay for care.

Mr Burstow said chancellor George Osborne has not yet “smothered” the Dilnot plan but he challenged the prime minister and deputy prime minister to “take on the Treasury” and give families “peace of mind”.

Planning

The Times (£)  and Daily Mail report that planning minister Nick Boles has said that councils could in some circumstances ignore the relaxation of planning powers designed to allow home extensions to be erected without planning permission.

Richmond-upon-Thames and Sutton LBCs said yesterday they would defy the concession, which they said would lead to neighbour disputes and loss of property values.

Mr Boles cited ‘article 4’ powers that allow councils to block the concession in exceptional circumstances,

Economics

Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King has suggested that it would be acceptable for Chancellor George Osborne to break his pledge on debt reduction due to the state of the world economy, writes the Daily Telegraph.

It also reports from Sir Mervyn’s interview last night with Channel 4 News that he hinted at tensions with the Chancellor over banking reform and warned that the eurozone crisis remained the biggest threat to prosperity.

Education

Lewisham LBC has started legal action over the grades awarded to pupils in this summer’s GCSE English examinations, the Financial Times (£) reports.

It has issued the challenge against examination boards AQA and Edexcel on behalf of 153 pupils who were awarded D grades, but whom the council believes would have received C grades had to boundaries between the two categories not been moved by the boards.

Lewisham has been joined in the action by 36 other councils of all parties and 113 schools, colleges and academies.

Housing

The government’s attempt to revive one of Margaret Thatcher’s flagship policies - the right to buy a council house - appears to have stalled with only one in 25 families who said they would like to purchase their homes doing so, the Guardian reports.

It said just 233 sales were completed compared with 5,697 expressions of interest from tenants.

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