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November 2011

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Ministers said they would not specify what extra powers were planned for elected mayors before the referendums on their creation next year. However, cities minister Greg Clark confirmed that elected mayors would also be entitled to stand as elected police commissioners.

LGC learned that the Cabinet Office had asked councils keen to become involved in government programmes to adopt community-level panels or forums, prompting fears these could rival existing governance arrangements.

Freedom of Information requests to councils rose by 20% in the latest year for which figures were available, researchers at University College London said.

Ofsted gave 15 councils its lowest “performs poorly” rating for the quality of their children’s services - the same number as in 2010. Staffordshire CC, Gloucestershire CC and Slough BC all plunged from “performs well” ratings.

The Audit Commission warned that 10% of councils were at risk of failing to balance their books due to the economic climate and poor financial management. A survey of district auditors showed that 12% of single- and upper-tier councils, and 8% of districts were not well placed to deliver their budgets this financial year.

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