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News round-up 6/2: Library squatters given keys

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

Outsourcing

Squatters who occupied a north London library have claimed a victory, after Barnet LBC agreed to let it remain open and be run by a community group, the Guardian reports.

The squatters moved into the building after it was closed by the local authority in April. However, council leader Richard Cornelius (Con) has said the council “no longer needs to sell the building” because its ‘One Barnet’ outsourcing scheme has made “greater savings than initially predicted”.

 

Housing

A document accidently published by Southwark LBC suggests the authority has been engaged in “social cleansing” with the demolition of the Heygate Estate in Walworth, the Independent says.

Documents incorrectly loaded onto the council’s website showed the majority of new housing set to be built on the site would be sold to private buyers, apparently confirming campaigners’ fears that residents of the former estate would be moved out of the area. The document was published with redacted sections but they could be read when copied and pasted into word processing programmes, the paper explains.

 

Education

Education secretary Michael Gove has given “the most thorough outline yet” of the philosophy behind his school reforms, the Guardian reports.

In a speech to the Social Market Foundation think tank, Mr Gove said “progressive” education had betrayed young people, adding that he wanted there to be more time for “reading around the subject” and “the cultivation of the habits of proper thought.” In a speech that cited the late reality TV star Jade Goody and the Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci as his inspirations, Mr Gove also said Labour’s leaders felt children from disadvantaged backgrounds should “stick to the station in life they were born into”.

 

Child poverty

Up to 1.5 million children across Britain go without food, care and education every day, according to a survey of teachers, police officers and social workers in 27 local authorities. The Independent reports on the poll by YouGov and the University of Stirling and says the research comes just one week after the Department for Education was criticised over further cuts to early intervention funding.

 

Mid Staffordshire report

The Daily Telegraph says the Francis report on failings at Stafford hospital, due to be published today, will say NHS hospitals should face prosecution if doctors and nurses do not blow the whistle on poor care. It will say medical staff should have a “statutory duty of candour”, the newspaper reports.

 

Transport

Transport for London has unveiled plans for a “Crossrail 2” project which will link south-west and north-east London, the Financial Times reports. Backers of the project, which is expected to cost between £9.5bn and £12bn, say the infrastructure investment is essential to stop the capital “grinding to a halt” by 2030.

 

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