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QUEEN'S SPEECH: LOCAL AUTHORITY MEASURES 'DELAYED'

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According to the Financial Times (p1) the local government bill has been dropped from the queen's speech as ministe...
According to the Financial Times (p1) the local government bill has been dropped from the queen's speech as ministers prepare for six months of battling in the house of lords.

The shake-up of local councils, including the creation of elected mayors has been delayed amid fears that Conservative members of the upper house could wreck the government's new legislative programme in protest over Labour's plans to abolish the voting rights of hereditary peers.

Officials say a bill will be published but that most of it will not be implemented because of lack of time.

However, some reforms - such as the easing of the capping regime restricting local authority spending and the ending of compulsory competitive tendering - might be squeezed in to the next session.

In an opinion piece (p9) Alan Pike says the decision not to push through a bill to overhaul town halls means subsequent legislation will be tougher.

He says there will be cross-party relief in the absence from the queen's speech of the full-fledged local government bill, given councillors' collective reputation for conservatism.

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