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REGIONAL PRESS NEWS ROUNDUP - UPDATED 3:34PM

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SUED SUDBURY CLERK ISSUES COUNTER-CLAIM FOR DEFAMATION ...
SUED SUDBURY CLERK ISSUES COUNTER-CLAIM FOR DEFAMATION

Clive Finch, the former town clerk at Sudbury Town Council, has vowed to fight a civil action by the authority which is trying to claim back losses it says were incurred through contracts carried out in Mr Finch's final eight years with the council. The East Anglican Daily Timesreports that Mr Finch has submitted a counter-claim against the council seeking damages up to£100,000 for 'loss of income, defamation and other matters'.

GATESHEAD OPPOSES MOVES TO OPEN UP CABINET

Gateshead MBC's ruling Labour group has kicked out a Lib Dem motion urging the cabinet to meet in public and publish agendas, reports The Journal. Leader George Gill said: 'There is nothing wrong or improper about a deliberative cabinet holding its meetings in private but when it comes to taking decisions we are totally open and transparent.'

DARLINGTON TOLD TO PAY SACKED TEACHER£15,000

An employment tribunal yesterday ordered Darlington BC to pay a primary school deputy headteacher more than£15,000 after it found that he had been unfairly dismissed. The Journalreports that the council accepted the tribunal's ruling on Geoff Hetherington's dismissal and said it had previously offered him a£6,740 out-of-court settlement.

BACKING FOR ALLERDALE'S WIND TURBINE REFUSAL

A public inquiry planning inspector has backed Allerdale DC's refusal to grant permission for six wind turbines to be erected on the fringe of the Last District National Park. The Journalreports that, in the opinion of the inspector, the benefits of the turbines - which would have produced enough power for 4,000 homes - were not enough to outweigh their 'visual harm'.

EXECUTIVE RESPONDS TO COSLA'S ROADS DEMAND

The Scottish executive has responded to Cosla's demand for more to be spent on road repairs by saying it is a matter for individual local authorities to decide on their spending priorities, reports The Herald(p9). But a spokeswoman added: 'Decisions on the overall allocation to the various spending programmes, including transport, are expected by the end of September when the budget will go before the Scottish parliament for debate.' See also LGCnet £1BN NEEDED TO BRING SCOTLAND'S ROADS UP TO SCRATCH.

SHEFFIELD PAY-OUT TO LAMPPOST INJURY VICTIM

A man who narrowly escaped injury when a lamppost fell on his car has been awarded£1,350 from Sheffield City Council. The Yorkshire Post (p9) reports that Anthony Chapman suffered whiplash injuries when the lamppost fell through the roof of the car, just missing his head. A spokeswoman for the council said: 'We always regret any accident or incident involving council property.'

By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor

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