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REGIONAL PRESS NEWS ROUNDUP - UPDATED 9:49AM

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DATE SET FOR HEAD'S APPEAL AGAINEST SLAPPING CONVICTION ...
DATE SET FOR HEAD'S APPEAL AGAINEST SLAPPING CONVICTION

A date has been set for headteacher Marjorie Evans's appeal against her conviction for common assault on one of her pupils. Last month Mrs Evans was given a three month prison sentence, suspended for a year, for the offence. Gethin Lewis, secretary of the National Union of Teachers Cymru, said he was relieved and surprised that the appeal date - 30 August to 1 September - has come through so quickly, reports The Western Mail(p1).

NET ABUSE CONCERN FOR WELSH COUNCILS

Following the news that Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC has suspended 10 workers after allegations of 'improper use of internet facilities', The Western Mail(p7) carries analysis of what steps other Welsh councils are taking to prevent employees from abusing the internet at work. It also refers to a new survey by The Welsh Consumer, published today, which shows the 'digital divide' between rich and poor in Wales is widening.

BACKING FOR KEN PLAN TO END PIGEON CONCESSION

Westminster City Council has said it has no objection to London mayor Ken Livingstone's proposal to withdraw the licence from the only concession allowed to sell pigeon food in Trafalgar Square. The Evening Standardreports that Mr Livingsone is considering the move because he believes the pigeons are a nuisance and a health hazard. He said either the concession should be cancelled or a contraceptive be added to the food.

HACKNEY DENIES UNISON CLAIMS OF CONTINUING RACISM

Hackney LBC has rejected claims from Unison that racism is rife within authority. The Hackney Gazette (p2) reports that the union has called on the Commission for Racial Equality to serve a formal non-discrimination notice on the council. But a Hackney spokesman said: 'We are sorry Unison feel we are failing to root out institutional racism. However, far from condoning racial discrimination, senior managers have given the very highest backing to the five-year action plan to eliminate racial discrimination from the workplace, which commenced in January 1999.'

By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor

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