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REGIONAL PRESS NEWS ROUNDUP

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WLGA ASKS ASSEMBLY FOR MORE CASH ...
WLGA ASKS ASSEMBLY FOR MORE CASH

Harry Jones, leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, yesterday told the Welsh assembly that council tax should increase by no more than 5% a year, and put forward his plea for additional funding. He told AMs that any failure to provide extra resources would seriously hit councils' ability to match fund European aid, reports The Western Mail (p10).

CLERK STOLE£5K FROM HER COUNCIL

A clerk displayed a 'horrendous breach of trust' by stealing£5,000 from her community council, Carmarthen magistrates were told yesterday. Esther Mariah Richards, who was the clerk to Aberporth Community Council, admitted seven charges of theft and three of false accounting. She was bailed to appear before a crown court judge for sentencing, reports The Western Mail (p7).

ROTHERHAM SCHOOLS PFI PLAN FACES FLAK

Unison has attacked plans by Rotherham MBC to transform its crumbling schools using the private finance initiative, reports The Yorkshire Post(p10). The£60m deal will see a huge investment in repairs, refurbishment and improvements but will also mean the closure of some schools. But Unison branch secretary Carol Maleham said: 'We believe the council has all too easily accepted outside funding when it could have looked elsehwere.' But Graham Sinclair, principal education officer, said: 'PFI is the only way we have of raising available funds to make sure children have the best education facilities.'

ROTHERHAM CHIEF WILL GET£90K

Rotherham MBC is offering a£90,000 a year salary to tempt candidates to apply for the post of chief executive, reports The Yorkshire Post (p11). The council launched its advertising campaign following the announcement last month that current chief Alan Carruthers was to retire at the end of the year.

SELKIRK APOLOGISES FOR ANTI-GERMAN REMARKS OF FORMER MAYOR

Siegried Scholz, the burgermeister of the German town of Plattling, has vowed never to return to Selkirk, the town with which it is twinned, after a trip to the town ended in him being subjected to a torrent of anti-German 'abusive insults' by the Scottish community's former provost, Tom Henderson. The Scotsman(p13) reports that an unofficial envoy from Selkirk will next week travel to Germany bearing an apology from the town's citizens for the 'completely unacceptable behaviour' of Mr Henderson, whose comments are alleged to have been sparked by his exclusion from a VIP section of an evening ball.

By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor

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