Nottingham City Council has paid out£1,600 to a man whose council house was broken into and trashed after he was forced to move out following racist abuse and vandalism. The council admitted liability for the damage caused in the break-in because a housing officer had promised the man, Alan Barrett, that his belongings would be safe, The Nottingham Evening Postreports.
PUBLIC SECTOR HOUSING SHORTAGES PLAGUE SCOTLAND
The Herald (5 Augurst, p6) carried a report on the shortage of public sector houses in Scottish cities. In Glasgow there are around 50,000 people on the housing waiting list for 91,500 homes. In Edinburgh, there is a waiting list of 20,000 applicants for 29,000 homes. In Aberdeen, 7,100 households are holding out for 27,600 public sector homes.
Despite protests from film fans, Gateshead MBC is to go ahead with plans to demolish a car park which was seen in the classic 1971 Michael Caine film, Get Carter, reported The Yorkshire Post(5 August, p9). However, the council is offering an olive branch by pledging to send Sir Michael a lump of concrete from the buildings' remains as a momento - and even inviting him to join the demolition himself.
HIGHLAND LOOKS TO THE WEB TO FUEL ALTERNTIVE ENERGY DISCUSSION
A new website developed by the Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise aims to stimulate internet discussion on such issues as the potential of wind and wave power to generate jobs as well as electricity. The Herald(p5) reports that a discussion document, which claims several thousand jobs could be created in the Highlands if the potential of wind and wave power is exploited, has been posted on the site at www.think-net.org.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS
The Scotsman (p7) carries an article on the implications of planned freedom of information laws. It points out that, with its consultation document, An Open Scotland, the Scottish executive has overtaken Westminster in the drive for greater access to information.
YORK LEADER COULD EARN UP TO£50,000
City of York Council is expected to approve a new formula for members' allowances which could give the leader a total salary of£50,000, reports The Yorkshire Post (p8). The proposals, which if adopted would be phased in over three years, would give members a basic allowance of£5,000, plus special responsibility payments ranging from£690 for the vice-chairman of a planning sub-committee to£33,000 for the leader - the latter figure rising to£45,000 if the post becomes a full-time position.
GLOBAL APPEAL FOR BIRMINGHAM'S TOWN HALL
Birmingham's town hall millennium group is to launch a worldwide appeal to raise the final£1.5m needed to save the city's crumbling town hall, reports The Birmingham Post (p1). The city council has already pledged£5m towards the project,£6.5m will be gathered from European sources, landfill taxes and leases, and a£10m grant will be officially announced today by the heritage lottery fund. But that still leaves a£1.5m shorfall from the£23m needed to revamp the Grade I listed building, first opened in 1834.
By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor