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REGIONAL PRESS - ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES

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ICL SEEKS EXTRA£8M FROM HIGHLAND COUNCIL ...
ICL SEEKS EXTRA£8M FROM HIGHLAND COUNCIL

A private finance initiative scheme which was expected to save the Highland Council£700,000 a year may not save any cash at all. IT giant ICL struck the 10-year deal with the council only two years ago, but is now trying to claim an extra£8m over and above the agreed price due to extra costs it says is has incurred, reports The Aberdeen Press and Journal.

TOP ARCHITECT DIES

Stephen George, the former president of the City and Borough Architects' Society, who was also head of achitecture at Leicester City Council in the 1960s, has died aged 85, reports The Leicester Mercury.

NEW ROAD TOLLS PROPOSED BY EU

A report produced for the European parliament's committee on regional policy, transport and tourism calls for a standardisation of charging costs to pay for the EU's transport structure, reports The Birmingham Post(p1). Proposed are tolls on urban and rural roads to recover costs of maintenance, congestion and noise. A DETR spokesman told the Post it had no plans to introduce tolls 'for the foreseeable future'.

DRASTIC MEASURES CONSIDERED IN SCOTS RURAL ROADS FUNDING CRISIS

The body representing senior council highways officials has warned that a 'sticking plaster' approach could lead to weight restrictions, downgrading to single-track status or even closure, reports The Herald(p9). The Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland estimates there is a£1.5bn backlog for road maintenance alone.

See LGCnet £1BN NEEDED TO BRING SCOTLAND'S ROADS UP TO SCRATCH

BRIDGEND MEMBER IN RACE ROW WILL NOT FACE PROSECUTION

Roy Bowser, the deputy mayor of Bridgend CBC who said foreign food shop owners should 'go back where they belong', will not face prosecution, reports The Western Mail(p2). A complaint was made to police by the Welsh Assembly Against Racism following Mr Bowser's comments in a planning committee meeting in February. An investigation was launched but the Crown Prosecution Service has decided the case should go no further.

RHONDDA CYNON TAFF SUSPENDS 10 OVER NET SURFING CLAIMS

Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC has suspended 10 employees over allegations of improper use of the internet at work. The Western Mail (p9) reports that an investigation is to be carried out into the allegations, which are believe to centre on the length of time employees spent on the net rather than on the type of material accessed.

MAJOR REPORT SETS OUT SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR DEPRIVED EDINBURGH AREA

A report setting out programmes of investment by the Scottish executive, Edinburgh City Council and the private sector to regenerate one of Scotland's most deprived areas was mapped out for the next decade yesterday, reports The Herald (p9). See LGCnet'750 NEW AND IMPROVED HOMES FOR CRAIGMILLAR BY PUTTING TENANTS IN CHARGE.'

By Lewis Williamson, LGCnet assistant editor

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