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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 10.21HRS

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TEACHERS FACE PAY FREEZE TO HELP SCHOOLS FUNDING CRISIS ...
TEACHERS FACE PAY FREEZE TO HELP SCHOOLS FUNDING CRISIS

Teachers face an effective pay freeze over the next two years as part of a government deal to tackle the funding crisis in schools, reports The Times(p2). Education secretary Charles Clarke is expected to propose today the transfer of £100m from performance related pay funds to the worst affected local authorities. The Guardian(p1) reports that the announcement of a standstill inflation-based pay rise for teachers of 2.5% is due next week. See herefor today's announcement.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS TO FACE NEW LEAGUE TABLE PRESSURE

Ministers will publish separate league tables of national curriculum test results for 14-year-olds for the first time later this year, reports The Independent(p2). The decision is part of an attempt by the government to put pressure on secondary schools to improve their performance in the tests after research showed thousands of pupils slipped back in numeracy and literacy skills during their first years in secondary school.

Click here,for union reaction.

BUS SCHEME DESIGNED TO EASE CONGESTION AXED AFTER CAUSING GRIDLOCK

Part of a multi million pound bus mall designed to ease city centre traffic in Birmingham has been closed because of the chronic congestion it has caused, reports The Daily Telegraph. (p8). The large number of buses using the mall, which opened two months ago, has caused gri dlock and a series of accidents. Drivers have also been caught in long tailbacks due to a confusing set of road system revamps, including new bus lanes and one-way streets.

FAST-FOOD GIANTS URGED TO CUT GROWING LITTER PROBLEM

Anti-litter group, Keep Britain Tidy, has said it will lobby for tougher legislation if the fast-food industry failed to reduce litter around their premises and work with the council to keep the area tidy, reports the Financial Times(p3). Under government proposals unveiled today (see LGCnetfor full details), fast-food chains will be asked to bear the cost of cleaning up discarded cartons, boxes and cups dropped several miles from their premises.

DROP IN TUBE USE CAUSES £50M BUDGET SHORTFALL

Passenger journeys on the Tube are expected to fall by 30 million this year, creating an income shortfall of £50m in the annual budget for Transport for London, reports the Financial Times(p3). At a TfL board meeting today, Tube managers will blame a combination of factors on the shortfall, including loss of confidence in the network following the closure of the Central line for four months earlier this year, high temperatures on trains over the summer, and the increasing popularity of buses.

POLICE HIT BY FRESH CLAIMS OF RACISM

West Midlands police force is facing accusations of racism in its ranks less than a week after the BBC's undercover exposé of officers in Manchester, north Wales and Cheshire, reports The Guardian(p12). Ishfaq Hussain, an Asian officer whose photograph was used in a police recruitment campaign, said he had been dr iven out of the force because he objected to racial harassment. A statement from the West Midlands police force said: 'West Midlands police has no room for any degree of racism either within the force or in the community we serve.'

See LGCnetfor the latest news on racism in the police.

AUTHOR TURNED COUNCILLOR

He's an author and an award-winning screenwriter, so what's he doing getting harassed in south London? Jonathan Myerson writes in the Society Guardian(p2) on why he decided to become a councillor for Lambeth LBC.

CHILD DATABASES 'FAILING'

The government wants councils to set up child databases to help prevent neglect and abuse - but the system is already being dogged by problems, according to a report in the Society Guardian(p10).

NEW DEAL CHIEF EXECS HAVE 'TOUGH JOB'

Hitting government targets while empowering communities means it's tough being a New Deal chief executive, according to an article in the Society Guardian(p14) examining the role which has had a high number of redundancies and resignations since the programme started in 1999.

Read more on this: NEW DEAL EVALUATION BLAMES BUREAUCRACY

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