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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 10:40HRS

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TUC PFI DEBATE SET TO MOVE TO LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE ...
TUC PFI DEBATE SET TO MOVE TO LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE

Trade unions yesterday suspended their battle with Labour over public services but predicted the issue would resurface when the party meets for its annual conference. However, with prime minister Tony Blairfocused on the reaction to the US atrocities, some unions are concerned negotiations with the government over private sector involvement in schools and hospitals will loose momentum, reports the Financial Times(p13).

LONDON SKYSCRAPER PLANS WILL GO AHEAD DESPITE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN NEW YORK

Traditionally low-rise London is faced with proposals for a swathe of tall office buildings at transport interchanges such as Paddington and London Bridge and within the Square Mile as a response to competition from Canary Wharf. The skyscraper is here to stay, due to the financial logic behind building high in crowded city centres, despite growing fears that it is vulnerable to terrorist attack, reports the Financial Times(p12).

THE SUN SAYS: 'ISLAM IS NOT EVIL RELIGION'

The Sun (p10) quotes several Bradford City MDC councillors' reaction to anti-Muslim feeling in the wake of the terrorist attacks in America: Cllr Mohammad Riaz told the paper: 'We must root out whoever is responsible. Death should be their punishment.' His fellow councillor Arshad Hussain said: 'It is an act of cowardice. Among those at the World Trade Centre would have been Muslims, Christians and people from other religions.' Cllr Sakhawat Hussain commented: 'It's a sad blow for everyone. It will damage community relations.'

PLIGHT OF GRANDPARENTS WHO ARE GRANDCHILDREN'S PRIMARY CARERS

Tens of thousands of UK grandparents who take prime responsibility for raising their grandchildren are left struggling without state support or adequate legal protection, according to a report today by the Family Rights Group. The government-funded study said about 1% of grandparents in the UK have grandchildren living with them. A survey of 180 grandparent/carers found 71% were in financial hardship and 48% had long-term health problems, with many not receiving child benefit because the child's parents held on to the benefit book, and those denied benefit not entitled to claim income support for the grandchildren. Some grandparents were refused working families tax credit on the grounds that they were not parents, reports The Guardian(p19).

CARILLION REDUNDANCIES AS IT INCREASES INVESTMENT IN UK PFI BIDS

Construction company Carillion, a key private finance initiative player, is to make 400 of its 10,000 UK staff redundant over the next 12 months under a restructuring programme. The private finance division made an operating loss of£2.6m against a£3.4m profit. Carillion is preferred bidder on one PFI contract - the University of Hertfordshire - and short-listed for 15 projects worth£3bn. Its success rate on winning contracts once short-listed is one in three-and-a-half, reports the Financial Times(p26).

by Assistant Editor Neil Watson

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