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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 11:20HRS

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EDUCATION SECRETARY'S 'NON-NEGOTAIBLE' TEACHING REFORMS ...
EDUCATION SECRETARY'S 'NON-NEGOTAIBLE' TEACHING REFORMS

Examination league tables, national tests and private-sector involvement in education are 'non-negotiable' parts of school reforms, the government will say today. Estelle Morris, the secretary of state for education and skills, will tell teachers she will never give in to their demands to scrap tests, league tables and commercial partnerships, reports The Independent(p2).

GOVERNMENT'S KEY COMPUTER SKILLS PLEDGE GOES 'OFFLINE'

Gordon Brown's pledge to give computers to 100,000 poorer families is one of the highest-profile initiatives to have been abandoned, after the distribution of just 24,000 second-hand machines. Records from the government's e-envoy office show that many other schemes have been altered or dropped since the UK Online Action Plan began two years ago, including access provision in post offices, with claims of practical difficulties, reports The Times(p8).

COURT OF APPEAL RULES THAT LEONARD CHESHIRE FOUNDATION IS NOT A PUBLIC BODY

Residents of a voluntary sector home for the disabled, whose placements were funded by a local authority pursuant to its statutory obligations, could rely on their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights against the authority but not against the voluntary body since it was not exercising public functions, reports The Times (p36).

IN DEPTH: 'POLLUTER PAYS' PRINCIPLE WILL BE APPLIED TO ELECTRICS AND ELECTRONICS

Electronics manufacturers will look this week to Strasbourg, where the European parliament is set to vote on new legislation that would force companies to cover the cost of household electrical and electronic waste disposal. The industry has now grudgingly accepted that the potentially costly new laws cannot be averted, but is fighting a rearguard action to ensure that European legislators agree a scheme th at is both workable and as financially painless as possible. The so-called Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive follows agreement on similar legislation to force carmakers to cover the costs of scrapping old cars, and forms the latest stage in the European commission's drive to introduce the 'polluter pays' principle into EU law, as opposed to forcing the consumer to accept 'individual responsibility' for disposal.

IN BRIEF:

-- The Guardian(G2, p10) looks at the Iroko Co-op social enterprise development in south London, a housing estate for key workers and their families, and a triumph for the Coin Street Community Builders.

-- MEP Glenys Kinnock is putting pressure on the government to allow the redevelopment of the most important port in north Wales, Holyhead, which has been delayed for months, as without immediate action, the infrastructure scheme could collapse. Stena Sealink, which runs ferries from the port, has promised£12m to upgrade its facilities on condition it receives£4m of European Objective One funding.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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