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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 11:25HRS

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PAYOUTS PLANNED FOR VICTIMS OF NOISY RUNWAYS ...
PAYOUTS PLANNED FOR VICTIMS OF NOISY RUNWAYS

Residents living under flight paths may receive compensation from airport operators and airlines for the increased noise pollution resulting from new runways, reports the Financial Times(p4). Details of a big expansion in airport capacity are expected from the government later this year to cope with the growing demand for air travel from customers.

EUROPEAN UNION APPROVES £450M AID FOR RURAL POST OFFICES

The European Commission today approved a £450m aid package designed to prevent the closure of Britain's rural post offices, reports The Times (p12). About £150m will be invested in each of the next three years to maintain the incomes of subpostmasters, fund services such as computer systems and develop innovative ways of delivering post.

LIB DEMS TO ACT ON VEHICLE OF CHOICE FOR 'FAKE FARMERS'

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Norman Baker launches an all-party campaign this week to ban 'bulky and fuel-heavy' off-road 4x4 cars from urban school runs and shopping trips, reports The Guardian (p5). The MP for Lewes in East Sussex said yesterday that he had been bombarded by constituents, particularly walkers and cyclists, who felt 'increasingly intimidated' by the growing number of such vehicles in the historic town's narrow streets. Supporters of 4x4's include Brian Cleasby, a councillor on Leeds City Council.

LIB DEMS BRAND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER'S KEY WORKER HOUSING SCHEME 'A FAILURE'

The Liberal Democrats yesterday accused John Prescott of failing thousands of public-sector workers after figures revealed that a high-profile plan to help them buy homes had led to only one in four of them succeeding, reports The Independent(p9). So far, 2,678 nurses, police, teachers and other key workers have bought homes under the £250m Starter Home Initiative, two years after Mr Prescott set a target of helping 10,000 to secure a roof over their heads.

NO DISABLED PARKING SPACES REMAIN ALLOCATED TO NAMED, DECEASED DRIVERS

Rose Jones from Help the Aged clarifies the provision of disabled parking spaces on the letters page of href='http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,3604,965270,00.html'>The Guardian(p21). 'Councils cannot provide spaces for named individuals,' she writes, continuing: 'Disabled spaces are available to anyone with a disabled badge. This can cause friction: a Cardiff woman, registered disabled, persuaded the council to mark a disabled parking bay outside her house, only to find that customers of the chiropodist's next door can use it legally - and she still has difficulty parking. It is not just in London that parking for people with disabilities is a problem.'

DAVENTRY'S DOORSTEP RECYCLING CHAMPIONS

Guardian Society (p8) reports that recycling rates are improving in some local councils, but less affluent areas are falling behind. The paper looks at the doorstep service offered by Daventry DC and its five purpose-built recycling trucks which have secured the council the highest recycling rate of any local authority in Britain, with around 43% of its household waste earmarked for re-use.

AND FINALLY ... PAUL McCARTNEY DOES NOT FIND PEAT BEST

Adur DC yesterday approved the construction of a peat processing plant despite objections from Sir Paul McCartney and several other celebrities who claimed that its noise and smell would spoil the character of their seaside homes, reports href='http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/05/28/npaul28.xml'>The Daily Telegraph(p6). Council planners dismissed their objections, stating that they should not have bought their homes beside a busy port without being prepared for new commercial development. C ouncillor Michael Mendoza said: 'I think it is vitally important we realise and understand this is a working port. It is not a marina. If people choose to buy expensive properties backing on to it they should check first. I can't see a problem with it at all.'

by assistant editor href='mailto:lgcnet@lgcnet.com'>Neil Watson

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