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

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PEER GIVES EXAMPLE OF HOW POSTAL VOTE SYSTEM IS OPEN TO FRAUD ...
PEER GIVES EXAMPLE OF HOW POSTAL VOTE SYSTEM IS OPEN TO FRAUD

The government yesterday signalled its support for all-postal ballots to replace traditional polling booths in the 2004 European elections - just as a veteran Liberal Democrat authority on voting warned that the new system was open to fraud . Lord Greaves told peers that 984 postal ballot papers in the 2 May elections to Pendle DC had not been sent to the homes of the voters concerned, but to the addresses of Labour activists, reports The Guardian(p12).

LABOUR'S NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DECIDES THAT LIVINGSTONE MUST MAKE FIRST MOVE

Labour's national executive yesterday placed a big hurdle in the way of Ken Livingstone's chances of standing as the Labour candidate for the London mayoralty. It decided that in effect he would have to apply to be readmitted to the party before knowing the electoral system by which the candidate will be selected, reports The Guardian(p12).

AUDIT OFFICE INQUIRY MAY BE START OF THE END FOR TROUBLED NATIONAL STADIUM PROJECT

The national audit office is to launch a full-scale inquiry into the£715m Wembley national stadium project after a powerful committee of MPs was yesterday told of a catalogue of financial mismanagement. The evidence suggested that normal commercial practice was not followed when contracts were awarded to design, build and fit the troubled project and that favouritism was shown to particular bidders.

The NAO's investigation is intended to establish whether£120m of lottery funds - regarded as public money - was used to get 'value for money' for the government, reports The Guardian(p3). Meanwhile, England may have to use the 80-year-old Wembley, which would require a£40m-plus refurbishment, reports the Financial Times (p2).

IN BRIEF:

- The Financial Times (p17) looks at a national scheme which will offer parents vouchers to raise money for schools, without directly targeting children through crisp packets, for example. Among 30 brand-owners are backing the Schools Plusinitiative, which launches nationally in early July.

- Britain will be unable to meet its tough climate change targets without building more nuclear power stations, the country's biggest manufacturing union, Amicus, will warn today, reports the Financial Times (p4).

- In the third, concluding part of its investigation into waste manegement in Britain, The Guardian(G2, p6) investigates whether recycling is the answer to this country's waste crisis, including one fascinating, Blue Peter-style statistic: 'You can make one adult-sized fleece jacket out of 17 used plastic bottles.'

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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