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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 11:45HRS

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LONDON MAYOR ADMITS THAT TECHNICAL PROBLEMS COULD DELAY CONGESTION CHARGING ...
LONDON MAYOR ADMITS THAT TECHNICAL PROBLEMS COULD DELAY CONGESTION CHARGING

Ken Livingstone admitted yesterday that the backlash from 200,000 motorists forced to pay£5 a day to drive in central London could prevent him being re-elected.

The London mayor said technical problems with the scheme could delay it until next summer, meaning the few months of initial disruption that he anticipates would coincide with the start of the mayoral election campaign, reports The Times(p2). A map showing the original charging area and the new proposed charging area is available here .

BYERS HEADING FOR CLASH WITH NORTH TYNESIDE MBC MAYOR OVER FINANCES

Stephen Byers appears to be heading for a clash with a new mayor running his local council amid claims of 'reckless' management by the previous Labour administration, which includes the minister's political allies. North Tyneside MBC, on which Mr Byers was deputy leader in the early 90s, is facing£6m in cuts after already shaving£11m from its budget and axing more than 100 jobs, reports The Guardian(p13).

BCCI CLAIMS ...

The Bank of England has admitted it faces claims of up to£872m from depositors of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International if it loses a landmark legal battle due to start next year. Next year's high court action, not expected to start until after Easter, will focus on accusations that senior Bank staff acted so recklessly that their conduct amounted to 'misfeacance in public office', reports the Financial Times (p3).

IN BRIEF:

- 'Confusion in Peterborough,' reports The Guardian(p20) as the official who is so keen to ban the Big Issue from being sold in the town denies he has banned free copies of the Guardian from being handed out in council amenities. Peterborough City Council leader Neville Sanders denies all knowledge of a ban, but promises to look into it, 'and if I find it's unreasonable, I will have that decision overturned.'

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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