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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 11:50

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TORIES SPEAK UP FOR THE SUBURBS ...
TORIES SPEAK UP FOR THE SUBURBS

The Conservative's are looking to change the focus of urban policy away from the inner cities, reports the Guardian(p12). Theresa May launched an urban alliance in North Tyneside that aims to highlight problems faced in decaying suburbs. The Tory mayor of North Tyneside, Linda Arkley, was presented as the 'new urban face of Conservatism'.

OPTIMISM IN FIREFIGHTERS' DISPUTE

Both sides in the long running firefighters' dispute are cautiously optimistic that a deal could be struck soon, reports the Financial Times(p2). The Local Government Association is thought to be happy with a new formula for working arrangements for public holidays. Agreement will allow the 3.5 per cent due last November to go through. The next phase of the pay deal should also be implemented following acceptance of an interim report from the Audit Commission on the modernisation of the fire service.

SUICIDE TEENAGER HATED CARE HOME

A 13-year-old boy is believed to have committed suicide rather than return to his local authority care home in Norfolk, reports The Independent(p18). It's said that when he was told that he would have to go back to the unit, he ran away from the private home where he was staying. Norfolk County Council have launched an inquiry into the death.

POSTAL VOTE REPORT WILL SHOW BRIBERY AND FRAUD

The Electoral Commission analysis of the latest postal voting pilots will reveal widespread intimidation, bribery and fraud in the June local elections, according to The Times(p1&2). The report is due to be published tomorrow and is expected to urge the Government to implement a number of reforms. Police investigations into electoral discrepancies are underway in Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The newspaper lists details of several reported cases.

UNREST AT DEVELOPMENTS IN PRINCE'S MODEL VILLAGE

A growing number of residents in the model village of Poundbury are concerned about the latest plans to expand the community, reports The Independent(p12). The Dorset village was created in 1993 by Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall Estate to support traditional housing styles and a classless society. But plans for the latest phase for high-density apartments are at odds with the initial ideals, say campaigners. West Dorset DC is expected give the go ahead to the£5m complex today.

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