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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 12:20HRS

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VOLUNTARY BODIES SEEK 'PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE-STYLE' DEAL ...
VOLUNTARY BODIES SEEK 'PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE-STYLE' DEAL

The heads of Britain's voluntary organisations yesterday called for a PFI-style deal to allow them a bigger role in delivering public services, reports the Financial Times(p6). Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations chief executive Stephen Bubb said the sector was keen to provide more services in health, education, housing and social services, in accordance with its wishes, 'but the government needs to do more to enable the voluntary sector to compete.'

IN DEPTH: WHAT CAUSED THE LONDON BLACKOUT, AND WILL THERE BE POWER THIS WINTER?

Fears that Britain could face power cuts this winter because of failure to invest in power stations or transmission lines are unjustified, according to former energy industry regulator Callum McCarthy, who took over this week as chairman of the Financial Services Authority, reports the Financial Times(p2). The former Ofgem chief executive does not blame 'price regulation' or 'our liberalised market framework' either ( Financial Times, p21). However, Institution of Civil Engineers energy board chairman David Anderson writes on the letters page of the http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=030924000860Financial Times (p20) that the UK is still facing the risk of long-term disruption to its energy supply.

SCHOOL TRIPS UNDER THREAT AS TEACHER JAILED FOR BOY'S DEATH

Teaching unions warned that all school trips could be threatened after teacher Paul Ellis, who ignored safety rules, was jailed yesterday for the manslaughter of pupil Max Palmer, swept away by a swollen Lake District stream. Ellis was a member of the only schools union which officially advises against taking part in adventure trips, the N ational Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers. The union supported him legally but had no comment on the verdict. The Department for Education and Skills accepted that absolute safety was impossible on adventure trips, but urged the appointment of an outdoor education adviser by all local education authorities.

TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY FOLLOWING DROWNING(Health and Safety Executive)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS FAVOUR LOCAL INCOME LEVY TO REPLACE 'UNFAIR' COUNCIL TAX

Liberal Democrats yesterday backed the replacement of the council tax with a local income levy (see LGCnet) despite warnings that the policy could leave many middle-income people worse off, reports The Guardian(p11).

SEEKING SOLACE OUTSIDE THE PAY PACKET

The Society Guardian(p2) survey of more than 400 chief executives in the public, voluntary and private sectors shows that in health and local government the average pay and benefits package for chief executives increased by substantially above inflation - 9% and 7% respectively. According to Society of Local Authority Chief Executives assistant director Mike Bennett, 'pay is only one motivating factor' and the big problem is how few councils are 'making their own' rather than buying managers in.

INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION DELUGED WITH INVESTIGATOR APPLICATIONS

More than 13,000 people have applied to become investigators for the new Independent Police Complaints Commission, which begins full-scale operations next April, bringing an end the police monopoly on investigating complaints about the force. Guardian Society(p6) profiles th e new body's first chairman, former Refugee Council chief executive Nick Hardwick, who is busily building up the new organisation from scratch.

UNISON IN MOTION

Downing Street is now resigned to several union-inflicted defeats at next week's party conference, reports The Guardian(p2). A Unison motion calls for a total ban on the introduction of foundation hospitals and an extension of protections against a two-tier workforce to cover the NHS.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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