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

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STRIKING TEACHERS BACK SUSPENDED COLLEAGUES ...
STRIKING TEACHERS BACK SUSPENDED COLLEAGUES

A school was closed yesterday because of a strike in support of two teachers suspended over accusations that they undermined their head's authority. A picket outside Hendre infants' school in Caerphilly, south Wales, demanded the reinstatement of Kate Andrews, acting deputy head, who has been at the school for 29 years, and Sharon Tyler, who teaches pupils with impaired hearing. Papers will be lodged by the National Union of Teachers, at the high court in Cardiff today, to seek judicial review of the suspension,

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, which is representing Ms Joynson, said: 'In our view the governing body had a right to suspend the two members of staff. It had more than adequate grounds for suspension. Clearly the NUT is upping the ante by taking a one day strike, and trying to overturn the suspension in the courts.' Governors rejected an offer by Caerphilly CBC to hold an inquiry, and began their own investigation, reports The Guardian(p12).

BYERS ORDERED NOT TO 'BURY' TERMINAL 5 APPROVAL ANNOUNCEMENT

The prime minister has told transport secretary Stephen Byers that he wants no spinning on the government's announcement approving Terminal 5 at Heathrow, Whitehall sources said last night. The sources said that Mr Byers had been instructed 'not to bury the news in an announcement on an otherwise busy news day,' reports The Guardian(p14).

HAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARY REALLY WIMPED-OUT ON MAYOR CONCEPT?

The Analysis page of The Guardian(p19) offers a no-holds-barred opinion on local government secretary Stephen Byers' apparent defection in Labour's internal battle over whether electing mayors is the best way to revive local councils. 'Trying to face both ways in an attempt to offend no one,' the paper says, 'Stephen Byers has succeeded in spreading more confusion in his unwieldy Whitehall department over an issue once at the heart of Tony Blair's short-lived drive to reinvigorate local democracy. Fed up with the cronyism and sleaze associated with creaking old Labour municipal machines, the prime minister pushed the idea of US and European-style executive mayors to shake up moribund town halls.'

AND FINALLY ... CARS FOR SALE ARE GOING, GOING, GONE!

As reported on LGCnetlast week, the government is proposing to give local authorities new powers to deal with abandoned cars. Society Guardian (p13) looks at the method Barking & Dagenham LBC is using to deter the on-street selling of cars: crushing!

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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