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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 13:00HRS

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LABOUR SIGNALS WIDER PRIVATE SECTOR MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS ...
LABOUR SIGNALS WIDER PRIVATE SECTOR MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS
Profit-making company Nord Anglia is for the first time to be awarded a contract to run a state school in a deal to be announced later this week, a further landmark in Labour's efforts to involve business in education. The party is preparing today to signal wider private sector management of schools, wanting to pass legislation early in its second term if elected, to make it easier for companies to run secondary schools, reports the Financial Times(p3).
SECOND LONDON STADIUM FURTHER CONFUSES WEMBLEY PICTURE
Plans to build a national athletics stadium in north London could be scotched by a possible solution to the Wembley stadium fiasco. The planning application for the proposed£82-87m Lee Valley National Athletics Centre was submitted to Enfield LBC yesterday. However, it is understood that a warm-up track with seating for 15,000-20,000 is being suggested for a site near to Wembley stadium, which would revive the prospect of Wembley becoming an Olympic stadium with facilities for football and athletics, reports the Financial Times(p2).
LABOUR MANIFESTO SOFTENED TOWARDS BUSINESS OVER NEW MUMS' RETURN TO WORK
Business leaders were relieved at the publication of Labour's election manifesto, to find that ministers had withdrawn from a solid commitment to a statutory right to return to work for new mothers. It promises instead that the government will work with businesses and employees to combine flexible working with the needs of business. This much weaker undertaking went down badly with the Trades Union Congress, but rather better with the Confederation of British Industry, because the latter's stern warnings inspired the wording change, reports the Financial Times(p8).
LABOUR AIMS TO BE FIRST PAST THE POST WITH POSTAL VOTES CAMPAIGN
The Timescarries statistics for a huge surge in applications for postal votes in marginal Labour seats, recorded after the law was changed to make it easier for people to register. The paper's survey of 100 constituencies shows an average increase of 300 per cent.
COUNTRYSIDE PROPERTIES MAY BID FOR BEAZER'S SOCIAL HOUSING DIVISION
Countryside Properties, the housebuilder, emerged yesterday as a potential bidder for the social housing division of Beazer, put up for sale following the takeover of Beazer by Persimmon in January. Countryside expects to sell 885 homes this year, up from 641, and sold 508 housing association and local authority homes in the first half, reports the Financial Times(p30).
KINGSTON COMMUNICATIONS BELIEVES BEST IS YET TO COME
Kingston Communications yesterday assured investors that the worst is behind it as the telecoms service company, floated in 1999 by Kingston upon Hull City Council, fell into the red for its year to 31 March, reports The Times (p27).
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR HULL HOUSING 'PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP' AS DEAL NEARS END
In 1995, Kingston upon Hull City Council entered into a controversial, pioneering pre-PPP scheme to solve a housing problem. Guardian Society (p2) charts the winners and losers in the deal which failed to live up to the council's expectations.
URBAN COUNCILS MOVE TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE
Guardian Society (p10) also focuses on 35 council households which have left social housing in Haringey LBC in the past year as part of the council's 'moving out of London' scheme. Most London boroughs are following suit, pooling information on housing providers in the north of England and forming partnerships with them.
by Assistant Editor Neil Watson
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