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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 13:10HRS

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LONDON'S NEED AS DIRE AS REGIONS, SAYS REPORT ...
LONDON'S NEED AS DIRE AS REGIONS, SAYS REPORT

Tough choices facing the government were underlined yesterday by a report calling for rapid improvements to London's housing and transport, reports the Financial Times(p4). Citing academic research that puts London's net contribution to the rest of the economy at £10bn-£20bn, the wide-ranging study by the prime minister's strategy unit warned that population growth would put a stretched housing market under increasing pressure.

FUNDING NOT REDUCING PROSPERITY GAP - LONDON'S NEED AS DIRE AS REGIONS, SAYS REPORT

MPs will today attack the government's belief that rising wealth across the country will reduce the regional prosperity gap, reports the Financial Times(p4). In an explosive report, the committee that scrutinises the deputy prime minister's department calls for the government to channel funds towards poorer regions. The report will be available hereafter 3.30pm today.

NORTH-SOUTH: MPs HIGHLIGHT REGIONAL POLICY GAPS(LGCnet)

PUB AND WORKPLACE SMOKING BANS URGED BY HEALTH CHIEF

Smoking should be banned in public places as the 'final brick in the wall' against tobacco-related disease, chief medical officer Liam Donaldson said yesterday. Sir Liam proposed the north American-style ban in his annual report on the state of public health, reports The Times(p1). He believes it necessary both to safeguard the health of three million people who are heavily exposed at work - especially bar and restaurant workers - and to encourage smokers to give up.

A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE TERM 'HOME PAGE'

The Times' (p10) take on the 2001 Census information being made available onlineis that the site opens the door 'for nosy neighbours'.

ENFORCING PENALTIES FOR LITTER OFFENCES

The Independent(Review, p4) patrols 'the grimy streets of south London with the man they call the Enforcer,' Southwark LBC enforcement manager Simon Baxter.

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