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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 16:10HRS

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POSTAL VOTES MAY BE AFFECTED BY STRIKE AFTERMATH ...
POSTAL VOTES MAY BE AFFECTED BY STRIKE AFTERMATH
A change in the law has meant that postal voting for the 7 June election was expected to take place on an unprecedented scale, with some councils reporting a 500% increase in applications now that the process has been made much easier. However, the Association of Electoral Administrators has warned that, while many local authorities will send out the postal ballots as usual this week - a fortnight before polling - many will wait another week and, if the post is still in chaos, could be forced to deliver them by hand, reports The Guardian.
PARENTS JAILED AFTER HOLDING HEADMISTRESS HOSTAGE
Parents who held a headmistress hostage after their daughter was sent home from school for wearing a nose ring were jailed yesterday for nine months. The crown court judge told Diane and John Bell, who had declined an appointment at the school and County Hall to speak about the issue, that he had no choice but to impose a custodial sentence because he had a public duty to protect teaching staff, reports The Daily Telegraph (p5).
EARL OF CARDIGAN ON RIGHT OF WAY WARPATH
The Earl of Cardigan drove his car within feet of a pram carrying baby twins on a track at the heart of a right-of-way dispute, the High Court heard yesterday. Dawn Hickey, a nanny, said she feared for the safety of the three-month-old girls under her care when the Earl blocked their path on his private road in Savernake Forest, Wilts. The Earl has been taken to court by Harry Smith, who bought Keeper's Cottage from Lord Cardigan's father, the Marquess of Ailesbury in 1975, and is seeking a declaration that a right of way exists and an order stopping the Earl from interfering, reports The Daily Telegraph(p3).
PRIVATE COMPANIES FACE 'HUGE PROBLEMS' TAKING OVER STRUGGLING EDUCATION SERVICES
Leading education entrepreneur Henry Pitman's insight into the 'huge problems' that face companies if they seek to take over struggling education services, putting their reputations on the line by getting involved, is reported in The Times Educational Supplement(p14). Many other speakers at the third annual conference of the business of education predicted few future contracts where privatisation was forced on a failing council, because ministers had already dealt with the worst authorities. Instead, authorities would volunteer to contract out work, or firms would offer services directly to schools.
by Assistant Editor Neil Watson
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