The Scottish Conservatives will call for cash incentives for schools to educate disadvantaged and special needs pupils, reports The Scotsman (p10). David McLechtie, the Scottish Tory leader, wants to amend the party's proposed voucher scheme to provide more support for disadvantaged children.
Efforts to ban a National Front march in Aberdeen have been thwarted because there has been no objection from the police, reports The Herald(p3). Aberdeen City councillors have been told that enforcing a ban could lead to surcharge and disqualification for infringing human rights laws. If there were no serious public order concerns raised by the police, then the council would have no option but to agree to the St Andrews Day procession.
CRACKDOWN ON CITY CENTRE BEGGARS
Gangs of aggressive beggars in Leeds city centre that earn up to£350 a day are now being threatened with jail, reports the Yorkshire Post(p1). Leeds City Council has applied for anti-social behaviour orders to combat the worst offenders in a joint crackdown with West Yorkshire Police. Eight men were handed orders that prevent them from entering the city centre, carrying drugs or begging anywhere in West Yorkshire. Failure to stick to the orders could mean jail.
WEST MIDLANDS TO GET£50 MILLION BOOST FOR REGENERATION
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands has announced a£50 million increase in the budgets for its six regeneration zones, reports the Birmingham Post(Business, p19). A total of£110 will now be available by 2007/8, although the projects that will be funded have yet to be outlined.
COUNCIL TAKES ACTION AGAINST NOISY PEACOCKS
East Riding Council has threatened legal action against the owner of two noisy peacocks, reports the Yorkshire Post(p3). The council has responded to complaints from a nearby housing estate in Beverley, but the owner insists that he can't keep the birds away from the estate because residents keep feeding them.
COUNCIL AND FIRE SERVICE TEAM UP FOR SAFETY PROJECT
Walsall MBC and West Midland Fire Services have launched a scheme to get private landlord to improve the safety of their properties, reports the Birmingham Post(p3). Landlords are being encouraged to install sprinkler systems and will be offered up to£1500 per property to cover the cost.