A vote yesterday at Kingston upon Hull City Council gave a small panel of councillors, instead of than the entire council, to have the final say on suspended chief executive Jim Brooks, reports the Yorkshire Post(p3). Mr Brooks was suspended four months ago. Although the panel is made up of three opposition members and three Labour, Labour has the casting vote. The move was condemned by the opposition, who said it would prevent the public knowing what any final settlement would be.
DEVOLVED INTO A TALKING SHOP
Regional assemblies will not be the 'all powerful bodies envisaged' by the West Midlands Constitutional Convention, says The Birmingham Post (p11). The editorial attacks a WMCC public consultation for having little resemblance on what the government is really thinking as, the article goes on to say, the deputy prime minister John Prescott is proposing regional assemblies that will be little more than 'expensive and unnecessary talking shops'.
LITTLE APPETITE FOR REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES IN YORKSHIRE
The Yorkshire Post has said there has been 'little appetite' for regional assemblies, saying that the deputy prime minister has only embarked on the road of regional government referendums, because he knows there will be a low turn out. In an editorial (p12), the newspaper says Mr Prescott should establish a new body contingent upon the referendum turn-out being above a certain threshold. This, the article argues, would give the assembly a democratic legitimacy and the authority to speak for the region.
Click hereto read John Prescott's announcement on regional assemblies.
'SUPER BOROUGH' IDEA 'BARMY'
The deputy leader of Islington LBC has dismissed Ken Livingstone's proposals for 'super boroughs' in the capital as 'barmy', reports the Highbury and Islington Express (p1). Bridget Fox says local councils should be left to choose who they work with when it makes most sense, adding that the council already works with other boroughs on a number of issues such as waste disposal.
NEW COUNCIL CHIEF EXEC ATTACKS 'SUPER-BOROUGHS'
The new chief executive of Camden LBC, Moira Gibbs, has attacked the 'super borough' proposals as outside the Greater London Authority's remit. In an interview in the Hampstead and Highgate Express (p12), she says it will cost an 'enormous' amount of money to change the current London borough structure.
Read moreon the London mayor's 'super borough' proposals.
COUNCIL LEADER DEFENDS BONUSES FOR CHIEF EXEC
Leader of Southwark LBC, Liberal Democrat Nick Stanton, has defended his approval to a £20,000 pay rise for the council's chief executive, Bob Coomber. Speaking in the South London Press(p33), he said: 'Given that the targets set last year [for the chief executive] were met, I was happy to recommend a bonus.' But the council's Labour head of finance, Michelle Pearce, criticised the move saying: 'Ordinary councillors have no way to assess whether these bonuses are either justified or value for money.'
TORY LONDON MAYOR CANDIDATE PROMISES £2BN FOR SCHOOL BUSES
Steven Norris, has vowed to scrap the congestion charge and promises to give local authorities £2bn in funding to implement school buses for all pupils, if he is elected as London mayor next year. In an interview in the South London Press (p9), Mr Norris outlines plans to introduce a lorry ban from 7am t 10pm, policed by the current congestion charge cameras. Other proposals include charging companies digging up roads and causing tailbacks.
PLUG PULLED ON COMPUTER REPORT
A £1m report on improving Camden LBC's computer network including a £50m, seven year public private partnership contract has been abandoned after council leaders decided they could not afford to carry out the recommendations due to lack of funds, reports the Hampstead and Highgate Express (p29).