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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 16.HRS

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LONDON MAYOR WARNS LAMBETH LBC TO NOT 'MEDDLE' IN PLANS TO BUILD SKYSCRAPER ...
LONDON MAYOR WARNS LAMBETH LBC TO NOT 'MEDDLE' IN PLANS TO BUILD SKYSCRAPER

Lambeth LBC has criticised London mayor Ken Livingstone's comments which warned the council not to 'fool around' with plans for Europe's tallest block of flats, reports the South London Press (p16). Speaking at the official unveiling of a new riverside underpass constructed at the site of the proposed building, Mr Livingstone said he would personally fight the council if it rejected the developers' application. The council's executive member for planning and regeneration, Andrew Sawdon, said the remarks were 'made in an aggressive and threatening tone.'

INCINERATOR BAN URGED AFTER STUDY OF CHILD ILLNESSES

Protestors have called for an incinerator plant at Crymlyn Burrows, Wales to be closed after new research showed mothers living close to them are more likely to have damaged children, reports The Western Mail(p8). Neath Port Talbot CBC said it had commissioned the £30m plant to cut reliance on landfill. The company operating the plant, HCL, said the emissions from the plant were 'well' below European guidelines.

OPPOSITION LEADER AT BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL OUTLINES MAKEOVER FOR TORIES

The new leader of the opposition at Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby, wants to reconnect urban areas to Conservatism. The Birmingham Post (p11) asks whether this is an admission that the Tories have to find a new direction in order to succeed. In the article cllr Whitby also insists that the route to his new shadow cabinet will be based on ability and not patronage.

BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL CHIEF EXECUTIVE SAYS YOUNG PEOPLE KEY TO CITY'S PROSPERITY

Birmingham City Council's chief executive, Lin Homer, has predicted a prosperous future for the city, but only if it can nurture the skills of its young population. Speaking at the one day supporting families conference, she said learning should be available to those people who have no qualifications. She also said it was important to have policies in place to give young people access to education and other opportunities, reports The Birmingham Post (p6).

YORKSHIRE COUNCIL DEFENDS BFI's CRITICISMS

Under the headline ' Council blasted over benefit fraud', the Yorkshire Post(p8) reports that Barnsley MBC failed to meet any of the main performance standards after a visit from the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate. The council's cabinet spokesman for finance, John Thomson, defended the council, saying the inspectors commented 'very favourably' on the commitment and flexible approach demonstrated by staff. The inspection teams did attack the council for having weak management and for failing to bring any prosecutions over false claims, but they said positive changes had also been made.

PROGRESS MADE IN BARNSLEY'S BENEFIT FRAUD SERVICE

COUNCILLORS SET TO CLASH WITH EXECUTIVE OVER LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORMS

Council leaders in Scotland are gathering today to consider ways of protesting at the executive's decision to press ahead with the introduction of proportional representation in local government, reports The Scotsman (p7). The move is being strongly opposed by Cosla. Other proposals that have enraged council leaders include a plan to set up a single agency to administer the criminal justice system, and plans for new powers which would allow ministers to intervene if an education authority failed to take action against under performing schools.

COSLA GIVES SIGN OF THAW IN RELATIONS WITH SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE

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