LGA chair Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart has warned the Royal Mail not to abolish the limit on the amount of junk mail postmen can deliver to homes, reports The Daily Telegraph (pg1).
In a letter to Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier, the LGA chair warns that that lifting limits on junk mail will increase the amount of paper thrown away or recycled, at a time when councils are trying to minimise waste.
MINISTERS TO 'GET TOUGH' WITH COUNCILS OVER BUSINESS SUPPORT
Councils will be put under increased government pressure to streamline 3,000 business support schemes, reports the Financial Times (pg3).
The Treasury wants to cut back the number of schemes to fewer than 100 by 2010.
Industry minister Margaret Hodge said the fact that 40 per cent of the schemes were run through local authorities was a 'huge issue' and the government was developing 'effective levers' to meet the target.
Local authorities have been asked by the Treasury, as part of preparations for next year's comprehensive spending review, to report on their plans for simplification of the schemes.
ROAD PRICING SCHEME TO FORM CORE OF BLAIR'S LAST LAP
Plans for a national road pricing scheme are one of three bills that will form the core of the government's legislative programme in Tony Blair's 'final lap', reports the Financial Times (pg2).
Mr Blair is looking for a trouble-free end to his premiership with an upcoming Queen's Speech that some Whitehall officials predict will be the thinnest for some years.
The road pricing scheme is expected to give local authorities the power to introduce their own tolling arrangements. Councils could also find it easier to reorganise private sector bus services.
SMOKING 'SHOULD BE TOP SOCIAL EXCLUSION CONCERN'
Smoking is inextricably linked to poverty and should be top of the list of concerns for those tackling social exclusion, reports The Guardian (pg13).
The campaigning group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) has published an interactive map revealing the match between smoking and deprivation.
It shows 48 per cent of men in the poorest social class died before they reached 70, compared with 22 per cent of men in the richest social group. Half of that difference is thought to be accounted for by smoking.
Ash called on primary care trusts to give anti-smoking initiatives top priority.
COUNCIL TO FREEZE THE DEAD
Preston City Council is launching an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremations which involves freezing dead bodies, reports The Sun (pg26).
Under the process, called promession, the body and coffin are turned into powder after being dipped into liquid nitrogen, with none of the airborne emissions associated with cremations.
Assistant director of environmental health Craig Sharp said the council heard about the technology from Scandinavia.