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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS IN THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS

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LOCALISM 'COULD LEAVE SOME AREAS GOVERNED BY SHARIA LAW' ...
LOCALISM 'COULD LEAVE SOME AREAS GOVERNED BY SHARIA LAW'

Boris Johnson has warned that devolution of power could lead to some areas governed by sharia law, reports The Daily Telegraph (pg11).

The shadow higher education minister's comments came ahead of a speech given by shadow local government secretary Caroline Spelman yesterday to the Conservative party conference, in which she said the Tories were 'serious about giving back power to local people'.

But Mr Johnson, speaking at a fringe event on Monday night, suggested that areas with a large Muslim population such as Tower Hamlets could be at risk of being governed by 'religious zealots'.

'Are we ready for complete local autonomy if it means sharia law?'

Party leader David Cameron will tell the conference today that his party will be the true guardians of the NHS.

Spelman speech here

LYONS URGES PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN COUNCILS AND VOLUNTARY SECTOR

Local government and the voluntary sector need to cast aside preconceptions about each and deepen their partnership, writes Michael Lyons in a column in The Guardian's Society Guardian section (pg10).

Devolution of power to communities would only work if 'councils and voluntary organisations can demonstrate that they can create a new style of public services provision; one that combines equity with diversity by melding the best of the public and voluntary sectors'.

Sir Michael's column

FUNDING WARNING OVER GREEN PAPER FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN

Next week's green paper on looked after children will need to be backed up by substantial funding, warns the head of the campaigning body, A National Voice, in ain interview in The Guardian's Society Guardian section (pg5).

Maxine Wrigley says a shortage of foster carers and recruitment, retention and training of social workers are weaknesses in the system.

The green paper is expected to propose that looked after children be guaranteed a place in a top-performing school and that the age of leaving care be raised to 18.

BLAIR'S FAVOURITE TEACHER BLASTS EDUCATION POLICIES

Eton College provost Eric Anderson has criticised education policies for holding back the brightest pupils in comprehensive schools, reports The Daily Telegraph (pg2).

When he came to power in 1997, prime minister Tony Blair named Sir Eric as his favourite teacher.

But Sir Eric warned that unless Labour re-introduced academic selection, Britain would fall behind other nations.

COUNCIL SETTLES WITH TOWN CLERK OVER DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS

A council has agreed to pay undisclosed compensation to a town clerk who claims she was subject to unwanted advances by the mayor of Somerset, reports The Daily Telegraph (pg18).

Ms Bing, 34, is now proceeding with a second claim for sexual discrimination against Tony Prior, 67, in an employment tribunal today.

Mr Prior resigned as mayor earlier this year and was later banned from office for nine months after the Standards Board found him guilty of misconduct.

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