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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PAPERS

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COUNCILS TO PUBLISH RESTAURANT HYGIENE RATINGS...
COUNCILS TO PUBLISH RESTAURANT HYGIENE RATINGS

Environmental health reports on some of the country's top restaurants are to be made public for the first time.

The Food Standards Agency is running a pilot project with 44 local authorities in London, the midlands and Scotland, publishing summaries of environmental health reports of pubs, cafes and restaurants. All 33 London boroughs are taking part, along with Hull, Coventry, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Stoke on Trent, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and three other councils.

In the project, restaurants will be given a rating for cleanliness and hygiene. The councils will display these ratings on their website and the restaurants must also display them. The FSA hopes this will become a national scheme.

Full details here

The Independent, page 18

TEENAGERS ANXIOUS ABOUT CHILDREN'S DATABASE

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Teenagers are worried about the new Children's Information Sharing Index, according to research by the Office of the Children's Commissioner.

Young people felt that sharing information between doctors, teachers and social workers could 'exacerbate rather than solve' problems, because advice, for example about contraception or abortion, would not remain confidential.

The Daily Telegraph, page 13

CAPITA TO DEVELOP ANTI-POLLUTION SYSTEM FOR LONDON

Transport for London has signed up Capita to develop a system for identifying polluting vehicles.

Transport for London wants to set up a 'low emission zone', within which lorries, buses and vans that do not meet European emission standards are fined£200 a day. The scheme could come into effect in 2008.

Capita has also won a£90m extension to its congestion charge contract, as the charging zone is extended west into Kensington and Chelsea in February 2007.

The Independent, page 44

SPEED CAMERA BRINGS IN£260 AN HOUR

The Avon and Somerset safety camera partnership has netted£1.2m in seven months from one speed camera.

The camera on a stretch of the M5 near Bristol, where the speed limit is reduced due to roadworks, catches 100 motorists a day, bringing in£260 an hour in fines.

Dave Gollecker, spokesman for the partnership, denied speed cameras were there to make money. 'They are there to protect the workforce and the motorist,' he said.

The Guardian, page 10

MPs WARN OF RISE IN ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS

A cross party group of MPs says government and the police need to take action against an increase in anti-Semitism.

Their report says there has been a steady increase in attacks on Jewish people since 2000.

The MPs cite concerns over the decision by London mayor Ken Livingstone to host an event attended by anti-Semitic Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi.

The Daily Telegraph, page 8

MORE ETHNIC MINORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS NEEDED

More people from ethnic minorities and more people under 30 are needed to become school governors, according to the charity School Governors' One-Stop Shop.

Its research found 73 per cent of local authorities in England believe that recruiting governors from ethnic minorities is a priority. But so far 76 per cent of governors are white. There is a shortage of ethnic minority governors in some areas where the majority of school pupils are from a non-white background.

The charity also says there should be more governors under 30 and more with business skills.

The Times, page 33

COMPLAINT OVER COUNTY'S SCHOOL BUS PASS POLICY

Parents of a girl in Hatfield are complaining that Hertfordshire CC has denied a free bus pass to a their daughter, starting secondary school this week, because she has not been baptized.

The girl is attending a Church of England school in St Albans. The council says priority for free transport to Christian schools goes to pupils who live in the parish or who have been baptized.

The Daily Telegraph, page 9

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