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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS

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MILIBAND FILLIP FROM LGC LEADERSHIP SURVEY...
MILIBAND FILLIP FROM LGC LEADERSHIP SURVEY

The Daily Telegraph today reports on LGC's survey, which found that council chiefs overwhelmingly believe local government would fare better under a David Miliband premiership than a Gordon Brown one. The survey came after Mr Miliband admitted he is under pressure from senior Blairites to stand for the Labour leadership, the paper said. The Guardian says Mr Miliband has received a fillip from LGC's survey.

YOB NEIGHBOUR PLAN MODELLED ON DUNDEE PROJECT

The blitz on yob neighbours 'is working', Respect tsar Louise Casey said as she unveiled£15m project to expand the numbers of schemes to 53, reports the Daily Mirror. The 'neighbours from hell' will be moved to special units and supervised around the clock in schemes modelled on the Dundee Families project and run by council staff, reports The Times. The families would be placed in refurbished council housing costing£15,000 per family.

CONCERN OVER TEEN GIRL HEALTH

The Guardian reports on the claim by schools watchdog Ofsted that smoking and binge drinking among teenage girls have reached worrying levels because parents and teachers make the health risks seem less important than those of illegal drugs.

3 MAY ELECTION NEWS

The Scottish National Party's hopes of a referendum on independence were dealt a blow yesterday after its most likely coalition partners, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, ruled out any chance of a compromise over home rule, the Guardian reports.

The Guardian says that the British National Party is being investigated by the Electoral Commission over claims that the far right group had set up a front organisation to try to raise money from sympathisers in the United States.

Labour-controlled councils could almost entirely disappear from the southern England, the Financial Times reports, with the party braced for up to 600 net losses.

A two-page feature on the local elections in the Independent speculates that Labour could face heavy losses on 3 May. Psephologist professor John Curtice writes: 'If Labour were to lose ground in those districts where it is defending its abysmal performance in 2004, it will simply be its worst ever night.'

The Conservatives look unlikely to make gains that would erase the impression that they 'sing with a southern accent', he says, though the Liberal Democrats face tough competition form the Tories in the south.

The newspaper's political editor Andrew Grice speculates that Labour could lose 600 seats overall.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

A-level students should be paid to pass their science and maths exams, according to a report covered on the Daily Telegraph's front page.

Black communities must speak out against the gang culture that leads to gun and knife crime, Tony Blair said yesterday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph reports details from a parliamentary question that revealed that as much as 85p in every£1 the government has spent on health since Tony Blair came to power has gone into Labour constituencies.

Sir Michael Lyons urges local government not to write off his report into the reform of local government finance in an interview with the Financial Times.

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