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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 15:45HRS

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COUNCILLOR PERJURES HIMSELF TO BLOCK PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEO FIRM'S APPLICATION ...
COUNCILLOR PERJURES HIMSELF TO BLOCK PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEO FIRM'S APPLICATION
A Bridgnorth DC councillor was found guilty of perjuring himself as he battled to block an application to set up a sex video mail order firm. Cllr Gordon Tonkinson, who was 'wildly opposed' to the proposed business in Shifnal, Shropshire, was convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday and a custodial sentence was inevitable, reports The Birmingham Post(p3).
GOVERNMENT URGED TO USE SHELVE IDEA OF DEVOLVED REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES
The Comment page of the Yorkshire Post(p14) pulls no punches, believing that ministers are right in thinking that the existing institutions of local government can be reformed in such a way as to deliver Tony Blair's promised public-service reforms, but wrong in the way it might be achieved. The paper believes that government is intent on dictating to town halls how they should conduct their affairs, which, 'risks further diminishing the power and authority of local government and of reinforcing the voters' perception that the town hall is nothing more than the poodle of Whitehall.'
EXCLUSION TARGETS CUT AS GOV'T ACTS TO PROTECT TEACHERS FROM PUPILS AND PARENTS
Schools are to be given greater powers to exclude violent and disruptive pupils permanently under new laws announced by the education and skills secretary Estelle Morris today. Targets to cut the number of exclusions will be scrapped, parents will be legally forced to make children behave, and panels hearing appeals against exclusions will be able to consider the effect of a child's behaviour on the schoolfor the first time, reports The Birmingham Post(p3).
COUNCIL SLAMS SCHOOL WHICH IGNORED EDUCATIONAL VISITS GUIDE ADVICE
Coundon Court School has been criticised by Coventry City Council after a group of sixth-formers became stranded during a camping expedition. An investigation condemned the way the trip to Exmoor was handled, with unsatisfactory equipment checks, poor preparation, inadequate training, and assessment and supervision delegated to people with insufficient experience, reports The Birmingham Post (p3).
by Assistant Editor Neil Watson
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