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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 16:15HRS

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CITY CABBIES THREATEN STRIKE OVER OPERATING CONCERNS ...
CITY CABBIES THREATEN STRIKE OVER OPERATING CONCERNS

Hundreds of Birmingham taxi drivers have threatened to strike from tomorrow if Birmingham City Council and police fail to meet with them to discuss growing concerns about operating in the city. Hackney Cab drivers said they will launch a series of 24 hour strikes from 8am on Tuesday if police and the council do not clamp down on private hire vehicles illegally plying for hire and the shortage of taxi ranks in the city, The Birmingham Post(p1).

TOURIST SECTOR FEARS OVER CUTS IN FUNDING PACKAGE

Scotland's beleaguered tourism industry has reacted with dismay to the news the Scottish Executive has cut its funding package to VisitScotland by almost 25% this year from£36.7m to£28.1m. Many prominent figures in Scotland's tourism industry fear the reduction in VisitScotland's budget will seriously reduce the amount of cash the promotional body can spend on marketing Scotland and lead to a drop in visitor numbers, reports Scotland on Sunday(Business, p1, 7/4/02).

COUNCILLOR RESIGNS FROM OFFICE THE MORNING AFTER HIS ELECTION

Daniel Evans sent a formal letter of resignation to Rotherham MBC on Friday, confirming his decision to quit which followed revelations surrounding his spent criminal record. Mr Evans had originally intended to withdraw as Labour's candidate for the Thurcroft and Whiston ward by-election, but missed the deadline for pulling out by one day, reports The Yorkshire Post(p9, 6/4/02).

PAY HIKE FOR GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL'S TOP-EARNING OFFICERS

The highest-paid officers at Scotland's largest council are to receive pay rises averaging 9.3%, more than three times the increase for ordinary staff and five times the rate of inflation. Departmental directors and their deputies at Glasgow City Council are to share an extra£252,000, effective from 1 April. The three highest-paid departmental heads at education, social work, and finance will each receive an additional£9,800, taking their annual salary to£109,400, reports The Herald(p1).

IN BRIEF:

- Plaid Cymru chief executive Karl Davies is is to leave his job to become the Wales director of the National Association of Head Teachers, reports The Western Mail(p7).

- Campaigners have welcomed today's abolition of the controversial asylum voucher system. Chief executive of the Refugee Council Nick Hardwick said the switch to a post office-based cash payments system would represent a 'big victory' for the alliance of pressure groups and unions which lobbied for vouchers to be replaced, reports The Birmingham Post (p7).

- The Scotsman (p11, 6/4/02) looks at Glasgow's housing transfer, is scathing of 'the socialist model of council housing', and proposes a conspiracy theory about the council tax banding lobby.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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