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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 16:50HRS

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KEN LIVINGSTONE RETURNS TO LABOUR PARTY ...
KEN LIVINGSTONE RETURNS TO LABOUR PARTY

London mayor Ken Livingstone has been readmitted to the Labour Party just three years into his five-year suspension. A Labour Party spokesman told the Evening Standard: 'Ken Livingstone is now a member of the Labour Party and will be able to take part in the ballot on whether he will be Labour's candidate for London Mayor in elections this year.'

LAMBETH COUNTERS 'UNDER COVER' PARKING OFFENDERS

Lambeth LBC has clamped down on a legal loophole which allowed the drivers of illegally-parked vehicles covered by tarpaulins to avoid fines, reports the South London Press (p7). After the council took legal advice, Lambeth traffic wardens have now been instructed to carefully lift covers so the registration plate can be seen. A spokesman for Lambeth LBC confirmed the decision.

LEASEHOLDERS EN MASSE BUY COUNCIL LAND IN LARGEST EVER FREEHOLD PURCHASE

Tower Hamlets leaseholders have made legal history by serving notice on Tower Hamlets LBC to buy 300 flats and manage their South Quay Estate themselves - the largest ever freehold purchase in Britain, reported the East London Advertiser (2/1/04, p3). 'The local authority tenants' security of tenure and rents would be unaffected by the deal, and the council would pay service charges on those properties,' said a council spokeswoman.

REPORT ON CHILD DEATHS STATES BETTER RECORDS ARE ESSENTIAL IN PREVENTION

A Lewisham LBC document detailing a series of horrific child deaths says better records must be kept to prevent similar tragedies, reported the South London Press(2/1/04, p13). Despite its findings, the report concludes: 'There is no suggestion that there are syst ematic failings in the child protection system in Lewisham.'

CIVILIAN PATROL TEAMS TO TARGET NUISANCE NEIGHBOURS

Community wardens and professional witnesses will be recruited in East Renfrewshire as part of a£230,000 war on anti-social behaviour, reports the Evening Times. The civilians, co-funded by the Scottish Executive, will tackle vandalism and youth disorder in the area's troublespots from April.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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