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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 17:15HRS

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WELSH LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO REVIEW ALL CHILD CARE CASES ...
WELSH LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO REVIEW ALL CHILD CARE CASES

Health minister Jane Hutt yesterday told local authorities across Wales to review all cases where children have been taken into care or adopted, reports The Western Mail(p7). The decision comes after children's minister Margaret Hodge asked social services departments to examine whether children may have been wrongly taken into care.

CAERPHILLY'S SCHOOLCHILDREN FIRST TO BENEFIT FROM SCRATCHCARDS REWARDING HEALTHY EATING

Caerphilly CBC head of catering Sally Franks hopes the healthy reward scratchcards for school pupils scheme will encourage a change in lifestyle among children. She told The Western Mail(p1): 'It is so important they have at least one or two pieces of fruit or veg with their lunch. We are trying to encourage girls, in particular, to take this up because in Caerphilly fewer girls use the sports and leisure facilities.'

SEEING BOTH SIDES OF POLICE STATION SELL-OFF

Glen Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents around 29,000 officers, told the Evening Standardthe news of plans to sell London's police stations in favour of kiosks, supermarket counters and industrial estate 'patrol bases' came as a 'complete surprise' and consultation had been 'woeful'. The Metropolitan Police Authority's lead member on estate issues, Nicholas Long, said: 'It will grow the number of points where the public can have contacts with police either to report a crime or to produce documents.'

SCOTTISH PENSIONERS' GROUPS U NITE TO PROTEST AGAINST COUNCIL TAX RISES

Scotland's leading charities and support groups for the elderly yesterday called for an urgent review of the council tax, after years of increases outpacing rises in the basic state pension. Fifteen groups - including Help the Aged, Age Concern Scotland, the Confederation of Scotland's Elderly, and more than six regional pensioners' forums - launched a petition in Glasgow calling for ministers to consider a wide range of alternatives as a means of funding local services, reported The Herald(p10).

TOP-LEVEL SUPPORT FOR YORKSHIRE'S POSTAL BALLOT PILOT

Yorkshire's massive all-postal ballot experiment should go ahead this summer, the regional returning officer for Yorkshire and the Humber signalled yesterday. Leeds City Council chief executive Paul Rogerson told the Yorkshire Post (p4) that, since last month's surprise announcement by the government to include Yorkshire in the all-postalpilot, much preparatory work had been done. He added: 'At this juncture, the view of the bulk of the region's administrators is that they would prefer to proceed with their planning for an all-postal ballot than be asked to change tack again.' Also yesterday, constitutional affairs minister and Shipley MP Chris Leslie clearly signalled to the paper that the government would seek to overturn the Lords vote in the Commons.

PEERS THROW ELECTIONS BILL INTO CONFUSION(LGCnet)

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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