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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE REGIONAL PRESS - UPDATED 17:35HRS

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MIDLANDS CENTRAL TO TRANSPORT SECRETARY'S 'PINCHPOINT' PLANS...
MIDLANDS CENTRAL TO TRANSPORT SECRETARY'S 'PINCHPOINT' PLANS

Transport secretary Alistair Darling yesterday rolled out a multi-million pound plan to target congestion 'pinchpoints' and improve safety on the roads. The£145m national programme will include 16 schemes in the Midlands aimed at revamping junctions on major trunk roads and motorways*, reports The Birmingham Post(p2).

* See LGCnet.

IN BRIEF:

-- Doncaster MBC is considering scrapping a water-tight system of payment of expenses to councillors and officials which was set up in the wake of the Donnygate scandal, reports 'http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticleMore.aspx?SectionID=55&ArticleID=212938'>The Yorkshire Post(p3).

-- A spokeswoman for Kingston upon Hull City Council, said of a council-organised fairground accident on Tuesday night in which one woman was injured: 'Over the past few years, Hull Fair has had an exemplary safety record, with up to one million customers attending the event each year.'

-- Jack McConnell was further embarrassed yesterday when the Labour Party admitted breaking the law on political donations yesterday, by failing to declare to the Electoral Commission key donations to the first minister's own Motherwell and Wishaw Labour Party by the Iron and Steel Trades Council union. 'What is surprising, however,' writes The Scotsman (p2), 'is the failure of Mr McConnell to realise that, when he became first minister, he should take a greater personal interest in the probity of his constituency finances. The McLeish affair should have taught him that when he reached the top of the political ladder he would become the focus for increased media scrutiny and open to attack from rivals within his party.'

-- 'Gotcha!' says the Hackney Gazette (p1), of mayoral candidate Errol Carr who, the paper says, 'has been misleading the council and the Gazette with information about his identity, his occupation and even his campaign pledges.'

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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