The west midlands could declare limited independence from the rest of England under radical new proposals. A new regional assembly will have the power to raise taxes and spend£650m a year, reports The Birmingham Post(p1). 'Suspicion greets Labour assembly proposals' is how the Yorkshire Post(p1) greets the news, for fears that 'regional super-councillors could levy their own tax and borrow to fund their schemes.'
Albert Bore has described rumours on whether or not birmingham would ever have its own elected mayor as 'conjecture'. Sir Albert, who has long backed the idea of a directly-elected mayor, said: 'The government will take a view both on the evidence that we submitted to them in terms of the consultation that took place in Birmingham but also in terms of the prevailing mood across the country. As to what they are going to do I have no idea. I am taking a very disengaged view, I have got other agendas.'
- Councillors in Merthyr Tydfil today confirm the appointments of three members of a disciplinary panel to consider responsibility for the bureaucratic blunder that left them all out of a job. By the close of play today, members of the full council should have approved the political balance of their disciplinary panel, which is expected to resolve the matter within the next week.
by assistant editor Neil Watson