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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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REPORT WARNS OF PRESSURE ON SERVICES FROM INCREASED IMMIGRATION...
REPORT WARNS OF PRESSURE ON SERVICES FROM INCREASED IMMIGRATION

The Mail on Sunday claims to have seen a leaked government report which warns that a 'massive' rise in immigration next year could trigger a crisis in schools, housing and welfare services (p1).

It says every government department has been asked to draw up emergency plans to cope with a potential influx of Eastern Europeans into Britain.

GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS 'DAMAGING' AREAS OUTSIDE THE SOUTH EAST

Gordon Brown's public spending plans are damaging the parts of the country they are supposed to be helping, the Sunday Times reports (p10).

It cites research from the think tank Reform, due to be published this week, which says that large areas of the country are becoming financially dependent on the south east. It also argues that high government spending outside the south east has the effect of stifling enterprise, prompting younger people to move away.

The report, Whitehall's Last Colonies: Breaking the Cycle of Collectivisation in the Regions, points out that in many parts of the country people earn more working for the government than they would in the private sector. Only in the south east are private sector employees paid more.

LAST MINUTE SCRAMBLE FOR TORY CANDIDATES FOR LONDON MAYOR

Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to Washington and chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, has become the focus of last-minute Conservative party efforts to find a charismatic mayoral candidate for London, the Sunday Telegraph reports (p4).

Other names bandied about as potential opponents for Labour's Ken Livingstone include Lord Stevens, the former metropolitan police commissioner, Alan Sugar and Carol Thatcher.

Only two candidates have so far declared ahead of the 4 August deadline - Conservative councillors Victoria Borwick and Warwick Lightfoot.

LEWES TO FIGHT AGAINST CONTROVERSIAL PRESCOTT PLANNING DECISION

Lewes DC is to try and overturn a decision made by John Prescott to give permission for a new£50m football stadium on the outskirts of Brighton, the Sunday Telegraph reports (p11).

Mr Prescott's office now claims a mistake was made in granting permission when Mr Prescott had mistakenly referred to the proposed site being in the 'built-up area' of the city.

Mr Prescott was also facing widespread questions this weekend about his links to Derek Chapman, a director of Brighton and Hove Albion football club.

It emerged Mr Prescott had met Mr Chapman prior to overturning his inspectors' planning decision on the stadium, and had even opened the new offices of Mr Chapman's property company, Adenstar.

Adenstar Construction has expressed an interest in building the new stadium.

LINCOLNSHIRE SIGNS THE DEATH WARRANT OF ASSISTED PLACES SCHEMES

The last vestiges of the assisted places scheme, where public money funded places at private schools, is being scrapped by Lincolnshire CC.

The county has been paying£1.9m a year for 350 pupils to attend the Stamford Endowed Schools in Lincoln.

However, the Sunday Telegraph reports (p11) that the Conservative-controlled council is finally bowing to pressure from state schools and has decided to abolish the scheme from 2008.

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