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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN TODAY'S NEWSPAPERS

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VOTE FOR WHO? HOUSEHOLD NAMES MISSING FROM TORY MAYORAL LIST...
VOTE FOR WHO? HOUSEHOLD NAMES MISSING FROM TORY MAYORAL LIST

Steve Norris, the Conservative candidate for the last two London mayoral contests, has said he will not stand again in the 2008 election, reports the Guardian (p12).

Nominations for the party's primary-style selection process close today, lacking any household names such as Lord Coe or former Met commissioner Lord Stevens. Confirmed candidates include two councillors and one London Assembly member. Eric Ollerenshaw, leader of Hackney LBC's Conservatives, had not yet decided whether to stand.

CARING PROFESSIONS AND TEACHERS ILL MORE OFTEN

People working in health and social welfare, as well as teachers, suffer above-average rates for work-related illness, the Financial Times reports (p2).

The Health and Safety Executive, revealing its 2004-05 findings, said musculoskeletal disorders were the biggest cause of work-related ill health, with stress the next biggest.

SPA IS WISHY WASHY, SAYS DESIGN CRITIC

The newly-opened Thermae Bath Spa, leaving aside the delays, spiralled costs and the impending legal battles, is an affront to the sophistication of the city, writes Edwin Heathcote, the Financial Times's architecture correspondent (p3).

The project is a manifestation of the mind-numbing slide towards a ubiquitous corporate aesthetic, the unthinking applicaiton of glass and steel to solve every problem, he adds.

BACK TO DRAWING BOARD ON ELECTION FRAUD

Experiments at last year's local elections suggested that methods of checking for electoral fraud could prove too costly and time-consuming (Times, p2).

The Electoral Commission reported that returning officers are in favour of counts beginning on the day after the election.

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE ABSENTEE LANDLADY

Manchester City Council officials have written to the Queen's solicitors after discovering that an abandoned property, whose previous owner went bankrupt, ultimately belongs to the monarch under an ancient law (Times, p27).

The council wants the house to be sold after complaints that it suffers from rats and vandalism.

BOXING CLUB FOR 'TROUBLE TEENS' BRINGS ESTATE HARMONY

The Sun (p38) reports on a Kent boxing club which has helped to take brawling youth off the streets of the Showfields Estate, where the crime rate has fallen by 80% since the club opened.

Teenage gangs used to intimidate residents, shop windows were broken, cars set ablaze and residents were afraid to go out at night. One resident and former amateur boxing champion teamed up with Tunbridge Wells BC councillor Peter Crawford to offer the youths a deal: stop misbehaving in return for boxing lessons. The club now holds three sessions a week in a local community centre.

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