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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN TODAY'S NEWSPAPERS

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BARROW MANAGER FINED OVER DISEASE DEATHS...
BARROW MANAGER FINED OVER DISEASE DEATHS

Gillian Beckingham, a manager for Barrow BC, has been fined£15,000 for an outbreak of legionnaires' disease that killed five people (Independent, p10).

A faulty air conditioning system sprayed deadly bacteria into the air of the Forum 28 Arts Centre in summer 2002, the Guardian adds (p8).

She was cleared of manslaughter by Preston Crown Court, but convicted of health and safety offences. The council was fined£125,000.

Further details here.

NUKE-TOMB AREAS 'SHOULD BE PAID TO TAKE WASTE'

Local communities should be offered cash as an incentive to become a site for the burying of nuclear waste in underground silos, according to the committee on radioactive waste management (Independent, p12).

The committee's report said 'entombing' the waste in this way was the safest way to guard against terrorist attacks, but Greenpeace argued that it could seep into the surrounding geology.

Some committee members have privately expressed doubts about giving communities a veto over siting decisions.

BLACK BAG FINES DUBBED 'NANNY STATE' MEASURE

The government is urging councils to fine householders£110 on the spot for putting their rubbish out on the wrong day, the Daily Mail reports (p1).

The powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act also place a duty of care on residents to dispose of large furniture or large pieces of waste through registered companies or the local council. Traced fly-tips could bring£5,000 fines. Larger-scale tipping could be punished with fines up to£50,000. Clearing up illegal waste cost councils£50m last year.

Conservative local government spokesman Eric Pickles said it was an example of the 'nanny state'.

JAM-TACKLING PROMISE 'DROPPED' BY GOVERNMENT

The government has abandoned a pledge to reduce traffic congestion in cities by 8% by 2010, according to to the Times (p4).

The Department for Transport has released new targets assuming increases in nine of the largest urban areas. Several cities where congestion is expected to rise have had to abandon tram schemes because of a lack of funding.

The RAC Foundation called for more park-and-ride schemes and better ring roads.

LITTERBUG BANNED AS COUNCIL WORKERS GET PENALTY POWERS

A man has been fined and banned for a month from the town centre in Corby, Northants, for dropping litter (Daily Telegraph, p2).

So far litter wardens from Corby BC have issued 55 fines since council workers were given the power to levy penalties six weeks ago. Security guards have also been trained by the council to issue fines.

PIGEON-FEEDER SLAPPED WITH ASBO

A Bristol man has been handed an anti social behaviour order because he was attracting hundreds of pigeons by putting out food for them in his garden (Daily Telegraph, p9). Bristol City Council won an order in May imposing a ban on the behaviour, but on Friday he was given the full Asbo for breaching the earlier warning.

HACKNEY VERSUS THE HUMAN MOLE

A man dubbed the Mole Man has been banned from his£1m home after digging a 60ft network of tunnels beneath it (Daily Mirror, p20).

William Lyttle, 75, removed 100 cubic metres of earth, raising fears that his street could collapse. Hackney LBC surveyor Philip Wickman told magistrates: 'There has been movement in the ground. He's fortunate a London bus is not in his front garden. It's liable to lead to a catastrophe.'

Hackney is paying for Lyttle to stay in a hotel after gaining an injunction under the London Building Act.

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