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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN TODAY'S PAPERS

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EX-MAYOR FACES VOTE-RIGGING CHARGES...
EX-MAYOR FACES VOTE-RIGGING CHARGES

The former mayor of Peterborough, Mohammed Choudhary, has been charged with two other men in connection with vote-rigging allegations (Daily Telegraph p14).

The 47-year-old and his co-defendants have been released on bail and will appear before magistrates on August 22.

CAMERON SEEKS TO MAKE HIS MARK WITH BLUEPRINT

The Daily Mail (p10) details David Cameron's localism agenda for the Conservatives, set out in a 'mission statement' (pdf file) yesterday.

Proposals include abolishing unelected regional assemblies, backing directly elected mayors where they have public support, blocking a revived European constitution based on a superstate, allowing Tories in Wales and Scotland to develop distinct policies and a stable local assembly in Northern Ireland based on the rule of law.

In education, schools would be given more control over their own affairs and special schools get more support. Building regulations would favour eco-friendly housing and light rail would be encouraged in cities.

FAIR DODGES LONDON IN FEAR OF C-CHARGE ON DODGEMS

A travelling funfair was mistakenly told it would have to pay London's£8 congestion charge on each of its dodgems if it wanted to set up in Covent Garden (Times p23).

Carters Steam Fair cancelled its plans as a result, but Transport for London yesterday admitted the letter it sent was a mistake.

CRUSHING HOMECOMING FOR HOLIDAYMAKER

South Holland DC in Lincolnshire is facing a claim for compensation from a resident whose holiday luggage was lifted and crushed by binmen (Sun p27).

Phil Newbon had just returned from holiday and left his bags on the pavement 15ft from a pile of genuine rubbish. Possessions worth£1,600 - including gifts, a satnav device and a digital camera - were crushed in the dustbin lorry.

Mr Newbon said: 'The council told me people often leave suitcases out for collection and I'm sure that's true. But I doubt they have 25kg of luggage inside, tags still attached and a bag of hand luggage and duty free next to them.' The council was investigating.

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