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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN TODAY'S PAPERS

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BOROUGH BARRED EXTREMIST GROUP BEFORE NORTH LONDON ARRESTS...

BOROUGH BARRED EXTREMIST GROUP BEFORE NORTH LONDON ARRESTS

Waltham Forest LBC banned the Islamist group al-Ghurabaa from holding clandestine meetings at a hall near the Walthamstow homes of those arrested in anti-terror raids last week (Guardian p6).

The group gave false information when it twice booked the council-run hall, once to plan protests against the controversial Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. The council cancelled one meeting when it found it was for a discussion on creating an Islamic state in Britain, not for celebrating Eid as billed.

Council leader Clide Loakes said: 'When the intelligence came to light, we decided we weren't prepared for our buildings to be involved with literature which was not conducive to community relations.'

SUB-POSTIE LOSSES WOULD MAKE LIFE SUB-STANDARD, SAYS POLL

Four out of 10 people worry that the closure of local amenities will damage their lives, according to a poll reported in the Daily Mail (p16).

The survey for volunteering charity CSV found that fears over loss of facilities like post offices and local shops were only outstripped by concerns for the loss of countryside and green spaces, which troubled 46%.

CITY HELPLESS TO RESIST BECOMING NAZI PILGRIMAGE

A spokesman for Delmenhorst City Council in Germany has said there are fears that the small town will become a rallying place for neo Nazis, as a far-right group plans to buy a hotel there for use as a training camp (Independent p19).

Mayor Carsten Schwettman said: 'Legally, there is nothing we can do. We cannot stop the owner from doing what he wants with his property.' Residents have staged protests and attempted to raise enough money to buy the building themselves, but the current owner rejected their buyout because they had not reached his asking price.

COUNCIL STRUGGLES WITH PLAGUE STRAIGHT FROM A B-MOVIE

A Wiltshire council is struggling to combat a plague of flies that are making life a misery for residents of two villages (Times p19). Environmental health officers from Kennet DC were unable to explain the swarms, which have seen people sweeping up piles of the insects daily and shops running out of fly paper. Residents blame local farmers' muck-spreading, but Kennet said it could be a natural phenomenon caused by the weather.

WATER VOLE'S HABITAT LOSS TO BE STEMMED

The endangered water vole is to be protected by the creation of a site of special scientific interest (Times p20). English Nature will designate 22,000 acres of the Sussex and Kent coast in order to combat the creature's 100-year-long 89% depopulation.

WALKING THE TIGHTROPE OF COUNCIL BYELAWS

A travelling circus was told by North Norfolk DC to take down its big top tent and move it just 50 metres away in order to comply with regulations that mean circuses cannot stay in the same spot for more than 15 days. The ringmistress said officials were acting like clowns (Times p22).

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