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Council News Monitor is curated content pulled together each week by an automated content aggregation programme developed in-house by Boilerhouse Online Publications

@councilnewsuk

29 key Council news stories from around the UK

Petition to block Stockton borrowing £17m for hotel; Sefton plans to close play areas; Nottinghamshire highways staff transfer to Cornish joint-venture; Hampshire leader wants end to combined authority plans; Haringey short-lists three firms for £2bn regeneration; West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde plan join roads services; Powys fears £4m shortfall from Brexit; and more...

Newham council has a 99% accuracy rate in working out which unlicensed properties are rented out.

Newham and Havering    Source: The Information Daily

Solving Newham Council's longstanding problem with unlicensed (and quite possibly unsafe) "beds in sheds" has delivered millions in lost Council income

Former councillor launches petition to try and prevent Stockton council borrowing £17m to build hotel

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council     Source: Northern Echo

An online petition has been struck up try and prevent a council from borrowing £17m to build a hotel. The Labour-run Stockton Borough Council plans to borrow the money from the Government to build a mid-market, 125-bed Hilton by Hampton hotel in the town centre and pay it back at £830,000 year over 35 years.   Read in full

You are welcome here - Newcastle's message to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers

Newcastle City Council     Source: Chronicle Live

Asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants have been told they are welcome in Newcastle following a worrying spike in race hate crimes across the country. Newcastle City Council agreed to “convene a gathering of organisations and individuals of goodwill” to publicly endorse those currently calling the city home.  Read in full

 

Council set to scrap play areas says kids should make daisy chains instead

Sefton Council     Source: Liverpool Echo

A Merseyside council is set to axe dozens of park play areas - telling kids to “make daisy chains” instead. There are 140 parks and green spaces which face losing play areas, benches, railings, pathways and bins under cash-strapped Sefton Council plans.   Read in full

Transformation in local public services? Time to drop complexity, inflexibility and a provider-centric approaches says Local CIO Council.

Local CIO Council      Source: Information Daily

A new paper from the Local CIO Council tells local public services that if they really want to achieve transformation using digital technology they must ‘simplify, standardise and share’.

Copeland Council to pay £12.6m busienss rates rebate to Sellafield

Copeland Borough Council     Source: North West Evening Mail

A local authority has closed last year's accounts with a £9m deficit after being told it had to pay back business rates to Sellafield. Copeland Borough Council has been ordered to pay the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority £12.6m after it was decided the NDA had been paying too much in business rates.  Read in full

Delight for Sheffield on HS2 decision - but political row looms over scrapping Meadowhall option

Sheffield City Council     Source: The Star

Sheffield politicians and business leaders have welcomed new plans to bring HS2 to the city centre – but the decision to scrap the Meadowhall option is to be challenged by other South Yorkshire MPs. Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore said she was ‘delighted’ at the decision, with the move also welcomed by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.  Read in full

Calderdale approves £3m flood fund

Calderdale Council     Source: BBC News

A £3m fund to invest in flood prevention and resilience schemes in Calderdale has been approved by councillors. Almost 2,000 homes and more than 1,000 businesses in the area were affected by flooding over Christmas last year.  Read in full

Hundreds of Nottinghamshire County Council staff transfer to new joint venture company

Nottinghamshire County Council     Source: Nottingham Post

A total of 615 Nottinghamshire County Council employees have transferred to work for a new joint venture company. Via East Midlands Ltd started to provide highways services in Nottinghamshire in July 2016. It has been formed through a partnership between both Nottinghamshire County Council and Cornwall Council, with contracts signed in May.  Read in full

Third of Leicestershire libraries to be run by volunteers

Leicestershire County Council     Source: ITV News

More than two thirds of Leicestershire's community libraries will be run by local groups by the end of the month. ​The county council is transferring control of up to 36 libraries to community groups, as part of the service's £800,000 savings.   Read in full

29 Staffordshire school crossing patrols to be axed from September

Staffordshire County Council     Source: The Sentinel

Parents say children's lives will be put at risk by a decision to axe school crossing wardens to save cash. Staffordshire County Council will withdraw funding for 29 crossing patrols, including eight in the north of the county, from September.  Read in full

Councils’ spending hits new low

Department for Communities and Local Government        Source: LocalGov
 
Councils’ spending in England will fall by 1% in 2016-17 (£0.9bn) according to official figures, raising concerns over the financial resilience of local authorities.

Coventry libraries will be 'devastated' by cuts say leading children's authors

Coventry City Council     Source: Coventry Telegraph

Best-selling children’s author Cathy Cassidy and children’s laureate Chris Riddell say proposed cuts will devastate the library service in Coventry. Cathy has written a passionate letter to the Coventry Telegraph and Coventry City Council explaining how visits to Coventry libraries set her on the path to becoming an author.  Read in full

Thurrock Council rules out Option A for Thames Crossing

Thurrock Council     Source: Thurrock Gazette

Thurrock Council will not be backing a new Thames tunnel crossing in Thurrock, which anti-crossing campaigners have now warmed to. The announcement comes after bitter clashes this week between MP Jackie Doyle-Price and the No to Thames Crossing Group.   Read in full

Norfolk councils receive thousands from pay-and-display overpayments

Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk     Source: BBC News

Councils are making tens of thousands of pounds from car park pay-and-display machines which do not give change. Some 26 local authorities across the East of England received more than £550,000 in overpayments last year.  Read in full

Council leader pleas for halt to combined authority plans

Hampshire County Council     Source: Basingstoke Observer

The leader of Hampshire County Council has written to the Prime Minister calling for plans to form two different combined authorities within the county to be brought to a halt. Hampshire is on the brink of a local government meltdown, with the county council, district and unitary authorities all disagreeing over how best to progress plans to be handed down more powers from above.  Read in full

Portsmouth City Council expands UK property portfolio

Portsmouth City Council     Source: BBC News

A Hampshire council has bought a parcel distribution warehouse near Birmingham as part of a new income drive. The £12.4m purchase of a DHL depot is the fourth property deal completed by Portsmouth City Council since November.   Read in full

West of England devolution: Councils begin public consultation

Bath & North East Somerset Council     Source: Bath Chronicle

Bath and North East Somerset residents have been invited to have their say on the creation of the newly adopted West of England Mayoral Combined Authority. The public are to be consulted on the authority, which the council voted for last week, which includes devolved powers spread across BANES, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, chaired by a metro mayor.   Read in full

Councillors' anger as they are 'blocked' from seeing Torbay cutbacks report

Torbay Council     Source: Herald Express

Angry councillors who say 'the future of Torbay council is at stake' claim they are being blocked from seeing a vital new report. A row erupted over the timescale of the efficiency plan which will give details of cutbacks and savings, enabling the council to receive the next four years' funding from central government.  Read in full

Haringey Council narrows £2 billion redevelopment project partner down to final three

Haringey Council     Source: This is Local London

A £2 billion regeneration scheme for Haringey moved closer to beginning as the council narrowed down its candidates for a business partner. The Haringey Development Vehicle, due to start up next year, will result in at least 5,000 new jobs, a new town centre for Wood Green and thousands more jobs for the area in the next 20 years, according to the council.  Read in full

LGA urges councils and NHS to provide more help for children's mental health

Local Government Association     Source: The Guardian

Councils and the NHS have been urged to do more to reduce mental health problems among pregnant women, new mothers and young children.

Kier takes £32m FM deal at Southwark council

Southwark Council     Source: FM World

Kier Group’s facilities management business has been awarded a substantial four-year contract with the London Borough of Southwark, worth £32 million. The contracted services, previously delivered through a significant number of individual outsourced arrangements, was awarded to Kier as part of Southwark council’s drive to rationalise the delivery of its hard FM and compliance services across its non-housing estate.   Read in full

Council propose joint local authority scheme to look after area's roads

West Dunbartonshire Council     Source: Dumbarton Reporter

Area roads could soon be looked after by a new joint scheme with two other councils. West Dunbartonshire councillors voted to move forward with a plan with East Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde to set up a Joint Committee with sharing road services as the “most obvious” area over which to team up.  Read in full

Balfour Beatty seals deal to start £47m Aberdeen academy

Aberdeen City Council     Source: Construction Enquirer

Contractor Balfour Beatty can now start full construction of the secondary school, which will eventually replace the existing Kincorth Academy and Torry Academy. Robertson FM has also been appointed as the facility’s FM service provider.  Read in full

Powys Council faces £4m Brexit ‘shortfall’

Powys County Council     Source: News North Wales

Preparations are being made for the possibility of £4 million of projected European Union grant funding disappearing from Powys’ future budgets. Powys County Council is preparing for what may happen with monthly reports, although MP Glyn Davies is confident the money will remain available to Powys.  Read in full

£44m investment into Barry secondary schools proposed

Vale of Glamorgan Council     Source: Vale of Glamorgan Council press release

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to discuss a proposal that would see £44m invested into two new mixed-sex secondary schools in Barry to replace the existing Barry Comprehensive and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools. If approved by the Council’s cabinet on Monday 4 July, a public consultation will then launch in September and subject to the consideration of responses from that consultation, the new schools could open in September 2018.   Read in full

NI waste incinerator decision deferred

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council     Source: Letsrecycle.com

The future of a project to develop a £240 million energy-from-waste plant for Northern Ireland continues to remain uncertain – after Newtownabbey & Antrim council deferred its decision to grant planning permission last week. The EfW plant – which would be located at the former Hightown Quarry near Belfast – has been proposed by the Becon Consortium with a view to serve the arc21 area, a waste management group which represents six councils in the eastern region of Northern Ireland.  Read in full

Bike hire scheme a runaway success after almost 250,000 rentals in space of six months

Belfast City Council     Source: Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Council's bike share project has become a phenomenal success, with almost a quarter of a million rentals in just six months. Data obtained by the Belfast Telegraph showed year-on-year rentals rose by 27% between May 2015 and this year.  Read in full

And finally…

Bins removed from Wandsworth street... to deter fly tipping

Wandsworth Council     Source: London Evening Standard

South Londoners have condemned a council decision to remove street bins because too much rubbish was being left near them. The bins in Moyser Road, Wandsworth, were taken away earlier this year to deter fly-tipping. But residents say it has simply resulted in more waste being dumped in the street.  Read in full

 

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