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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

Council News from Bristol, Newcastle, Cheshire East, Liverpool, Birmingham, Coventry, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Thurrock, West Sussex, Cornwall, Glasgow, Aberdeen and more...

Stockton defends plan to borrow £17m to build a Hilton hotel; Cheshire councils lost £1.6m on joint-venture; Birmingham children's services move to trust; Bristol refurbishes City Hall; Croydon rents out part of HQ to design firm; Glasgow pledges faster response to rubbish ....

 

Bristol City Council refurbishes City Hall in £16m project

Bristol City Council     Source: BBC News

A multimillion-pound revamp of City Hall has been completed as part of Bristol City Council's efforts to cut costs. The council has spent £16.7m updating the Grade II-listed building so it can accommodate more staff and make it cheaper to run.  Read in full

Stockton council business plan to borrow £17m to build a hotel 'rock solid' says authority's leader

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council     Source: Darlington & Stockton Times

Civic leaders say a council plan to borrow £17m to build a Hampton by Hilton hotel in Stockton is based on a "rock-solid" business case. The Northern Echo published confidential information about Stockton Borough Council's business plan which assumes an 83.6 per cent occupancy rate at the 125-bedroom hotel at £80-a-room.   Read in full

Newcastle City Council forks out more than £12,000 on smartphones for traffic wardens

Newcastle City Council     Source: Chronicle Live

Council chiefs have splashed out more than £12,000 on smartphones for traffic wardens. Newcastle City Council has confirmed it will be buying smartphones for 50 traffic wardens priced at £250, making a total of £12,500.  Read in full

Digital technology must redefine the relationship between citizens and state says CEO West Midlands Combined Authority. 

SOLACE & Coventry City Council    Source: i-D Information Daily

Speaking at Better Connected Live, Martin Reeves who is also the digital lead for SOLACE and CEO Coventry City Council said “This is ultimately not about digital, it’s about power. It’s about politicians and professionals letting go. The toughest thing that politicians and professionals will face is that ceding of power" Read in full

Council money saving firm lost Cheshire taxpayers £1.6m

Cheshire East Council     Source: BBC News

A company set up to save money for two of Cheshire's local authorities made a net loss of £1.6m. CoSocius was wound-up in April by its owners Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council, after two years' trading.  Read in full

Joe Anderson unveils bid to become first Mersey metro mayor

Liverpool City Council     Source: Liverpool Echo

Joe Anderson today unveiled his bid to become Mersey metro mayor. The Liverpool mayor was joined by MPs Louise Ellman, Stephen Twigg and Peter Dowd, as well as council leaders Phil Davies from Wirral and Andy Moorhead from Knowsley, plus councillors and Labour members at Hugh Baird College in Bootle.  Read in full

Fracking decision in North Yorkshire reignites intense debate

North Yorkshire County Council     Source: BBC News

Approval for fracking in North Yorkshire has raised the prospect of the controversial technique being allowed at other sites and restarted an intense debate. Councillors in North Yorkshire on Monday voted to allow fracking near the village of Kirby Misperton.  Read in full

Devolution deal moves a step closer

North Lincolnshire Council     Source: Grimsby Telegraph

Councillors have agreed the next stages of the devolution process to transfer more power and resources from Whitehall to local areas. At the AGM, members approved a report which outlined support for a public consultation on the rationale for the Greater Lincolnshire devolution agreement and options for governance.  Read in full

Nottinghamshire County Council apologises to victim after child slavery claim

Nottinghamshire County Council     Source: Nottingham Post

A Nottinghamshire man who says he is the victim of child slavery has received an apology from the local authority. Terry Lodge, 55, said his foster parents made him work on a farm when he was only eight years old, and sent him to a foundry at 11, whilst suffering abuse at their hands during the 60s and 70s.  Read in full

Two options for Derby-to-Nottingham tram as part of HS2 plans

East Midlands Councils     Source: BBC News

Two options have been drawn up to outline how Nottingham's tram system could extend to Derby as part of plans for the HS2 high-speed rail network. The route would connect the two cities with the proposed HS2 station in Toton, Nottinghamshire. East Midlands Councils said there is no guarantee a tram will be chosen.  Read in full

Birmingham City Council to hand failing children's services over to new trust

Birmingham City Council     Source: Birmingham Mail

City failing children's social services department is to be put into a trust, it has been announced, in the week a damning behind-the-scenes documentary is due to air. The Department for Education, which has been closely monitoring the struggling service over the last few years, has decided that, following discussions with the Labour-run council, a voluntary trust should run social care in Birmingham.  Read in full

Coventry's Greater Birmingham membership in doubt as Tories threaten legal action over 'withheld information'

Coventry City Council     Source: Coventry Telegraph

Coventry's membership of the West Midlands Combined Authority could be in doubt after Conservative councillors threatened legal action amid claims vital information was deliberately withheld ahead of a crucial meeting. A rare extraordinary meeting of Coventry City Council is scheduled for May 31 to vote on Coventry’s impending membership of the West Midlands Combined Authority, commonly referred to as ‘Greater Birmingham’, and the powers of a soon to be introduced West Midlands mayor.  Read in full

East Anglian devolution offer to government includes two combined authorities

Cambridgeshire County Council     Source: Peterborough Telegraph

An East Anglian devolution deal handed over to the government would see two combined authorities, rather one sweeping super council. A proposed three county deal encompassing Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk has now been split in two, with Peterborough and Cambridgeshire pairing off.  Read in full

Thurrock Tories take charge and announce plans to clean up the borough

Thurrock Council     Source: Your Thurrock

After taking control of Thurrock Council, Tory leader Rob Gledhill spoke of his ambitions for the Borough. The Tories were able to take charge mainly due to the vote of Cllr Colin Churchman. Cllr Churchman was a Conservative councillor and a former UKIP councillor but he now sits as an Independent.  Read in full

Heart of Hampshire combined authority would be 'indefensible' without public consultation

Hampshire County Council     Source: gethampshire

Plans to merge Rushmoor and Hart with other local authorities in Hampshire without proper public consultation would be ‘indefensible’, according to Hampshire County Council leader, Councillor Roy Perry. As previously reported, a ‘Heart of Hampshire’ combined authority to cover Basingstoke and Deane, Hart, Rushmoor, Winchester, Test Valley and the New Forest is being proposed.  Read in full

County councillors oppose PCC fire service takeover

West Sussex County Council     Source: West Sussex County Times

County councillors have signalled opposition to allowing Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner to take over West Sussex’s fire and rescue service. Katy Bourne has written to leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith this week setting out her intention to explore whether there is a business case for the move.  Read in full

Legal move to prevent 'Devonwall' seat creation wins backing

Cornwall Council     Source: West Briton

Cornwall Council is to lobby the Government for a change in the law to prevent a cross-Tamar 'Devonwall' parliamentary constituency. The Boundary Commission is looking to reduce the number of MPs and redraw constituency maps to ensure that roughly equal numbers of voters elect each MP.  Read in full

Croydon Council strikes £7.5m deal renting Bernard Weatherhill House to design company

Croydon Council     Source: Croydon Guardian

A multinational company has signed a £7.5 million deal to set up shop in Croydon Council’s headquarters. Arcadis, a design and consultancy firm, will begin a 10-year lease of 19,000sq ft of office space in the top two floors of Bernard Weatherill House in the summer.   Read in full

Sutton Council agreed £18m property deal with company linked to corruption investigation

London Borough of Sutton     Source: This is Local London

Sutton Council agreed an £18m deal to buy property in Reading from an investment company whose majority shareholder is at the heart of global corruption allegations. The authority's chief executive, council leader and deputy leader all signed off on the purchase of a retail park 60 miles away from the borough before pulling the plug at a late stage.   Read in full

Glasgow City Council pledges rapid rubbish response

Glasgow City Council     Source: BBC News

Glasgow City Council has promised to "revolutionise" the way the city is maintained with a new environmental task force. Thirty "rapid response teams" will act on reports fed to a "state-of-the-art command centre" about issues like fly tipping, littering and dog fouling.  Read in full

Driverless buses for Aberdeen in ‘next five years’

Aberdeen City Council     Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Aberdeen could be the first place in Scotland to roll out driverless buses under ambitious plans to revamp the city, it has emerged. The buses could be on the road within the next five years as part of major plans to transform the city centre for the digital age.  Read in full

Next year's council elections to go ahead as planned despite local government reform plans

Newport City Council     Source: South Wales Argus

Council elections will be held in Wales next May regardless of the Welsh Government’s plans to merge local authorities across the country, first minister Carwyn Jones has said. The Welsh Government had previously presented plans to cut the number of councils in Wales from 22 to eight or nine, including a so-called ‘Super Gwent’ comprising Newport, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Caerphilly. But the plans had proven deeply unpopular in many quarters and Mr Jones admitted the controversial plan was going back to the drawing board.  Read in full

Campaigners who want Cardiff to have an elected mayor have collected just a fifth of the signatures they need

Cardiff Council     Source: WalesOnline

A bid to get Cardiff an elected mayor has secured just a fifth of the necessary signatures with more than half of their campaign gone. Campaigners have a six-month window to collect 24,647 signatures – 10% of the capital’s electorate – to force Cardiff council and the Welsh Government to hold a referendum.  Read in full

Derry and Strabane Council bans animal circuses from its land

Derry and Strabane District Council     Source: Belfast Telegraph

Derry and Strabane District Council has introduced a blanket ban on circuses with performing animals from using any land it owns. It is the first council in Northern Ireland to prohibit animal circuses on its property.  Read in full

Campaigners call on councillors to reject £240m Hightown incinerator plan

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council     Source: Newtownabbey Times

Opponents of arc21’s plan to build a massive waste incinerator near Mallusk have called on local councillors to take a stand against the project. Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has scheduled a special meeting on Thursday, June 2 to discuss the regional waste management body’s controversial plan to construct a £240million energy from waste plant at Hightown Quarry.  Read in full

And finally…

Is this tax sign 'offensive'? Cornwall Council thinks so

Cornwall Council     Source: Pirate FM

A Cornish taxi firm is being told to change its signs after they were branded "offensive" by Cornwall Council. County Hall says it has had a single complaint about the acronym on the side of the Port Isaac Shuttle Service.   Read in full

 

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