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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

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This week's 25 key Council news stories from around the UK

Manchester to cut bin sizes by more than 40%; Hull offers all staff voluntary redundancy; auditors criticise Derby pay review; Staffordshire to cut health support services; Hampshire to charge 12,000 people more for care; South Ayrshire bin strike continues; Y Bala to be renamed Y Bale and more......

Council-owned sites across Northumberland to be sold to developers

Northumberland County Council     Source: Chronicle Live

A raft of council-owned properties in Northumberland - including Morpeth ’s County Hall - have been advertised to developers. The council sell-off of redundant properties - which follows a similar move by neighbours Newcastle City Council - is headed by the 38-acre County Hall site in Northumberland, which is likely to be sold for housing and a supermarket, along with other uses.   Read in full

Chuggers to be banned from Newcastle under powers to deal with nuisances

Newcastle City Council     Source: Sunderland Echo

Newcastle City Council has passed an order banning face-to-face fundraising, which will come into force later in a few months. The Public Space Protection Order was passed by city's ruling cabinet after what it said was an extensive consultation found more than half of those taking part felt chugging was a problem in the city.  Read in full

If you live in Manchester your bin is about to get a lot smaller

Manchester City Council     Source: Manchester Evening News

Manchester's black bins are set to get smaller - as the council looks to save £2.4m a year in landfill costs. Town hall bosses plan to shrink down the size of the city’s bins by over 40 per cent - from 240 litres capacity to just 140 litres.  Read in full

Halton Council children's services director becomes Cheshire West And Chester chief executive

Halton Borough Council     Source: Liverpool Echo

A director is leaving Halton Borough Council following his appointment as Cheshire West And Chester Council chief executive. Gerald Meehan had been working at both local authorities for the past five years, as head of the children and enterprise at Halton and as children’s services at Chester.  Read in full

Hull City Council asks all staff to consider redundancy

Hull City Council     Source: BBC News

Hull City Council has emailed all of its workers asking them to consider taking voluntary redundancy. The authority said it was looking for "expressions of interest" from every single employee because of "increasing financial pressures".  Read in full

New council-led trust could be created to support schools

Wakefield Council     Source: Wakefield Express

Schools which convert into academies could become part of an educational trust set up by Wakefield Council. Plans to explore the creation of a local authority-led Multi-Academy Trust were approved by the council’s cabinet.  Read in full

Series of Derby City Council officer errors led to £1.2m cost to the taxpayer

Derby City Council     Source: Derby Telegraph

A series of high-level blunders led to Derby City Council having to redo a pay review at a cost of £1.2 million to taxpayers, a report by auditors has found. The details have come out in a report from the experts at Grant Thornton that also said the council gave £2 million to the firm Webhelp, formerly Hero TSC, so it could move into a building on Pride Park.  Read in full

Nottingham City Council threatens legal action against police over move to scrap city's top cop

Nottingham City Council     Source: Nottingham Post

Nottingham City Council is threatening legal action against its local police force if a "retrograde" decision to scrap the force's city division is not reversed. On May 1, Nottinghamshire Police brought in a "single senior management system", meaning the city's chief superintendent Mike Manley was no longer in charge and the division had been brought under the county umbrella.  Read in full

Health support services slashed in bid to resolve £15m shortfall

Staffordshire County Council     Source: The Sentinel

A package of cuts have been approved by a council faced with tackling a £15 million funding shortfall. Sexual health, care and drug services provided by Staffordshire County Council are all expected to be hit by the cuts.  Read in full

Birmingham leader John Clancy joins forces with other big cities to back EU

Birmingham City Council     Source: Birmingham Mail

Birmingham council leader John Clancy has joined forces with the bosses of Britain’s other great cities - to warn quitting the European Union would damage local economies and put jobs at risk. Ten city leaders issued a joint statement saying that working people would “pay the price” if the UK voted to leave the EU in the referendum on June 23.  Read in full

Hertfordshire County Council cuts ties with law firm Baker Small after ‘disrespectful’ tweets

Hertfordshire County Council     Source: Watford Observer

Hertfordshire County Council has vowed to stop using the services of a law firm whose Twitter account posted a series of “disrespectful” comments about parents of children with learning difficulties. The managing director of a Baker Small, based in Milton Keynes, has apologised after a series of tweets which appeared to mock parents.  Read in full

Councillors to debate Peterborough and Cambridgeshire shared chief executive role

Peterborough City Council     Source: Peterborough Telegraph

Councillors will debate plans to make permanent the current shared chief executive role. Since November 2015, Gillian Beasley has held the shared role across Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, which was originally agreed for an initial period of 12 months.  Read in full

 

Hampshire County Council proposes plans to charge 12,000 people more for care

Hampshire County Council     Source: BBC News

Proposals to make about 12,000 people in Hampshire pay more for their care in a bid to save £1.5m have been announced by the county council. The authority said it needed to make savings in adult social care of £43.1m by 2018.  Read in full

Five new park and rides planned outside Oxford at cost of £75m

Oxfordshire County Council     Source: Oxford Times

Five new park and ride sites could be built outside of the city by 2031 at a cost of nearly £75m. A study published by Oxfordshire County Council yesterday said the sites – all in the Green Belt – should be at Cumnor, Lodge Hill, Sandford and Oxford Airport, in addition to one already announced at Eynsham.   Read in full

Bristol does not need North Somerset for £1 billion deal after all

Bristol City Council     Source: Bristol Post

Bristol will benefit from a bigger share of the £1 billion devolution deal without North Somerset. Mayor Marvin Rees told a meeting that the city will still be able to go ahead with the deal, even without one of the neighbouring authorities.  Read in full

Brixham Express ferry passengers each cost taxpayers £170

Torbay Council     Source: Herald Express

Each passenger on the Brixham Express ferry service cost taxpayers £170 in subsidies, it has been revealed. Torbay Council confirmed that the company has received £543,939.80 from the council to date – although no subsidy has been paid for the past year while the service has been operating without a suitable vessel to meet its contract.  Read in full

Barnet polling blunder: hundreds may be entitled to compensation

Barnet Council     Source: The Guardian

Hundreds of people denied a vote in last month’s elections after a polling register blunder at London’s Barnet council, could be entitled to compensation, according to the chairman of a London assembly inquiry into the fiasco. Up to 600 people attempting to vote in Barnet in the mayoral and London assembly elections on 5 May were turned away, including the chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.  Read in full

Council first to adopt AI to deliver services

Enfield Council     Source: LocalGov

A north London borough has become the first local authority to ‘employ’ artificial intelligence (AI) in order to improve local service delivery. Enfield Council has deployed IPsoft’s technology platform, Amelia, which is designed to make it easier for residents to locate information and complete standard applications, as well as simplify some of the council’s internal processes.   Read in full

South Ayrshire binmen set to continue strike action as they reject new council offer

South Ayrshire Council     Source: Daily Record

The refuse row that has dogged South Ayrshire this year looks set to rumble on long into the summer. Defiant binmen are continuing to challenge the new work rules they signed up to. The squad are refusing to call an end to the strike action that has caused wheelie bin chaos.  Read in full

Council awarded £3m payout from insurers over collapse of Scottish Coal Company

South Lanarkshire Council     Source: Scottish Legal News

A Scottish council has won a £3 million legal dispute with an insurance firm over the collapse of the Scottish Coal Company. South Lanarkshire Council raised a commercial action seeking payment of £3,117,724 from Aviva Insurance, which the local authority claimed was due under a “performance guarantee bond” granted by the defender insurance company to the local authority pursuer.  Read in full

Controversial return to Dyfed scrapped as council reform goes back to the drawing board

Pembrokeshire County Council     Source: Western Telegraph

A controversial plan which would have seen Pembrokeshire swallowed up by a return to Dyfed has been scrapped. Under proposals unveiled last year by the Welsh Government, Pembrokeshire would have been merged with Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire as part of plans to slash the number of local authorities.  Read in full

Pest control services in Gwynedd could be axed

Gwynedd Council     Source: Daily Post

Pest control could be scrapped in Gwynedd if savings are not made. The authority is looking to trim its budget and in January it was thought up to £67,000 could be made by scrapping the pest control service, though this figure has since been revised down to £56,000.  Read in full

Council agrees to send letter of condolence to Orlando after late night second meeting

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council     Source: Impartial Reporter

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have finally agreed that a letter of condolence be sent to the people of Orlando following the deadliest mass shooting in America's history. The night before at a meeting of the Regeneration and Community Committee, Councillor Josephine Deehan left Enniskillen Townhall in protest after councillors declined to make a decision on her proposal to send a letter of sympathy to the U.S. Consulate.   Read in full

Council approves new transport hub for west Belfast

Belfast City Council     Source: Belfast City Council press release

Plans for the development of a new “town centre” in the Collin area have taken a step closer, with the granting of planning permission for the first stage of the scheme. Last month, Belfast City Council granted outline planning approval for the 21-hectare development, based around the existing Dairy Farm complex.  Read in full

And finally…

Viva Gareth Bale! Y Bala to be renamed Y Bale in honour of world's greatest player

Denbighshire County Council     Source: The Free Press

The town of Bala is planning on changing its name to support international football star and Wales striker Gareth Bale and the Welsh squad. Councillor Dilwyn Morgan, who represents Bala in Gwynedd County Council says that he is “100 per cent behind the move.”  Read in full

 

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