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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

West Midlands mayor needs more power while Newcastle CEO should have less money. Lincolnshire cuts lights while....

....Lancashire cuts libraries, Milton Keynes tackles homelessness; Hull City children's czar quites while Swansea goes ahead with £500m redevelopment plan and Sir Ian McKellan urges Cardiff to reconsider opposition to Gay pride festival plan.

 

Gateshead Council set to back North East mayor plans

Gateshead Council     Source: ITV News

Gateshead Council looks set to rejoin six other local authorities in the North East working to bring an elected mayor to the region. Earlier this year council bosses rejected plans for devolved powers from Westminster. Durham, Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside councils have all voted in favour of a devolution deal to bring in new powers, investment and an elected mayor to the North East.   Read in full

Unions blast council chief executive Pat Ritchie's £24,000 pay rise

Newcastle City Council     Source: Chronicle Live

Union bosses and council staff have poured scorn over plans to give generous pay rises to those at the top of Newcastle City Council. We revealed on Wednesday how the council proposes to amend the pay scales of chief executive Pat Ritchie and four of the most senior council officers.  Read in full

Lancashire County Council to go ahead with library cuts

Lancashire County Council     Source: BBC News

Lancashire County Council is to go ahead with the majority of its plans to close libraries and children's centres after consultation, it has confirmed. In May, the authority said it wanted to close 29 libraries and 35 children's centres as part of £200m of cuts it needs to make by 2020.  Read in full

Blackpool project to fight back against the cuts

Blackpool Council     Source: The Gazette

An ambitious project to fight back against massive budget cuts across Blackpool has been launched. Community leaders are bidding to hit back against massive town hall cuts by harnessing volunteers who will be offered incentives to give up their time for free.  Read in full

Hull City Council boss Mil Vasic quits as departments go millions over budget

Hull City Council     Source: Hull Daily Mail

A senior Hull City Council employee whose departments are millions of pounds over budget has quit his job. It is believed Mil Vasic was invited to resign as the council's director for children, young people and family services.   Read in full

Leeds council leader seeks meeting over flood defence funding as review delayed

Leeds City Council     Source: Public Sector Executive

The leader of Leeds city council is seeking a meeting with the prime minister and environment secretary amid concerns about delays to a review and new funding for flood defences. A national review of the nation’s flood defences was announced in January after Storm Desmond caused devastating floods across the north of England.  Read in full

Nottingham residents now banned from using Notts recycling centres

Nottinghamshire County Council     Source: Nottingham Post

From today recycling centres in Notts can only be used by people who live in the county council area - and have registered to use the sites. The county council has introduced the scheme because it said it is facing increased budget pressures, and is no longer in a position to cover the costs of disposing waste brought to recycling centres by out-of-county residents.  Read in full

Street lights to be switched off as part of county cuts

Lincolnshire County Council     Source: Market Rasen Mail

Street lights in Market Rasen and Caistor will be switched off next month as part of cost-cutting measures by Lincolnshire County Council. ‘Part night’ lighting is being introduced in mostly residential areas despite concerns about the impact on road safety.  Read in full

Why the new West Midlands mayor is being described as 'weak'

West Midlands Combined Authority     Source: Birmingham Mail

Labour's candidate for next year's West Midlands mayoral election has joined the dissenting voices who fear the new leader will have a weak position unable to wield any power in the new role. Siôn Simon, who was chosen last month as the party's candidate to stand next May, says the current draft for the role is a "bureaucratic misalignment" which needs fixing if the mayor is to champion West Midlands businesses and communities.  Read in full

Pothole zapping machines sent to repair Staffordshire roads

Staffordshire County Council     Source: Staffordshire Newsletter

Three new pothole "zapping" machines are being rolled out on Staffordshire roads as part of a package of measures to help speed up repairs on the county's highway network. Earlier this year, Staffordshire County Council was awarded just over £1 million from the Department for Transport to help manage the challenge of repairing potholes and defects in the roads.  Read in full

Essex County Council invests up to £7.7 million on housing options that support older people to live independently

Essex County Council     Source: The Enquirer

Essex County Council is investing up to £27.7 million to meet increasing demand for housing options that can support and enable older people to live independently. ECC’s Independent Living programme will see 1,800 new Independent Living homes, with 24 hour care and support on site, created around the county between now and 2021.  Read in full

Cash-strapped Bedford council's £94.5m tax black hole

Bedford Borough Council     Source: Bedfordshire on Sunday

A council is owed almost one hundred million pounds in unpaid council tax. In addition to the £94.5m black hole, Bedford Borough Council is owed £69.9m in overdue business rates, £5.8m in overpaid housing benefits and a whopping £184.4m in 'sundries' ranging from legal service fees to market stall rents.  Read in full

Milton Keynes Council launches ambitious plan to tackle homelessness

Milton Keynes Council     Source: Milton Keynes Citizen

Milton Keynes Council has asked the new Housing Minister to help funding towards a new scheme which could provide much-needed accommodation for dozens of homeless families. Council Leader Pete Marland has written to the new Housing and Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell, seeking a one off investment of around £2m to help with the costs of a new local facility.  Read in full

Reading and Bracknell tips to charge for DIY debris

Reading Borough Council     Source: getreading

The tips in Reading and Bracknell will begin to charge for dumping certain kinds of household waste from the end of the month. From Friday, September 30, re3 which runs the recycling centres at Smallmead in Island Road, Whitley and Longshot Lane, Bracknell for Reading, Bracknell Forest and Wokingham councils will be introducing charges for the disposal of some non-household waste.  Read in full

Reasons for Bristol City Council's £29million expected overspend revealed

Bristol City Council     Source: Bristol Post

Pressure on care services, a potentially massive ICT overspend and failure to make cuts have been highlighted as reasons for the 'serious' budget problems faced by Bristol City Council. Details of the authority's projected £29million overspend have been revealed in a report.  Read in full

Dorset councils merger plan 'an attack on democracy'

Bournemouth Borough Council     Source: BBC News

Plans to reorganise local government in Dorset in a bid to save cash are an "attack against democracy", an MP has claimed. Chief executives from all nine councils in the county presented four shake-up options. Proposals include the possible merger of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and East Dorset.  Read in full

Rich London homeowners face paying £8,000 'tax' to dig mega-basements

City of Westminster     Source: London Evening Standard

Wealthy London homeowners who plan to dig underground extensions are to be hit by Britain’s first “basement tax” in a fresh crackdown on “anti-social” iceberg homes. Residents in Westminster will have to pay an average levy of £8,000 to secure planning permission for the often hugely unpopular subterranean excavations under the new rules.  Read in full

Redbridge Council told to improve data protection training and governance

Redbridge Council     Source: PublicTechnology.net

The Information Commissioner’s Office has said that London Borough of Redbridge Council needs to make considerable improvements to its data protection practices. The ICO carried out an audit of the council’s processing of personal data earlier this year, and found that there was a “limited level of assurance” that processes for data protection compliance are in place.  Read in full

New North Ayrshire Council leader says he'd like to recoup cash for schools

North Ayrshire Council     Source: Daily Record

Following the Labour group’s ascension to power at North Ayrshire Council , their leader laid out his priorities for the months ahead. Among the key areas, Joe Cullinane said he would like to recoup the money earmarked for schools which was instead used to plug a funding gap.  Read in full

Main contractor sought for £63.5m East Ayrshire campus

East Ayrshire Council     Source: Scottish Construction Now

A main contractor is being sought to help deliver a £63.5 million education campus for East Ayrshire Council. The planned Knockroon Learning & Enterprise Campus development in the Broomfield area of Cumnock will include: a merged primary school, incorporating two existing primary schools as well as Auchinleck Academy and Cumnock Academy.  Read in full

Brexit 'will not hamper' £500m Swansea city centre redevelopment plans says council leader

City and County of Swansea      Source: South Wales Evening Post

Britain's Brexit vote should not impact plans for a £500m revamp of Swansea city centre, according to its council leader. Work due to begin next year includes shops, an arena, and aquarium, and will be the biggest change of the city's landscape in a century.  Read in full

Sir Ian McKellen has accused Cardiff council of 'negativity' to LGBT people over its Champions League plans

Cardiff Council     Source: WalesOnline

Sir Ian McKellen has filmed a video message to Cardiff council. The feted stage and screen actor, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, urged the council to let the annual Pride Cymru festival use the city's central open space Cooper's Field next year.  Read in full

Belfast Jewish graves attack sparks call for CCTV cameras

Belfast City Council     Source: Belfast Telegraph

Security cameras may be installed at council cemeteries in Belfast after Jewish graves were destroyed in a racist attack. Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said he was appalled at last Friday's incident, when 13 graves in the Jewish plot of the City Cemetery in west Belfast were wrecked.  Read in full

Capita secures more service contracts across NI's public and private sectors

Derry and Strabane District Council     Source: The Irish News

Capita Managed IT Solutions has been awarded contracts by two high profile organisations in Northern Ireland to deliver IT infrastructure services and support. The Newtownabbey-based firm has been selected by Derry City & Strabane District Council following a competitive tender process.  Read in full

And finally…

Reputation of Aberdeenshire Council 'damaged by Legoland trip'

Aberdeenshire Council     Source: BBC News

The reputation of Aberdeenshire Council has been damaged after an aborted trip to Legoland which led to its co-leader resigning, a meeting has heard. Martin Kitts-Hayes had been due to attend the North Sea Commission at Legoland in Denmark in June.  Read in full

 

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