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Council News Monitor weekly round-up: devo-England takes hold

By: Council News Monitor Team
Published: Monday, September 29, 2014 - 09:41 GMT Jump to Comments

English City regions want some of what Scotland's having. Devo Manchester is pushing to the head of the queue. A round-up of this and other Council news from last week

Every weekday Public Service Intelligence publishes a subscription service focussing on local council news and announcements from around the country. The Information Daily is sponsoring the launch of this invaluable service and subscribers to Information Daily News alerts can get the service free of charge, for now, simply by registering for Information Daily News Alerts.

Every Monday the Information Daily will publish a round-up of the previous week's top stories as featured in Council News Monitor. This week's summary covers its first full week, as English cities and regions reacted to greater devolution for Scotland.

Friday 26 September

Manchester councils consult on single jobs and housing plan

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council     Source: Greater Manchester Combined Authority press release

A public consultation is scheduled to start today on the evidence base that has been gathered for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, designed to support significant levels of housing and employment growth across the city region. Stockport chief executive, and Greater Manchester lead on planning and housing, Eamonn Boylan said: "This is a radical step and reflects our ambition for Greater Manchester to manage the challenge of growth across all 10 authorities in a coherent way."  Read in full

Thursday 25 September

South west councils win £462,000 joint funding bid for air quality improvements

Bristol City Council     Source: Bristol City Council press release

Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council have secured £462,000 in funding to re-fit buses with the latest low carbon technology. The joint bid saw the two councils work together to secure £378,000 of funding from the Department of Transport, with a further £84,000 from First Group in match-funding.  Read in full

Wednesday 24 September

Ground rent increase by Swansea Council leaves home 'worthless'

City and County of Swansea     Source: South Wales Evening Post

A resident on a Swansea housing estate has been told his property is worthless after a hike in ground rents left some leaseholders staring at rises of up to 6,000 percent. Landowners Swansea Council announced the increase earlier at Gowerton's Elba estate earlier this year. It has seen bills rocket from around £50 a year to, in some cases, more than £3,000.  Read in full

Tuesday 23 September

Key Cities call for pooled five-year budgets for urban England

Sunderland City Council     Source: Key Cities press release

Key Cities, a group representing the interests of 24 of England’s ‘mid-sized’ cities, has published a Charter for Devolution that calls for English cities to be provided with ‘single-city budgets’. These would pool all public funding for a city into one block with funding fixed for a five-year period. “Despite all the rhetoric, we have not seen any devolution to our cities. Without devolution, we can’t deliver the growth we need – not just in our cities but also for the country as a whole," said Councillor Paul Watson, chair of the Key Cities group and leader of Sunderland City Council.  Read in full

Monday 22 September

South west's cities and counties want their own extra powers

Plymouth City Council     Source: The Herald

Plymouth MPs have said they were "delighted" Scotland voted to remain part of the UK, but added that the city and the South west must also get greater powers. Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie told the Bristol Post that the city can ask for more powers, while Somerset County Council leader John Osman told the Western Gazette that rural areas like Somerset – and not just cities – should get a greater say over their own affairs and a fairer funding arrangement. And Cornwall’s Liberal Democrats will start their campaign for devolved powers for the Duchy next week when they meet in Bodmin, writes the West BritonRead in full

And finally last week...

The truth is out there on Essex's paranormal outsourcing

Essex County Council     Source: EADT24

A comedy Freedom of Information response from a sci-fi film buff at Essex County Council reveals all enquiries relating to UFOs, zombie invasions and ghosts are dealt with by external contractors. UFO investigations are handled by the X-Files agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully; apocalyptic business continuity plans are handled by Simon Pegg’s title character from his film Shaun of the Dead; and the Ghostbusters deal with “all investigations concerning paranormal activity”.  Read in full

Council News Monitor is a subscription email service from Public Service Intelligence gathering news articles about, and press releases from, all the top-tier councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Council News Monitor is available free of charge for now to all subscribers to The Information Daily news alerts.  Click here to sign up.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Information Daily, its parent company or any associated businesses.

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