Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has announced his shadow cabinet team, appointing several new faces. Norman Lamb and Sarah Teather (pictured) join the front bench, taking the trade and industry and the communities and local government briefs respectively. Ed Davey becomes education spokesman and Steve Webb takes over at health. Simon Hughes moves to shadow Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, while foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell, Treasury spokesman Vince Cable and home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten remain in their posts.

A system to co-ordinate school admissions policies is leading to fewer children from poor families applying to good schools and should be scrapped, says Sutton Trust chair Sir Peter Lampl. The system reguires parents to rank three schools by preference. But critics say popular schools are accepting only those who list them first, making it more risky to apply to good schools for families who cannot afford private schools as an alternative if they get turned down.

The Fire Brigades Union has said the government must drop controversial plans to reduce drastically the number of fire service control rooms. The government wants to close 46 centres and create nine regional ones in England, and cut the eight Scottish centres to just one. The union said it would oppose the plans by 'all possible means'. General secretary Matt Wrack said: 'The new ministers need to listen to the voices of the fire service telling them this plan must be dropped. …

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