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Cuts 'could push some authorities to breaking point'

The latest government cuts in council funding "will push some authorities to breaking point", according to experts.

Graeme McDonald, director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) said: "This settlement reminds us that the financial challenge facing local government is immense.

"Government is beginning to recognise that councils have led the way on deficit reduction, but with cuts and demand increasing, fragility is beginning to show.

"The financial future of local services is unsustainable without a more ambitious plan for public service reform."

Police: 'No risk to children' after reports of shots fired

Dorset Police have said that there is no risk to children at Highcliffe School, after it was put on lockdown following reports of shots fired at workmen nearby.

No arrests have been made, after an armed response unit attended the scene.


MPs abuse probe: Missing person checks after murder claims

Police investigating the alleged murders of three boys have confirmed they are checking against missing person files from the time, ITV News Correspondent Ronke Phillips reports.

No bodies have been found at present to support the murder claims - which are said to be linked to an alleged Westminster paedophile ring.

However, police say they believe the allegations - - to be "credible and true" and are taking them very seriously.

Council funding cut is lowest since 2010

The cuts to council funding for the next tax year are the lowest since the coalition came to power.

Local government minister Kris Hopkins said that the 1.8% reduction would leave councils with "considerable total spending power".

No council will face a loss in spending power of more than 6.4%.

Mr Hopkins described the settlement as "fair for all parts of the country, whether North or South, urban or rural".

The bulk of local authorities' spending power comes from grants from central government, with around a quarter raised from council tax.


  1. Juliet Bremner: ITV News Correspondent

Appeal for Dolphin Square residents over alleged abuse

Dolphin Square in Pimlico, London, is said to have been used by an alleged paedophile ring involving MPs. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Investigators believe Dolphin Square - a London housing estate close to the Houses of Parliament where many MPs have their homes - is an area of interest in a probe into an alleged Westminster child abuse ring and three related allegations of murder.

They are appealing for any boys who think they may have been victims or any residents who lived there and may have suspicions to come forward.

The historical allegations were made by a victim calling himself "Nick".

He alleges he was abused by a group of MPs and other high profile individuals between 1975 -84.

The information he has given them relates to the alleged murders of three young boys and police believe that it is "credible and true".

Child abuse inquiry: Probe into alleged murders of three boys

Police are investigating three alleged murders of young boys as part of an inquiry into historical child abuse claims.

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