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Dispute ends for Southampton Council workers

Southampton Council workers have accepted a deal to end the long running dispute over pay cuts imposed by the City Council.

The workers have held a series of strikes since the dispute started back in February 2011.

Under the new deal workers will see their pay restored in stages and those made redundant as a result of the 2011 / 12 Council budget will receive a one off compensation payment..

“UNISON members have voted by a large majority to accept this settlement because it restores that pay which was cut by the previous Conservative administration. Council workers now face savage job cuts being forced on the Council by the actions of the Coalition Government in reducing funding.”

– UNISON Branch Secretary Mike Tucker

In return for the settlement, UNISON and Unite will withdraw all legal action against the Council and call off ongoing industrial action.

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New adoption rules: three children or nothing

A council in the South is telling prospective adoptive parents they must be willing to take on three children. The local authority has closed its waiting list to those only willing to adopt one or two children who need a new home.

Officials say the only other circumstance in which they'll consider new applicants is if they can prove they can offer a home to a child with complex special needs. Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Kent County Council statement

"Kent County Council (KCC) welcomes the sentence that has been handed down to Ross Knowles as a consequence of him fraudulently extracting funds from its contracted gas supplier. The funds will be recovered and that process is currently underway. Working with KCC's energy suppliers, systems and controls have been reviewed and revised to protect KCC, its customers and suppliers from future fraudulent attempts.”

– Kent County Council Spokesperson

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Council leader confronted by protesters

The Leader of Basildon Council was confronted by Dale Farm protesters as he attended an awards ceremony last night.

Mr Ball was nominated for the title of Council Leader of the Year in recognition of his role in the eviction of travellers from Dale Farm.

He lost out to Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council in awards held at Westminster City Council by the Local Government Information Unit.

Mr Ball was confronted by Dale Farm protesters as he went to leave the venue.

Essex County Council's David Finch won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Financial Performance.

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