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This week's top stories

Cuts in Local Government spending could be made fairer

Cuts to local government spending have hit the most deprived areas of England hardest, says the Public Accounts Committee.

The Committee’s report ‘Financial Sustainability Of Local Authorities 2014’ (HC 833) also warns that further cuts could undermine councils' financial stability and threaten statutory services.

How does it affect me?

If you work in the public sector, if you live in a local authority where services have been affected by spending cuts, or if you are concerned about the pace of cuts to local government funding, this will be of interest to you.

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Benefits of academies and free schools for disadvantaged pupils unclear

The landscape of schooling in England has been transformed by academies over the last five years, but the report ‘Academies And Free Schools’ (HC 258) is inconclusive as to whether they are a positive force for change.

Outstanding Multi Academy Trusts like ‘Ark and Harris’ has proven the success of academies over those schools overseen by local authorities.

How does it affect me?

If you work in education, if you have a child currently attending compulsory education, or you have concerns about the effectiveness of academies and free schools, this will be of interest to you.

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Fracking may cause environmental risk

The Environmental Audit Committee report ‘Environmental Risks Of Fracking’ (HC 856) concludes that the Government's drive for shale gas should be put on hold because it would lead to more reliance on fossil fuels.

The Government has introduced tax concessions for fracking and is seeking to ease the process for fracking operations.

How does it affect me?

If you live in an area above shale deposits, if you are concerned about the UK’s reduction of carbon emissions or if you are concerned about the safety of fracking, then this will be of interest to you.

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