Labour left carrying out 'aggressive purge' of centrist councillors

Reports that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing supporters have been accused of carrying out an 'aggressive purge' of centrist councillors ahead of local elections next year feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription) reports that "councillors across the country have been deselected in a vote of local members or have faced pressure not to contest their seats in May in favour of candidates more closely aligned to the cause of the Labour leader and the Momentum campaign that supports him". The paper cites several cases across the country, including that of Tim Gallagher, a councillor from Haringey, north London, who decided to step down last week, saying that colleagues were written off as "zombie Blairites". The paper says that the "dispute in Haringey centred on a local development scheme, backed by many party councillors but which faced opposition from the left".

The Times also reports that "new office development in London has fallen to its lowest level in more than three years". The paper says that, "in a sign that activity may be slowing amid mounting concerns about Brexit, Deloitte’s twice-yearly London Office Crane Survey found that construction had dropped by nine per cent compared with six months ago to 12.6 million sq ft of office space".

Writing in the Telegraph, Rob Wilson, a former minister for civil society, says that councils should stop "unfairly milking motorists", "discard their anti-growth mindsets" and embrace new finance-raising powers they are being offered by central government to "entrench prosperity, not deprivation in our towns and cities". 

The Guardian reports that "an area of Birmingham named the poorest place in the UK as recently as last year now has the fastest-rising property prices in the country". The paper says that "prices in the B16 postcode of the city, which covers the Ladywood area, rose by 17 per cent in the 12 months to July, far outstripping any part of London, where the property market has cooled rapidly since the EU referendum."

Wales Online reports that the opening "of one of the most eye-catching tourist attractions in the UK, which would include a cable car ride, toboggan rides, zip wire rides and a restaurant and event venue on Kilvey Hill in Swansea, has taken a major step forward". The website says that it has "emerged that board directors of New Zealand-based Skyline Enterprises have given a green light for the company to start detailed design and legal discussions for an attraction there that would also include a panoramic viewing platform with views across Swansea Bay."

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