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Audit Unit used as honest broker

East Lothian and Edinburgh agreed on Monday that disputed charges for 1996-97 would be settled using the school cost tables published each year by HMI's audit unit. Edinburgh claims it was owed Pounds 40,000 but has agreed to settle for half that sum. About 50 pupils are involved.

At one point, Edinburgh estimated it was owed more than Pounds 326,000 by East Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian.

Inter-authority payments are likely to become less of an issue as more councils set up their own special education units. Clackmannan, for example, will only be sending around 20 pupils to Falkirk next session when a centre will open in Alva.

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