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Bristol's council

* Bristol's council continued to pay the price for its decision to let taxpayers decide funding for schools, as the resulting budget cut coincided with a visit from inspectors.

OFSTED attacked the decision to hold a referendum in which voters opted for a pound;4 million cut in the city's education budget. Councillors reduced the cut to the budget by pound;2 million, followig the sale of the authority's shares in Bristol airport.

But the report was generally complimentary about the Labour authority's reaction to a critical report 18 months ago. Most services were now at least satisfactory. But failures in management, meant another visit was required, making Bristol one of a handful of councils to be inspected a third time.

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