Regeneration in the newspapers: 12 August 2009

Claims that the Government's Building Schools for the Future programme is a "sham" and a warning that councils are unprepared for rising lawlessness and debt feature in our round-up of today's newspapers.

The Financial Times carries a special report on plans by Tory councils, such as Barnet, Essex and Hammersmith and Fulham, to rethink the provision of public services and deliver radical cost cutting proposals in order to confront the squeeze on public spending.

The Guardian reports on information obtained by the Liberal Democrats which shows that nine of the 49 schools "rebuilt" or "refurbished" last year through the Building Schools for the Future programme amounted to little more than installing a new computer suite rather than a full-scale rebuild or refurbishment.

The Times leads with the findings of a report by public services watchdog the Audit Commission, which warns that councils are unprepared for the second blow of the recession: rising lawlessness and debt. It claims that council service will be under increased strain as a result of rises in drug addiction, alcoholism, domestic violence and debt.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson launches a stinging attack on shadow chancellor George Osborne’s claims that the Tories are the progressive party in a comment piece in The Guardian. Mandelson says the Osborne "simply defines progressive to mean whatever the Tories believe this month" and that the David Cameron’s party has no commitment to social justice.

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