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COUNCIL CAPS: John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, announced he was lifting plans to cap spending of Liberal Democrat-controlled Somerset County Council and Lincolnshire Police Authority, and easing his restriction on the budget of Labour's Barnsley Borough Council.

But full curbs planned for Labour councils in Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich and Sheffield - and Devon, Gloucestershire and Shropshire county councils, which are under no overall control - are to stay.

nBUSINESS TODAY - Commons: Employment questions; Prime Minister's questions; debate initiated by Labour on "insecurity in the housing market"; Lords: Human Tissue (Amendment) Bill, Third Reading; Disability Discrimination Bill, Committee; Licensing (Sunday Hours) Bill, Report; Public Offers of Securities Regulations; Financial Services Act (Investment Advertisements) (Exemptions) Order.