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What’s happening in the world of local government this week? – 06.03.24

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We’ve compiled together some of the most interesting, newsworthy stories of the last week from the local government sector worldwide. We’re just trialling this service out for now, so let us know what you think in the comments below:

The Sardinian town charging 1 euro rent for digital nomads
The small Sardinian town of Ollolai has launched a programme to encourage remote workers and digital nomads to visit and settle for a month for the symbol price of 1 euro. The 1,300-strong town’s “Work from Ollohai” was launched by the local government, and offers 1 or 2-bed apartments to remote professionals, as long as they are willing to exchange skills and knowledge. Visitors should be willing to act as mentors, provide presentations, lead lectures, and host workshops for local residents who are keen to know more about digital professions and different cultures.
The Mayor

Brussels: Municipalities to “requisition” poorly maintained homes
Several local governments in Brussels are moving to “requisition” empty, derelict and/or poorly maintained homes. Under newly revised laws, authorities in Etterbeek and Saint-Gilles are identifying dwellings that have fallen into disrepair. Then, under the new terms, the owners are given notice to address the problem. If they fail to do so, the councils aim to seize the buildings, carry out any necessary renovations, and rent them out for up to 29 years as social housing.
Le Soir

Decision time for Scotland’s first national park in 20 years
For the first time in more than 20 years, a new national park is set to be announced in Scotland. Five areas – The Scottish Borders, Galloway, Lochaber, Loch Awe and Tay Forest – have submitted bids to become Scotland’s next national park, joining the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. In a power-sharing agreement, the SNP and the Scottish Greens announced “at least one” new park would be decided by the end of the parliamentary session. Each of the five bids will now be appraised and receive a detailed investigation from NatureScot.
BBC News

Sydney lord mayor calls out EPA, NSW Government “regulatory failure” over asbestos crisis
The lord mayor of Sydney Clover Moore has accused NSW’s government and environmental watchdog of a “costly” and “massive” regulatory failure over the use of asbestos contaminated mulch across numerous city parks. At an extraordinary general meeting on Monday, Cllr Moore revealed testing costs of the contaminated mulch have reached $200,000, with “substantial” remediation costs likely to follow. Asbestos has been found in mulch across more than 12 City of Sydney parks, and at more than 60 sites overall across greater Sydney.
The Guardian

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