News round-up 25/7: Recession deepens
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
The UK recession has deepened, latest official figures have shown, after the output of the economy fell by 0.7% between April and June. The contraction was much bigger than expected and follows a 0.3% drop in the first three months of the year, the BBC reports. The Office for National Statistics said the fall was largely due to a sharp slowdown in the construction sector.
The Guardian reports on the findings of an Office for National Statistics study of happiness levels. It says residents of Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland recorded the highest satisfaction levels. Thurrock, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool reported the lowest levels, it says. The report also says people in Middlesbrough scored highest on a measure of anxiety.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has claimed Britain does not need more casinos and said he was “sceptical” about his party’s claims of their benefit to the economy whilst in power, the Daily Mail reports. His comments came in response to a report by the culture, media and sport select committee which advocated further liberalisation of gambling laws.
In an agreement due to be announced today in Parliament, energy secretary Ed Davey is expected to “claim victory” for wind investors escaping deep cuts to subsidies, the Financial Times reports. Subsidies will be cut by 10% this year instead of the 25% backed by Conservative backbenchers. But, the coalition will not commit to new targets for de-carbonising British electricity generation by 2030, despite calls from the committee on climate change and the energy and climate change select committee.
Home Office ministers are seeking a last minute High Court injunction to halt a strike by UK Border Agency staff at Heathrow Airport on the day before the Olympic opening ceremony, the Guardian reports. The Home Office will ask the High Court to ban the strike on the grounds that there was “a procedural error” in the ballot conducted by the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS).
Elsewhere, the Financial Times reports that International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive director, Gilbert Felli, has said that London will rely on luck to avoid serious transport problems during the Games, due to the city’s narrow streets.