Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
TV chef Jamie Oliver has accused education secretary Michael Gove of obstructing improvements to children’s health by ordering a review into school food, the Guardian reports. Mr Oliver alleged that any inquiry would waste time and was likely to be ignored upon its completion.
The Independent reports that Mr Gove has hired chefs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, the founders of the Leon chain of restaurants, to examine school meals across the country and come up with a series of recommendations.
A majority of the public believes that David Cameron’s plan to end housing benefit for under-25s would result in more young people sleeping rough, according to a poll for the Independent. The prime minister’s controversial idea, floated in a speech last week, has been attacked by homelessness charities, who warn it will leave young adults without a roof over their head.
The Guardian reports that more than a quarter of a billion pounds had to be injected into the health service last year to make sure 11 hospital trusts had sufficient funds to pay staff. According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) published today, this amount was three times more than the sum required for previous year. The report also claims that some hospital trusts are in “financial distress” and should be left to fail, as they would require an extra £300m bailout over the next 12 months.
Elsewhere, the Times notes that one of the most ambitious hospital re-organisations ever in England was given the go-ahead last night. The decision came after an NHS review concluded that paediatric expertise was spread too thinly over 10 service sites and should be focused on fewer hospitals.
Wind power firms warn they may take the government to court if they get caught in a political row over subsidies, the BBC reports. After conducting technical studies, the energy department proposed a subsidy cut of 10% for power from onshore wind. But the chancellor is under pressure from back-benchers to scrap subsidies, and is said to favour a 25% cut. Speaking on the Today Programme, Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris said that he wanted to see subsidies reduced to the level where there were no more developments of onshore wind farms in the United Kingdom. The level of subsidy was “way too high”, Mr Heaton-Harris said. He added that the target for wind farms would be exceeded as a result. Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, maintained that the target for wind farms would not be met if the subsidy was reduced, as projects which had received planning permission would not be built.