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News round-up 18/2: Regional authorities 'emasculated' by capital

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

City economies

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg is set to accuse the City of London and successive government’s of “emasculating” the economy outside of London by focusing on the city as a global financial centre separate from the rest of the country, the Independent reports. Mr Clegg’s speech to financiers at Mansion House will promise financial freedoms to other cities and regions in a bid to support new industries.

 

Welfare reform

The Financial Times reports that “one of Whitehall’s most powerful troubleshooters” has been drafted in to take charge of the Universal Credit project following the sudden death before Christmas of the Department for Work & Pensions’ chief information officer Philip Langsdale. The paper says Mr Pitchford, executive director of the Major Projects Authority, has the authority to intervene in any big government scheme going off track while DWP denied his appointment suggested the project was in trouble.

The Independent reports that tenants due to pay higher rents due to the government’s “bedroom tax” on spare rooms are in “fighting mood” and will oppose the reform. Meanwhile, the Independent also reports work & pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s claim that no graduate is too good to stack shelves, following a critical Appeal Court ruling on its back-to-work scheme.

 

Homelessness

A third of England’s local authorities are unlawfully placing homeless families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks, the Guardian reports. It says analysis of figures obtained by the Labour party shows that councils spent on average up to £650 a week to keep people off the streets. Tory-run Wellingborough BC spent £1,961 in one week for a family, it says.

 

Housing

Housing associations raised almost £4bn in capital markets last year, nearly quadruple the previous annual record, the Financial Times reports. The paper says housing providers are having to find new ways to finance projects following harsh cuts to Government funding.

 

Mansion tax

Liberal Democrat activists have urged Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to propose a series of new taxes on the rich for the party’s 2015 election manifesto, today’s Times reports.

The call comes after Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said he would support Labour’s plans for a mansion tax.

 

Mid Stafford Hospital

Today’s Daily Telegraph leads with the story that police are to study new evidence relating to Mid Stafford Hospital that could lead to criminal charges.

The new review will take evidence from families and campaign groups and is due to report to senior officers and politicians in two weeks time, the paper writes.

 

Obesity crackdown

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has thrown its weight behind calls for a tax on sugary drinks and sweeping measures to tackle obesity, the Guardian reports. The body, which represents 220,000 doctors, has called for a 20 per cent increase in the cost of sugary drinks, a ban on unhealthy food in hospitals and fewer fast food outlets near schools.

 

Brighton & Hove

The Daily Telegraph carries a front-page report on Brighton and Hove City Council’s decision to rebrand its lavatories as “gender neutral” for the benefit of transgender residents.

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  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Clearly IDS has real experience of stacking - the odds against the poor and workless community. Everybody (apart from IDS) knows UC and IT are involved in a slow motion car crash.

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