Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
The Treasury has welcomed an IPPR North report which calls for investment in transport infrastrcuture and innovation in the north of England, the Financial Times reports. The report says the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire & Humber hold the key to the creation of a more resilient economy based on higher business investment and strong export performance.
The National Audit Office has criticised the Department of Health, Treasury and regulator Monitor for failing to prevent Peterborough & Stamford Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from signing up to an unaffordable £411m PFI deal, the Financial Times says.
Meanwhile, health secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed NHS patients were subject to “coldness, resentment and indifference” from staff in hospitals and care homes. The Daily Telegraph said the secretary of state blamed managers “buried in spread-sheets” and a lack of respect for patients amongst staff.
The Financial Times reports that UKIP has received an unexpected surge in support ahead of today’s Rotherham by-election following the Labour council’s decision to remove three foster children from a couple who were UKIP members. The party’s profile had been raised and many local voters were angered by the authority’s view that UKIP policies on immigration made them “unfit” foster parents, the paper said.
Ministers have agreed to introduce legislation to “clean-up” the practices of high-cost credit companies and limit the interest rates charged to consumers, the Independent reports.
Minimum alcohol price
The Times reports that ministers have admitted their plans to introduce a minimum alcohol price to curb binge drinking could be challenged in the courts. The Home Office has confirmed it is in talks with the EU Commission about the policy as imports would be hit by price rises.
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