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Fire brigade warning after e-cigarette explosion

15th April 2014

E-cigarette users are being warned to be on their guard after investigators said they believed one of the devices caused a fire in London at the weekend. The London Fire Brigade was called to a blaze at a Barking flat on Saturday afternoon. Four fire engines and over 20 firefighters attended and crews wearing breathing apparatus rescued a woman from the building. She was suffering from smoke inhalation and shock and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Investigators believe the fire was caused by...

Opinion: Investment Property Databank

15th April 2014

By Steve Coffey, CEO, Liverpool Mutual Homes The launch of a sector-wide index by the Investment Property Databank may go down as a key milestone in social housing’s history and earlier this week delegates at the National Housing Federation’s finance conference heard about it first-hand. It is a crucial tool in the ever-increasing commercial and value for money landscape of the sector. The aim of IPD is to demonstrate the economic performance of landlords’ property assets by c...

Council worker fired after tweeting Hillsborough abuse at Liverpool fans

15th April 2014

A council gardener has been fired after tweeting abusive messages about the Hillsborough disaster. Mark Lewis wrote the message on Twitter moments after Liverpool FC's 3-2 defeat of Manchester City on Sunday. Lewis tweeted: “Cheating scouse *****. It should be 96 + 11 for the way they try and play football. What a joke. **** hills borough (sic) an all the dole *****.” After being picked up by other users on the social media network, Lewis closed his account. The Manchester City fan has since ...

Housing minister pledges protection from unscrupulous landlords

15th April 2014

Millions of tenants and leaseholders will receive stronger protection from unscrupulous letting agents, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has said. The minister today revealed three approved ‘redress schemes’ that all letting and property management agents will be required to join later this year – which the government says will give tenants and leaseholders a "straightforward option to hold their agents to account". The three schemes – The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Servic...

House prices soar by 10% in 12 months

15th April 2014

Average house prices across the UK rose by 9.1% in the year to February, the Office of National Statistics' latest figures have shown. Though prices have soared most dramatically in England (9.7%), Wales (5.3%), Scotland (2.4%) and Northern Ireland (2.8%) all saw rises. Once again, London was the region which registered the greatest price hike (17%), followed by the South East (8%) and the East of England (7.7%). If London and the South East are excluded from the equation, English house prices cl...

Council's child record loss breached data protection rules

15th April 2014

An investigation has ruled that a council breached the Data Protection Act after sensitive records relating to the care of a young child were lost.  The information had been requested by a family member who made a subject access request to Wokingham Borough Council. The response contained details of the requester and their child’s involvement with the council’s social services department, including allegations of neglect and abuse carried out by the requester’s ex-partner. How...

Youth unemployment: We all know that life is not a level playing field

15th April 2014

Gail Walters, head of community investment at Midland Heart, reflects on social mobility in Britain and the impact that it has on youth unemployment. You could say that for some, life is like playing on a premiership pitch: even and predictable; set up to enable you to perform at your best and achieve the best outcomes. OK, life has a habit of throwing the odd bad tackle or headwind, but generally you can recover from these setbacks. For others, however, life is more like playing uphill on a bog...

Plans submitted for final phase of 650-home scheme

15th April 2014

The final phase of an east London regeneration scheme has been submitted to planning chiefs. The 650-home Rathbone Market development in Canning Town is being delivered by English Cities Fund (ECf), in partnership with Newham Council. The scheme is part of the council’s £3.7 billion Canning Town and Custom House regeneration programme. The third phase plans comprise of 162 privately owned properties and 54 affordable properties. Duncan Cumberland, development director for ECf, said: &ldquo...

Shadow housing minister returns to roots to open new development

15th April 2014

Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds returned to the street she grew up on to open a new social rent development. Social landlord Walsall Housing Group invited the Wolverhampton North East MP to an event that marked tenants moving into the new homes on Spout Lane in Caldmore. Reynolds, who lived in Spout Lane for the early part of her childhood, returned to visit her old council flat and met the current tenants. She also met the residents moving into whg's new development, which consists of six t...

Homes Under the Hammer man joins HA's goods recycling scheme

15th April 2014

Social landlord Synergy Housing was joined by Homes Under the Hammer star Martin Roberts last weekend as it launched its new household goods re-use scheme. The co-presenter of the popular BBC 2 programme helped Synergy unveil 'Twice as Nice' - a furniture, electrical goods and paint re-use initiative. Mr Roberts cut the ribbon to officially declare the new Twice as Nice shop on Albany Road open for business. Twice as Nice has been launched in Dorset following its success in Hampshire and Somers...