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Liverpool's new stadium moves a step closer

31st July 2014

Still chasing that elusive Premier League title, Liverpool FC has demolished the last two houses at Anfield in an ambitious redevelopment to have 15,000 more seats. The Daily Mail reported that the buildings in Lothair Road were demolished Thursday as redevelopment gathers pace. The plan is to increase Anfield's capacity by nearly 15,000 to 60,000 by 2016 in a £260 million project which will also refurbish or create housing in the area. Liverpool will play to a near-60,000 capacity from the start...

Fire brigade warns councillors to keep housing estates safe

31st July 2014

London Fire Brigade is calling on councillors from the capital’s local authorities to make sure they are using their scrutiny powers to keep the city's housing estates safe from fire. The brigade has published two separate councillor guides on fire safety, which have been made available to all elected members of London’s local authorities. The first, for use during council meetings, outlines strategic and policy questions to ask about the fire safety of purpose-built blocks of flats ...

646 affordable homes for Liverpool

31st July 2014

After successfully bidding for £14 million from the Homes and Community Agency (HCA), 646 affordable homes are to be built across Liverpool over the next four years. Liverpool City Council has announced that four housing associations will be involved in delivering the homes: Riverside (186 units), Liverpool Housing Trust (51), Liverpool Mutual Homes (313) and Plus Dane (96). Liverpool's assistant mayor and cabinet member for housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “This is really great ...

DWP outlines budgeting support for universal credit claimants

31st July 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions issued a general reminder that it has joined forces with the Money Advice Service and local authorities to provide free impartial budgeting support to all those who need it. "Universal credit will replace the complex myriad of means-tested benefits and make three million households better off," the DWP said. "It will be simpler for people to navigate and harder for people to defraud, but most importantly it will make work pay." While acknowledging that most people...

Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds delivers rousing housing speech

31st July 2014

Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds today delivered a speech in Nottingham in which she outlined what a future Labour government would do for housing. Here is the speech in full: It’s great to be here in Nottingham. I am proud of the work that the Labour council, under the leadership of Jon Collins, is doing here. Doubling the city’s tram network to boost the local economy. Preserving frontline services and driving forward regeneration projects. And undertaking the biggest counci...

DWP plotting 'secret' universal credit plans - Labour MP

31st July 2014

A Labour MP has claimed that the government is "keeping under wraps" plans to make people who lose their jobs wait five weeks before they get any benefit payment under universal credit. Michael Meacher, MP for Oldham West and Royton, says the plans are being kept secret by the government in the run up to the next general election but they are "hidden in the small print" of the rules for the controversial new benefit system. Mr Meacher says the impact of a five-week wait will be "devastating" fo...

Police warn that ‘relentless’ bedroom tax is turning people into criminals

31st July 2014

The government's controversial bedroom tax has come under fire once again, with concerns expressed by police chiefs that its victims are being forced to turn to crime and unscrupulous loan sharks. Cleveland and Durham's Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) believe the under-occupancy policy is piling financial pressures on families across the region, and have highlighted that, according to the government's own figures, 59% of tenants struck by the 'spare room subsidy' have been unable to meet t...

HCA appoints Christine Addison as executive director in Midlands

31st July 2014

Christine Addison has been appointed executive director for the Midlands operating area of the Homes and Communities Agency. She starts 1 November 2014. The HCA said the appointment fills an existing vacancy and follows an open internal and external recruitment process. Addison is currently chief officer, asset management and regeneration, at Leeds City Council. "I am delighted to be joining the HCA at a time when its investment is playing such a crucial role in driving overall housing supply a...

Unlock private investment to get councils building, says Elphicke & House report

31st July 2014

With increasing demands on councils to build more homes, an interim report by Natalie Elphicke and Keith House says they should look to the private sector. The Department for Communities and Local Government said the independent review highlights how councils are already levering private finance to help deliver the homes their communities need – and how more councils could follow in their footsteps. At the end of January, the government announced that Elphicke and the appropriately named ...

Manchester united behind 'City of Football' premier title bid

31st July 2014

Manchester is bidding to become the first ever 'City of Football'. Sport England is currently deciding which city should take the premier title, with both Nottingham and Portsmouth vying with Manchester for the accolade. The winning city will receive £1.6 million in National Lottery funding to run a two-year pilot programme aimed at getting more people – particularly those aged 14-25 years – playing all forms of the game. Developing the bid is the newly formed Manchester Footb...