New fracking sites could soon be springing up across the country.

Fracking: Britain's big balancing act

Shale gas is certainly controversial, but Brits may be more willing to accept it as the desperation for cheaper energy bills takes hold.

Live updates

Royal Mail collection changes adds 'insult to injury'

Changes to collection times at thousands of Royal Mail post boxes adds "insult to injury" after its privatisation, the shadow business secretary said.

PA Wire
Chuka Umunna has criticised the changes to collection times. Credit: PA Wire

Up to 50,000 of Royal Mail's post boxes will be moved to an earlier collection time between 9am and 3pm.

"In their unnecessary fire sale of Royal Mail, the Tory-led government put vital postal services at risk and, as many feared when the privatisation took place, we are now seeing consumers losing out," Labour's Chuka Umunna said.

"This adds insult to injury after taxpayers were left short changed by hundreds of millions of pounds as the 'priority' City investors selected by the Tory-led government made a killing."

Read: Royal Mail to cut almost half of late collection times

Royal Mail to cut almost half of late collection times

Royal Mail is to cut its late collection times at post boxes by almost half.

Between 45,000-50,000 of its 115,3001 post boxes will be moved to an earlier collection time between 9am and 3pm.

PA Wire
Credit: PA Wire

The company said there will be a late posting box within half a mile and have pledged to add 2,000 more postboxes to its network.

Royal Mail said the changes will "improve the efficiency of its collection arrangements".

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umuna said the changes are "disappointing" for customers and businesses.


Reforms represent 'final crucial step to restore Co-op'

Interim chief executive Richard Pennycook said approval of the governance changes will mark the end of the rescue phase of the group following recent progress in shoring up its balance sheet.

These governance reforms represent the final crucial step in delivering the necessary change to restore the group and return it to health.

– Ursula Lidbetter, Co-op chair

Co-op sets out new governance after Myners report

The Co-op is to recruit a smaller board of 11 directors with "high standards of competence" as part of radical governance reforms. The mutual will also establish a 100-member council to act as guardian of the group's values and to hold the board to account.

The changes are based on the four-point resolution proposed by Lord Myners and voted on by members at the special meeting in May.

The Co-op has announced changes to its governance.
The Co-op has announced changes to its governance. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Other changes include a move to one-member-one-vote on significant matters such as the election of directors and major transactions.

The Co-op, which last year racked up a £2.5 billion loss following the worst period in its 150-year history, said the reforms will be put to a vote at a special general meeting on 30th August.

Companies 'must support those affected by dementia'

Companies must show greater support to the increasing number of people affected by dementia, a charity has said.

A new report suggests businesses could lose billions due to the demands of caring for the condition.

Thousands of people affected by dementia are forced to give up work and are denied a lifeline because of the failure of organisations to change the way they do business.

As the condition touches the lives of more people, businesses must gear up to support all people with dementia; staff and customers alike.

– Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society

Businesses 'could lose billions due to dementia care'

Businesses could lose billions as the "huge impact" of dementia is revealed, a new report warns.

Businesses have been warned to prepare for the future implications of dementia. Credit: Reuters

Employees changing work patterns or even quitting due to the demands of caring is expected to increase dramatically as the number of sufferers rise, according to the report from Public Health England and the Alzheimer's Society.

Figures, from the Centre of Economics and Business Research, estimates that the cost of staff hours lost due to caring responsibilities is set to reach £3 billion by 2030.

Public Health England called on employers to adapt their working environment to support those affected by the condition.


US retailer Walgreens to buy the rest of Boots' owner

US retailer Walgreens has confirmed it will take up its option to buy the rest of Boots the Chemist owner Alliance Boots.

The owner of Boots the Chemist is Alliance Boots.
The owner of Boots the Chemist is Alliance Boots. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Walgreens, which also trades as Duane Reade, is set to spend around £5 billion on the outstanding 55% stake in Alliance Boots.

An announcement is expected later today.

Chancellor to set out vision for a Northern Powerhouse

Chancellor George Osborne will today set out the government’s vision for a northern economic powerhouse.

Chancellor George Osborne wants to create a Northern Powerhouse to rival the south.
Chancellor George Osborne wants to create a Northern Powerhouse to rival the south. Credit: PA

He will be in Manchester to hear proposals for a £15 billion plan to improve the future of the northern economy in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield over the next 15 years.

Mr Osborne is expected to say: "Today I give you this personal commitment. Work with me over the coming months and together we will make a reality of the plan I've set out for the Northern Powerhouse.

“I'm ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science. And real new civic power too."

Stricter mortgage rules slow house price rises

House prices have risen by just 0.1 per cent in July, making it the smallest increase in 15 months, according to Nationwide.

Stricter mortgage rules fuels house price slow down
Stricter mortgage rules are said to have fuelled the house price slow down. Credit: Press Association

The building society blamed the slowdown on stricter mortgage lending rules.

On a year-on-year basis, growth remained in double figures for the fourth month in a row but the pace of the annual uplift dropped from 11.8 per cent in June to 10.6 per cent in July.

The average house price across the UK now stands at £188,949, the building society reported.

Load more updates