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Gemma Oaten calls on Topshop to remove 'size zero' mannequins

Former Emmerdale star Gemma Oaten is calling on Topshop to replace its 'size zero' mannequins.

Gemma Oaten, a former sufferer of anorexia said the retailer was being "irresponsible."

Gemma's tweets come in the wake of a campaign launched by students in Leeds demanding an apologyfrom Victoria's Secret over their 'Perfect Body' campaign.

Government backs controversial Sheffield library plans

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has refused a request to start an inquiry into changes in Sheffield's library provision, saying that it is "not necessary".

Mr Vaizey described the council’s consultation process as “thorough and well considered” Credit: Press Association

Mr Vaizey was asked to start an inquiry after claims by a local campaign group that Sheffield City Council is not meeting its duties under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

The campaign began after Sheffield City Council announced that it would only continue running the central library and 11 other 'hub libraries', leaving 16 other libraries to be run by volunteers.

In a letter to Sheffield City Council, Mr Vaizey says he is “not currently minded” to order an inquiry into its library changes and that “there is nothing in SCC’s proposals which would justify intervention.”

The council estimates that changes to Sheffield’s library service will save an estimated £1.67m Credit: ITV Calendar

He added that “decisions about local issues should be taken by democratically-elected local representatives” and that the city council has been “mindful of its duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service in the broader context of a need to balance its budget.”

Mr Vaizey described the council’s consultation process as “thorough and well considered” and says “careful thought” has been given to “ensuring that library services continue to be available to residents on an efficient and accessible basis.”

The council estimates that changes to Sheffield’s library service will save an estimated £1.67m over the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years.

We are delighted that the Minister is not planning to carry out an inquiry into our library changes as things stand. He intervened very late in the day after having information for months, in a move that could have ultimately closed library branches. Obviously we’re waiting for him to confirm his decision but things look positive.

We’ve worked really hard with the people of Sheffield to find a solution that works for the city in the face of searing funding cuts. The response from the volunteer groups has been fantastic and it’s thanks to them that all our libraries remain open.

I’m very pleased the Minister has recognised that our decision making was robust and involved proper consultation.

– Councillor Mazher Iqbal


Yorkshire and Humber one of the worst for disabled housing, charity reports

Around 80 per cent of Yorkshire and Humber's disabled people have inaccessible front doors, according to a charity.

75 percent of homes in the country do not have step free access or ramps Credit: Press Association

The findings were part of a nationwide survey which found that on average, 75 percent of homes in the country do not have step free access or ramps.

Yorkshire and Humber ranked as one of the worst regions for disabled housing, with 79 per cent of disabled people saying the could not access their front door.

The charity also found that around 65% of people did not have enough bathroom space to fit a wheelchair.

The charity describes this 'hidden housing crisis' as a reason why disabled people have trouble finding homes.

It is simply wrong that thousands of disabled people are ending up trapped all day in homes that are completely unsuitable for them. That makes for a miserable and lonely life for many disabled and older people. And it costs the taxpayer money.

Many disabled people are unable to move house and get a job because there aren’t enough ‘disabled-friendly’ properties. Other older and disabled people could live independently in a properly-adapted home but are forced into residential care.

Government should be making laws that increase the number of accessible homes, not reduce them. The shortage will only get worse as more and more of us live longer and need support to maintain our independence.

Any one of us could become disabled at any time – in a car accident, from a stroke, or as a soldier in conflict.

– Clare Pelham, Leonard Cheshire Disability Chief Executive

Leonard Cheshire is calling for an amendment to the Deregulation Bill later this month so all new build homes can be easily adapted for disabled people as part of their Home Truths campaign.

They also want 10 per cent of large developments to be fully wheelchair accessible so that disabled people can live independently and are able to pursue job opportunities across the country.

Three plead guilty to puppy napping

Two women and a man have pleaded guilty to their involvement in a burglary where seven, six-week-old Poochon puppies were stolen from their Cusworth home in May this year.

Three plead guilty to puppy napping Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Richard Thomas, 27, of Ennerdale Road, Wheatley Hills, Kerry Scase, 29, of Beech Street, South Elmsall and Tonya Newton, 25, of Almhome Lane, Arksey, all appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on 28 October.

Thomas was charged with burglary and Scase and Newton were charged with handling stolen goods. All three pleaded guilty to the offences they were charged with.

The puppies were stolen from Cusworth Lane, on 28 May when Thomas broke in at around 11am and stole the puppies, a cross between the Poodle and Bichon Frise breed, from a pen they were in with their mother.

All three were arrested on Tuesday 3, June, and the puppies, were safely recovered from the women’s addresses the same day.

They have been bailed until Tuesday, 25 November, when they will appear at Sheffield Crown Court to be sentenced.

Detective Inspector Paul Dickinson and Sergeant Stuart Rowse with the seven puppies when they were recovered in June. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

All seven of the puppies recovered well from their ordeal, as there were concerns at the time for their wellbeing as they were too young to be away from their mother. The owners of the puppies suffered unnecessary distress and heartache when they were stolen. I am pleased all three have pleaded guilty and have taken responsibility for their actions.

– DC Andy Hotchkiss


Hull fails in bid to bring HMS Illustrious to Hull waterfront

Hull City Council have failed in their £540,000 bid to bring HMS Illustrious to the city's waterfront.

Hull City Council failed in their £540,000 bid to bring the historic warship to the city Credit: Press Association

Councillor Stephen Brady has said that the plans to bring the ship to Hull were part of long-term plans to establish Hull as a tourist hub.

The Labour-led authority's spending on the bid has been criticised by Liberal Democrat councillors.

The council announced that they will push ahead with plans for a cruise terminal and other maritime attractions despite losing the bid to bring the historic warship to Hull's waterfront.

We’ve had a significant amount of public support throughout, and although we gave it our best shot, it was made clear during the bidding process that the MOD intended to strip the vessel of its historic assets, and were unwilling to provide any long-term funding which, in fact, made it economically unviable as a heritage attraction.

Our work on Illustrious has created a number of other opportunities that could deliver a huge boost to our visitor economy – the potential to establish a northern branch of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and to open a new gallery for a unique national collection of maritime paintings.

– Stephen Brady, Councillor

Mother of two blames father for sons' deaths

The mother of two boys killed alongside their father in a house fire has claimed he murdered them, adding that she is heartbroken at her loss.

Claire Sykes' son Paul, aged nine, died in the house fire Credit: Police photo

Claire Sykes' son Paul, aged nine, and his father Darren were rescued from the blaze at their home in South Yorkshire last week but died hours later.

Their 12-year-old son Jack had also been rescued from the burning house but died in hospital on Monday night.

Police confirmed the fatal fire at Tennyson Close, Penistone was started deliberately but said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation.

Their 12-year-old son Jack had also been rescued from the burning house but died in hospital on Monday night Credit: Police photo

Writing on a special Facebook page set up in her sons' memory, Ms Sykes accused the boys' father Darren Sykes of killing them.

s Sykes accused the boys' father Darren Sykes of killing her sons Credit: Police

My boys were murdered by their father but he never had their hearts and they will stay with me forever.

Enjoy every minute you spend with your children. All children are precious and the fact that you are all taking time to remember and reflect on Jack and Paul is simply humbling and comforting too.

I don't know how I will carry on without my boys. My heart is broken in two but knowing that so many people are thinking of them makes me proud to have been their mum.

– Claire Sykes, mother of two killed in fire
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