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Council's spend "unacceptably low" 1.5% on public mental health

Mental health charity Mind has found that local authorities in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire spend an average of 1.5 per cent of their public health budget on mental health.

Local authorities have a remit to prevent both physical and mental health problems in the communities they serve. Yet Mind's findings show that councils in our region have a combined public health budget of £228m but allocate just £3.5m to public mental health.

This comes despite that fact that mental health problems cost the country an estimated £100 billion each year through lost working days, benefits, lost tax revenue and the cost of treatment, and account for 23 per cent of the total burden of disease in the UK.

Mind argues that spending on preventing mental health problems developing is just as important as physical health, particularly in relation to more at risk groups such as children and young people, pregnant women, people who are isolated and people living with long term physical health problems.

The charity is calling on the next Government to introduce a national strategy for prevention to ensure local authorities and public health teams use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing and reduce the numbers of people becoming unwell.

Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Mind's findings show, however, that while local authorities are happy to spend on preventing physical health problems, their equivalent spending on mental health is unacceptably low.

"We need to invest in everyone's mental health, particularly for people who are more likely to become unwell such as younger people, pregnant women, people who are isolated, or those living with a long term physical health problem.

"With demand for mental health services increasing, antidepressants on the up and more people accessing talking therapies, we are beginning to see the scale of the unmet need for mental health services in England.

" As a society we must start looking at what we can do to help prevent people from developing mental health problems in the first place.

"Local authorities need much clearer guidance and support on how best to tackle mental health problems.

"We want the next Government to introduce a national strategy to ensure local authorities know what to do, and use their budgets to prevent mental health problems developing and reduce the number of people becoming unwell."

– Paul Farmer, MIND chief executive


120 jobs to go at coking plant

Around 120 workers are set to lose their jobs under plans to close a coking plant in South Yorkshire.

Hargreaves Services have launched a 45-day consultation on potential redundancies at the Monckton Coke and Chemical Company in Barnsley.

The firm said that although talks continue with key export customers, a "significant" change in market conditions and customer demand would be needed to secure the plant's future.

Monckton was budgeted to make a profit of £2 million in the current financial year, but the company said the outlook beyond this year was "very poor" given current market prices.

Hargreaves acquired Monckton in 2005. Whilst great progress has been made by the team in improving efficiency and environmental performance over the past 10 years, the coke markets have become increasingly challenging for the business.

"I have worked closely with the management team and it is with great personal sadness that we find ourselves having to start this consultation process."

– Gordon Banham, Hargreaves chief executive

Steve Morris, regional officer of the GMB union, said the consultation is due to end on December 11, after which he expects the plant to close.

The shop stewards have been expecting this news. The plant is linked to a coalfield that no longer exists. This is a sad day. It marks the final nail in the coffin of the coal industry in Yorkshire."

– Steve Morris, GMB regional officer


Work starts on Kirkstall Forge development

Work has started rebuilding the Kirkstall Forge site which will include a train station, 1,000 new homes and a new access road.

Artist's impression of the Kirkstall Forge development

The work should be completed by late summer of 2015 on the 23 hectare site and millions has already been invested in demolishing and preparing the land for redevelopment.

Artist's impression of the Kirkstall Forge development

In total the project will cost around £400 million, with money coming from the Department for Transport to help fund the rail link, and money invested by developers CEG.

It is estimated that the new project will generate 2,400 jobs and boost the local economy by more than £5 million annually.

Hull City announce £9.5 million profits

Hull City's financial figures for 11 months to the end of June reveal that the club has made a pre-tax profit of £9.5 million.

Hull City announce £9.5 million profits Credit: Press Association

The Tigers have outstanding debt of over £64 million, but this has fallen from £72 million last year.

Higher attendances, boosted by the club's run to the FA Cup final, and increasing TV revenue from the Premier League turned around losses from their promotion winning season, showing just how lucrative the English top flight can be.

However, the figures stop before taking into account the club's summer transfer activity. Steve Bruce was allowed to spend heavily on transfers, recruiting Abel Hernandez, Mohammad Diame and Michael Dawson, representing a large outlay for the club.

A note titled "future developments" states that the club spent in excess of £47 million over the summer "in order to continue the very successful season had by the club" last year.

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Klesch Group in talks to take on Tata Steel plant

There are concerns for the future of thousands of jobs in the region after Tata Steel announced plans to sell its plant in Scunthorpe.The company wants to off-load half of its European business and the deal would also include shedding a rail operation in York and three distribution centres in Scunthorpe and Hull. Another company, the Klesch Group, is in talks to take on the contracts. Claire Ashforth reports.

Community Unions chair: I thought everything was on the up

The chair of the Community Unions says the proposed sale of Tata Steel took him by surprise as he was under the impression the business was doing well and improving.

Paul McBean told ITV Calendar that the company looked set to make a profit this year, making the news that Tata were considering a sale even more shocking:

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