The Leader of Kirklees Council says a referendum on council tax rises could be necessary as the authority looks to make savings of £70m
A Yorkshire man has won a legal battle over a disputed gas bill and says more people should stand up to energy giants
Plans to pump millions of pounds into Yorkshire and Lincolnshire's economy have been announced by the government.
The steel city of Sheffield is a real steal when it comes to a value-for-money short break, according to a TripAdvisor survey.
The Yorkshire town offered the best bargain one-night break among 20 UK cities surveyed, with Edinburgh proving the place that would set visitors back themost.
TripAdvisor compared the cost of two people having a one-night stay in a four-star hotel in the month of August, with the overall cost figure including a pre-meal cocktail, a meal out and a short taxi ride.
The total cost for Sheffield was £154, with the next least-expensive city being Birmingham (where the cost was £166) followed by Cardiff (£173), Newcastle upon Tyne (£176) and Bristol (£180).
Contrastingly, the cost in Edinburgh was as much as £331, with the hotel alone costing £233. The next most- expensive city was Cambridge (£278) followed by London (£268), Oxford (£256) and Bath (£240).
Sheffield has taken over as best-value city break destination from last year's number one Nottingham which slid to eighth in this year's list.
TripAdvisor spokesman James Kay said: "For travellers planning a UK break over the upcoming bank holiday weekend, heading north will generally offer the best value for an evening out and overnight stay."
These were the costs for the 20 cities in order of expense:
- 1. Sheffield £154
- 2. Birmingham £166
- 3. Cardiff £173
- 4. Newcastle upon Tyne £176
- 5. Bristol £180
- 6 . Leeds £184
- 7. Liverpool £190
- 8. Nottingham £199
- 9. Manchester £200
- 10. Belfast £204
- 11. Southampton £205*
- 12. Chester £205*
- 13. Glasgow £218
- 14. Brighton £237
- 15. York £238
- 16. Bath £240
- 17. Oxford £256
- 18. London £267
- 19. Cambridge £277
- 20. Edinburgh £331
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today announced details of an expansion to the Government's Troubled Families programme to help vulnerable younger children from struggling homes to get a better chance in life.
Work will begin this year in 51 of the best performing areas, ahead of a national five year programme from 2015 to help more troubled families who cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds per year without intervention.
Recent research shows that troubled families that have been worked with so far have an average of nine serious problems such as truancy, crime, anti-social behaviour, worklessness and domestic violence.
As well as expanding from working with school-age children to those under five, the wider programme will also have a particular focus on improving poor health, which new data published today highlights is a particular problem in troubled families, with 71% having a physical health problem and 46% a mental health concern.
The scheme builds on the success of the current programme run by councils, which new figures show is now helping over 110,000 of the most troubled families in England.
Of these over 53,000 have had their lives turned around thanks to the intensive and practical approach, which works with the whole family on all of its problems.
While retaining its focus on reducing truancy, crime and anti-social behaviour, the expanded programme will apply this approach to a larger group of families with a wider set of problems including domestic violence, debt and children at risk of being taken into care.
And the programme will continue to prioritise getting adults into work, with the Department for Work and Pensions providing 300 specialist troubled families employment advisers who will also work with young people at risk of becoming unemployed.
– Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary
The Troubled Families programme has been a brilliant partnership between the Government and councils, changing the way services are run, saving taxpayers money and turning around the lives of some of the hardest to help in the country, with kids back in school, youth crime and anti-social behaviour cut and adults better able to work.
" Building on this momentum, we are now able to help even more families and deal with even more problems and I am delighted that that work will now begin in the next few months."
– Louise Casey, Head of the Government's Troubles Families programme
Families with an average of nine different serious problems need help that gets in through the front door of their home and to the heart of what is really going on in their lives.
"The Troubled Families programme has been able to do that by taking a 'tough love' approach and dealing with the whole family and all of its problems.
"This has been the start of a revolution in the way that we work with our most challenging families and which we need to accelerate in the years ahead."
Asda could spark a supermarket price war by cutting the cost of its fuel.
From tomorrow, Asda is reducing the price of its petrol by up to 2p a litre, with diesel coming down 1p a litre.
This means that drivers filling up at Asda will pay no more than 124.7p a litre for petrol and 128.7p for diesel - the lowest prices since January 2011.
Asda petrol director Andy Peake said: "It now costs £6 less than last summer to fill up a family car with fuel, meaning we're putting much-needed cash back in drivers' pockets for those bank holiday ice-creams."
A woman from Lincoln has been ordered to repay £7,786 and undertake 200 hours of unpaid community service after claiming money to care for her dead father.
Joanne Heyward pleaded guilty to fraud at Lincoln Magistrate's Court after an investigation by Lincolnshire Police found she had ignored letters and phone calls about the account after her father's death in October 2011.
Lincolnshire County Council are warning people to be vigilant against fraud in their communities:
– Pete Sidgwick, assistant director of Adult Care at Lincolnshire County Council
This sends a strong message that we will not tolerate Direct Payment fraud and will seek prosecution for anyone who abuses the system. If you know that this is happening in your community, I would urge you to contact the county council so that we can investigate and reclaim funds for people who should rightfully receive them.
A cash-strapped Yorkshire council has told its residents to brace themselves for more tough times ahead.
Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire has already made deep budget cuts. Now it needs to go further and "drastic options" are being considered.
In the firing line are libraries, museums and open-air markets and council tax payers could soon be asked whether they want to pay more to save some of them.
Chris Kiddey reports:
In response to the Kirklees Council leader saying a referendum might be necessary to allow the authority to raise council tax by more than five per cent, the Local Governments Minister has warned that taxes should be kept down.
In a statement, Kris Hopkins said central funding was being made available to authorities that choose to freeze council tax and that it was "vital" councils helped to reduce the deficit:
– Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins
Council tax has come down by nearly 11 per cent in real teams nationally because extra central funding is on the table to help hard-working people with the cost of living, in stark contrast to when bills doubled before 2010. That is why we want every council to freeze their council tax and why we have offered extra central funding to councils that choose to freeze bills.
If Kirklees agrees at full council to increase council tax it should put the decision to referendum and trust the will of local people and give residents the power to veto high council tax rises. It is vital that councils continue to play their part in reducing the deficit by making sensible savings to protect frontline services and keep council tax down.
Thousands of jobs are set to be lost at Kirklees Council as the authority looks to save a further £70 million by 2018.
The council's leader David Sheard says residents could be polled on whether to approve a five per cent rise in council tax.
He told Chris Kiddey jobs would be lost in the coming years:
A large quantity of illegal cigarettes were discovered following visits in Bradford. West Yorkshire Trading Standards service were following up on information provided by members of the public.
The seizure included over 1100 packets of suspected counterfeit cigarettes which cannot be legally sold in the UK.
The KEEP IT OUT campaign was launched last month across West Yorkshire and York to tackle the trade in illegal tobacco and stop dealers who sell to children.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said “The public must take a more active role to ensure that young people in our communities are protected and can no longer access illegal tobacco. Those that trade in illicit tobacco are exposing young people to unidentified substances that can be contained within illegal tobacco but also encouraging them to take up the habit of smoking as illicit tobacco is more accessible and affordable.”
Bradford City Council is determined to identify and bring to justice those who are involved in this trade. Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in illegal tobacco.
Councillor Val Slater, Chair of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said “Those that trade in illegal tobacco target children and young smokers, the people making money out of this do not care who they sell to. This campaign is about raising awareness amongst local communities and all intelligence received from the public is welcome.”
A gang of robbers has been filmed on CCTV deliberately crashing into the car of a businessman before snatching thousands of pounds from his car.
The ambush happened on Monday morning as the victim was driving in Horton Grange Road, in Bradford.
He is seen remonstrating with an Asian man in his 20s who then grabbed a bag of money from his car and then running after the silver Volkswagen Golf as it made its getaway.
It is thought the robbers struck again at noon when they grabbed cash bags from two women shop employees in the street.
Detective Inspector Tony Nicholson today issued a warning to businesses who transport cash.