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Women protest at 'unfair' raising of retirement age

Thousands gather in London

Women from local branches of a pension campaign group have been protesting in London today.

Women Against State Pension Inequality, or WASPI, are campaigning against the Government's raising of their retirement age. Women who were expecting to retire at 60 have now been told they will have to wait until they are 66.

Women 'robbed' of pensions

But these campaigners from Yorkshire say they haven't had time to prepare themselves financially.


Rental increase in region

Changes to the private rental sector has caused a rise in rent across our region, according to a report.

The survey by Homelet shows rents in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire increased by almost 3 per cent in the three months until March this year, compared with last year.

A home insurance expert said stamp duty, and changes to buy-to-let rules could be to blame:

“We’ve continued to see increases in rents on new tenancies in almost every part of the UK during the first quarter, as the private rental market has responded to the pressures of an imbalance between demand and supply.

“However, external factors may now come into play: the stamp duty increase has already had an impact and that surge in the acquisition of property by landlords could now cause a short-term increase in the supply of rental property in some areas of the country. In the longer term, changes to rules around buy-to-let mortgage interest being offset against tax bills, coupled with the Bank of England’s instruction to lenders to apply more exacting criteria on buy-to-let lending, may have a limiting effect on supply.''

– Martin Totty, home insurance expert

The budget: your opinions

Today's budget has thrown up some big headlines - from a freeze on tax on beer and fuel duty, to an increase in your tax-free personal allowance.

But what do people in our region think? We visited a pub in Sheffield:

Christy McMorrow, Students Union

"The focus for students should be bringing down the cost of leaving and the security of getting a job at the end of the course. There should be a cut in University fees. There should be a focus on tackling the wealth divide and going after corporations."

Matt Steer, Pub Landlord

"There needs to be a focus on VAT. This will help drive growth for small businesses. The business rate relief is welcomed but it isn't going to be enough. The governments proposal to raise the minimum wage to a living allowance isn't going to help put more money into the pockets of staff and employers.

Victoria Bennion, Student

"Students worry leaving university, as the cost of living is rising and the prospects of getting a house, a car or jobs is now more difficult than ever."

Paul Captieux, Chartered Accountant

On the Northern Powerhouse concept:

''The topic of the Northern Powerhouse divides opinion. My own view is that this is more political posturing than real intent, after all - the north has been neglected over the years and any investment is really a correction for past neglect. Also George Osborne wouldn't have to deliver on it given the longevity of the project and environmental considerations for fast road between Sheffield and Manchester.''

On private pensions and ISAs:

''The private pensions regime is unchanged and the lifetime ISA is an extra choice for the under 40s who may need more flexibility.''


Last chance for views on fire service cuts

Last chance for your say Credit: PA

Today's the last day for people to have their say on how Humberside Fire Service can make savings of £2.1 million by the year 2020.

One proposal could see the loss of four fire engines. A six week consultation period ends at midnight tonight and the results will be presented to the Fire Authority on March 18th. The Authority will then decide which options to implement.

The Authority covers the communities of Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire, with a population of more than 900,000 people.

Cracks appear close to site of Scarborough hotel collapse

Large cracks have appeared on Scarborough promenade - close to where Holbeck Hall hotel toppled into the sea in 1993.

A large section of the roof and main building at the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough falls down in 1993 Credit: Press Association

A patch of land overlooking the Spa conference centre has been fenced off and is being monitored by council workers in a bid to prevent parts of the Esplanade falling into the sea.

A landslip in the North Yorkshire town 23 years ago saw a historic hotel tumble into the sea.

Scarborough Borough Council has committed £1.87 million to protect land above the Spa in a bid to stablise the slopes behind the Spa as well as maintenance to the sea wall to stop "significant defects" and a plan to prevent "wave overtopping and landsliding".

It comes as part of an overall £14 million plan funded by the Environment Agency and North Yorkshire County Council.

Residents living near the affected zone said they were "worried" about the cracks.

Scarborough Borough Councillor Mike Cockerill, who is responsible for coast and flood protection, said: "Scarborough Council has been monitoring the cliff above and round the Spa for a number of years. We have a number of pieces of equipment permanently in situ. Additionally the area is regularly walked by officers to see if there are any visible signs of movement.

"Some time ago, during one of the 'walks', council officers noticed the cracks and minor subsidence evident in the footpath.

"As the highway is a county council responsibility, officers notified the relevant officer, who arranged the erection of the fence.

"Scarborough Council officers have paid particular attention to the area of cliff directly below the cracked footpath and have not detected any significant movement."

A spokesman from North Yorkshire County Council said: "The cracks in the pavement on Esplanade are the result of minor movement. We are monitoring the situation and keeping the area safe.

"Barriers have been erected along a section of the pavement, but access is not restricted.

"It is expected that repairs to the pavement will be incorporated into the slope stabilisation scheme, which is to be undertaken shortly by Scarborough Borough Council and to which the County Council is contributing funds."

Sheffield city centre or Meadowhall? Debate over HS2 station to take place

A debate will take place today in Sheffield to decide where the city's HS2 station should be built.

A major HS2 summit is being held at the Memorial Hall Credit: Artsit's impression

South Yorkshire business leaders are meeting at the Memorial Hall inside Sheffield City Hall this morning to try to find agreement over the siting of the new HS2 high speed rail link station.

Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster are happy with the government's original choice of Meadowhall as the preferred site.

But Sheffield councillors and business leaders say it makes more economic sense to base it on the site of the former Victoria railway station in the city centre, claiming 6,500 jobs would be created. They argue it would bring in £530m in annual business rates, £2.5bn in annual income and 1,000 homes more than a station at Meadowhall.

The city centre option could cost up to up to £680m more than building out-of-town.

The debate begins at 8am at the Memorial Hall.

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