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Town halls could have more control over welfare system

Town halls could be given a greater say over the way the welfare system works under plans being championed by Nick Clegg. The powers are already being used in cities including Leeds, but Mr Clegg indicated he wanted other cities to take responsibility for tackling unemployment.

Mr Clegg acknowledged he had to "bang heads together" in a Whitehall battle with Iain Duncan Smith's Department for Work and Pensions in order to give Leeds the freedom to tackle the problem of jobless youngsters.

"One of the most over-centralised systems of public policy ... is the way the welfare system is run. The DWP, much as I admire much of the work the department does and Iain Duncan Smith, it's very much built on that long-standing culture of the levers being pulled in London."

– Sheffield MP Nick Clegg

The cornerstone of the Leeds scheme is a commitment that every young person in the city region has access to a job, training, apprenticeship, volunteering or work experience.

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Figures show unemployment is down in Yorkshire

Stephen Timms, Labour MP

Unemployment in our region has fallen, according to Government figures out today. Data released by the Office for National Statistics show the number of jobless dropped by five thousand in the three months to June.

That means there are now 244 thousand people out-of-work in the region - an improvement of just under one per cent on the same period last year. However the number of people in employment in our region has actually dropped by 20 thousand to two point four nine million.

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Migrant's granddaughter's concerns over new influx

Figures included in this quarter's release from the Office for National Statistics show there are 112,000 Bulgarian and Romanian nationals working in Britain, but that figure could increase when restrictions are relaxed in the coming months.

Rachel Bull's grandfather moved here from Poland in World War Two. She now lives in Boston in Lincolnshire and she has some concerns about what the effect of that influx might be.

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