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Govt: 'Unemployment fall down to revival in manufacturing'

Unemployment in the West Midlands has fallen by 9,000 in the three months up to July, official figures have revealed.

It is the biggest fall of any region in the UK with the number of people unemployed in the region now below the 200,000 mark.

Meanwhile unemployment in the East Midlands fell by 12,000, bringing the number of people out of a job down to 130,000.

Iain Duncan Smith, the government's Work and Pensions Secretary, says it is down to a revival in manufacturing - but added there was still work to be done.

West Midlands has largest annual unemployment fall in UK

The West Midlands has had the largest annual fall in unemployment in the UK.

Employment has risen in the West Midlands by 57,000 Credit: PA

That's according to the latest unemployment figures which show that employment has risen by 57,000.

Nationally the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has now dropped below 1 million and unemployment has seen the largest annual fall in a quarter of a century.

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Local economy to get boost from extra school meals

Nottinghamshire's economy will be boosted by the extra 12,000 school meals served to pupils this year.

Nottinghamshire County Council sources much of it's school meals locally Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

All infants are now entitled to free school meals. It is a move which will bring a further £600,000 per year to local suppliers.

During the last school year, the council spent £1.7million providing meals for children at school, which will now rise to £2.3million.

It has been our policy to locally source the majority of the food we use for school meals for a number of years now. And with anticipated take-up of dinners under the Government scheme likely to be as high as 85%, we expect to spend over £600,000 more each year on meat, fish, potatoes, fruit, milk and eggs from suppliers all based here in the region, which in turn will provide a healthy boost the local economy.

– Cllr Sheila Place, Nottinghamshire County Council
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Thousands flock to Chatsworth county fair

It's the second day of Chatsworth Country fair and thousands more visitors are expected to flock to the stately home in North Derbyshire as it opens its doors for the biggest country fair in the UK.

The three day event, which brings together the best food, displays and crafts on offer, continues tomorrow. And yesterday there was some gold medal talent getting it all under way as Martin fisher reports.

Food bank says children in danger if families can't afford food in summer holidays

The Trussell Trust, that runs food banks saw their use increase by a fifth last August compared to the same time in June.

Anna Danks says children could be in danger if their parents can't afford to feed them during the summer holidays.

She spoke to ITV News Central on the day that it was revealed 40% of teachers agree there are pupils at their school not getting enough to eat during the school holidays.

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40% of teachers think children don't eat enough in school holidays

Many parents say they struggle to feed their children three meals a day Credit: Jens BÃŒttner/DPA/Press Association Images

40% of teachers agree there are pupils at their school not getting enough to eat during the school holidays, according to a new report.

The research released by Kellogg's also shows that of those teachers, a third notice children coming back to school after the summer with signs of weight loss.

This is reflected in some regional figures showing some parents find it difficult to nourish their children:

Birmingham

  • 28% of parents struggle to feed their children three meals a day
  • 35% of parents say that the school holidays put an extra burden on their food budget

Coventry

  • 43% of parents struggle to feed their children three meals a day
  • 46% of parents say that the school holidays put an extra burden on their food budget

Last August, The Trussell Trust reported more than 24,000 children attending their food banks across the country, as families struggled to provide enough meals for them.

700,000 couldn't pay mortgage for more than a month if job lost

39% in the West Midlands would not be able to afford rent or mortgage for a month without a job Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nearly 700,000 people in the West Midlands could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job.

That is according to research by homeless charity, Shelter.

With savings dwindling for many, 39% of people in the West Midlands would not be able to keep up with payments for more than a month without a job - putting them just one paycheque away from losing their home.

Only 62% said they would be able to cover the monthly payments for three months.

Shelter is warning that high housing costs mean just one thing like illness or redundancy could be enough to tip someone into a downward spiral and put their homes at risk.

Home evictions and repossessions warning for Midlands

104 households per day facing losing their home across the Midlands Credit: PA

The number of households across the Midlands at risk of losing their home every day has reached 104, the homelessness charity Shelter has said.

In the West Midlands 61 households a day are at risk of eviction or repossession. That compares to 43 households per day in the East Midlands.

The research, based on data recorded by the Ministry of Justice, also identified the latest hotspots across the Midlands where people are most likely to lose their home.

Wolverhampton and Sandwell topped the list in the West Midlands, with Nottingham and Corby the most common places in the East Midlands for households to struggle with rent arrears.

Since 2011, Shelter has seen the number of callers across the country struggling with rent arrears more than double, while those calling about mortgage arrears rose by nearly a fifth.