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Number of West Midlands people in debt on the rise

Calls to the StepChange debt charity from the West Midlands have gone up Credit: PA

The number of people in the West Midlands struggling with debt has increased by 20 per cent over the last year, according to debt charity StepChange.

The charity says the average person had just £4 left to pay off debts each month after covering essential household bills.

Last year the charity's helpline was contacted by 17,705 people in the West Midlands, compared to 13,935 in 2013 - a rise of 27 per cent.

Those contacting the charity's helpline owed £10,881 in unsecured debt such as credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.

However household budgets have shown slight signs of improvement, with those contacting the charity from the region an average of £10 better off than the previous year.

More and more families in the West Midlands are falling into debt and struggling to make ends meet.

For those living on the edge of their financial means, taking control of the situation can seem a daunting, if not impossible, prospect, but taking positive steps towards tackling debt is crucial to getting back on your feet.

We urge those who are worried about their debt problems to seek free confidential advice as soon as possible.

– Mike O'Connor, chief executive, StepChange Debt Charity


NFU stage dairy debate in Staffordshire

A debate on falling milk prices and the challenges faced by local dairy farmers will be held in Staffordshire today.

The price of milk has fallen to its lowest since 2007 Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The event has been organised by the National Farmers Union which says the number of dairy farmers will continue to decrease unless market conditions improve.

Farmers have seen the price of milk fall to around 20p per litre - its lowest since 2007.

Birmingham house prices begin to catch up with fastest-growing cities

Birmingham house prices are accelerating fast, according to new figures Credit: PA

House prices in Birmingham are beginning to catch up with some of the fastest growing cities like London, Oxford and Cambridge.

House prices in the UK's second city accelerated over the last six months - rising by 5.4 per cent over the last year.

New figures from property analyst Hometrack show the gap between the UK cities with the fastest and slowest house price growth is at its smallest for 16 years.


Economist: 'Nottingham has work to do with national economy'

Nottingham has made it into the top 10 cities with the highest growth in jobs.

That is according to The Centre for Cities' report. It looked at growth between 2004 and 2013.

Nottingham was 10th on the list, with a 7.7% rise in the number of jobs - just under 21,500.

Paul Swinney, a senior economist at the Centre for Cities, said although the news is good for the city, it still has work to do on a national level.

Economist: Coventry has performed 'very strongly'

Coventry has been named the seventh top city in the UK with the highest growth in jobs, according to a new report.

Paul Swinney, a senior economist at the Centre for Cities, said Coventry has performed 'very strongly'.

The Centre for Cities' report looks at growth between 2004 and 2013.

Coventry saw an 8.4% rise in jobs over the nine year period.

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