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Govt: 'Businesses turning away customers if business is not accessible'

Businesses could boost their income by millions of pounds by becoming more accessible to people with disabilities according to the government. It says that homes in the West Midlands that have someone classified as disabled have £19 billion of disposable income, while the figure in the East Midlands is £15 billion.

The Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper MP, says businesses are turning away customers if their business is not accessible.

Government urges businesses to be more accessible to disabled people

The government is urging businesses across the region to be more accessible to disabled people. It comes after a warning that shops could be excluding millions of customers.

Research among 1,200 disabled people showed that shopping was the most difficult experience for accessibility. The cinema, theatres or concerts, and pubs and restaurants, were also on the list for accessibility concerns.

We want businesses up and down our high streets to realise they're excluding more than 12 million customers and their families if they fail to cater for disabled people.

That's the equivalent to the populations of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff and Manchester combined.

It's not just about fairness, it makes good business sense to be accessible.

– Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper

The minister has written to more than 200 of Britain's biggest businesses and more than 80 trade organisations as part of a call to communities to be more accessible to disabled people and their families.

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Rising London rents sees mother 'evicted' to Midlands

When it came to light two years ago that councils in London were moving tenants to the Midlands because of a social housing shortage, critics claimed it amounted to social cleansing.

In April 2012 it emerged local authorities in the capital were telling social housing tenants who couldn't afford London rents, they'd have to move to cities like Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.

Now mother-of-three Cecilia Bruce-Annan says because of Government benefit caps, she's in rent arrears and is being forced to move away from her family in Harrow, 150 miles to Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire

Her local council says that with rising rents, and shrinking benefits, her housing allowance is unsustainable unless she moves a place where rent is more affordable.

Chris Halpin reports.

New West Mids PCC meets with police officers

The new Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, David Jamieson, has met police officers and PCC staff.

It follows the announcement earlier of his election, after a low turnout to the polls.

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Results coming in for West Midlands PCC election

The results are coming in for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner election.

There's been an extremely low turnout with only around 10% of people turning out to vote.

Low turnout as voters snub West Mids PCC election

Low turnout in the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner election Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

There's been a low turnout in the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner vote.

Around only 10% decided to have their say on who will be elected to the role.

It was sparked by the death of Bob Jones earlier this year.

West Midlands PCC result due but low number of votes expected

The voter turnout is expected to have been at a record low. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Image

The results of the new Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands are due to be announced today with the voter turnout expected to have been at a record low.

Yesterday's poll was triggered by the death of Bob Jones seven weeks ago.

Voting underway for new West Midlands PCC

Voting is underway to find the new Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Image

Voting is underway to find the new Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands.

The election was triggered by the death of Bob Jones seven weeks ago.

The turnout at the original election was the second lowest in the country and it is feared even fewer people may vote this time around.

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