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Housing benefit claims up in the West Midlands

The number of employed people claiming housing benefit in the West Midlands has doubled since 2009. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The number of employed people claiming housing benefit in the West Midlands has doubled since 2009.

That's according to the National Housing Federation, which says nationally one working person is asking for help with housing costs every five minutes

East Midlands: 110% housing benefit claim rise since 2009

110% more working people have claimed housing benefits in the East Midlands according to figures
110% more working people have claimed housing benefits in the East Midlands according to figures Credit: Tim Ireland/PA

The East Midlands has seen the third largest rise in working people claiming housing benefits (110%) since 2009, according to figures from the National Housing Federation.

It also predicts that the region will see the second largest rise in private rents by 2020 - up 45% - with house prices rising by 25%.

The West Midlands has fared only slightly better according to the figures with a 99% increase in working people claiming housing benefits since 2009.

The region is expected to see a 39% increase in the number of people privately renting by 2020.

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Free internet at East Midlands Trains' stations

Millions of passengers will be able to access free internet at East Midlands Trains’ stations thanks to a new investment programme.

East Midlands Train train near Derby train station Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The move is the latest stage in the train operator's plan to ensure passengers have access to wireless internet across its mainline routes, both on board trains and at stations.

The programme will be completed by spring 2014.

3,000 Midlands children to spend Christmas in a hostel

More than 3,000 children in the Midlands may have to spend Christmas in a hostel Credit: Julian Kumar/DPA/PA Wire

The number of homeless children in the West Midlands in temporary accommodation has risen by 7% in the last year, according to the charity Shelter.

It says more than 2,400 children in the West Midlands will be in emergency hostels and bed and breakfasts this Christmas. In the East Midlands this figure stands at more than 750.

East Midlands best performing region at quitting smoking

The East Midlands is the best performing region in the country at successfully quitting smoking.

Men are said to be more successful at giving up smoking Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre found that nearly six in ten East Midlanders stopped smoking with the help of the NHS.

The report also says more women then men set a date to quit, although men were more successful at giving up.

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Campaign for more safety measures on Lincolnshire's roads

Drivers campaigning to make the A18 in Lincolnshire a safer road say the local council isn't doing enough to protect them. Their calls for more action come as a new report highlights the area as having some of the most hazardous 'A' roads in the country.

According to a report by the Road Safety Foundation, Lincolnshire is one of the most dangerous places to drive, while Yorkshire has the riskiest dual carriageways. An urgent review is now being sought. Fiona Dwyer reports.

East Midlands has most dangerous roads

People in the East Midlands are at the highest risk of dying or being seriously injured on the region’s motorways and A-roads, a new study has found.

The survey, by the Road Safety Foundation, has identified the A5012 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, as the road with the highest risk.

The high risk A5012 in Ashbourne is shown in black on this map Credit: Road Safety Foundation

The research looked at British motorways and A-roads outside major urban areas. These roads make up 11% of the road network but 51% of road deaths occur on these routes.

It also showed that running off the road accounts for 30% of all deaths on these roads and that junction crashes are the most common accidents leading to serious injury.

While 9% of motorways are rated in the "'low risk" category, 97% of single carriageway A-roads are not. The overall risk of death and serious injury on motorways and A-roads was lowest in the West Midlands and highest in the East Midlands, the poll revealed.

Road Safety Foundation director Dr Steve Lawson said: "Most recent improvement in road safety has come from car design and safer driving. The specification that authorities currently set road managers is to reduce crash rates in general."

"That approach is too weak and must be replaced, because it muddles factors over which road managers have no control - such as car safety, hospital care and traffic levels - with factors very definitely under their control such as roadside safety barriers or junction layouts."

Read: See the Road Safety Foundation's full report and view the map here

73% in East Midlands fear lack of hospice care

Almost three quarters of people in the East Midlands believe there will not be enough hospice care in the future to support those that need it, a new survey has found.

The study, commissioned by the charity Help the Hospices, found that 73% of people in the region believed there will not be enough care available to support all those that require it.

It also revealed that 16% of people in the region said they were "frightened" there won't be enough hospice care to support them or their loved ones.

Hospices in the area have backed the findings of the survey by Populus, which also showed the public views hospices positively. More than two thirds of people (67%) said they regard them as "a place that offers compassionate care".

Lucy Nickson is chief executive at Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield, she said: "We want Ashgate to be a 'champion of change' for hospice care in Derbyshire, leading the way through partnership and collaborative working with other hospices and health care organisations."

"We, and other hospices in the East Midlands, have a major role to play in tackling the demands of an ageing population and helping to expand end of life care across all settings for our local populations."

"We don't want anyone to be frightened that there won't be the hospice care available for them or their loved ones in the future."

The survey also revealed that only a fifth knew hospice care is available in people's homes, where in fact, the majority of care is provided.

Asthma patients receiving 'substandard care'

People with asthma in the East and West Midlands are not receiving the correct care they need, according to a new report out today.

The new report was undertaken by leading charity, Asthma UK
The new report was undertaken by leading charity, Asthma UK Credit: Clive Gee/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Asthma UK's findings suggest that 433,000 of patients in the West Midlands, and 356,000 in the East Midlands, are getting 'substandard care' and missing out on basic elements that could prevent them from having a serious asthma attack.

The 'Compare Your Care' report, compiled from an online test of nearly 5,000 people, found that less than a quarter of people with asthma in England have been given an action plan, while one in five patients said that nobody had made sure they knew how to use their inhaler.

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