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  1. Daniel Hewitt

Disabled people here facing an uncertain future

Hundreds of the most severely disabled people in the North West face an uncertain future as a specialist government fund closes. The Independent Living Fund stops from today. It's currently a protected pot of money which allows people with disabilities to control their own care. Instead the funding will be managed by local councils. But many fear the move will lead to fewer disabled people being able to live independently.

Thousands of North West jobs at risk as Whistl ends home delivery service

Hundreds of postal jobs in the North West are at risk after the delivery company Whistl confirmed it is ending its home delivery service.

The Dutch-owned company set up to rival Royal Mail took the decision after one of its investors pulled out.

It employs almost 700 staff here in the North West. Our correspondent Rob Smith has been talking to one of its employees who's now searching for work.

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Anti-austerity protest in Manchester

The march will protest at cuts and provide help for the homeless, say organisers Credit: PA

A march against government cuts is planned for Piccadilly Gardens later.

The 'Stand Up To Austerity' protest was organised by two young men who wanted to ensure that the General Election result wasn't the final word on the cuts.

They're asking people to come to the event with provisions for homeless people in Manchester.

Airbus 'may reconsider' investment if UK leaves the EU

European aerospace giant Airbus, which has a factory in Broughton, has warned of job losses and "huge" economic risks if Britain votes to leave the European Union in a referendum to be held by 2017.

President of Airbus Group UK has warned about the possible consequences of leaving the EU. Credit: Press Association

A decision to quit the EU would raise doubts about Airbus's long-term future investments in the country, according to President of Airbus Group UK, Paul Kahn. Airbus employs 16,000 people in the UK.

He said:

"If after an exit from the European Union, economic conditions in Britain were less favourable for business than in other parts of Europe, or beyond; would Airbus reconsider future investment in the United Kingdom? Yes, absolutely".

– Paul Khan

Mr Kahn added that the long-term economic risks of a potential British exit were "huge".

Take a tour of the Liverpool hotel with a difference

The Bridewell prison closed down in 1997 Credit: ITV News.

One of Liverpool's oldest prisons is being turned into a luxury hotel.

The Bridewell prison closed down in 1997.

It was home to thousands of the city's criminals since the late 19th century.

It's got a unique history in Liverpool and there's nothing else like it."

– Lee Darwen, Operations Director.
How the cells have been transformed. Credit: ITV News.

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More trains for North West

Outdated trains will be replaced under Government plans Credit: ITV Granada

The number of seats on trains in the North West is to increase by a third, under Government plans to reduce overcrowding on the region’s rail network. There will also be an extra 200 services every day across the Northern and Trans Pennine rail franchises.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, will unveil the plans today on a visit to Victoria station in Manchester, which is currently undergoing a £44 million redevelopment programme. Mr McLauglin is calling for further investment in stations from companies interested in bidding for the new franchises.

Redevelopment plans for Manchester Victoria Station Credit: Network Rail

Successful bidders will also be required to replace outdatedPacer trains on North West rail routes and accommodate more than 19,000 extra commuters in Manchester during the morning peak.

Cable announces multi million pound boost for region

Business Secretary Vince Cable Credit: PA

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced a multi- million pound boost for the North West. The minister's been visiting Manchester University as part of the Government's aim to help empower regions to manage more of their own affairs. The money will be spent on improving scientific research, transport and supporting local businesses.

Manchester 'worst-performing' on house prices

Houses in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester Credit: PA Images

Manchester has been named as the "worst-performing" city concerning house prices, with values there showing no average increase in prices over the last year.

House prices around the UK eased back from their previous record levels in December amid signs that the housing market has continued to cool, Nationwide Building Society has reported.

Across the UK, property prices lifted by 7.2% annually in December to reach £188,559 on average, edging slightly lower than an all-time high of £189,388 recorded in November.

But despite the lack of price increase the average house price in Manchester remains higher than the national average at £210,685.

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