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Crisis welfare grants could be axed

More than twenty six million pounds of funding which meant to help some of the most desperate families in the North West is under threat from government cuts.

Run by local councils, the 'Local Welfare Assistance Schemes' are often the last line of defence for nearly two hundred thousand households throughout the region, every year

Rob Jackson from the Children's Society says the funding is vital for some people.

Will Greater Manchester get greater powers

It's believed the Government is planning to give more powers to councils in Greater Manchester to run their own affairs. George Osborne is thought to be preparing an announcement next week creating a new 'super council' which would make decisions on areas like transport. Ralph Blunsom looks at that and Ed Miliband's plans for devolved power in the North West

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Barrow among 'unhappiest' places in the UK

Barrow-in-Furness has been named as the "unhappiest" place in the country according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Barrow Town Hall Credit: ITV Granada

The ONS compiles reports on wellbeing from various factors including "health, relationships, job satisfaction, economic security, education, environmental conditions".

Barrow and South Ribble were in the five least happy areas of the UK, along with Dartford in Kent, Torridge in Devon and Maldon, Essex

No houses in the North West "easily affordable"

Credit: Press Association

There are no longer any areas in the North West where housing is 'easily affordable' according to a new report by the TUC.

The research found that 50% of housing in the region costs at least five times the local average salary.

Even previously ‘easily affordable’ areas, such as Bury and Rossendale, are now out of reach for many local people with house prices now over five times the average wage.

Properties in the Ribble Valley are the most unaffordable - house prices there being more than seven and a half times local average earnings.

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HSBC closes bank account of Bolton based charity

A Muslim charity has accused a bank of putting lives at risk for shutting down its account.

The Ummah Welfare Trust based in Bolton has distributed 70 million pounds to projects in 20 countries. It has had a presence in Gaza for the past 10 years.

But the charity has now received a letter from the HSBC to tell them their account is being closed for being beyond the bank's "risk appetite".

Ashley Derricott reports:

HSBC closes Bolton charity's bank account

A Bolton-based Muslim charity has accused a bank of putting lives at risk for shutting down its account.

The Ummah Welfare Trust has distributed 70 million pounds to projects in 20 countries. And it's had a presence in Gaza for the past 10 years.

But the charity has now received a letter from the HSBC to tell them their account is being closed for being beyond the bank's "risk appetite".

Mohammad Ahmad is from the charity.

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