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  1. National

Crucial vote will decide the future of the Co-op

A crucial poll will see the Co-op face its future later when key principles on radical reform of the troubled mutual go to the vote at a special meeting.

A crucial poll will see the Co-op face its future l Credit: : Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Former City minister Lord Myners has proposed a major shake-up of the food-to-funerals business after a disastrous period saw it slump to a £2.5 billion annual loss - its worst ever - in 2013.

But Lord Myners fears that traditionalists within the 150-year-old organisation are "still stuck in denial" about its problems and will not support the plans.

These include sweeping away the existing 20-strong board of representatives from the co-operative movement, who currently include an engineer, a plasterer and a retired deputy head teacher.

  1. National

Undertakers, students and customers in Co-op vote

Undertakers, students and supermarket customers will all be represented in a key poll on the future of the Co-op but none will have an individual ballot.

Block votes will decide whether the troubled food-to-funerals group takes a step towards a radical shake-up seen as vital to securing its future.

The poll will canvass support on four key principles taken from a reform plan drawn up by former City minister Lord Myners, and must achieve a simple majority of over 50% to be taken forward.

Undertakers, students and supermarket customers will vote. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The byzantine voting structure includes a 22% share for independent societies and affiliated organisations, and the rest made up of regional boards, elected by the Co-op's area committees.

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North West householders warned about gang of fraudsters

Home-owners from our region say they were tricked into handing over tens of thousands of pounds to a gang of fraudsters.

The con was so sophisticated some of the victims had to spend years in court proving the houses they were living in were actually theirs.

One woman from Salford even discovered the gang was using her home as collateral to get loans which they spent on hotels and casinos.

This report from Tim Scott:

Commuters face Mersey Tunnels price hike

The price for a car journey has risen 10p to £1.70 Credit: ITV Granada

Commuters crossing the River Mersey by tunnel will face increased toll charges this morning.

Drivers using both the King and Queensway Tunnels will have to pay an extra ten pence for the journey.

The route in a car will now cost £1.70 or £1.40 using a Fast Tag.

Merseytravel says 37 million people use the tunnels every year.

Merseyside commuters face a 10 pence increase in tunnel tolls

The cost of using the Mersey Tunnels has risen by 10 pence today

The cost of crossing the River Mersey by tunnel has gone up from today.

Drivers using both the King and Queensway Tunnels will have pay an extra ten pence for the journey.

A car journey between Liverpool and the Wirral will cost one- pound- seventy or one- pound forty using a Fast Tag.

Merseytravel says 37 million people use the tunnels every year.

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Parents of Warrington bomb victim welcome charity lifeline

The future of a North West charity set up following the bombing in Warrington has been given a year's funding in the budget.

'Survivors For Peace' run by the Tim Parry and Jonathan Ball Foundation, had faced an uncertain future after a grant had run out.

Colin and Wendy Parry, the parents of Tim Parry who was killed in the IRA bomb have welcomed the Chancellor's announcement.

It comes on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attack.

  1. National

Citizens Advice welcomes Osborne's pensions change

Citizens Advice has welcomed the Chancellor's proposals on pensions in his Budget speech.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said after the announcement: “The proposals to free up pensions are welcome, particularly the new ‘right to advice’, which recognises the significant value of impartial, trusted advice.

Citizens Advice welcomed George Osborne's proposals 'to free up pensions'. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

“People who are able to put money aside into savings will find an increase in how much they can save tax free helpful.

"But the Chancellor does need to remember that for many people, saving money is a pipe dream as they are struggling to make ends meet."

  1. National

Pensions providers see shares hit after Budget

Pension providers have seen their share price fall in the wake of a series of announcements from the Chancellor affecting the industry.

George Osborne with his Treasury team ahead of the Budget.

The latest figures from the London Stock Exchange show drops in share prices across major providers.

Legal & General -10.7%

Aviva -7.66%

Standard Life - 3.28%

Prudential -2.67%

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