A British Airways plane takes off from Heathrow

A third runway for Heathrow?

Conservative back benchers are calling on the government to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Dr Rowan Williams

Big Society is "rubbish" claim

The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked the government's idea of a "Big Society" calling it a load of "waffle".

Live updates

Council job cuts "painful but necessary"

A sealed rubbish bin in Southampton taped up by the city council following weeks of strikes in 2011 Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The leader of Southampton City Council has defended the loss of 279 jobs - saying they are "painful but necessary". Councillor Richard Williams said the losses were due to a combination of government funding cuts, increased costs and increasing demand on services.

Library opening hours will be reduced, and charges will be introduced for residential parking. A children’s residential unit will close and youth services will stop. Unions will decide on Thursday whether they will take industrial action, after several strikes last year.

Cllr Williams said: “This budget is painful, but necessary. We have managed to safeguard the most essential services, increase income equitably and where reductions have to be made, they have been made with care."

Advertisement

Council job cuts is a "massive blow"

Members of the GMB Union have told of their shock about the loss of 279 jobs at Southampton City Council. Almost 210 of those jobs will go within adult and children’s services with the closure of "Our House", the local authority managed children’s home.

GMB Regional Organiser Adrian Baker said: "This is a massive blow not only for the staff of Southampton City Council but also the residents of Southampton, with those least able to defend themselves hardest hit."

Unions blame Tories over Labour council job cuts

Unions held a number of strikes last year over job and pay cuts Credit: ITV Meridian

Unions have criticised the Conservatives - over job cuts imposed by a Labour run council. Up to 300 jobs will be axed by Southampton City Council today as they set their budget for 2013/14. Labour took over the running of the council in May after the local elections.

But in a statement, Unite and Unison, "condemned the Conservative Party at both a national and local level for causing up to 8 per cent of the council’s workforce to lose their jobs". They say the council finances were made worse by the previous Conservative administration.

Some services, such as the Youth Service, the “Our House” children’s home and Archaeology are to be closed completely. Union members will meet on Thursday to decide what action they'll take - including whether to call for strikes.

Hundreds of council posts could go

Binmen went on strike when job and pay cuts were proposed by the Conservative led Southampton City Council last year Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Hundreds of council workers could be told today they'll lose their jobs. It's thought up to 250 posts could be lost at Southampton City Council which has a multi-million shortfall in their budget for next year.

The new redundancies come just months after 200 contract staff at the Civic Centre were told they were facing the axe. Labour won the local elections in May after a number of strikes in the city over plans by the then Conservative led council to impose job and pay cuts.

Advertisement

Portas pilot hits problems

Mary Portas has the backing of prime minister David Cameron
Mary Portas has the backing of prime minister David Cameron Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire

Four key people responsible for sprucing up Margate's High Street have resigned.

They were part of a team working on a pilot project by Mary Portas, who's known as the Queen of Shops.

The departures come after concerns were raised about the filming of a television documentary about the scheme.

Margate was one of twelve town centres which received a share of £1.2million pounds of government money to regenerate their local communities.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories