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Haringey is 'bankrolling a state-sponsored cover-up'

Eric Pickles said Haringey Council is "bankrolling a state-sponsored cover-up" in its payout to Sharon Shoesmith.

The Communities and Local Government Secretary said there should be no rewards for failure in the public or the private sector.

We've been very clear that legal devices like non-disclosure or compromise agreements should not be used to gag staff or brush under the carpet golden goodbyes to senior staff.

I fail to see how Haringey Council's secretive actions are in the public interest, given the astonishing sum of taxpayers' money involved and the immense public concern and upset at the Baby P scandal.

Bankrolling a state-sponsored cover-up is a massive error of judgment by Haringey Council, and compounds their mishandling of the whole affair.

– Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles

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Pickles warns of 'parallel universe' with Lib-Lab coalition

A "parallel universe" with a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in power would mean three-day electricity blackouts, votes for prisoners and soaring taxes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Imagining what could have happened had the Tories not become the senior coalition partners, Mr Pickles warned of a "dour" Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, cursing Tony Blair and listening to the advice of former spin doctor Damian McBride and "policy wonk" Ed Miliband.

Image from 1977 of two children with candles in a blackout.
Eric Pickles warned a Labour-Lib Dem coalition could see a return to the blackouts of the 1970s. Credit: PA/PA Archive

He told the party conference that the Cabinet would have featured disgraced ex-Lib Dem minister Chris Huhne - elevated to "Lord Huhne of Wormwood Scrubs" - championing prisoner voting rights and "Baron" Len McCluskey, with the Unite leader abolishing Margaret Thatcher's trade union reforms.

"In reality, Gordon may be absent. But they are the same old Labour Party," Mr Pickles added.

Pickles: Cycle of depravation crosses generations

The troubled families scheme is about "trying to break a cycle of depravation that has crossed generations", according to the Communities and Local Government Secretary.

Speaking to Daybreak, Eric Pickles said Bradford Council were still dealing with the same families as he had been dealing with 25-years-ago, when he lead the West Yorkshire local authority.

Troubled families were "a great drain on the nation" and cost the taxpayer "£9 billion a year - £8 billion of which is just reacting to them", he added.

Pickles: 'No nonsense' approach turned families around

Eric Pickles
The "troubled families" scheme succeed thanks to a "no-nonsense" approach, said Eric Pickles. Credit: PA

The Government's "troubled families" scheme has succeeded in preventing youth crime and getting benefit claimants back to work because of a "no-nonsense" approach, says the man behind it.

Communities and Local Government secretary Eric Pickles praised the work of all 152 local authorities in England who were taking part in the scheme.

His comments came as all the 152 upper tier local authorities announced figures and revealed an extra 14,000 troubled families were taking part.

Mr Pickles said: "These figures show that our no-nonsense and common sense approach is changing these families for the better and benefiting the whole community.

"Considering the often long-standing and deep-seated nature of these families' problems, it is a huge achievement to have turned so many around in such a short space of time.

"And instead of several costly services working with the same family but failing to solve the underlying problems, this approach is both more effective for the family and cheaper too."

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Lives of 14,000 'troubled families' turned around

Town halls have succeeded in turning around the lives of 14,000 of England's most troubled families, Eric Pickles has said.

Troubled teenagers
The troubled families scheme was set up after the 2011 riots and is designed to target 120,000 "at risk" families. Credit: PA

The Communities and Local Government Secretary said latest figures showed local authorities were working with 50,000 families to reduce youth crime and truancy or help get adults back on the path to work - up from 35,000 in March.

Another 30,000 had been identified as being in need of the intense assistance.

It follows the Prime Minister's pledge to allocate £448 million to turn around the lives of the UK's 120,000 most troubled families, following the 2011 riots which swept London and other English cities.

Read more: Troubled family scheme 'works'

Your views: Are Britain's streets 'bin-blighted'?

We asked you how many bins you had on your street and if it is too many:

  • Donna Robert: we have one black bin, a green bag for paper, a white bag for plastic/cartons, a green box for glass/cardboard and a black food bin. Don't mind recycling but we've no where to put all these bags and boxes!
  • Jo Rowley: We have four bins, one for recycling, one for food waste, one for stuff that can't be recycled and one for grass cuttings/weeds and a bag for batteries and electrical waste, that's a lot of sorting!
  • Anita Johnson: We have a compost bin for food/garden, recycling bags, one for paper the other for plastics/tins then a black bin for everything else. Collections are weekly alternating. Works fine.

Join the conversation on the ITV News Facebook page.

Read more - Eric Pickles: Streets 'bin-blighted'

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