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Prisk: UK has fastest rate of affordable house building

The Government has already invested billions in Britain's housing and has the "fastest rate of affordable house building in two decades," the Housing Minister said.

Refuting accusations by Shelter, Mr Prisk argued "affordability" for first time buyers was at its most "favourable" in a decade.

Shelter's report fails to take into account the billions of pounds we're investing to getting Britain building, leading to the fastest rate of affordable house building for two decades, on top of the 19,000 shared ownership homes we've delivered over the past two years...

Additionally we are tackling the record deficit to help keep interest rates low and ensuring that affordability for first-time buyers is at its most favourable level since 2003.

As a result, the number of first time buyers is at its highest level for six years

– Housing minister Mark Prisk

High street shops 'must change' to beat online shopping

A Conservative minister believes shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers lost to the internet. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

High street retailers must change the way they do business if they are to beat rising threat of online shopping, a minister has warned.

Mark Prisk, the housing and local government minister, told the Daily Telegraph shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers who have turned to the internet.

The warning comes as the Department of Communities and Local Government today awarded seven towns a share of £1 million in return for successfully breathing new life into their high streets.

Mr Prisk said the Government is doing "all it could" to help shops survive, including reducing business rates and encouraging local councils to be more flexible with parking.

"We will keep providing support where it is needed, but it takes more than funding to make this work," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"As consumers, our behaviour has changed. High streets need to respond to that change if they are to prosper."