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North Yorkshire communities 'outraged' that toilet closures considered by Council

People living in Staithes and Runswick Bay in North Yorkshire say they are 'outraged' at Scarborough Council's plans to consider closing all of their public toilets.

They're concerned it could affect the number of tourists visiting the area. Scarborough Council say there is currently a consultation going but they remain committed to providing public facilities.

  1. National

'No-one wants to touch pension scheme with barge pole'

Joel Hills says no buyer wants to touch Tata Steel's UK pension liabilities "with a barge pole".

The government is considering changes to pension laws to reduce the burden and attract investment.

Our business editor says this could have wide-reaching implications beyond the steel sector.

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  1. National

Tata Steel: Government 'going down dangerous path'

Tata steel plant in Port Talbot, Wales. Credit: PA Wire

The government is "going down a very dangerous path" in seeking to change pension laws to save Tata Steel's UK operation, an ex-Liberal Democrat pensions minister has said.

Steve Webb said any changes could affect the pension security of "hundreds of thousands of workers, well beyond the steel industry".

Everyone has huge sympathy for steel workers and for efforts to protect jobs, but rushed changes to pension rules risk driving a coach and horses through the pension security of hundreds of thousands of workers, well beyond the steel industry.

The rules to protect pensions have been carefully worked out over many years.

Rushed legislation could open the floodgates to employers who may wish to walk away from their pension schemes rather than honour their pension promises.

The Government must tread very carefully in this area.

– Steve Webb
  1. National

Government urged to protect steelworkers' pensions

Steelworkers' pensions must be protected in any plan to save Tata Steel's UK operation, Labour has said.

ITV News understands ministers are exploring ways of reducing the firm's UK pension burden in a bid to attract buyers.

Reacting to the reports, Owen Smith, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, said:

Dealing with the Tata pension scheme must be a central part of any Government package to save our steel industry, so it will be totally inappropriate for Ministers to rush out this vital announcement, in a written statement without any scrutiny on the final day before a recess.

Steel workers’ pensions must be protected, they’ve earned them with hard graft over many years.

So if Ministers are considering measures which might see those pensions reduced, MPs from all parties, especially those representing steel communities, will want a chance to question the plans, along with the trade unions who are playing such a vital and impressive role standing up for Tata workers.

If these reports are accurate, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions should come to the House to explain precisely what is being proposed, including how current and future steel pensioners will be affected and what precedents might be set by any changes to hard won pension protection legislation.

– Owen Smith MP

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Benitez drops in at Disabled Supporters Association party

Rafa Benitez first act after signing a new 3 year deal at Newcastle United was to drop in at the Newcastle United Disabled Supporters Association end of season party.

The group said they were delighted he came by.

Government considers changing pensions law in bid to save Tata's UK operation

Ministers are considering far-reaching changes to pension laws in an attempt to prevent the loss of Indian conglomerate Tata's UK steel-making assets, it has been reported.

Credit: PA

It comes as today hundreds of steel workers marched through London to demand the Government ensures the responsible sale of Tata Steel's UK assets - which include Hartlepool Pipe Mill.

Channel 4 News reported the Government was looking at ways of helping Tata to ease its pension liabilities in an effort to persuade it to abandon its planned sell-off.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills refused to comment ahead of a planned Commons statement by Business Secretary Sajid Javid on Thursday.

However Business Minister Anna Soubry said the Government had always made clear it would do "everything we can" to look at the pensions issue.

Ms Soubry told Channel 4 News:

We have always said we would do everything we can to look at pensions. We are determined to keep our steel industry.

The Prime Minister said 'no stone to be unturned' and that is exactly what has been done."

– Business Minister Anna Soubry

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, who has been with Mr Javid in Mumbai for talks with Tata, said that he was urging the Government to make legal changes.

Mr Jones said he believed there were ways of dealing with the pensions issue without putting the fund into the Government's Pensions Protection Fund lifeboat- which would mean members losing benefits.

"The UK Government has more levers it can pull than we can with its control of the tax system and pensions legislation," he told the programme.

"There are ways of looking to change the law on this and we would urge the UK Government to do that."

"It's right to say - let's not pretend otherwise - that it's unlikely that any buyer will come forward with the pension liability there."

WATCH: Benitez's full press conference after signing a new 3 year deal at Newcastle United

Newcastle United are have confirmed that Rafa Benitez will remain as Newcastle United manager, after signing a new three-year contract.

The deal commits the Spaniard to Tyneside until at least the summer of 2019.

The club say Benitez will have day-to-day responsibility for all football-related matters at the club.

Watch the full press conference below:

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