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  1. National

McCluskey calls on government to save steel industry

The leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, has called on the government to save the steel industry, as hundreds of steelworkers marched through Westminster to highlight the crisis.

The board of Tata Steel is meeting in Mumbai but has yet to draw up a shortlist of potential buyers for its UK assets.

Thousands of jobs are at risk, with the Port Talbot plant in south Wales facing closure if a buyer cannot be found.

The issue still has to be resolved. We want a secure, guaranteed future for a foundation industry that is vital for our nation.

The whole of our manufacturing depends on British steel and I'm pleased that the government appear to be getting that message, but we want to make certain that those warm words are turned into positive action.

– Len McCluskey, Unite
  1. National

'All British Tata Steel bid' between Excalibur Steel UK and Liberty House 'completely untrue'

Credit: PA

A deal between Excalibur Steel UK and Liberty House to buy the Tata Steel UK operation is "completely untrue", ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has been told.

The "all-British bid" between the two companies was thought to have been to allow Excalibur access to what one source describes as "the deep pockets" of Liberty House, while in turn they would benefit from working closely with the team who have been seen as the front-runners from the outset of the sales process.

The rumour had emerged ahead of the planned Tata board meeting in Mumbai this week to whittle down the seven bids for the ailing steel operation.

The sale includes the huge Port Talbot plant and 15,000 jobs across the UK.

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£7 million boost for affordable homes in Flint

Flintshire County Council is funding 62 affordable new homes in a development set to cost £7.4m.

62 affordable houses ito be built in Flint Credit: Flintshire County Council

The houses are part of a plan to build 300 affordable homes in the county over the next four years.

This development will generate a financial return for the Council for the next 45 years.

– Aaron Shotton, Flintshire County Council Leader

The houses will be managed by NEW Homes, a company set up by the Council in April 2014.

Unemployment continues to fall in Wales

Unemployment has continued to fall in Wales, with record numbers of people in work.

Credit: PA

The number of people working in Wales increased by 27,000 from the last period, bringing the total to 1,455,000.

The number of people not working, or unable to work, fell by 26,000 in the last year to 74,000.

These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is at the lowest in a decade at 5.1%.

There is fantastic news in Wales, where employment continues to rise. This month’s figures show a record 1.45 million people in work in Wales and the country’s employment rate is at a record high of 72.5%.

More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.

– Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

It is pleasing to see the labour market in Wales outperform all other regions of the UK and continue to go from strength to strength. Employment has risen faster in Wales than any other part of the UK over the past quarter and is now at a record high of 72.5%. Over the past year Wales also has seen the largest fall in unemployment than any other part of the UK and Wales now has a rate substantially below that in Scotland and the UK as whole.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Steel workers set to march to put pressure on UK government

Credit: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire

Hundreds of steelworkers are to stage a march in London to keep pressure on the Government to help secure the future of their crisis-hit industry.

Workers from plants across the country will gather on May 25 before walking past Downing Street and Parliament.

Those taking part work for several companies, including Tata, which is selling its loss-making UK assets, including the huge plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

The steelworkers will demand that the Government works to ensure a responsible sale of Tata Steel and deliver a proper industrial strategy to support the entire steel sector throughout the current crisis.

For months, the Save Our Steel campaign has engaged hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.

This march will bring steelworkers to London to focus all our attention on delivering a clear message to government: save our jobs, support our communities and deliver the fantastic future for British steel making we know it can have.

– Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union

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Welsh house prices 'are expected to rise'

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Welsh house prices are expected to rise over the next three months despite a cooling off in demand after the introduction of stamp duty changes.

That's according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Its longer term outlook suggests that prices will still be expected to rise by more than 4 per cent each year for the next five years.

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