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PM wants communities protected from future flooding

David Cameron at the Upon-upon-Severn flood meeting Credit: ITN

Following the announcement of a scheme to help homeowners and businesses in flood affected areas, including those in the Midlands, Prime Minister David Cameron has said:

"This Government is continuing to take decisive action across the board to help hard-working people affected by the floods. We have led the immediate response through COBRA, and put in place a range of measures to help people in the longer-term...

... Today I am publishing details of how homeowners and businesses can access a range of new funding schemes which I announced over the last week. We are helping people who need help now and protecting communities who need protecting in the future"

Help for homeowners affected by floods in the Midlands

A scheme has been launched by the Prime Minster as part of a comprehensive package to help homeowners and businesses in flood affected areas make their properties more resilient to flooding in the future.

The Government aims to support homeowners as part of the plan:

Help for homeowners

  • Councils will get £4million to help people whose properties are flooded, with a council tax rebate.
  • Repair and Renewal Grants will start in April and will help people improve their property’s ability to withstand future flooding.
  • Grants of up to £5,000 will be paid to flooded homeowners.

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Government to help people affected by flooding

Areas of inner-city Worcester resemble a lake Credit: ITV News Central

Details of a scheme to help victims of flooding in the Midlands, announced last week, have been released today.

The scheme was launched by the Prime Minster as part of a comprehensive package to help homeowners and businesses in flood affected areas make their properties more resilient to flooding in the future.

The Government aims to support businesses as part of the plan:

Support for Businesses

  • 100% business rate relief for three months if flooded since December
  • Government will reimburse council costs of 100% rate relief
  • Council funding to help flooded businesses and those who have been indirectly affected through loss of trade

David Cameron in West Midlands promoting apprenticeships

David Cameron will say he wants every young non-student to become an apprentice Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Prime Minister will visit the West Midlands later this morning in an attempt to highlight the Government's new policy on apprenticeships.

David Cameron will say that he wants every young person who does not go to university, to become an apprentice with a local company.

Speaking ahead of his visit Mr. Cameron said:

"We've made good progress in the past three years in turning this picture around. In the West Midlands the number of people starting an apprenticeship has doubled.

Across the region, firms are taking people on and giving them hope - from Jaguar Land Rover in Solihull to Mondelez in Birmingham."

Brother asks Cameron to seek justice for murdered sister

Surjit's brother Jagdeesh Singh told ITV News he has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to put pressure on the Indian Government to reinvestigate the murder of his sister Surjit Athwal.

Ms Athwal was killed in India in 1998. Her mother-in-law and husband were convicted of ordering the killing but no one has ever been found of actually carrying out the murder.

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Brother calls on Prime Minister to ensure justice for murdered sister

Surjit Athwal Credit: ITV News Central

The brother of a woman from Coventry who was the victim of a so-called 'out sourced' killing in India has written to the Prime Minister to ask for him to intercede in the case.

Surjit Athwal was killed in India in 1998. Her mother-in-law and husband were convicted of ordering the killing but no one has ever been found who actually carried it out.

Jagdeesh Singh, Surjit's brother Credit: ITV News Central

Surjit's brother Jagdeesh Singh wants the Prime Minister to put pressure on the Indian Government to further investigate the case and bring the issue to further prominence.

Sukhdave and Bachan Athwal Credit: ITV News Central

Her mother-in-law and husband claimed she shamed the family by having an affair.

Surjit Athwal Credit: ITV News Central
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Baroness Thatcher's funeral set to cost '£10 million'

Tributes have been left outside the home of Baroness Thatcher in Belgravia. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, which is being planned by a special Cabinet Office committee under the name ‘Operation True Blue’, will reportedly cost around £10 million.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude yesterday said MoD, the police, Number 10, Parliamentary authorities, the Thatcher family and the Conservative Party were in involved in planning the ceremony.

It will be the biggest security operation since the Olympics, according to The Sun, as fears mount that protestors could attempt to disrupt proceedings.

The Guardian says the threat of Irish republic terrorists are under the spotlight.

The Independent reports that social media and internet forums are being monitored for potential troublemakers.

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MPs and peers to pay tribute to Margaret Thatcher

MPs and peers will today pay their respects to Baroness Thatcher after Parliament was recalled from its Easter recess so tributes could be paid to the former prime minister.

They will debate a single line motion which reads: "That this House has considered the matter of tributes to the Rt Hon Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG OM."

The Union flag flew at half mast over the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Prime Minister will lead the debate on the death of Lady Thatcher, Ed Miliband will follow, before Speaker John Bercow then calls MPs to contribute.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband will make statements on Lady Thatcher's death

The order paper for proceedings indicate the debate may continue until 10pm, at which point Leader of the House Andrew Lansley will adjourn the Commons until its planned return from the Easter recess on Monday.

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Barack Obama: 'America has lost a true friend'

With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.

As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.

As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best.

And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.

Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.

– President Barack Obama
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