Opinion: Last-minute ministerial statements
Polly Toynbee discusses the raft of ministerial statements issued on the last day of Parliament, including a change to planning laws, under which communities lose the right to have their say on developments if they fail to meet government-imposed targets. She questions whether this will be “a gift for developers” and references LGA Chairman Lord Porter’s view that it “punishes local communities”.
Guardian (Journal p4)
UK’s bus routes at a 28-year low
The UK bus network has shrunk by 8 per cent in a decade with bus routes at a 28-year low in terms of miles travelled, according to government figures. Councils subsidise nearly half of all bus routes in England but a total of 3,347 routes have been stopped or reduced since 2010. The LGA says councils face an overall funding gap of almost £8 billion by 2025 that could see 5,000 bus routes gone by 2022.
Councils seek £50,000 care home cap to help rural areas
No one should have to pay more than £50,000 for a place in a care home, the County Councils Network has said. Its report, published in advance of the Government’s delayed green paper on reform of the care system, said: “For more people in rural areas to benefit from a cap on care, it needs to be set at a lower level, potentially as low as £50,000. It is estimated that only one in 10 people would benefit from a £72,000 cap.” It said the cap must be fully funded.
School holiday hunger cash
The Government will put £2 million towards a series of projects across the country providing activities including free football classes, play sessions and cooking classes. These projects will also provide free meals for the most disadvantaged families who may rely on the free school meals they receive during term time.
BBC Online, Mirror p17
Millions of people are being left without wheelchairs as they recover from illness and risk being “trapped” in their own homes, the British Red Cross has warned. The charity said a lack of information about services, stigma around wheelchair use and a “postcode lottery” are among the reasons people are not getting the right support.
BBC Online, i p9
The London Fire Brigade has called for councils in the capital to introduce a ban on barbecues in parks and drivers are being urged not to throw rubbish from their cars after a string of grassland fires during the heatwave.
BBC Online, Sky News Online, ITV Online, all papers
Flat owners have to pay £3m recladding cost of two Manchester blocks
The owners of 345 flats in two Manchester apartment blocks built with flammable cladding will have to pay an estimated £3 million to have their homes made fire-safe, following a ruling by a tribunal. The tribunal ruled in favour of the freeholder who argued that the flat owners, as leaseholders, should pay for the replacement of the cladding at a cost of £10,000 each through their service charge.