North Korea: US says 'no value' in UN security council meeting

North Korea: US says 'no value' in UN security council meeting

Media playback is unsupported on your device The US says it will not call for a UN Security Council meeting over North Korea’s missile tests because it would produce “nothing of consequence”. Such a meeting would send a message to North Korea that the international community was unwilling to challenge it, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said. Pyongyang said its tests proved that the entire US was within range. The US has responded by testing an…

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Grenfell Tower fire: New council leader heckled by public

Grenfell Tower fire: New council leader heckled by public

Media playback is unsupported on your device The newly elected leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council has been booed and heckled amid continuing anger over the Grenfell Tower fire. Protesters shouted “resign” and “shame on you” as Elizabeth Campbell was made council leader at a public meeting. The councillor said she was “deeply sorry” for the “grief and trauma” caused by the blaze in west London. The fractious meeting ended early after a female resident…

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Grenfell Tower fire: Government to 'keep eye' on council

Grenfell Tower fire: Government to 'keep eye' on council

The government will keep “a close eye” on Kensington and Chelsea council after its leader quit over the Grenfell Tower fire, the communities secretary says. Sajid Javid said it was “right” that Nicholas Paget-Brown stepped down and said the process to select a successor would be “independent of government”. London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for commissioners to take over the council. Earlier, a victims’ group said one resident had had rent deducted from their…

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Vulnerable told to expect cuts to council care

Vulnerable told to expect cuts to council care

The elderly and disabled in England are being told to expect cuts to care services and rises in charges after council chiefs unveiled spending plans. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said £20.8bn was expected to be spent on care this year, a cash rise of 5% since last year. It follows a £1bn cash injection announced in the Budget which ministers said would relieve the pressures. But ADASS said £824m of savings…

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London fire: Kensington council chief quits over Grenfell tragedy

London fire: Kensington council chief quits over Grenfell tragedy

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has resigned amid criticism over the borough’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire. Nicholas Holgate said Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid asked for him to go – this is denied by the government. Mr Holgate said last week’s fire in North Kensington, in which at least 79 people died, was “heart-breaking” but his presence would be a “distraction”. Residents had condemned the initial relief effort as “absolute…

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Grenfell Tower fire: Government staff sent into Kensington and Chelsea council

Grenfell Tower fire: Government staff sent into Kensington and Chelsea council

Government staff have been drafted in to manage the response to the Grenfell Tower fire after criticism of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council. A team of civil servants has been embedded in the council office after residents complained they had been left with little support or information from officials. At least 58 people are dead or presumed dead, and many others are homeless. The council says it will cooperate “in full” with the government’s inquiry….

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Smoking may be banned in new council homes, says health expert

Smoking may be banned in new council homes, says health expert

Smoking could be banned in some new council homes in a bid to protect the health of children, a UK public health expert has said. Under the proposals, tenants would be asked to sign an agreement not to light up inside their home. President of the Faculty of Public Health, Prof John Middleton, says some councils and housing associations are already exploring the smoke-free housing idea. How would it work? According to the professor, the…

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Council tax to rise while services cut, says LGA

Council tax to rise while services cut, says LGA

Nearly every local authority in England is planning to raise council taxes this year but council leaders are warning services still face “deep cuts”. The Local Government Association says funding care for increasing numbers of elderly people is forcing up bills. It says many councils are planning tax increases of up to 4.99% but that cuts to libraries, bin collections and other services will still be needed. The government insists it is giving more money…

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