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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Israeli settlements: UN Security Council calls for an end

Israeli settlements: UN Security Council calls for an end

The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution urging an end to illegal Israeli settlements after the US refused to veto it. The Egyptian-drafted resolution had been withdrawn after Israel asked Donald Trump to intervene but it was proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela. The US has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not abide by the vote. Israel announced its ambassadors to New…

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Ministers consider council tax rise to cover social care funding

Ministers consider council tax rise to cover social care funding

Local authorities could be allowed to make a further increase in council tax to pay for social care. Ministers in England are discussing ways to invest more money into care services for the elderly and disabled. One option is to let them increase council tax beyond the extra 2% for which they already have permission, while another is bringing forward extra money they have been promised in 2019. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will unveil spending…

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Bar Council urges Liz Truss to condemn attacks on judges

Bar Council urges Liz Truss to condemn attacks on judges

“Serious and unjustified” attacks on senior judges over the Brexit ruling should be condemned by Lord Chancellor Liz Truss, the Bar Council has said. The demand for action comes in the wake of criticism from some Tory MPs and newspapers over the ruling that MPs should vote on triggering Article 50. The Daily Mail branded judges “Enemies of the people”, while the Daily Express said it was “the day democracy died”. Labour said Ms Truss…

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