England’s regional development agencies have failed to close the north-south divide and should be either closed down, merged or given new objectives, according to a report by the Centre for Cities. Although the report accepted that reform was unlikely during the economic crisis, it argued that agencies should beRead More →

The number of middle-aged people caring for their children or grandchildren and looking after their elderly parents – the ‘sandwich generation’ – is likely to grow as projections of a rapidly ageing society were released by the Office for National Statistics. Nearly one in four of the population willRead More →

Meanwhile the Council Of Mortgage Lenders (CML) may scrap its annual house price forecast because of the credit crisis. CML said that it was considering not publishing its forecast for the coming year as a result of the low level of transactions in the market. It said it mayRead More →

  The locations of four new eco-towns were announced yesterday – Rackheath, Norfolk; north west Bicester, Oxfordshire; Whitehall Bordon, east Hampshire; and China Clay near St Austell in Cornwall. Communities and Local Government said the government would provide �£60 million in funding to provide infrastructure to support the towns andRead More →

A study by the Economic and Social Research Council has said making existing homes energy efficient was a ‘herculean’ task and required radical action to bring about a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. The research calculated that to reduce emissions from existing homes by 40Read More →

Mortgage lenders have warned however, that the plan to offer struggling homeowners a holiday for up to two years from paying their interest repayments is unworkable and will result in new applications being turned down. In response to a consultation by Communities and Local Government over the plan, theRead More →

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a warning over the consequences of a prolonged global slump – unless governments act with greater urgency to jump start ailing economies, violent social unrest may occur around the world. Weak and uncertain government action to the crisis was causingRead More →