Lunchtime news Monday 15 September 2015

Lunchtime news Monday 15 September 2015

The main political parties need to unite around policies to ‘avert social collapse’ caused by rising violent crime and disorder according to two MPs. Their report, due out tomorrow, calls for more support for early intervention schemes in communities to bolster the life chances of children living in deprivation. The report is expected to argue that unless action is taken Britain will be ‘saddled with a new generation of disturbed and aggressive young people doomed to repeat and amplify the social breakdown disfiguring their lives and other around them’.

A new report from the Thames Gateway London Partnership says that while the primary purpose of housing associations should remain the provision of quality affordable housing, they can deliver more by working in partnership with third sector organisations. The report says that partnership would allow associations to deliver more benefits to communities and neighbourhoods, such as neighbourhood management services, advisory services and employment and training.

A ‘green worksheet’ has been developed by the Town and Country Planning Association (TPCA) and department for Communities and Local Government, providing guidance in best practice for everything from allotments and community gardens to flood storage areas and sustainable urban drainage. It is the fourth eco-town worksheet, following on from transport, community development and water cycle management. The TPCA want the issues covered in the worksheets to be taken as the master plan for the development and planning of eco-towns.

House prices in rural Wales have risen to 6.5 times the value of average incomes. Figures from the Halifax show average house prices in rural Wales are 22 per cent higher than the average for urban parts of the country. First-time buyers in rural areas have fallen to just 28 per cent of all buyers, compared with 40 per cent in urban areas.

Meanwhile, in Scotland the average house price in rural areas is 13 per cent higher than urban averages, according to the Bank of Scotland. First-time buyers accounted for just 20 per cent of all rural buyers compared with 31 per cent in urban areas. Average property prices were 5.9 times the average annual earnings in rural areas, higher than the 5.2 times ratio for homes in urban areas.