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Boris Johnson promises thousands of houses for first-time buyers with 30% discount

Some good news…

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Boris Johnson has vowed ‘radical reforms’ to the country and has set aside £12bn – first announced in the budget – for funding for new homes. 

This morning the prime minister vowed to get the country back on track with a new deal which will see a programme of building and investment. 

Boris announced ‘the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War’.

Alongside this programme, he has confirmed that the government will set aside £12 billion for the funding of new homes. This will support 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years.

Included in that, is a new pilot of ‘First Homes’ that will provide a 30% discount to first time buyers.

The properties will be the exact same as others, but just sold to local first-time buyers who have been struggling to buy a home in the current market for 30% less.

The discount is said to be passed on to future buyers when First Homes are resold, to give more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder. 

The final design of the First Homes scheme is yet to be confirmed.

The PM said today: “We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.

“We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.

“We will build better, we will build greener, and faster.”

In revealing the plan to help Britain ‘get back on its feet’, he said: “It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.

“This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

“We will build the homes, fix the NHS, solve social care, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity, productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite, and level up.

“To that end, we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster.”

He added: “This is a programme for jobs, jobs, jobs – because it’s by building, building, building… that we will get the jobs this nation needs.”

Boris Johnson has vowed to not return to the years of ‘what people call austerity’. He says: “the world has moved on since 2008”.

“We are preparing now – slowly, cautiously – to come out of hibernation. We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of this crisis”, he said.

The prime minister has warned of the rocky economic time ahead that will see job losses. 

Currently, 2.8 million people are unemployed in the UK and it’s predicted this number could rise by a further one million during the impending economic downturn. 

“We know in our hearts that the furloughing cannot go on forever,” he said.

“We also know that jobs people had in January are not coming back, at least not in that form,” the prime minister said. However, he refused to address how many jobs might be lost overall.

“I remain absolutely certain we need to make sure we keep the tax burden in so far as we possibly can is reasonable and we continue to be a competitive market economy,” he said.

“You know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes where ever you possibly can.

“The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now. We have to take our country forward.”

He also stressed that Britain needs to remain competitive as it leaves the EU stating: “You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be.

“I want brilliant British ideas being translated into brilliant British companies.”

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Greater Manchester town officially named one of the happiest places to live in UK

Well-deserved?

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A Greater Manchester town has been named among the 20 happiest places to live in the UK, alongside a couple of other North West spots.

Altrincham was placed in the top 20 of Britain’s happiest places to live in an annual survey, coming in at number 17 in Rightmove’s survey.

St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall, took the number one spot, while Galashiels in Scotland came in a respectable second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

Other North West areas in the top 20 were Northwich (16) and Macclesfield (18).

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people their thoughts on where they live.

Each area is ranked on factors like whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, local amenities, whether there is a community spirit and the proximity to green spaces.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

According to Rightmove, these are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022 (including the average house price and average asking monthly rental price):

1) St Ives, South West – £523,731, £1,152

2) Galashiels, Scotland – £153,546, £530

3) Woodbridge, East of England – £481,978, £1,196

4) Hexham, North East – £262,265, £810

5) Perth, Scotland – £179,410, £812

6) Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber – £381,124, £1,327

7) Anglesey, Wales – £324,048, £766

8) Bury St Edmunds, East of England – £334,160, £1,368

9) Stirling, Scotland – £197,075, £990

10) Cirencester, South West, £382,065 – £1,331

11) Richmond-upon-Thames, London – £1,153,347, £3,931

12) Falmouth, South West – £373,752, £1,289

13) Monmouth, Wales – £331,844, £1,104

14) Leamington Spa, West Midlands – £383,553, £1,274

15) Worcester, West Midlands – £286,250, £1,059

16) Northwich, North West – £246,995, £942

17) Altrincham, North West – £615,246, £2,297

18) Macclesfield, North West – £292,078, £1,146

19) Newbury, South East – £380,842, £1,364

20) Llandudno, Wales – £260,245, £760

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Northern to start using new technology to catch train fare dodgers

‘This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues’

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Northern has announced that they will be bringing in some brand new technology to catch train fare dodgers.

Britain’s second largest train operator is planning to install the system within station barriers at ‘known hotspots’, the BBC reports.

The technology will automatically detect whether a ticket is valid, and alert rail staff for any additional checks, or if the customer has the right railcard.

Jon David Houghton / Wikimedia Commons

According to Northern, around 180 fare dodgers were caught in a single day when they trialled the system at Manchester Victoria in November.

Northern’s Customer and Commercial Director Mark Powles said: “This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues whose job it is to ensure ticket checks are carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Unfortunately, we know that a small minority of customers try to exploit the automated nature of barrier checks to travel on tickets they know they’re not eligible to use.”

Mikey / Flickr

Powles added that the kit was ‘very easy’ to install, saying it could be: “deployed to known hotspots across the whole network to help tackle this fraudulent activity”.

The Department for Transport confirmed last month that anyone travelling on a train without a ticket can be fined £100 from January 23rd, rising from £20. 

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on Monday, November 21st.

Detectives also believe the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

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Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, previously said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police believe the incidents happened at the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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