After a decade of cuts firefighters desperately need a pay rise. They join front line staff in our health service, schools and local authorities who have seen their wages fall in real terms every year since 2010. To add insult to injury the Tory government is pushing through further fire service funding cuts this year Writes Kevin Vickers.
The Chancellor’s spring statement underlines why we can’t afford the Tories, argues John Rees
Philip Hammond’s passing resemblance to Mr Burns from The Simpsons is more than skin deep. Burn’s determination to wring every last cent from his employees is promoted to a national economic strategy by Hammond.
As the UK prepares to distance itself from one continent, the Tories want it to get closer to another. While Brexit remains uncertain, it seems likely this government will look more across the Atlantic than the Channel for its socio-economic and political future. Some Tories are actively pursuing this wish-fulfilment. Liam Fox has talked about leaving the EU being an opportunity to “supercharge” the “special relationship”. Writes Kevin Vickers
Hundreds of Pensioners gathered outside Parliament in protest at plans to remove free TV licenses for over 75s. The lively crowd was addressed by speakers from the National Pensioners Convention, NUJ, BECTU, GMB and other groups. They called on the Government to take back responsibly for funding the benefit for the elderly.
Short cuts in special educational needs are resulting in misdiagnosis and exclusions for vulnerable pupils as cuts bite.
To cope, many councils have been forced to take money from mainstream and early years education to try and plug gaps in Special Education Needs (SEN).
Hundreds of trainee military pilots are not flying because of long delays in the Ministry of Defence's privately contracted training programme.
The multi-billion-pound training contract is run by Ascent, a partnership between Babcock International and Lockheed Martin and sees training that should take three years now taking six or seven adding further cost to the public purse.
The name Somerset might conjure images of apple orchards, winding lanes and ruddy-faced country folk.
However, the towns of Taunton, Yeovil and Bridgwater contain 19 wards which rank in the 20% of areas most deprived in England.. Writes Dave Clarke