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The government appears to have committed to fundin

first_imgThe government appears to have committed to funding two new measures aimed at tackling the shortage of accessible housing for disabled and older people.Announcing the results of the spending review, which detail the government’s spending plans until the next general election in 2020, George Osborne told MPs that the government’s task was “to rebuild Britain, build our finances, build our defences, build our society”.His spending review document includes a pledge to build 8,000 “specialist” homes for older and disabled people, and also appears to offer substantial new funding for disabled facilities grants (DFGs).The document pledges “over £500 million by 2019-20 for the [DFG], which will fund around 85,000 home adaptations that year”.If that pledge represents annual funding, it will represent an increase of more than 170 per cent, compared with DFG spending of £185 million in 2014-15.But if it represents total funding in the four years to 2019-20, it would signify a steep cut in DFG funding.By 7pm today (26 November), the Department for Communities and Local Government had been unable to clarify the figures, or provide any more detail on the specialist housing announcement.Vicky McDermott (pictured), chief executive of the disability charity Papworth Trust, welcomed the announcement of 8,000 new specialist homes.She said: “We are pleased the chancellor has used the spending review to pledge further investment into homes for disabled and older people.“Papworth Trust has led calls for more investment to encourage developers to prioritise accessible homes in housing developments.“Demand currently outstrips supply for homes that work for disabled people, so with the chancellor’s announcement, developers are in a good position to take advantage of this business opportunity.“We look forward to hearing more details on these proposals and we will now be working very closely with developers to show there is a business case for building accessible and affordable housing in the UK.”Meanwhile, the Department for Transport has yet to clarify what impact its funding settlement will have on work to improve access to rail stations through the Access for All programme.Although the department’s day-to-day budget has been cut by 37 per cent, spending on transport infrastructure will increase by 50 per cent to £61 billion over the course of this parliament.A Department for Transport spokesman had failed to comment by 7pm this evening (Thursday).The spending review document also says the government is “investing in new school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities”, but provides no further details on whether this means it will be building new, segregated special schools.A Department for Education spokeswoman said there was no further information available about this investment.last_img read more

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Scooters on their way Scoot and Skip are the winners of San

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Uber, Lyft, Lime, Bird, others locked out“Scoot and Skip” may sound like the names of cartoon characters — talking mice, perhaps — but they’re not. Rather, they’re the big winners of San Francisco’s Golden Ticket e-scooter permitting process, and the only two outfits among the dozen that applied that’ll be permitted to operate e-scooter rentals on this city’s streets. That was the announcement to be made today at a hastily arranged press conference — the time and location were still being wrangled up until the last moment — held at Municipal Transportation Agency headquarters at 1 South Van Ness. “Scoot and Skip put forth the strongest proposals the SFMTA received,” the MTA announced on its website. “The SFMTA found that no other applications substantially exceeded the agency’s standards for operating a shared scooter pilot program in San Francisco to the extent that Scoot and Skip did.” Email Address Scooters block tech buses on 24th and Valencia from Mission Local on Vimeo.MTA officials today declined to say just how many scooters is too many for San Francisco.”I don’t think that number can be easily calculated,” Maguire said. The 625 per company — which could double six months into the program if the MTA is happy — would seem to be a mere drop in the bucket.Lime CEO and co-founder Toby Sun, meanwhile, wasted little time e-mailing out a statement blasting today’s announcement and pledging to appeal its result.“Today’s decision is disappointing. San Franciscans deserve an equitable and transparent process when it comes to transportation and mobility. Instead, the SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators that plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good,” Sun wrote. “The SFMTA’s handling of the dockless bike and scooter share programs has lacked transparency from the beginning. We call on the Mayor’s Office and Board of Supervisors to hold the SFMTA accountable for a flawed permitting process.”Spurned companies have 15 days from receipt of their rejection letter — which will be certified, and may not arrive until Monday — to file an appeal. That appeal, Maguire assured, is an internal MTA process in which other branches of government don’t officially weigh in.A longtime city politico familiar with the scooter-permitting process doubted the merit of filing such an appeal.“If I was one of these companies, I’d want to keep my head down,” he said. “I don’t think anybody appealing this to the MTA commissioners is doing themselves any favors. They want to come back in a year and operate. Why keep attacking the agency, when it’ll be the same agency in a year from now? [MTA director] Ed Reiskin may be gone and Tom Maguire may be gone. But the MTA commissioners will still be there.” center_img Update, 3 p.m. MTA officials emphasized the fairness and transparency of the scooter permitting process this afternoon while the losers of that process, informed of this outcome only moments before, railed about a markedly unfair and opaque rigmarole, pledging to appeal today’s decision.When asked how heavily “past experience including compliance with applicable law and its efforts to ensure compliance of its users with applicable laws” weighed into the decision-making process, MTA sustainable streets director Tom Maguire said “it was one of many criteria we looked at.”The MTA was prepared, Maguire said, to issue as many as five permits. It only issued two, as it claimed Skip and Scoot were the only companies that passed muster. The rationales for rejecting the other 10 aspirants are all publicly viewable here. These are rather detailed responses — much more so, Mission Local is told, than the usual rejection letters sent to vanquished would-be city contractors. This, city sources continued, is what you’d expect of an agency attempting to insulate itself against all but certain legal and political ramifications from today’s announcement.Bird — one of the companies that littered the streets of San Francisco with its unpermitted scooters earlier this year — was today notified by letter that it failed to receive a permit for 11 bullet-pointed reasons. Among them: “Bird demonstrates experience operating shared scooter service, but the SFMTA negatively evaluates applicant’s history of violations, which indicates that past strategies have been insufficient to ensure user compliance with laws. San Francisco Public Works impounded 169 improperly parked Bird scooters and issued 5 violations while Bird was operating in the city.”Lime was similarly dinged, as was Spin. Lyft’s misadventures operating cars on city streets did not go unnoticed: “While experience operating ridehail services lends credibility to various business aspects of Lyft’s proposal, the applicant has no experience to date owning or operating shared mobility equipment in the public right-of-way. Furthermore, the history of violation of traffic laws by ride-hail contractors, including Lyft’s, creates some concern about applicant’s ability to comply with local regulations.” The 10 other aspiring scooter services are, for now, kicked to the the curb. These include some rather heavy hitters, including Lyft, Uber subsidiary Jump, and Bird, Spin, and Lime — the three companies that triggered municipal rancor and a media firestorm when, earlier this year, they deposited thousands of scooters on city streets without permission. This led to legal threats from San Francisco’s City Attorney and impoundments of the renegade vehicles by the Public Works department. “The SFMTA intends to issue the permits to Scoot and Skip on October 15, 2018, which will allow a maximum of 625 scooters for each company in the first six months,” reads the transit agency’s announcement. “Scoot and Skip may have the potential to increase their number of scooters in months seven to 12 to a cap of 2,500, at the SFMTA’s sole discretion.” The pilot program is one year long. Today’s outcome is not unanticipated; inside word received by Mission Local last week was that Scoot was seen as the No. 1 applicant. Of note, on May 1, the MTA board unanimously approved a motion regarding scooter permitting, making an applicant’s “past experience including compliance with applicable law and its efforts to ensure compliance of its users with applicable laws” a factor in the process.For scofflaw rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft or move-fast-break-things scooter outfits like Bird, Lime or Spin, this was seen as a clear indication that they would not fare well in this process. That was the subject of a Chronicle article earlier this month in which inside information from unnamed MTA sources and others about the inchoate scooter-permitting process indicated just that. Multiple sources have informed Mission Local that the ostensible losers in this process were much displeased, and complained to the office of the mayor. Mayor London Breed, in a subsequent letter to MTA boss Ed Reiskin, criticized the scooter permitting process as “opaque.”As such, the MTA today emphasized its “transparency,” posting its internal assessments of all 12 companies’ applications for all to see. Our calls to some of the companies not awarded permits have not yet been returned. The next steps — procedural, legal or otherwise — for those scooter outfits are yet to be determined.last_img read more

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SAINTS alongside their travel partners Arriva and

first_imgSAINTS, alongside their travel partners Arriva and Hattons Travel, have revised the transport details for this Friday’s match with Harlequins RL at the Stobart Stadium.The trio have worked closely together to iron out the issues that arose at the first home game of the season last week, which were as a result of traffic congestion and problems parking and loading buses.The ARRIVA ‘SAINTS’ BUS will still depart at the same times, but will return slightly earlier following feedback from the Club’s supporters.It will run to Widnes from Hall St:17.00; 17.30; 18.00; 18.30; 19;00And return to St Helens from Caldwell Road:21.55, 22.10 22.25You can still buy Bus Season Tickets for £40 from the Saints Ticket Office in St Helens Town Centre.They entitle you to transport to and from the Stobart Stadium for ALL Saints first team home fixtures this season as well as transport to and from Hall St from within the borough.If you require a free junior bus season ticket then you must present your Season Ticket in the Town Centre store to claim your junior bus season ticket.The HATTONS TRANSPORT match by match service’s pick up times have also been altered.The number 300 Saints bus will pick up:The Griffin, Eccleston 17.30 / 18.15 / 18.45Birchley St, St Helens 17.45 / 18.30 / 19.00Lea Green, Sutton 18.00 / 18.45 / 19.15Return will be from Caldwell Road immediately after full-time.Fans will now also be able to buy the £4 return ticket from Hattons Transport’s office in Sutton Manor, The Griffin Pub in Eccleston and Saints Town Centre Store.Please confirm your pick-up point and time on purchase and tickets will remain on sale until 5pm on the Thursday before a match.Please note all services are subject to demand and traffic and no cash will be taken on the night. We will also be reviewing the procedures and timings on a regular basis.last_img read more

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MIKE Rush said Saints had got back to something of

first_imgMIKE Rush said Saints had got back to something of a “benchmark performance” following their 62-0 win over Widnes.His side were rampant as they ran in 11 tries to defeat the Vikings.“It was better wasn’t it?” he said. “We defended better and that was probably the goal at the beginning of the game, to have a better effort than in the last seven or eight minutes of last week.“We didn’t need to say anything as a coaching staff after last week, the amount of pride our players have, they knew that wasn’t their benchmark.“We produced something tonight that was a benchmark performance from us. Last week we were pleased to get through, but not in a way we wanted to play. Tonight was about doing better and I thought defensively and offensively we were better. It was something like at the level we were at against Leeds and Warrington as well as Castleford. That determination to defend our line, it was there tonight. We now want to continue to build this momentum and take it into next week.”He continued: “Adam Swift did really well. He’s had some tough times in the last seven days. Harold was a big part of Rugby League in this town, and I’m sure all his family are proud of what he achieved today.”last_img read more

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TOMMY Makinson Josh Jones and Jonny Lomax have be

first_imgTOMMY Makinson, Josh Jones and Jonny Lomax have been named in England Knight’s 19-man squad for the upcoming friendly against Samoa at Salford City Stadium on Saturday October 19 (2.00pm).The match is a curtain-raiser to the England v Italy (4.30pm) international at Salford City Stadium which will be the first chance for fans to see England’s NRL-based players, including the Burgess brothers Sam, Tom and George, in action.With Rugby League World Cup 2013 fast approaching, and the deadline for the final senior squad announcement not until England arrive back from their high-altitude training in South Africa, the match against Samoa represents the last chance for players to force themselves into Steve McNamara’s plans.“We’re all very pleased with the squad that we have selected, and it is a good opportunity for all the players, you never know who is watching,” said Knight’s Head Coach Keiron Purtill. “It was definitely a tough selection. The Knights started a couple of years ago and our aim was to produce and develop a talented young squad of players for English Rugby League. Now we’re starting to step it up towards the World Cup.“The tournament definitely serves as motivation for the players. There are still three weeks to go until Steve McNamara can change his squad, so we have told the players to prepare as if they were playing full internationals.”Samoa are preparing for World Cup group games against New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France and Purtill believes that playing against full internationals will tell him a lot about his own players.“There has been a positive progression with the players and the game against Samoa is going to be their toughest test,” he said.“Samoa is a team full of NRL players preparing themselves for the World Cup, so it will be a good gauge of the players’ progression.“They will definitely be able to handle the test. You only get picked for the Knights if we think you can handle international Rugby League.”England Knights squad:Ben Cockayne, Dom Crosby, Kieran Dixon, Chris Green, Josh Hodgson, Josh Jones, Ben Jones-Bishop, Michael Lawrence, Jonathan Lomax, Tom Makinson, Richard Myler, Sam Powell, Stefan Ratchford, Dan Sarginson, Brad Singleton, Scott Taylor, Iain Thornley, Liam Watts, Elliott Whitehead.last_img read more

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Confederate memorials in Wilmington caught in current conflict

first_img After Governor Roy Cooper tweeted the confederate monuments should come down, many people are talking about the future of these statues all over the state.A statue in Durham was torn down and after someone spray painted statues in Wilmington, Wilmington police are taking note.“Certainly seems to be a problem around the county and that is something we are concerned with and taking measures to try and prevent,” Wilmington Deputy Police Chief Mitch Cunningham said.The statue at Market St. and Third St. is of George Davis, the Confederate Attorney General. That statue’s face is now covered in bright paint.The Boney Confederate Memorial located at Third St. and Dock St. has spray paint near the statue’s feet.Whether these statues ultimately stay or go, is still uncertain.“We don’t know what’s going to happen to them. I mean I think that’s the thing, we’re in this moment of transition about, people make meaning of memorials,” Cape Fear Museum historian Jan Davidson said.Both were donated to the city as gifts. And because they are city property police are taking extra measures to keep them as they are, for now.“Of course we’ve increased patrols were looking at the crimes that have occurred, investigating those and moving forward on the investigation,” Cunningham saidCunningham said it is still too early to have any leads on the investigation.The City of Wilmington said they will try again tomorrow to remove the paint. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Both the George Davis Statue and Boney Confederate Memorial were vandalized early this morning.Many people might not know the history behind both of these monuments that are caught in a current conflict.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Man accused of killing Lumberton police officer wont face death penalty

first_img Britt told ABC 15 News last August at least three of Brown’s court appointed attorneys have withdrew from the case for different reasons, making it difficult to set a trial date.Brown has been in jail held without bond since the shooting.Police said Officer Goodson was off-duty when he spotted Brown, who was wanted by Lumberton police, at the Express Depo/Dairy Queen on Fayetteville Road.Related Article: Police investigating triple shooting in LumbertonBrown had warrants in Lumberton for failure to appear in court on charges of possession of a firearm by a felon.Officers said he also has warrants in Columbus County, N.C., for receiving stolen property, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.Goodson and another officer approached Brown’s car and that’s when Brown started firing from inside the vehicle, according to the Lumberton Police Department.Goodson was hit more than once and died a couple hours later at a hospital.The other officer was able to arrest Brown.Police said Brown had a small child in a car seat in his vehicle when he shot and killed Goodson.Goodson grew up in Robeson County and graduated from Dillon High School in 1998.He worked with Lumberton Police for six years.Brown was assigned as a resource officer at Lumberton High School and also worked in the gang unit. Robeson County, N.C. (WPDE) — Robeson County Senior Superior Court Judge Robert F. Floyd, Jr. ruled this week during a mental competency hearing that Marques Brown, who is charged with first degree murder in the 2012 death of a Lumberton police officer, will not face the death penalty, according to court officials.Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said Brown will stand trial Feb. 19.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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WPD More than 100lbs of pot seized in multiagency bust

first_imgAdditionally, quantities of ecstasy, cocaine and Clonazepam were also found.WPD officers then alerted South Carolina authorities that night of a related address. Deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department went to the address and after finding contraband in plain view executed a search warrant that night. They recovered more than 100 pounds of marijuana, quantities of methadone, fentanyl, pills and over $96,000 in cash.Three people were arrested in connection to the case in South Carolina.The ATF assisted in the investigation.The charges are as follows:Benjamin Arlo Brown, 30, Wilmington: Possession of a weapon of mass destructionPossession with intent to sell and deliver schedule I CS (LSD)Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule IV CS (Clonazepam)Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI CS (marijuana)(2 counts)Felony possession of schedule I CS (MDMA/ecstasy)(2 counts)Felony possession of schedule II CS (cocaine)Felony possession of schedule VI CS (marijuana)(2 counts)Trafficking in LSDTrafficking in marijuana (3 counts)Maintain a vehicle/ dwelling for keeping storing a CS (2 counts)Danielle Felt, 35, Hobe Sound, Florida: Trafficking in marijuana (2 counts)Maintain a vehicle/ dwelling for keeping storing a CSPossession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI CS (marijuana)Hunter Patrick Hall, 28, Wilmington:Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule I CS (LSD)Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI CS (marijuana)Felony possession of schedule I CS (MDMA/ ecstasy)Felony possession of schedule II CS (cocaine)(2 counts)Felony possession of schedule VI CS (marijuana)Maintain a vehicle/ dwelling for keeping storing a CSPossession of schedule VI CS (marijuana)David Jay Thompson, 24, Wilmington: Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule I CS (LSD)Possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI CS (marijuana)Felony possession of schedule I CS (MDMA/ ecstasy)Felony possession of schedule II CS (cocaine)Felony possession of schedule VI CS (marijuana)Maintain a vehicle/ dwelling for keeping storing a CSPossession of schedule VI CS (marijuana)South Carolina arrests:Eric Paul Wallace, 34, Chapin, SC: Trafficking marijuana more than 100 poundsPossession with the intent to distribute Sch II-Third offensePossession of Sch IV – 2ndoffense or greaterDaniel Wesley Avinger, 27, Chapin, SC:Trafficking marijuana more than 100 poundsPossession with the intent to distribute Sch IIPossession of Sch IVCory Brian Takach, 31, Chapin, SC:Trafficking marijuana more than 100 poundsTrafficking ecstacy more than 100 dosage units but less than 500 dosage unitsPossession with the intent to distribute Sch II – 2ndoffensePossession of Sch IV – 2ndoffense WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 100 pounds of marijuana, 1300 dosage of LSD, guns, and more were seized during a multi-agency bust earlier this week. Now, several people are behind bars.“I would say this is one of the more sizable seizures we’ve made recently so it’s quite an investigation,” Wilmington Deputy Police Chief Mitch Cunningham said.- Advertisement – 1 of 5center_img Member of the Wilmington Police Department’s Special Investigation Division concluded a two month long narcotics investigation Monday night that resulted in the arrest of three Wilmington men and a Florida woman.During a traffic stop around 11 p.m. Monday, officers said they found marijuana in the vehicle occupied by Benjamin Brown and Danielle Felt.A short time later detectives executed a search warrant at Brown’s home on Wisteria Drive where more narcotics were found. Brown’s roommates, Hunter Hall and David Thompson, were at the house.Related Article: 5 NC postal workers indicted on drug, mail theft charges“Until we as a society address the insatiable appetite of drugs in society these types of arrest and seizures will continue to grow exponentially until we stop the appetite,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said.In total, detectives seized more than 30 pounds of marijuana/marijuana concentrate and over 1300 dosage units of LSD, five firearms and approximately $7,000.last_img read more

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Market booms Houses under 350000 in high demand

first_img With houses selling left and right, Helton and her husband say they struggled to find a home under $300,000.“We’re building houses as fast as we can actually sell them. We’re up about 5% in sales this year from last year, and we’re currently up about 6% in value on home prices since last year,” said Tony Harrington, the owner of The Property Shop International Realty.When the demand goes up, so does the price. Harrington says they are seeing more and more people move down from the northeast, and a better economy means more buyers.“I think Wilmington is a melting pot. We’re seeing not only retirees, but we’re seeing a lot of younger people come into town because of our university systems. Because of our theatre. And because of all of our infrastructure that we’re building,” said Harrington.Harrington says they are working with counties to increase the opportunities for affordable housing, but the need is high. Helton and her husband fell into that popular pool of buyers.“It made it a little bit more difficult and people moved fast. So, you didn’t have a lot of time to slowly shop around. You had to make a move pretty quickly,” said Helton.The homes may be going up fast, but buyers are moving even faster. Harrington says he expects this market boom to continue for a little while. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Industry experts say the housing market in the Wilmington area is soaring through the roof, but buyers struggle to find homes under $350,000.“The market is really fast right now. Everything that went up that we liked was pretty much gone within days,” said Nicole Helton, a first-time home buyer.- Advertisement – last_img read more