Some articles will be copied in full. Due to copyright restrictions, newspaper articles will have only the headline and a summary. In such cases, there will be an option to request a paper copy of the full article.

The option to request a photocopy of a newspaper article is for employees of Warwickshire County Council (WCC). If you are not an employee of WCC then your request will be ignored.

Commuters flee burning train

Yesterday morning at around 8.11am, hundreds of commuters fled a burning train at Lapworth railway station.  Two fire crews attended.

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Teaming up to boost engineering

Recruitment firm, Consilium Goup, which is based in Warwickshire, has launched a new division dedicated to helping the county’s fledgling hi-tech engineering sector after witnessing a surge in investment within the industry which has been fuelled by a renewed confidence in British manufacturing and Whitehall-led funding.

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Fears for new mineral quarries near Barford

Warwickshire County Council has been identifying new sites for quarries for a new Minerals Development Framework to replace the 1995 Minerals Local Plan.  However, residents from Barford are fearing for their health and homes because of two possible quarry sites nearby.

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Road safety concern

Editor’s Opinion – “Paul Kerr is right to be concerned about the perceived lack of interest in road safety issues at this time in particular ……..” Read more of this post

Partnership saves £75,000 in landfill tax

Some 700 tonnes of waste has been diverted from going to landfill in the past year due to a recycling partnership between Warwickshire County Council and Age UK Warwickshire.

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Huge school traffic survey set to go live.

CCTV cameras will be part of a survey to be carried out near schools which may result in extra school crossing patrol officers being hired. Read more of this post

Safe sex message issued as part of national anti-HIV initiative

As part of the National HIV Testing Week, Warwickshire County Council hopes lots of people will get tested if they feel they are at risk.

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Bid to boost web sales for shops

BID Leamington has launched a new initiative to assist independent retailers make the most of the boom online shopping.

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School disco bars are slammed by charity

Swanswell, the Warwickshire based recovery charity says having a bar at a school disco is wrong.

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Costs keep going up and up

Dear Sir:  I agree with Richard Dickson (‘HS2 isn’t a done deal’), KWN November 13.  Last week HS2 Ltd told the treasury that it had under-estimated the cost of HS2 (London to Birmingham) – not £19.6 billion, nor the previous estimate of £21.4 billion, but a whopping £30 billion…………………..writes Peter Shiels, Abbey End, Kenilworth

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Safety campaigner’s concern

A father from Warwick who has campaigned for road safety issues since he lost his son  in a road traffic accident is concerned that injuries and fatalities on the County’s roads is on the increase. Read more of this post

Local MP gives businesses an update from Whitehall

In a bid to keep business leaders up to date with how activity in Whitehall is likely to have an impact locally, MP Jeremy Wright for Kenilworth and Southam has met with them.

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School receives plaque for innovative projects

Blue Coat School in Coventry has been presented with a special plaque in recognition of the staff and students’ contribution to innovation STEM Projects.  The STEM Innovation Programme aims by improving outcomes for people learning science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and is supported by Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council.

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Throwing light on a serious issue

Dear Sir:  We are getting used to the dark evenings and driving home with lights on.  The frequency of accidents at this time seems to increase………………………writes Name and address supplied.

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Big business angered by ‘sting in the tail’ levy

In his Autumn Statement, the chancellor fleshed out the government’s apprenticeship levy and yesterday businesses had harsh words about the plan with the economic recovery still fragile.

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Freedom of Information: changing the law?

ParliamentThe Independent Commission on Freedom of Information is reviewing the law on Freedom of Information. Is it fit for purpose?  This note looks at the background to the issue, what is proposed and how people have responded.

Government orders all speed cameras to be painted yellow

Earlier this year, ministers ordered a review of speed camera policy on motorways and now every working speed camera on the strategic road network will be yellow within a year the government has announced.

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Cyclists in the dark over dangers

Dear Sir:  With the advent of dark mornings and early evenings I feel the time is right for me to highlight a major concern I have………………..writes Richard Rogers via email

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‘Don’t put more lives at risk with budget cuts’

Local authorities are being urged by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to keep road safety in mind in the face of potential further substantial cuts to funding.

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Very significant spending cuts to come, think tank warns

BBC“Very significant” government spending cuts will still be imposed before the next general election, an influential think tank has warned.  Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said that George Osborne’s Spending Review on Wednesday was “not the end of austerity”.

Very significant spending cuts to come, think tank warns

Updated: Central funding to halve by 2019-20

Local government Chronicle/LGCCentral government funding for local authorities will more than halve over the rest of the parliament, with councils potentially taking on responsibility for funding for public health, it has been announced.

Figures published alongside the chancellor’s autumn statement show the Department for Communities & Local Government’s local government budget, which funds revenue support grant, will fall by £6.1bn, from £11.5bn this year to £5.4bn in 2019-20.

Over the same period the government predicts locally generated income, from council tax and business rates, will increase by £6.3bn, to £35.1bn.

In his speech, the chancellor said the government’s reforms would mean “local government will be spending the same in cash terms as it does today”.

However, he also confirmed local government would be expected to deliver a greater range of services as the sector moved towards 100% retention of business rates by 2020.

This included the devolution of the temporary accommodation management fee, currently paid through the benefits system, to local government. This would be worth £10m a year, he said.

The blue book published alongside the statement says the government will consult on the move to full business rates retention including whether to “fully fund local authorities’ public health spending from their retained business rates receipts”. The public health grant was worth £2.5bn in 2015-16.

The document also says the government will look at how to “rebalance” local government finance to provide “support to those authorities with social care responsibilities”.

This could include a change in the distribution of business rates and new homes bonus in two tier areas.

Councils will also get powers to spend 100% of receipts from assets they sell, excluding through right-to-buy, while the chancellor said the government would also be encouraging councils to draw down on their reserves.

He added: “This amounts to a big package of new powers, but also new responsibilities for local councils.

“It’s a revolution in the way we govern this country.”

The LGA has calculated that taken together announcements in the spending review, including an additional £1.5bn for the better care fund, will mean a cut of £4.1bn over the parliament.

Local Government Association chair Lord Porter said even if councils stopped all but services for the most vulnerable they could not save enough money to plug the financial black hole they face by 2020.

He added: “This Spending Review was never about just spending less it was about spending smarter. Local government has led the way at finding innovative ways to save money but after five years of doing so the majority of savings have already made.

“Tragically, the Government looks set to miss a once in a generation opportunity to transform the way money is spent across the public sector and protect the services that bind communities together, improve people’s quality of life and protect the most vulnerable.”

Geoff Winterbottom, principal research officer for the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities, told LGC early calculations suggested Sigoma authorities would see cuts to their revenue support grant of 24% next year.

Mr Winterbottom said there appeared to be “quite a bit of smoke and mirrors” in the spending review announcements and dismissed the government’s claim that losses in grant would be “balanced out” by growth in business rates and council tax.

The chancellor also confirmed plans to allow social care authorities to levy a 2% precept on council tax to fund social care.

Neil Benn of Pixel Financial Management, advisers to many local authorities and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, told LGC that “on the face of it” the potential to raise additional income through council tax “changes the picture for upper tier authorities facing huge social care pressures”.

However, he said figures published by the Treasury and the Office of Budget Responsibility today did not match the figures usually reported for income generated through council tax and the local share of business rates, making it difficult to fully analyse the impact of the announcements.

Mr Benn also warned the spending review’s plans to provide funding for social care through a two-thirds cut in the new homes bonus and by rebalancing funding to support social care authorities suggested shire districts would be “hammered” in coming years.

£122m hotel and luxury lodges plan could create hundreds of jobs

An ambitious £122 million development plan has been unveiled by Warwickshire’s Dallas Burston Polo Club.  The plans would create hundreds of new jobs and seethe 600-acre Southam site become a holdiay destination with a new hotel and 100 luxury lodges.

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Limiting the impact

Dear Sir:  As a resident of Frankton – only about a mile away from Bourton (Advertiser last week) – I would like to add this village as being affected by the proposed plans for mineral extraction………………writes Name and Address supplied.

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Crashes prompt mum’s renewed safety campaign

Following two serious accidents last week along the Warwick Road, Stratford, resident Laura Murphy relived painful memories of losing the father of her child exactly three years before and is calling for more safety measures to be implemented.

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Adding to traffic woes

Dear Sir:  I recently attended a planning consultancy meeting at Rogers Hall; this was to outline proposed housing to be built off Lower Street in Hillmorton, and also the closure of Moors Lane to traffic………………writes Name and address supplied

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