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Issue:- Thursday, 11 August 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 2.

Help for 1st time buyers isn't enough, says Southport lawyer

MORE help for 1st time buyers in the North West is needed, according to a Southport residential property law expert. Michael Foxford, partner at Cambridge Road based Birchall Blackburn Law, said people are struggling to get on the housing ladder due to a number of reasons and existing initiatives don't go far enough to help. His comments come following a report from the Resolution Foundation which revealed home ownership in England has fallen to the lower levels in 30 years. The report, based on analysis of the latest Labour Force Survey, showed in early 2016 only 58% of households in Greater Manchester were homeowners, compared with a peak of 72% in 2003. In outer London, the peak in ownership came earlier, in 2000, but the fall was also from 72% then to 58% in February. The West Midlands and Yorkshire have also seen double digit drops, driven by declines in Sheffield and Leeds.  Michael also said more houses need to be built; to meet the demand for 1st time buyers as well as the rest of the buying market.  Michael said:- "For many becoming a home owner is just a dream with little chance of ever becoming a reality. For instance, many who rent don't have the means to also save up for a deposit and some people don't earn enough to be able to put aside the large sums needed. While the Help to Buy ISA does benefit some people, the feedback we are seeing is people need this to go further, perhaps with increased bonuses. There's also the shared ownership scheme under the Help to Buy banner where you can buy a share of your home and pay rent on the remaining share, and while these schemes do support people, more needs to be done if we're ever to see home ownership get back to their previous levels. Aside from this more houses need to be built; we need more affordable homes for people on ordinary incomes sooner rather than later."

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A property in Bootle is closed by court order

MERSEYSIDE Police have been granted a closure order against a property on Wadham Road, Bootle, following reports of anti social behaviour. On Friday, 5 August 2016, Merseyside Police successful obtained a full closure order on 102 Wadham Road, at South Sefton Magistrates Court. The property has since been boarded up and will remain subject of a closure order for 3 months, expiring on 4 November 2016. Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Jones said:- "We can confirm that a full closure order has been put in place at an address on Wadham Road. The order was applied for by the local neighbourhood policing team, working in partnership with Sanctuary Housing, in response to repeated incidents of anti social and violent crime brought to our attention by members of the community. The complaints received included incidents of anti social behaviour, intimidation, drug taking and several assaults linked to the address and nearby South Park. The order was approved in South Sefton Magistrates Court and means the occupants are removed and nobody can enter the premises for 3 months. Anyone, other than those specified in the order, found to be on the premises will be subject to arrest. We used this power in an effort to reduce the level of crime reported in the area of South Park and to allow the local residents of Bootle to enjoy the quality of life that they are entitled to. The order will run for 3 months and will be reviewed by officers at its conclusion. The property was associated with anti social behaviour in the area and appeared to have become a hub for local gangs in the area. We will continue to target offenders and any properties associated with them who continue to cause problems for the community, and we will do this using all lawful powers available to us in order to make Bootle a safer and more peaceful place to live. This closure order was only made possible due to the assistance of the local community and the close working relationship between the police and Sanctuary Housing. We will continue to be robust in tackling criminal activity and anti social behaviour and I would encourage any members of the community who have any information to call us via our:- 101 number or through Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111."

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