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News Report Page 8 of 35
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Rural landlords reject forced long term tenancies

RURAL landlords say forcing the private rented sector to offer long term tenancies would threaten the short term lettings market and reduce the availability of rented homes in the countryside. The Government is proposing to introduce a minimum 3 year contract for rental tenancies in a consultation published this week. The CLA whose members provide nearly 40% of all private rented housing in rural areas said the market does not need to force minimum contracts as rural lettings already provide a longer-term home for tenants. A survey of CLA members with residential lettings revealed that the average tenancy length in rural areas is 7.6 years, and more than a third have retained the same tenants for 10 years or more.  CLA Housing Adviser Matthew O'Connell said:- "The private rented sector has substantially increased and people are renting for longer, but the current legislative framework already offers opportunities for longer tenancies which meet the needs of both landlords and tenants across the rural market. Overly prescriptive tenancy lengths could be highly disruptive to the rural economy, threatening the short term lettings market for seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism. An excessive regulatory burden could also lead to potential long term rental homes being lost as landlords opt to let them as holiday accommodation or sell, further reducing the supply of rented homes for those struggling to get on the housing ladder."

Letters to the Editor:- "Help more young people leaving care to secure an education, employment or training"

"AS Local Authorities start work on publishing their new local offer of services for care leavers, Barnardo's is calling on them to carefully consider what can be done to help more young people who have left care to secure an education, employment or training. Statistics and our own experience show us that young people who have been in care are less likely to be in education, training or employment than those who have not been in care. Overall 40% of 19 to 21 year old care leavers in England were not in education, employment or training in 2017, compared to 13% of all 19 to 21 year olds. The number of looked after children has also increased significantly in recent years at the same time as Local Authority budgets have been cut, with 37,720 care leavers aged 17 to 21 in England in March 2017.  In 2016 to 2017, Barnardo's supported more than 3,200 children who had left care and our research found that the main barriers to employment were a lack of qualifications and experience, the stigma of having been in care and mental health issues.  The new requirement on Local Authorities to publish their offer of services available to care leavers provides a perfect opportunity to revisit whether they are doing enough to support these young people into education, employment or training. Whilst we recognise central Government needs to provide increased resources, Local Authorities need to rise to this challenge too. Barnardo's believes Local Authorities should commission improved quality services across the system as part of their local offer for care leavers, including advice on employment, training and skills, access to a range of suitable accommodation options, and to support with preparation for independent living guided by well-trained personal advisors available to each young person. If young people leaving care are to go on and succeed in life then it is imperative that they get the support they need to get a job or access training. We know at Barnardo's that with the right help and a bit of belief those leaving care can achieve hugely positive futures for themselves." Lynn Perry, Director for Barnardo's, North West

Summit being held to discuss knife crime

IT will draw together all of the work being carried out by partners across the City and look at ways in which it can be further developed and improved, following recent high profile fatal stabbings. At the meeting, a new campaign - 'Real Men Don't Carry Knives' will be launched to complement Merseyside Police's 'No More Knives' initiative.

Mayor Anderson said:- "We're all well aware of recent high profile cases in which innocent people have tragically lost their lives as a result of knife crime. It's important to stress that Liverpool City Centre is 1 of the safest in the country and our Purple Flag status which recognises our safe, clean and well managed City Centre and night time economy nationally. But even 1 person being killed or injured by a knife is one too many and we need to educate people and make it clear that carrying any kind of weapon like a knife is unacceptable. A lot of good work has been done, and continues to happen in the city but I want us to better co-ordinate and prioritise activities and maximise resources to tackle the issues. I want all agencies, from the Police and the Council down to Schools and community groups, to work together to look at what more we can do to educate people that carrying knives has to stop."

Knife Crime Workshops are being organised in Youth Centres across the City, with Schools, Boxing Clubs and Offenders also being targeted.

In addition, more than 20 Secondary Schools across Liverpool are hosting Rob Jackson, a nurse clinician at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, for a powerful and graphic presentation about the repercussions of knife crime, and to discuss with pupils the risks and consequences of carrying blades.

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