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CLA critical of change to compulsory purchase orders

THE CLA (Country Land and Business Association) has strongly criticised new measures allowing Councils to buy land for development through the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) without paying hope value. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has this week announced new reforms that will enable local authorities to buy cheaper land to help build social and affordable homes. The measures will remove hope value in certain circumstances where CPOs are being used and make it cheaper for Councils to build.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President Victoria Vyvyan said:- "More affordable housing is desperately needed, but removing hope value from compulsory purchases is tantamount to asking farmers to bear the cost of fixing a housing crisis they didn't cause. I very much doubt that the house builders who will be contracted by Councils to do the work will be taking a lower profit, so once again farmers will be the only part of the supply chain to lose out. Allowing under resourced local authorities to force landowners to sell their land without hope value will harm the viability of many farms. Farmers are already hard-pressed, and compulsory purchase of land at a knock down price, will undermine their business. Many CLA members would willingly put forward land for affordable housing development were it not for the expensive, slow and bureaucratic planning system. The relative cost of hope value versus total project costs is not significant enough to increase housing delivery."

Let us know your thoughts on this news topic... Email our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:- Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

Concern over HSE's decision to stop farm inspections

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently announced it will halt agri compliance inspections, a decision which the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP) has said could have major repercussions and pose significant risks to the health and safety of agricultural workers within the farming sector.

The FSP is made up of a variety of organisations, including:- the CLA, with a responsibility to promote and encourage safe systems of work within all sectors of agriculture. The partnership's work is underpinned by the Farm Safety Charter, which taps into the expertise of all organisations that have agricultural interests, including:- training providers, membership organisations and machinery dealers.

As former chair of the Farm Safety Partnership, CLA Deputy President Gavin Lane said:- "Farming has an unenviable record of being the most dangerous industry in the UK. While we have seen some improvements in recent years, too many farmers are still being injured or killed so it is concerning that the HSE is withdrawing from farm inspections. The whole industry must be involved in improving our poor safety record, from manufacturers to the Government to farmers themselves."

Ministers trigger review of CQC inspection regime

ON 8 May 2024 Care England said that it:- "welcomes the announcement that ministers are reviewing the CQC's new inspection regime..." the Single Assessment Framework. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England says:- "The announcement of the ministerial review is the 1st step towards progress, but for it to be deemed a success, we need action. It is vital that the review spans all the sectors regulated by the CQC, including:- not just healthcare, but social care too. The NHS is already treated differently by the regulator, so it is imperative this disparity does not extend to the review conducted by Government. We have heard concerns from providers about a number of issues, including the CQC's over reliance on outdated data, the lack of transparency in their regulatory approach, and vast inconsistencies between assessments. It would be remiss of the review not to examine these issues carefully."

HMRC app speeds up student loan applications

WITH many A level students in the North West planning their next steps in life, those starting university in September can:- 'tap the app' to get National Insurance and tax information they need to complete their student finance applications, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

Anyone applying for a student loan for the 2024/25 academic year is encouraged to start their application now and to get the essential details they need, including their:- National Insurance (NI) number, quickly and easily via the HMRC app.

HMRC data shows that in the 12 months to March 2024, more than 112,000 customers called the National Insurance Helpline asking for a lost or forgotten NI number of which nearly 50% were from customers aged between:- 16 and 20. It also shows May was the busiest month with more than 6,400 young people calling the helpline for their NI number, coinciding with students applying for their student loans.

HMRC is encouraging students to save time by downloading the free and easy to use HMRC app for instant access to the details they need.

Suzanne Newton, HMRC's Director General for Change Delivery said:- "Getting your NI number is simple with a tap of HMRC's app and young people should take advantage of it. Download the HMRC app today straight from your phone's app store to get all the info you need quickly and easily."

As well as their NI number, students applying for finance will also need:-

  • A working email address.

  • A bank account in their own name.

  • A valid UK passport.

  • Course details.

Students can also apply for finance to help with cost of living expenses. How much they receive is dependent on household income; as well as where they live while they study. Parents or the partner of students will also need to have their NI number to hand. Visit:- Gov.UK for more information.

Any details missing from an application could cause a delay and may mean a delay in receiving any loan payments in time for the start of the students' course so it's important to keep essential details to hand.

Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association said:- "Downloading details from the HMRC app will speed up the process of applying for a student loan. Preparing for higher education can be a time consuming process for sixth form students so we are pleased this will help to reduce the administrative burden on young people."

Searching for NI information is 1 of the most popular searches on the HMRC app with almost:- 900,000 views within the last year, and more than:- 430,000 National Insurance card downloads to customers' digital wallets. It is available and easy to access whenever they need it.

Let us know your thoughts on this news topic by emailing our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:- Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

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