DCSIMG

The Great House divide is clear

MP Kevin Barron

MP Kevin Barron

A recently published report by the Smith Institute highlights the ‘great house price divide.’

The report shows how house prices in England and Wales have changed in 179 areas over the past six years. Whilst in inner London prices have risen by more than 30%, in most other areas prices have fallen sharply – by 15% in the Midlands and by over 20% in the North. Across the country average prices are down by £15,000, placing some homeowners in negative equity. 

The report illustrates the house price gap between London and elsewhere. Since 2007 average house prices in England and Wales have fallen to around £166,000. In London they have risen to almost £400,000. The gap is widening as London’s share of the country’s property wealth increases. The report shows how the personal wealth of those who have lower value properties has been reduced and concludes that the rapid divergence in house prices constrains mobility, deters investment in new homes and local growth, risks a London-centric housing bubble and exacerbates wealth inequalities.

5th February 2014 marks the UK’s first National Voter Registration Day. The aim of the day is simple, to empower future generations of young people to realise that they have a say and a stake in decisions affecting their future. National Voter Registration Day aims to engage every young person, especially those furthest away from politics.

This annual day of co-ordinated action will see businesses, community groups and schools registering thousands of eligible young voters, showing them how and why they should take part in our democratic system - sparking their political journeys into local, national and globally-minded citizens.

The campaign organisers, Bite the Ballot, who are on a mission to inspire young Britons to embrace their democratic responsibilities, have created fantastic, free resources to run registration events.

For more e-mail team@bitetheballot.co.uk or to get the latest resources and videos from Bite the Ballot please visit www.nvrd.co.uk/takepart

Divorce is always a difficult time for children and families. Often, the conflict and confrontation caused by their parent’s divorce process is as traumatic for children as the separation itself.

Resolution’s members, some 6,500 family law professionals, follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems, in particular helping parents who are going through separation to put the needs of their children first. They help separating couples avoid conflict by trying to find solutions outside of a courtroom.

Recent polling shows that only 51% of people surveyed would consider trying a non-court-based solution instead of going to court if they were to divorce in the future.

Whilst legal aid is available for fewer cases since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act last year, many people are unaware that legal aid is still available for family mediation. This is demonstrated by the fact that, according to recent figures from the Ministry of Justice, publicly-funded mediation numbers have fallen by around 40% since April last year.

There are three things everyone can do when talking to people going through a separation: let them know there are alternatives to court, encourage them to talk to a professional about all their options to find the right solution for them and their families, and make sure they know that legal aid is still available for mediation.

‘Separating Together’ is Resolution’s new guide on alternatives to court for separating and divorcing couples. Visit www.resolution.org.uk/separatingtogether

 

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