Sky high housing
costs leave 62% of renters stuck in 'rent trap'
62% of private renters in
the North are stuck in the 'rent trap' and unable to put any
money towards a deposit for a home of their own, according to new
figures from Shelter. The report shows that the 'rent trap'
is gripping people across the country, with 5 million renters in
England unable to save towards a home of their own. And things are
only getting worse; years the proportion of renters in the country
who are not saving anything towards a deposit has jumped by 13%.
The charity is warning that sky high rents and swelling house prices
are leaving millions priced out and unable to put anything aside for
a home of their own. Recent figures from LSL Property Services
showed that people in the North East are paying an average of £515
per month on their rent, with people in the North West paying an
average of £601 per month.
Shelter's Chief Executive, Campbell Robb, said:- "With the 'rent trap' taking hold of young people and families across the
North, the prospect of a stable home is becoming a distant dream for
far too many. Instead they're facing a lifetime of moving from one
unstable and expensive rental property to the next.
Successive governments' failure to build enough affordable homes has
left a generation burdened with sky high rents and soaring house
prices, with many struggling to make ends meet; let alone save for
Politicians must meet people half way by taking real action to build
the affordable homes this country desperately needs, and give 'generation rent' the chance to put down roots in a place they can
call home. If they don't, things are only going to get worse for
Ami, 26, said:- "It's incredibly demoralising that so much of
our money is just eaten up on rent. No matter how hard you work or
what you earn, at the end of the month there's virtually nothing
left to put towards a deposit. And with the little money that my
husband and I can put aside, it would take us decades to save
Like any mother, I just want my daughter to have a secure future –
one where we have our own place to put down roots. But with house
prices going up and up it's getting harder and harder to keep that
dream alive. At this rate, I don't see how we'll ever be able to
afford a home of our own."
View - Take part in survey to help improve bus services
MERSEYTRAVEL Chair talks about the current
Passenger Focus Bus Passenger Survey and the importance of gathering
the views of Merseyside's travelling public.
Liam Robinson, Merseytravel Chair:- "The annual Passenger
Focus Bus Travel Survey is currently being handed out to passengers
across the country and this is your chance to make your views
Passenger Focus is the independent watchdog that aims to get the
best deal for passengers by working with the industry, passenger
groups and national and local government to see improvements made.
It has a loud voice within the transport sector but it needs your
views to help change things for the better.
On Merseyside bus travel accounts for around 137 million passenger
journeys each year, so responses to this survey are important in
updating us, and the operators, about things like the ease of
planning your journey, the facilities and information provided at
the bus stop, the helpfulness and driving standards of drivers, and
the cleanliness and condition of the bus. The survey results also
help us to compare our services against other towns and cities in
Bus fares are another hot topic. In a recent Passenger Focus Survey,
49% weren't satisfied with Value for Money for the cost of distance
travelled. With the commercial fare structures that operate across
Merseyside and the level of fares, a bus ticket bought for a
'short hop' of just a mile or so on a commercial route at £2.20
can cost the same as a journey from Bootle to Aigburth. This
concerns us at Merseytravel, it's something we're working to address
and it's another area where you can have your say.
More broadly, bus patronage across the North of England has declined
markedly during the past decade. These surveys help provide us with
an evidence base to call for change to make the bus a transport mode
of choice, rather than a last resort. London's locally controlled
bus system, responsive to customer need, is enjoying a year on year
increase in passenger numbers.
In Merseyside last year 27% of you handed a survey filled it in and
returned it. While these responses were incredibly useful, it would
be great if even more people could take part.
This year's survey
runs until 30 November 2014, so if you are offered a copy please do
complete and return it to the free post address.
addiction causing relationship woes
NEW research has revealed
the North West is full of mobile-phone addicts, so lost without
their phones that it's causing problems in their relationships.
The survey of 1000 people commissioned by MusicMagpie found that 38%
of couples in the North West bicker about the amount of time spent
on their mobile phones, with 10% admitting they frequently argue
about it. As a result, 25% of people actively hide how much they use
their phone from their partner.
When on a romantic break or date night, a shocking 85% admitted they
wouldn't leave their phones at home. The majority (70%) claimed it
would only be used in an emergency, but 9% said they'd want to share
details with friends. 5% said they'd take their phone on a date in
case they got bored. However, 29% felt that it was their
partner who used their mobile phone too much; suggesting
phone-addicted Brits could be in denial.
Toni Mackenzie, Psychotherapist at Inner Depths, said:- "Over
recent years, mobile phones have become psychologically addictive
for many users, and not just the younger generation. While they can
be an extremely useful communication tool and source of information,
they can also lead to users switching off from reality, missing out
on what's actually going on around them, and getting lost in cyber
world. When someone is engrossed in sending and receiving texts and
messages for a period of time, virtually ignoring the person they
are actually with, they are choosing to give their attention to
someone else. They may not intend to be rude or disrespectful, but
they are in fact giving out an unspoken message that the person they
are with is less important and not deserving of their full
attention. When this happens on an ongoing basis, friends and
partners feel neglected and devalued and consequently relationships
The research also looked into personal mobile phone usage, with 25%
of survey respondents admitting they check their phone at least once
an hour, while 3% check their phone as often as every 5 minutes.
The study also found it's the younger generation who are most
addicted, with 26% admitting they would rather give up chocolate,
17% would rather give up alcohol and 14% would rather give up sex
instead of curbing their mobile phone addiction.
Liam Howley from musicMagpie, a recommerce site which helps people
de-clutter by buying old items like mobile phones, said:-
"Mobile phones are now a huge part of our lives. Even when we stop
using our old phones because they've been replaced by a newer model,
we still can't bear to part with them, as each house on average has
three unused phones lying around."
To help people test and compare their mobile phone addiction
musicMagpie has created an
online quiz .
Liam added:- "The quiz is a fun way to determine how addicted
people are to their phone and perhaps settle a few arguments between
Toni Mackenzie's tips for weaning yourself
off your Smartphone
1. Gradually leave bigger gaps between checking your messages or
social media posts. If you normally check every 15 minutes, make it
once an hour, if every hour, leave it for 2 to 3 hours etc. Build up to
only checking 2 or 3 times a day. You can let friends/work
colleagues know in advance that you're going to be doing this and
that if there's an emergency where they need an urgent response from
you, they can call you.
2. If you think you'll get bored without your phone to turn to,
think of ways you can fill your time instead. Read a book or listen
to music when you're travelling on public transport or waiting
around. You could also make better use of your time learning a new
skill or doing some exercise.
3. In social situations, only use your phone if you're sharing
something with the people you're with; looking up information or
posting a social media post that includes your friends.
4. Don't check your phone when you're on a date, or with someone
you're meant to be spending one to one time with. Focus on whoever
you are with and give them your full attention.
5. Be fully present and start to appreciate being in the 'here
and now'. Take notice of what's going on around you, connecting with
real people in the real world.