Society 

Zero-hour rise fuels Midlands jobs growth

Controversial zero-hours labour accounts for the vast majority of jobs growth in the region, we can reveal. The latest employment figures from the ONS have revealed that 23,000 more people in the East Midlands are in work compared to the same period last year (July to September). The DWP has lauded the rise, also claiming employment of women reached a record high. But the vast majority of growth can be attributed to a comparable rise in zero hours contracts. Since the third quarter of 2015, the number of the precarious…

Read More
FOI Society 

Tory housing mission has become the ‘right-to-buy-to-let’

Buyers of council properties have been slammed for “milking the system” after figures revealed almost half of all state-owned flats sold under the right-to-buy scheme in Ashfield and Mansfield have ended up in the private rented market. Rather than provide a low-cost option for poorer families to get onto the housing ladder as touted by the government, an investigation shows the scheme has, in some cases, been lining the coffers of private landlords. A Freedom of Information request made to both district councils revealed 269 leasehold properties, usually flats, have…

Read More
Society 

WORSE THAN ZERO HOURS: The true revelation from the Sports Direct enquiry

‘No workers are on zero hours contracts,’ says Mike Ashley. He might not be lying, but in truth they’re on something worse. • £11,000 annual cost per agency worker (actual salary unknown) • 76 ambulances called to the Shirebrook site in two years • 10 days guaranteed work per employee on ‘exploitative’ 336 contracts • Six years spent on zero-hours contracts for some workers   Sports Direct has pervaded a ‘culture of fear’ at its Shirebrook warehouse, where workers are too scared to take sick leave, raise grievances and forced…

Read More
Society 

‘Our son has been left to rot for a decade on minor charges’

‘We have to see him in prison and walk away from him, leaving him there to rot for something silly he did 10 years ago.’ The family of the Sutton man who has been imprisoned for over a decade on a low-level charge have told of their pain to see him trapped in jail – calling the system ‘disgusting’. James Ward was only 18 when he made a terrible mistake and attacked another person. He was handed a 10-months sentence in 2006 but has been in prison for over 10…

Read More
Exclusive Society 

Homeless face danger of burnouts in ‘wars over territory’

The level of homelessness in Mansfield may be putting rough sleepers in danger as a war over territory results in violence. In a new investigation by the Chad we reveal that homelessness is not only much higher than stated by local authorities, but Mansfield attracts rough sleepers from other areas. Andy Warne, pictured, is one of a number of homeless people coming from other areas in search of help. Inconsistency in homelessness prevention services around the country may be driving rough sleepers to migrate in search of sympathetic councils, and…

Read More
Exclusive Society 

LOVE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The woman who couldn’t bare to leave her abusive husband

Even though a man might control every aspect of your life and break you down emotionally – domestic abuse victims will tell you they couldn’t leave their husbands even if they had the opportunity. In this special report, Nicholas Charity discovers how victims of domestic abuse are trapped, controlled, and sometimes forced into a life of crime by their abuser. But as survivor Sharon tells, fleeing isn’t easy, and sometimes you don’t even want to. Three women and a very small man sit around a table. It’s the ladies’ seminar…

Read More