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Eric Pickles MP

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

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Stories involving Eric Pickles

Emergency £100m council tax fund

Councils are to receive a £100m emergency fund to try to avert a crisis when new rules governing local authority funding are introduced next year. Some authorities have said changes to the way the Government distributes council tax receipts and local government grants means the working poor will be forced to pay council tax as money for exemptions dries up.


£2.3bn in council tax uncollected

Around £2.3bn worth of council tax is currently going unpaid, data released by local authorities has shown. In Liverpool almost £107m is owed in council tax, while Birmingham has arrears worth more than £96m, and Manchester nearly £49m. Several London Boroughs are also owed upwards of £30m.


Pickles: PM is doing a 'fine job'

Eric Pickles has said David Cameron is doing a "fine job" as Prime Minister and is the "most successful leader" the Conservative Party has had since Margaret Thatcher.

However, he admitted the Coalition had gone through a "difficult time" in the last few days with the controversy over advice to motorists and the taxation of hot food such as pasties.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Telegraph, the Communities Secretary also defended the controversial 'granny tax' on pensioners, insisting that most "won't be affected" and that "pensioners are in a much stronger position now than they have ever been".


Sue councils who block planning - Pickles

Eric Pickles has urged residents to sue their local council if they block extensions in people's gardens. Local authorities have in some cases been resistant to the Coalition's plans to encourage house extensions as part of their construction stimulus package. Mr Pickles has intervened, saying he is "surprised" at this resistance, and that residents will be able to seek damages if their council does so.


Pickles seizes on council 'rich list'

Eric Pickles says details of high wages at local authorities shows there is still room to crack down on "dodgy pay deals and boomerang bosses" at councils. The Communities Secretary was responding to research from the Taxpayers' Alliance which found that over 3,000 council staff were earning over £100,000 a year. Labour's Hilary Benn said the Conservative Party needed to "get their house in order" as the research showed nine out of ten of "top town hall earners" were employed by Tory councils.


Pickles warns of non-English 'sub-class'

Immigrants who are not taught to speak English "like a native" face life as members of an unemployable "sub-class", Eric Pickles has said.

In an exclusive interview with PoliticsHome's sister publication The House magazine, the Communities Secretary said the Government wanted people to speak adequate English, adding that there would be a £10m grant to help teach immigrants.

Labour have criticised Mr Pickles' language, with Hilary Benn saying he should be "thinking of practical ways to ensure that anyone settling in this country is able to speak English rather than talking about sub-classes".