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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 14:28 GMT
Housing stock
Houses
Housing Association tenants get upgrades

Many of Britain's Council estates are in very poor condition, and need millions spent on making them properly habitable.

The Government has set aside funds for the purpose - but will only release it if council tenants vote to leave local authority control and come under a housing association or similar institution.

For years tenants groups and the Labour left have been fighting for another option - getting the money for refurbishment, but staying within council control.

Now campaigners detect signs the government is softening its stance - agreeing to set up a policy group to look into the issue. Ministers say there is no u-turn, however.

The Politics Show got to the bottom of the issue.

Chris Huhne
Chris Huhne

Dark horse

The bookies now make previously little-known Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne the favourite to succeed Charles Kennedy as party leader when the members' ballot is announced in a couple of weeks.

What has Mr Huhne said or done to catapult him to such prominence? Jon Sopel interviewed him live.

Scottish care

In a residential care home on the English-Scottish border, the majority the elderly residents are paying some 450 a week to stay there.

The remainder are paying 210 a week less - because they are Scottish, and their personal care costs are paid by the Scottish Executive.

It is one of the biggest differences which has arisen since devolution - and a similar discrepancy may arise in Wales too.

It is hard on the older people who lose out - but is the Scottish approach actually affordable for the Exchequer, or a sensible use of limited public funds?

Max Cotton investigated.

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