Lunchtime news May 31

The Home Office has confirmed plans to include closure orders in the upcoming Criminal Justice Bill. The new powers will enable local authorities and the police to temporarily close and seal the homes of anti-social home owners and tenants.

The Rural Housing Advisory Group has held its first meeting chaired by Housing Corporation board member Candy Atherton and pledged not to be just a talking shop.

Confusion reigns over house prices. The Express interprets new figures released by the Land Registry as proof that prices are ‘continuing to soar.’ Meanwhile the Mail translates the same data as evidence that the house price boom is over.

The Telegraph chooses the middle ground reporting that prices in London are on the up, whilst the rest of the country is experiencing a dip. Good news, reports the Times, if you live in London, as this price hike is pushing drug dealers out into the suburbs.

Matthew Parris leaps to the defence of Ruth Kelly, praising her stalwart defence of HIPS in the face of universal criticism.

Figures from the Registry Trust show that the number of people who had a county court judgment served on them for non payment of debts approached a 10-year high in the first three months of this year.