Councils to have wide-ranging powers in private rented housing?

The Local Government Chronicle reports on a parliamentary inquiry which has said that councils should gain wide-ranging powers in the private rented housing sector. These would include powers to improve the sector’s standards, easier imposition of licensing schemes, fixed penalty fines for breaches of housing conditions and recovery of housing benefit from offending landlords. The committee’s report called for councils to be able to recover housing benefit paid to any landlord convicted of letting property below legal standards, using the cash raised to finance their enforcement work.  This is what Brent's proposal to register private landlords aims to achieve.

Post boxes

Has anyone noticed that red post boxes have been newly painted? Now light and bright with no graffiti. Maybe being paid for by the excessive profit made from the sale of Royal Mail?