News in Brief:

Property rents rise

AVERAGE property rental prices in Sheffield are at their highest level this year, according to estate agent Haybrook.

The average rent rose 2% to £580.37 in August and the company expects rents to break through the £600 a month barrier before the end of the year.

Monthly prices range from £295 for a one-bedroom flat in Eckington to £2,495 for a six-bedroom detached house in Brincliffe.

Lettings manager Sharon Jackman said: “There is a very active lettings market in Sheffield with many of the properties being taken as soon as they appear. I would expect rents to rise even higher in the coming months given the current level of demand.”

New hotel opens

SHEFFIELD’S latest hotel – a 161-bedroom Holiday Inn Express in the city centre – will be officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on Wednesday. Civic and business leaders will attend the opening ceremony.

Director Hermann Beck said the “magnificent” hotel, which overlooks the River Don, will “greatly boost economic activity” and help the city compete for large national conferences at the adjacent Holiday Inn Royal Victoria.

Police chief’s top job

BRIGHTSIDE and Hillsborough MP and former Home Secretary David Blunkett has welcomed the appointment of Bernard Hogan-Howe – a former South Yorkshire police officer and chief constable of Merseyside – as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

“He’s a really good guy,” said Mr Blunkett. “He went to Hinde House School in Brightside, a Sheffielder through and through. He has done a tough job in South Yorkshire, true to Merseyside and is an excellent appointment.

“I hope he will be able to use some of that Sheffield steel to stand up to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and to bring that grit and common sense to bear with what everyone these days is calling ‘tough love’.”

Tesco store relaunch

THE Tesco Express on West Street on the edge of Sheffield city centre will relaunch as a bigger Tesco Metro on Monday with a £500 donation to both the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Factory fire contained

FIREFIGHTERS spent five hours preventing a blaze from spreading from an industrial unit next to the former Stanley Tools complex off Rutland Road, Neepsend, in the early hours of Monday.

The cause of the fire was initially unknown.