Bath City

Met Office wind and rain weather warnings in Somerset as 70mph gusts and downpours forecast Bath City News

The Met Office has predicted flooding and disruption to public transport – including airplanes and ferries. Large waves have also been forecast in coastal areas

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 11:17:07


BRIGHTON AND HOVE: School closure petitions Brighton News

The council is holding a public consultation after announcing the proposed closure of St Peter’s Community School, in Portslade, and St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School, in Brighton.

Both schools’ petitions on the website have passed the threshold of 1,250 signatures to trigger a debate at a meeting of the full council next Thursday (14 December).

A week before the meeting, Reija Such’s petition to save St Bartholomew’s from closing had 1,887 signatures and Kirsty Moore’s petition to save St Peter’s had 1,676 signatures.

Ms Such’s petition said: “It (St Bartholomew’s) is a school who are committed to supporting pupils and families with additional needs.

“Closing it would deprive many of these children’s opportunities and it would have a detrimental impact for many of our families who rely on the support from the school.

“Children have had their education and their lives disrupted enough due to the pandemic. We do not need to add even more unnecessary and cruel uncertainty.”

Ms Moore’s petition said: “St Peter’s is not just a school, it’s an amazing community where teachers are kind, compassionate and understanding.

“The focus here is always on the families and children – an ethos that fosters well-mannered students who feel valued and supported.”

She said that small community schools like St Peter’s supported children with special educational needs but who did not have an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

As potential reception class pupil numbers plummet across Brighton and Hove, nine primary and infant schools are also facing a reduction in their published admission numbers (PAN) from 2025.

Consultations are under way for reduced intakes at Brunswick, Goldstone, Queen’s Park, Rudyard Kipling, St Luke’s, Stanford and Woodingdean primary schools and Patcham and Stanford infant schools from September 2025.

If all the proposals go ahead, this would be a reduction of 300 reception places – about two thirds of the 450 places that the council estimates need to go by 2026.

There are currently 2,610 primary school places in reception each year but the council forecasts that there may only be 1,959 children requiring a school place in 2025 and 1,948 in 2026.

Schools receive a set block of funding from the government through the “dedicated schools grant”, with the rest of its income based on the number of pupils.

If a school takes 34 pupils, it must employ two teachers and run two classrooms for them but with funding for only 17 pupils a class.

The trend of falling reception class numbers has led Brighton and Hove City Council to try to reduce intakes since 2019.

An early warning was given to councillors in September 2017 when schools were dealing with a much larger number of pupils but “bulge” year groups were moving on to secondary schools.

The 2021 census recorded 22 per cent fewer children under four in Brighton and Hove compared with the 2011 census – and the effect of this is already being felt in some schools.

In November 2019, councillors were asked to consult the community on reducing intakes by one class at Mile Oak and Hangleton primary schools, West Hove Infant School’s Connaught Road site and Hove Junior School, in Holland Road, from September 2021.

In September 2020, Balfour, Benfield, Brunswick, Goldstone, Moulsecoomb and West Blatchington primary schools and Downs and Stanford infant schools were all the subject of consultations on proposals to cut a class from September 2022.

Brunswick, Goldstone, Downs and Stanford successfully appealed to the school’s adjudicator, staving off the threat to the number of children who could be offered a place.

In November 2021, consultations were carried out on reducing the intake at Bevendean, Carden, Coldean, Queen’s Park, Rudyard Kipling, Saltdean and Woodingdean primary schools starting in September 2023.

Parents campaigned against the prospect of reductions and, in January last year, the council dropped the proposals.

The meeting of the full council is due to start at 4.30pm next Thursday at Hove Town Hall. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 09:44:39


Brighton student flats up for sale with £67m price tag Brighton News

The 450 apartments at 5 Circus Street are spread across four blocks, with rent starting at £239 each week, and a large amount of retail space available.

And while the flats are currently fully let and the scheme overall staying with Kaplan as student accommodation until 2040, owners Scape Living has put the complex up for sale.

“Brighton has one of the highest student rations of all university towns and cities across the UK,” said Merelina Sykes from sales agency Knight Frank.

READ MORE: Rockwater in Hove’s new ‘speakeasy’ style rooftop bar

“It means schemes like this one offer an excellent opportunity for investors, and we expect to strong interest following the launch.”

The complex comprises 81 studio flats, 366 en suite rooms and three one-bedroom flats, and was completed just three years ago. The build cost £70 million.

Current owners Scape are backed by Dutch investment group APG.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 11:15:00

UK News

More rail disruption today after thousands of passengers were stranded on trains for hours | UK News

Commuters are facing more disruption today on services to and from one of the UK’s busiest railway stations, after thousands of passengers were stuck on cold, dark trains for hours.

Damage was caused to overhead electricity wires after a train hit an obstruction outside London Paddington on Thursday night – meaning power had to be switched off.

Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and Elizabeth line services were all affected, with National Rail warning disruption will continue until the weekend.

Friday morning commuters were warned their journeys may be delayed by up to 90 minutes and urged to use alternative routes.

It comes on the final day of a wave of strikes by drivers in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of the ASLEF union on Northern Trains and TransPennine Express are walking out.

Both operators are set to cancel services, and the industrial action could also lead to knock-on disruption on Saturday.

Footage from last night showed people huddled in darkness as young children wailed – and eventually, trains were evacuated with passengers walking along railway tracks to safety.

One passenger said it felt like a “wartime” evacuation.

Passengers after being evacuated from trains at Paddington station in London on Thursday night. Pic: @mikeyworrall1

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Photo taken with permission from social media site X, formerly Twitter, posted by @mikeyworrall1 showing passengers after being evacuated from trains at Paddington station in London on Thursday evening. Damage to overhead electric cables continues to severely affect trains to and from the station. Issue date: Friday December 8, 2023.
Pic: @mikeyworrall1

Some reported being stuck for more than three hours while receiving no information from operators.

Singer James Blunt and TV presenter Rachel Riley were among those affected by the disruption.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 08:43:00


Britons expect inflation to remain above target in five years, says Bank of England survey Business

Thanks for joining me. The price of oil is on track for its worst slump in five years in a sign that petrol prices should be falling.

Brent crude is on track for a seventh consecutive weekly decline, its worst run since 2018, amid concerns about global demand and doubts over the commitment to supply cuts by members of the Opec+ cartel.

5 things to start your day 

1) Hunt and Sunak are to blame for forecasting errors, says OBR chief | Economic predictions could be off by as much as £30bn, warns Richard Hughes

2) Labour recruits City grandees as it declares it is ‘no longer sneering at business’ | Move aims to erase the anti-business era and shore up support in the Square Mile

3) Hunt’s Edinburgh Reforms are a ‘damp squib’, say MPs | Chancellor’s efforts to champion post-Brexit regulatory reforms remain ‘unconvincing’

4) Saudi Arabia turns to British expertise as it seeks to turn oil rich Kingdom into the next Dubai | The Gulf state races to build the infrastructure and attractions needed to draw visitors

5) Half of first-time buyers in their 20s get help from Bank of Mum and Dad | Young people getting on the property ladder are being gifted an average of £25,000

What happened overnight 

Asian shares were mostly higher on Friday ahead of a US government jobs report, after Wall Street rose Thursday to snap its first three-day losing streak since Halloween.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.7pc, or 550.45 points, to 32,307.86, as investors speculated that the Bank of Japan may end its negative interest rate policy.

Before meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda told parliament the central bank would face an “even more challenging” situation at the year’s end and in early 2024. 

The pound has fallen 0.2pc to 181 Japanese yen. It was trading above 188 yen in late November.

Updated data showed Japan’s economy shrank by 2.9pc year-on-year in the July-September quarter, worse than estimated earlier.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.3pc to 16,394.90 and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.4pc at 2,977.83. 

The Kospi in Seoul gained 1pc to 2,519.07. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2pc to 7190.70. India’s Sensex added 0.4pc and Bangkok’s SET gained 0.2pc.

In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.8pc to 4,585.59, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading American companies rose 0.17pc to 36,117.38. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.37pc to 14,339.99.

The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds rose to around 4.15pc, up three basis points. This came amid snetiment on Wall Street that the market had given too much credence to the idea that major central banks are gearing up to cut rates. This was fuelled by comments by Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda, who gave an indication that Japan could raise rates on December 19.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 10:04:39


Chris Wilder replaces Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United and assessing the promotion credentials of Leeds United and Middlesbrough – The YP FootballTalk Podcast Yorkshire News

THE go-to football show that covers all ELEVEN of Yorkshire’s Premier League and Football League clubs – Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers and Harrogate Town.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 09:22:55


Next-generation Nissan Qashqai EV to match current pricing Car News

Nissan has yet to reveal many technical details of the new Qashqai, although it will sit on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EF platform, a bespoke electric architecture designed for C- and D-segment cars. It is already used for the Renault Megane and Renault Scenic, and will also underpin the next-generation Nissan Juke and Nissan Leaf.

Battery packs for the next-gen Qashqai will be built in Sunderland, with Nissan partner AESC planning to build a third battery gigafactory at the site. Nissan and AESC are currently focused on lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry.

One key focus for the next Qashqai will be on maximising efficiency. Despite the sharp, angular styling of the Hyper Urban David Moss, Nissan’s European research and development chief, told Autocar that the firm has “paid a lot more attention to aerodynamics” than with previous models in a bid to maximise efficiency.”

Nissan has yet to confirm when the next Qashqai will arrive. Based on the current model’s lifecycle it would be expected in around 2029, although that could be adapted depending on the speed of electric car adoption. Nissan is aiming to only sell electric cars in Europe from 2030 onwards, while the UK will ban the sale of all new non-zero emission cars in 2035 – although a new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate will require firms to make an increasing percentage of their sales EVs before then.

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 08:39:53

UK News

Knit-and-natter at Elizabeth Lodge Enfield care home UK News

Elizabeth Lodge Care Home wants older people to meet its residents for ‘knit and natter’ Friday afternoon sessions from December 8, from 2.30pm.

They can chat with residents and staff about their memories while they knit a Christmas-themed jumper.

“We’re opening our doors because December can be a difficult month for many people,” Elizabeth Lodge manager Michelle Sampang said. “This is a chance to bring them together to get into the Christmas spirit and make new friends.”

The home in Pennington Drive has joined a ‘Care to Share’ programme for the festive season, among 100 Care UK homes taking part up and down the country, which also includes Christmas carols and watching a Christmas movie with mince pies.

Anyone interested can call Jaime Stubberfield on 0333-4343 024, or email

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This notice was published: 2023-12-07 14:00:00

UK News

Inside ‘tinseltown’ – where it’s Christmas all year round | UK News

With the Christmas season in full swing, the country is lit up by decorations and illuminations.

But there’s one Welsh town where it’s Christmas all year round.

Festive Productions Ltd is one of the biggest suppliers of Christmas decorations in the UK.

Sky News visited its base in Cwmbran, south Wales, which is located on a site measuring 250,000 square feet.

Its distribution office here has over 16,000 pallet spaces, and its showroom for Christmas 2024 has already opened.

No corner of the showroom is left undecorated, as baubles and bells, tinsel and trees span several rooms.

Each room is intricately decorated to fit a different theme, from candy cane colours to a winter wonderland extravaganza.

For fans of Christmas, it truly is a site to behold – a vibrant celebration of all the festive period’s beloved traditions.

Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Christmas decoration buying patterns have returned “towards normal” this year as energy costs eased, the company said.

It comes after UK inflation fell to a two-year low in November.

Jonathan Hughes is the company’s marketing director.

He told Sky News consumers this year were looking for “fairly traditional” items.

“Christmas lighting has made a bit of a comeback this year,” he said.

“Where people, with the cost of living crisis, have avoided some of those higher ticket items, they’re now looking to buy those again along with Christmas trees, artificial Christmas trees, which weren’t selling so much last year.”

Christmas decorations on display at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales
Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Not only are the decorations for next Christmas already on display, planning for the 2025 festive period is also under way.

Mr Hughes said the company analyses data to predict what kind of decorations consumers will be looking for.

“We use a variety of data sources, trend sources, which will look at the trends coming through from fashion, stationery, homewares, interiors and we’ll disseminate that information and use it within our Christmas…

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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 04:06:00