Bedford & County hand out Christmas trophies for winning golfers Bedford News

Bedford & County Golf Club have handed out the trophies for their Christmas competitions.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 15:42:11


Chris Wilder hoping Sheffield United will see a better Oli McBurnie after striker's record-breaking equaliser Yorkshire News

Chris Wilder says he thinks Oli McBurnie has returned home from his winter break a better player than he left after the striker scored the latest goal in Premier League history.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 17:39:24


Porsche 911 Dakar Review (2024) Car News

In terms of top speed, you have to wind the clock back 41 years to the 1983 3.0-litre SC to unearth a 911 with a top speed lower than that of the Dakar.

But acceleration? That’s a different matter. We tested the car on a near-freezing cold day, when the traction potential of its all-terrain tyres would have been quite limited on Millbrook’s patchily damp asphalt, and yet by engaging its launch control function, the Dakar still turned in a 0-60mph time of just 3.3sec and burst into triple figures after only 7.6sec.

This makes it quicker than the Carrera S we tested in far kinder conditions in 2019, and even the recently retired R35 Nissan GT-R.

One has to assume that with ultra-high-performance summer tyres fitted, and in warmer conditions, the Dakar would get close to a 0-60mph time of 3.0sec – the current boundary for true supercar-grade performance. So don’t be fooled by the cartoonish looks: this is a truly rapid 911.

For those who want to indulge in casual competition activities, or who simply want to have some fun off road, the Dakar also has a specific Rallye launch control mode for loose surfaces, which permits up to 20% wheel slip. 

As for personality, the Dakar is closely matched to the Carrera 4 GTS on which it is based. There is a touch more squat under initial acceleration and dive during hard braking, but not as much as you might expect in either regard, and the rapidity with which the eight-speed PDK gearbox switches cogs is as spectacular as ever.

The effectiveness of this twin-turbo unit, whose boost grips the chassis and flings it forward early in the rev range, is matched by a surprisingly soulful top-end wail. It’s a fine match for the Dakar, with a broad band of torque and power paying dividends off road, where the car’s attitude can be adjusted at will.

Lastly, a word on braking performance. We were able to find a dry stretch of surface to perform brake tests and, predictably, the Dakar’s all-terrain tyres hampered it. Our car took 45.1m to haul up from 70mph. By comparison, the Carrera S took 39.8m and a Turbo S (on a summer’s day, admittedly) a mere 38.3m.

On the road, it pays to be aware of the Dakar’s limitations in this respect, and you are unlikely to forget about it because the initial pedal response has a somewhat woolly feel. Note also that the Dakar comes with model-specific cast-iron discs because Porsche’s carbon-ceramic alternatives don’t fit inside the wheels.

Off-road notes 

Investigate the online forums and you will see Dakar owners are taking their cars down impressively challenging trails that would usually provide a light workout for something like a Jeep Wrangler.

Clearly, the Dakar’s all-terrain tyres, Cayenne- style ground clearance (when the suspension struts are extended) and 16mm-shorter front overhang compared with the regular 911 aren’t just for show, and while the underside isn’t entirely panelled, there is a fairly comprehensive level of protection that even extends to individual suspension links. The front rads also have specific stone-chip protection.

Our test car acquitted itself well on the perimeter road of Millbrook’s off-road course. Its wheel articulation allowed reasonable speeds to be sustained over rutted terrain without fear of damaging the underbody.

More notable still is the nature of the steering, which is precise on the road yet doesn’t have the rim writhing around when the going gets tough.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 08:56:18

UK News

Is TfL introducing ‘dynamic pricing’ on to the Tube? UK News

It comes as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, shared that ‘dynamic pricing’ could be introduced as Transport for London (TfL) has been considering the idea.

Khan shared that the change in fares would be to encourage more people to use the London transport system following the decline since the pandemic. 

However, the Mayor added that there may not be enough time to introduce dynamic pricing ahead of the annual fare increase.

National rail fare will rise by 4.9% from March 3, whilst TfL fare rise for 2024 is expected to be confirmed soon, it’s understood that London transport costs will increase to 4%, according to The Standard.

Will TfL be introducing dynamic pricing to the Tube?

Currently, travellers on the Tube have to pay peak fare prices from 6.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 7pm on weekdays.

Sadiq Khan was previously asked by Lib-Dem member of the London Assembly, Caroline Pidgeon, about the potential use of dynamic pricing, as the Mayor responded: “Those are some of the options that TfL are looking into.

“I have not made a decision in relation to what is doable in the short period of time we have got.

“We are getting numbers back but you are right to look into the question of times of day, parts of London and so forth.”

Khan added that the budget committee was looking into peak and off-peak prices, however, some have shared that while Tube fares could increase, London buses should remain low.


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Passenger watchdog London TravelWatch shared with The Standard that keeping bus fares low should be a priority after TfL previously increased bus fares by 10p: “If TfL does match the national rail fares hike, we believe it’s very important that bus fares are kept as low as possible (even if some other modes are increased).

“That’s because more people use the bus every day in London than any other type of transport, and they’re most used by lower-income Londoners.

“Further price hikes would not be fair and might deter people from using public transport.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 05:00:00

UK News

ITV Vera's Brenda Blethyn confirms drama's future with four word reply before announcement UK News

ITV Vera’s lead star Brenda Blethyn has spoken out to assure fans that the much loved drama will be back

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 22:11:00

UK News

Primary school forced to close five times in three months due to ‘failing’ £358k heat pump | UK | News UK News

A faltering heat pump forced a school to shut its doors five times in under three months, leaving parents exasperated as they claim they’ve been forced to collect their children with little notice.

Kingsnorth Primary in Ashford, Kent received its first pump – a type of ultra-efficient gas boiler alternative designed to be more environmentally friendly – in summer 2023.

Officials installed the units as part of a government initiative to cut school carbon emissions in Kent, but the plans have not panned out as hoped.

The failing pumps have left classes without power and heating on several occasions, forcing teachers to send pupils home.

The persistant failures have enraged parents, many of whom have complained about having to leave full-time jobs to come and collect their children on short notice.

Kingsnorth was first forced to close early on November 30 last year when gas and electricity stopped working and staff were unable to provide food for the children.

A second failure followed just over a week later on December 6, forcing another all-day closure, with a third, fourth and fifth happening in quick succession on January 10, 11 and 12 this year.

Parents have claimed they were only informed of these decisions with “random messages”, one mum said, with another saying they were “getting annoyed” at the short notice.

The mum, who asked not to be named, said: “Whenever there is an issue, we get random messages during the day to say come pick your children up.”

“I work full time and I can’t always just leave my job. We keep being told it will get sorted as quickly as possible, but it has been going on for too long now.”

Another mum said she was “really worried” the repeated need to pick up her children would mean she loses her job, and called on the school to “get it sorted”.

She added one of her year six children is preparing to study the SATs this year, but they have now “lost five days of learning”.

A spokesperson for Aquila Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, which runs 16 schools in Kent and commissioned the heat pumps, apologised for the issues and said it was working to rectify the issue by installing a power backup.

They said: “We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused to Kingsnorth Primary School’s pupils and families and we want to assure the community that we have been, and are continuing to, do everything within our power to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.

“Our priority has always been to keep Kingsnorth open, but there have been occasions where we have had no choice but to close due to a complete failure of the heating system, electrical power issues, and the associated wider safety concerns.”

They added: “We have planned to install an additional power source for part of the new heating system so we can remove some of the electrical load from the school’s electrics and have the system fully operational as intended,” the spokesperson explained.

“These works are planned for the week commencing January 22 while the school remains fully open and operational. Once this has been completed, we will have all specialists on-site to reinstate the air source heat pump system.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 20:32:00


Storm Isha: Sussex could be hit by tornadoes amid strong winds Brighton News

The county is in the throes of a Met Office yellow warning for wind, in place from noon today until noon tomorrow. 

The weather service has warned of possible disruption to road, rail, air and ferry transport, along with a chance of power outages and delays on exposed routes.

From 6pm today, even stronger winds are set to batter the coast and an amber warning for wind is in place until 6am tomorrow. 

The storm has prompted the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) to issue its own warning, with a risk of tornadoes in Sussex from 8pm tonight until 7am tomorrow. 

On its website, Torro warned of isolated tornadoes, wind gusts of up to 80mph and hail

A spokesman for Torro said: “One or two tornadoes are possible.”

The Argus: Torro's tornado map. Red means strong tornadoes are possible, yellow means tornados are possible.Torro’s tornado map. Red means strong tornadoes are possible, yellow means tornados are possible. (Image: TORRO)

The warning is slightly less severe than for Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which are on “tornado watch”. 

Two tornadoes struck Littlehampton and Wick within weeks of each other last autumn.

Tornadoes are a rapidly rotating column of air that reaches between the base of a storm cloud and the ground.

They form in very unsettled weather conditions as part of severe thunderstorms.

Around 30 tornadoes a year are reported in the UK. While they are typically small and short-lived, they can cause structural damage if they pass over a built-up area.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 15:06:27


Brighton College’s sway on conservation area questioned Brighton News

One householder, Mark Strong, addressed councillors about Brighton College before they approved an official document entitled the College Conservation Area Character Statement.

He spoke out at the start of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Development Committee meeting.

Mr Strong said there was strong local feeling that the statement’s name gave “undue influence” to Brighton College and did not address how pedestrian safety was affected by the public school.


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He said: “Will the chair consider renaming the statement, eg, to ‘Walpole and College Conservation Area Character Statement’ – and also to support further investigation of pedestrian safety and amenity in the area, including consideration of street improvements?”

A five-week consultation on the area’s character statement generated 75 responses, of which 59 were residents, with 46 people either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the draft character statement.

Outside the meeting, Mr Strong said: “Obviously, I can’t say why they didn’t like it but reading the responses implies it’s because they’re not happy with the college’s recent developments.”

The council anonymised comments that were included in a report to the committee.

One said: “The statement does not identify the area as predominantly residential and … gives greater powers to Brighton College to develop sites within the conservation area by additions to the school buildings by changing residential use to education uses.”

Another anonymous comment said: “The financial influence of Brighton College should not be allowed to influence the planning process and has had a significant impact on the drafting of the character statement.”

Brighton College itself responded to the consultation, saying that the school archivist should have been involved and the statement did not recognise the “high-quality” new buildings on the campus.

A conservation area character statement can be drawn up to define aspects of special archaeological and historical interest in a conservation area.

The College Conservation Area was created in April 1988 and covers Brighton College and eight residential roads close to the school.

It is the last of Brighton and Hove’s 33 conservation areas to have a character statement prepared.

The statement itself said: “The character of the area is a mix between the centrally Gothic campus, with its later 20th century and contemporary additions, and 19th century terraced housing.”

Labour councillor Alan Robins said that a change of name could be considered as part of a review of the conservation area.

Councillor Robins, who chairs the council’s Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Development Committee, said: “The statement does not confer any undue influence on Brighton College or any other organisations or individuals.

“The purpose is to help assist in the design and heritage aspects of the future development proposals affected by any part of the conservation area.”

Regarding road safety and anti-social parking, Councillor Robins said that this was not within the remit of the character statement.

Officials had passed on relevant information to the council’s parking strategy team.

Councillors voted to publish the College Conservation Area Character Statement.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 09:08:05

UK News

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, diagnosed with skin cancer | UK News

Sarah, Duchess of York, has been diagnosed with skin cancer, just six months after being treated for breast cancer.

She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, after having several moles removed – with one of those identified as being cancerous.

A spokesman for the duchess, 64, said she remained in “good spirits” despite the diagnosis.

She is due to undergo further investigations to ensure the cancer has been caught in the early stages, the spokesman added.

“Following her diagnosis with an early form of breast cancer this summer, Sarah, Duchess of York has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma,” her spokesman said.

“Her dermatologist asked that several moles were removed and analysed at the same time as the duchess was undergoing reconstructive surgery following her mastectomy, and one of these has been identified as cancerous.

“She is undergoing further investigations to ensure that this has been caught in the early stages.

“Clearly, another diagnosis so soon after treatment for breast cancer has been distressing, but the duchess remains in good spirits.”

The spokesman said the duchess wanted to express her gratitude to the medical team – believed to be from King Edward VII Hospital in London – who had supported her through the process.

He said the duchess’s experience also underlined “the importance of checking the size, shape, colour and texture and emergence of new moles that can be a sign of melanoma”.

Duchess ‘proud of mastectomy’

Last year, the duchess, the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, underwent an eight-hour single mastectomy operation and reconstruction after discovering she had an early form of breast cancer during a routine mammogram.

Sarah, Duchess of York attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture date: Monday December 25, 2023.
Sarah, Duchess of York, attended the Christmas Day morning church service in Sandringham last month

She previously said she had no symptoms and almost missed her appointment until her sister convinced her to go.


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This notice was published: 2024-01-21 18:13:00