Interview sourced by Maxwell Ward, and conducted by Olivia Stuart Taylor
Interview sourced by Maxwell Ward, and conducted by Olivia Stuart Taylor
Orders the energy regulator Ofgem.
They have repeated their announcements that energy suppliers will be forced offer customers simpler energy plans and the lowest possible price tariffs.
This comes under the new Energy Bill legislation, and includes reforms such as: 1) companies my offer no more than four core tariffs for each fuel type, 2) bills must show the cheapest tariffs, and 3) consumers will be treated more fairly.
The ONS sums up positively for UK employment – The Office of National Statistics revealed in report today that the number of jobless in the UK has fallen to 2.5 million. Whilst this may seem a lot, this is 14,000 people less than the statistics for just three months earlier and a huge 580,000 less than a year previously.
This “transformed economy” bodes well for the popularity of the conservative party, who were actively tweeting the news. They should be wary of celebrating a complete turn-around too soon, however, as…
Music retailer HMV announces 37 planned store closures – Having entered into administration in January, HMV have had to announce that they will be closing a further 37 stores across the country to try and re-structure the business to improve its prospects.
These closures will mean job losses of 464, and stores in London areas such as Heathrow are among some of the names listed.
Bank of England’s Governor out-voted – Sir Mervyn King’s planned “quantitative easing” strategy was out-voted at the Monetary Policy Council today.
This news had a large impact on the financial markets, with the pound taking a sharp drop against the euro and the dollar by 0.6% and 0.9% (respectively).
The governor had been hoping to increase the size of the quantitative easing programme from £375 bn to £400 bn in the hope that it would have positive knock-on effects on the UK economy. This is the fourth time that he has been out-voted at the MPC.
NHS North West London to downgrade four A&E Units
Emergency care departments at Charing Cross, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Ealing hospitals will become 24-hour GP-led “urgent care” centres.
The decision was confirmed at a joint committee of Primary Care Trusts in Westminster.
NHS North West London predicts that the changes will save £1billion and will reduce the number of non-acute cases arriving at A&Es, which will improve the quality of care.
Critics say NHS Worth West London has failed to consult properly on these proposals. Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, said the decision left a “second-class health service for millions of Londoners” and that the A&Es left would be “over-crowded and over-run”.
The “urgent care centres” will still offer outpatient and diagnostic services such as physiotherapy and X-rays, but would not treat life-threatening conditions.
These cases would be referred to the remaining five major acute hospitals with 24-hour A&Es and urgent care centres at Hillingdon, Northwick Park, West Middlesex, Chelsea and Westminster or St Mary’s hospitals.
Dr Mark Spencer, medical director of North West London NHS, said: “What we are recommending across north-west London is that we develop five bigger, better hospitals than we have at the moment.
Passengers on the East Coast Mainline face major delays
Power lines in St Neots, Cambridgeshire have caused severe problems between London and Peterborough.
Around 200 people were stranded at Kings’ Cross Station last night after the last train to Leeds was cancelled.
A rail replacement bus service was involved in a minor accident in Huntingdon.
East Coast Trains say no services are running between London and Peterborough. Limited services are expected to return later this morning.
The problems are having a knock-on effect for other parts of the line, which runs to York, Newcastle and Scotland.
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson calls plans to move London homeless to the Cathedral City “social cleansing”.
Peterborough City Council leader Marco Cereste has been in talks with Kensington and Chelsea about working together to build houses for people in London and Peterborough.
Stewart Jackson said he could see “no advantages for the city”.
“This is about social cleansing in Kensington and Chelsea,” he said.
“It’s about getting rid of people they don’t want in their borough, who are on benefits, who they have a responsibility for – to house – who are statutorily homeless.”
An average property in Peterborough costs about £150,000. The average home in Kensington and Chelsea costs £1.5M. Kensington and Chelsea has a chronic shortage of affordable homes. The Borough has been exploring potential plans for “mutually beneficial housing arrangements” with several local authorities.
City life makes it harder to concentrate
Researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London have studied a remote tribe in Africa – where some people have remained in the countryside while others have moved to urban areas.
It found the urbanised group found it a lot more difficult to focus their attention.
Researcher Karina Linnell says the difference in powers of concentration was much greater than expected.
Dr Linnell, from the university’s psychology department, carried out cognitive tests with the Himba tribe in Namibia in south west Africa – and also included a further comparison with young people in London.
She found that the Himba tribespeople who had stayed in a rural setting were much better at tests requiring concentration than members of the same tribe who lived in urban areas.
It seems that people living in cities have countless distractions competing for their attention, making them less able to focus on one activity.
Jury in Vicky Pryce case fails to reach a verdict and is discharged
The jury trying ex- minister, Chris Huhne’s former wife has not reached a verdict. She is on trial for charges relating to speeding points she took for him 10 years ago. She faces a re-trial, before a new jury on Monday.
Oscar Pistorius- Witnesses claim they ‘heard shots, screams, more shots’
A police officer has said that a witness heard gunshots and screaming, followed by more gunshots at the home of Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius on the night that Reeva Steenkamp was killed.
During the second day of Pistorius’s bail trial, police suggested that he might flee, if bail was granted.
He denies the premeditated murder of Ms Steenkamp.
OFCOM auction raises less than forecast in 4G auction (2.34bn)
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had predicted that the auction would raise £3.5bn for the Treasury.
The winning bidders are Everything Everywhere; Hutchison 3G UK; Niche Spectrum Ventures, a BT subsidiary; Telefonica (O2); and Vodafone.
4G mobile broadband should provide smartphone and tablet computer users with much faster download speeds.
David Cameron marks the Amritsar Massacre of 1919
Mr Cameron is the first British Prime Minister to pay his respects at one of the bloodiest massacres in British history.
Hundreds of people were shot dead by British troops in 1919, while they attended a public meeting in Amritsar.
Mr Cameron is visiting Amritsar in the state of Punjab at the end of a three-day trip to India.
The prime minister said the massacre was “a deeply shameful event in British history”.
A Syrian footballer has been killed in Damascus
Sana news agency says two shells landed near the Tishreen stadium where Al-Wathba and Al-Nawair teams were preparing to train.
Several other players were injured in the attack “by terrorists”, Sana said.
King’s Cross Misery
East Coast mainline disruption out of King’s Cross continues today, following a cable failure on Tuesday.
There are delays of up to 30 minutes between King’s Cross and Peterborough after power lines came down in the St Neot’s area.
First Capital Connect and Grand Central services are also affected.
Network Rail advises all passengers to check before you travel.
Peter Hagan charge
A man has been charged with the murder of sixteen year-old Peter Hagan.
Hagan was stabbed at a house party early on Sunday morning.
Romell Martin, 21, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.
Miracle Hour under fire
Charities have scrutinised an episode of the Miracle Hour show on Faith World TV after it made viewers believe that prayer could cure them of life-threatening diseases.
It comes after a diabetic caller was told he would be ‘set free’ from the disease if he put his hand on his leg and said ‘I cause diabetes to die in your body’.
The UK World Evangelical Trust (UKWET), which produces the show, is said to be reviewing its ‘new programmes’.
Crocodile seen in the Thames
A crocodile has been spotted in the River Thames near Reading.
Wildlife experts say that it’s unlikely the animal will survive in British waters.
It’s not been a quiet for the animal kingdom in London, though.
A porpoise was spotted in the Thames near Putney earlier this week.
Features: International Mother Language Day – Lillie Rosenblatt
East London Bangladeshi action – Helen-Ann Smith
Parliamentary recessions – Fern Tomlinson
MOD appearing in the UK Supreme Court – Anja
Other features include: The news round-up
The interactive round-up
An exclusive interview with Emeli Sande (Brit Award 2013 winner)
We’ll be bringing you all the winners from the esteemed Brit Awards 2013, as they’re announced!
And the winners are…
Best British Female Solo Artist
Best British Group
MUMFORD & SONS!
Best British Breakthrough Artist
Best British Male Solo Artist
Best International Female Solo Artist
LANA DEL REY!
Best British Live Act
Best British Single
SKYFALL – ADELE!
Best International Group
THE BLACK KEYS!
Best International Male Solo Artist
Special Recognition Award
Mastercard British Album of the Year
OUR VERSION OF EVENTS – EMELI SANDE!
Global Success Award
WITH 9.5 MILLION WORLDWIDE SALES – ONE DIRECTION!
Listen out for Talk London’s exclusive interview with one very successful Brit Award winner!