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Parents Spend £135m On Their Child’s First Christmas

Parents Spend £135m On Their Child’s First Christmas

Parents in the UK spend some £135m on gifts to mark their child’s first Christmas, according to a survey by the Post Office.

The study found that an average of £166 is spent per couple and that parents in London spend the most at £328.50, while parents in Belfast spend the least at £63.61.

Young parents are shown to be the biggest spenders, with 18 to 24-year-olds buying £245 worth of gifts.

Gifts for children

Gifts for children read more

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Two People Die As Storm Batters The Country

Two People Die As Storm Batters The Country

A man and a woman have died as rain and winds of up to 87mph sweep the country disrupting the Christmas getaway and leaving more than 6,000 without power.

A man died in Cumbria after falling into the River Rothay at Ambleside triggering a large rescue search involving the police, RAF, Coastguard, and mountain rescue teams. In a separate incident, a woman died after falling into a river at Gwynedd in North Wales.

A motorist died on Sunday at Bolventor, in Cornwall after a three-car accident during a hail storm.

In Horsham, West Sussex, two children were treated for minor injuries after being hit by branches from a falling tree. read more

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Blaze At Surrey Theme Park

Blaze At Surrey Theme Park

The Chessington World of Adventures Resort in Surrey has been closed for the day after a fire started at a restaurant near a zoo.

The theme park was not open to the public when emergency crews were alerted at 9am and no people or animals were injured, London Fire Brigade said.

It had been due to open at 10am for a “festive zoo day” according to its website, but a decision was made to shut the site.

Eight fire engines were called to the scene of the blaze at the Creaky Cafe and firefighters later managed to bring it under control. read more

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Christmas Shoppers To Spend £12bn In Four Days

Christmas Shoppers To Spend £12bn In Four Days

Shoppers are expected to spend £12bn in just four days as they make the most of slashed prices and promotions, according to retail forecasters.

The deals are being offered as a fierce battle for sales rages both on the high street and online.

Alan Dadswell relies on Christmas to keep his shop Toys ‘N’ Tuck in Southend-on-Sea going and he says discounts are crucial.

He said: “To get people to spend the money they have got to feel they are getting a bargain and we have got to give them a bargain. We have to hunt with our suppliers to do good deals to get people in to the store.” read more

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Clutha Tragedy – Comedy Gig To Help Raise Cash

Clutha Tragedy – Comedy Gig To Help Raise Cash

Glasgow’s comedians are lining up to raise a laugh for victims of the Clutha Pub tragedy.

They also hope tonight’s comedy gig will raise several thousand pounds for the Clutha Appeal Fund, which has already amassed more than £220,000.

Friends and relatives of the 10 people who died when the Police Scotland helicopter crashed into the Glasgow pub have been invited to the show at the city’s O2abc Academy.

They will be joined in the audience by emergency service workers who helped at the scene of the tragedy. read more

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London Bus Crash – 32 Passengers Injured

London Bus Crash – 32 Passengers Injured

A bus has crashed into a tree in south London, injuring 32 passengers, seven of them seriously, say police.

The accident happened around 10.50am on Kennington Road near the Imperial War Museum, while the number 59 bus was en route to King’s Cross.

Emergency services said several passengers had to be freed from the wreckage.

A 19-year-old woman and a man were the last to be rescued and are among those most badly hurt. read more

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Disabled People Win Living Fund Case Against Government

Disabled People Win Living Fund Case Against Government

Five disabled people have succeeded in a legal challenge to the government’s decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund.

The £320m ILF currently provides support enabling nearly 19,000 severely disabled people in the UK to live independent lives in the community.

The High Court ruled in April that the closure decision was lawful, but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The government said it was considering whether to contest the judgement. read more

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Apollo Theatre Collapse

Apollo Theatre Collapse

Nearly 80 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a theatre ceiling collapsed during a packed West End show in London.

Eyewitnesses described “chaos and panic” as chunks of plaster and masonry crashed on to people seated in the stalls 40 minutes into a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

They said there was a loud creaking before the cave-in, which left the Apollo Theatre engulfed in thick dust and debris. One witness reported hearing an actor yell “watch out” to the audience.

Structural engineers and a district surveyor from Westminster City Council are due to carry out a structural assessment of the building this morning. read more

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Half A Million Cut Out Of Social Care Services

Half A Million Cut Out Of Social Care Services

Nearly half a million older and disabled people who would have received social care five years ago have been cut completely out of the system.

Nine out of 10 councils have withdrawn funded care from people with an “inability to carry out several personal care or domestic routines”, according to a new study by the London School of Economics.

Academics say it would cost £2.8bn a year to reinstate the care to this group who are judged to have “moderate” needs.

Even to maintain the current situation – in which the vast majority of councils only meet “substantial” and “critical” needs – would cost £1.6bn because of the pressure of an ageing population, they add. read more

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Christmas weather in Britain to be wet and windy

Christmas weather in Britain to be wet and windy

Showers and blustery gales are on the cards for most of the country as Britons sit down to their Christmas dinner next week.

A European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model shows very low pressure over the UK on December 25.

Forecasters remain cautious but admit the trends suggest a stormy festive holiday.

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson said: “Christmas Day is still a long way off meteorologically speaking, but computer models are hinting that the unsettled theme will continue.” read more

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