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Scotland’s papers: Recession looms as banks rates hiked

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Published12 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated Internet LinksHerald ScotlandThe ScotsmanDaily RecordThe Scottish SunThe TimesThe NationalDaily Mail OnlineScottish Daily ExpressDaily StarAberdeen Evening ExpressDundee Evening TelegraphEdinburgh Evening NewsGlasgow Evening TimesThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Bank of England governor defends rate hike to stop lasting price rises

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Published15 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingThis video can not be playedTo play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.The governor of the Bank of England has defended its decision to raise interest rates, saying there is a “real risk” of soaring prices becoming “embedded”. Interest rates rose to 1.75% – the biggest rise in 27 years – with inflation now set to hit more than 13%.The UK is forecast to fall into recession this year, with the longest downturn since 2008 predicted. Increasing interest rates is one way to try and control inflation as it raises borrowing costs. This should encourage people to borrow and spend less. It can also encourage people to save more. However, many households will be squeezed further following the interest rate rise, including some mortgage-holders.How does an interest rate rise affect me?’Rate rise means I owe £250 a month more on loans’Did the Bank of England make the right call? What is a recession and how could it affect me?The Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The real risk we’re responding to is that inflation becomes embedded and it doesn’t come down in the way that we would otherwise expect.””We’ve had a domestic shock, we’ve had a shrinkage in the labour force over the last two years or so,” he said. “The first thing that businesses want to talk to me about is the problems they’re having hiring people… They’re also saying to us, actually they’re not finding it difficult to raise prices at the moment. Now we think that can’t go on.”UK inflation – the rate at which prices rise – is currently at 9.4% – the highest level for more than 40 years. But the Bank has warned it could peak at more than 13% and stay at “very elevated levels” throughout much of next year, before eventually returning to the Bank’s 2% target the following year. The main reason for high inflation and low growth is soaring energy bills, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Households have also been hit by higher petrol, diesel and food costs. Have you experienced recession before? How did your life change? Please email: [email protected] Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch via WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803 and Twitter: @BBC_HaveYourSayThe economy is forecast to shrink in the final three months of this year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.The expected recession would be the longest downturn since 2008, when the UK banking system faced collapse, bringing lending to a halt.The slump is not set to be as deep as 14 years ago but may last just as long.Paul Johnson, director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the economic situation would mean there would have to be “many more billions to support households” and more money for public services. He told the BBC that the Tory leadership candidates should be focused on tackling inflation, rather than tax cuts. Mr Johnson rejected the idea that tax cuts could be funded in part by “fiscal headroom”. “What [the leadership candidates are] talking about is that the Office for Budget Responsibility [in March] said we’d be borrowing about £30bn less than we absolutely could to meet the fiscal target of a balanced current budget in a few years’ time,” he said. But he added that this was “highly uncertain” and now “massively out of date”, given the economy was going into recession. Labour’s Johnathan Ashworth said the cost of living support measures announced by the government so far was “clearly not enough”. “There will be families and pensioners across the country waking up this morning, reading the news, who are absolutely terrified because a juggernaut is heading [their] way which will smash through family finances,” the shadow work and pensions secretary told the BBC. He said a Labour government would reduce VAT on energy bills, abolish the tax relief currently offered to oil and gas companies who invest, and provide support to help people retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient.Meanwhile, higher interest rates will hit some mortgage holders. Now rates have gone up to 1.75%, homeowners on a typical tracker mortgage will have to pay about £52 more a month. Those on standard variable rate mortgages will see a £59 increase.It means tracker mortgage holders could be paying about £167 more a month compared with pre-December 2021, with variable mortgage holders paying up to £132 more. Interest rates have risen six times in a row since the end of last year.Higher interest rates also mean higher charges on things like credit cards, bank loans and car loans.More on this story’Rate rise means I owe £250 a month more on loans’17 hours agoWhy are prices rising so quickly?20 JulyFuel, milk and eggs push inflation to 40-year high20 July

Bank of England governor defends rate hike to stop lasting price rises

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Published15 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingThis video can not be playedTo play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.The governor of the Bank of England has defended its decision to raise interest rates, saying there is a “real risk” of soaring prices becoming “embedded”. Interest rates rose to 1.75% – the biggest rise in 27 years – with inflation now set to hit more than 13%.The UK is forecast to fall into recession this year, with the longest downturn since 2008 predicted. Increasing interest rates is one way to try and control inflation as it raises borrowing costs. This should encourage people to borrow and spend less. It can also encourage people to save more. However, many households will be squeezed further following the interest rate rise, including some mortgage-holders.How does an interest rate rise affect me?’Rate rise means I owe £250 a month more on loans’Did the Bank of England make the right call? What is a recession and how could it affect me?The Bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The real risk we’re responding to is that inflation becomes embedded and it doesn’t come down in the way that we would otherwise expect.””We’ve had a domestic shock, we’ve had a shrinkage in the labour force over the last two years or so,” he said. “The first thing that businesses want to talk to me about is the problems they’re having hiring people… They’re also saying to us, actually they’re not finding it difficult to raise prices at the moment. Now we think that can’t go on.”UK inflation – the rate at which prices rise – is currently at 9.4% – the highest level for more than 40 years. But the Bank has warned it could peak at more than 13% and stay at “very elevated levels” throughout much of next year, before eventually returning to the Bank’s 2% target the following year. The main reason for high inflation and low growth is soaring energy bills, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Households have also been hit by higher petrol, diesel and food costs. Have you experienced recession before? How did your life change? Please email: [email protected] Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch via WhatsApp: +44 7756 165803 and Twitter: @BBC_HaveYourSayThe economy is forecast to shrink in the final three months of this year and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.The expected recession would be the longest downturn since 2008, when the UK banking system faced collapse, bringing lending to a halt.The slump is not set to be as deep as 14 years ago but may last just as long.Paul Johnson, director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the economic situation would mean there would have to be “many more billions to support households” and more money for public services. He told the BBC that the Tory leadership candidates should be focused on tackling inflation, rather than tax cuts. Mr Johnson rejected the idea that tax cuts could be funded in part by “fiscal headroom”. “What [the leadership candidates are] talking about is that the Office for Budget Responsibility [in March] said we’d be borrowing about £30bn less than we absolutely could to meet the fiscal target of a balanced current budget in a few years’ time,” he said. But he added that this was “highly uncertain” and now “massively out of date”, given the economy was going into recession. Labour’s Johnathan Ashworth said the cost of living support measures announced by the government so far was “clearly not enough”. “There will be families and pensioners across the country waking up this morning, reading the news, who are absolutely terrified because a juggernaut is heading [their] way which will smash through family finances,” the shadow work and pensions secretary told the BBC. He said a Labour government would reduce VAT on energy bills, abolish the tax relief currently offered to oil and gas companies who invest, and provide support to help people retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient.Meanwhile, higher interest rates will hit some mortgage holders. Now rates have gone up to 1.75%, homeowners on a typical tracker mortgage will have to pay about £52 more a month. Those on standard variable rate mortgages will see a £59 increase.It means tracker mortgage holders could be paying about £167 more a month compared with pre-December 2021, with variable mortgage holders paying up to £132 more. Interest rates have risen six times in a row since the end of last year.Higher interest rates also mean higher charges on things like credit cards, bank loans and car loans.More on this story’Rate rise means I owe £250 a month more on loans’17 hours agoWhy are prices rising so quickly?20 JulyFuel, milk and eggs push inflation to 40-year high20 July

Oldham mill fire: Four missing Vietnamese men named

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Published20 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, GMPFour Vietnamese nationals who are believed to have been in a mill when it caught fire have been named by police. Officers began searching Bismark House Mill in Oldham after human remains were found by demolition workers last month following a blaze on 7 May.Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has now named four men who were believed to have been in the mill at the time.The force said it was keeping an “open mind” about how many people were present and about their whereabouts.Image source, GMPCuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019 and had maintained regular contact with his wife and children until 7 May, but his family had not heard from him since that date, the force said.Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, was also in regular contact with his wife until 7 May, when he said he was in a mill, police said.A GMP spokesman added that Duong Van Nguyen, 29, had been in the UK for about a year and last contacted his family about three months ago, when he said he was living in an “abandoned house” and looking for work.The fourth missing person was named by police as 21-year-old Nam Thanh Le, who arrived in the UK in January and last contacted his family on 4 May when he said he was living in a derelict house in “Dam”, believed to be Oldham, and looking for work.Image source, GMFRSDet Supt Lewis Hughes said officers were continuing to search Bismark House Mill “to ensure the recovery of all human remains and any objects of significance”. He said: “Though we have reason to suspect that Cuong, Uoc, Duong and Nam may have been in the mill during the fire, we are keeping an open mind with regards to how many people were present and their whereabouts.”Since the search began at the site on 23 July, human remains indicating three victims have been discovered, but none of them have been formally identified.Initially, it was thought nobody was inside the building at the time of fire, police said.Det Supt Hughes appealed for anyone with information about the men’s whereabouts before or after the fire to get in touch with GMP.”I stress that their safety and welfare is our number one priority.”Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to [email protected] on this storyMore human remains suggest third mill fire victim17 hours agoMore human remains found at mill after fire27 JulyHuman remains found after four reported missing25 JulyCrews tackle large fire at business premises7 MayRelated Internet LinksGreater Manchester PoliceThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Oldham mill fire: Four missing Vietnamese men named

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Published20 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, GMPFour Vietnamese nationals who are believed to have been in a mill when it caught fire have been named by police. Officers began searching Bismark House Mill in Oldham after human remains were found by demolition workers last month following a blaze on 7 May.Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has now named four men who were believed to have been in the mill at the time.The force said it was keeping an “open mind” about how many people were present and about their whereabouts.Image source, GMPCuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in the UK in June 2019 and had maintained regular contact with his wife and children until 7 May, but his family had not heard from him since that date, the force said.Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, was also in regular contact with his wife until 7 May, when he said he was in a mill, police said.A GMP spokesman added that Duong Van Nguyen, 29, had been in the UK for about a year and last contacted his family about three months ago, when he said he was living in an “abandoned house” and looking for work.The fourth missing person was named by police as 21-year-old Nam Thanh Le, who arrived in the UK in January and last contacted his family on 4 May when he said he was living in a derelict house in “Dam”, believed to be Oldham, and looking for work.Image source, GMFRSDet Supt Lewis Hughes said officers were continuing to search Bismark House Mill “to ensure the recovery of all human remains and any objects of significance”. He said: “Though we have reason to suspect that Cuong, Uoc, Duong and Nam may have been in the mill during the fire, we are keeping an open mind with regards to how many people were present and their whereabouts.”Since the search began at the site on 23 July, human remains indicating three victims have been discovered, but none of them have been formally identified.Initially, it was thought nobody was inside the building at the time of fire, police said.Det Supt Hughes appealed for anyone with information about the men’s whereabouts before or after the fire to get in touch with GMP.”I stress that their safety and welfare is our number one priority.”Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to [email protected] on this storyMore human remains suggest third mill fire victim17 hours agoMore human remains found at mill after fire27 JulyHuman remains found after four reported missing25 JulyCrews tackle large fire at business premises7 MayRelated Internet LinksGreater Manchester PoliceThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Mum’s plea over arson attack that killed son

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Published1 hour agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, FamilyThe mother of a seven-year-old boy who died in an arson attack has appealed for help in finding her son’s killers.Joel Urhie’s body was found in the bedroom he shared with his mother at the house in Adolphus Street, Deptford, south-east London, on 7 August 2018.Detectives suspect his brother Sam, who was stabbed outside the home in June, was the target of a criminal gang.Iroroefe O Edu said: “The perpetrators of this atrocity and dastardly crime have not been unearthed.”She added: “If you have any information or know anything, or anyone, who may be responsible for causing the fire, can you come forward please?”Joel was found dead in the upstairs bedroom, but Miss Edu and his 19-year-old sister escaped by jumping out of a first-floor window.The plan was for Miss Edu to cushion his fall, but the youngster never followed.Image source, Met PoliceJoel’s murder investigation is ongoing amid reports that his brother might have been the target and the arson attack was gang-related. Sam Uhrie, 21, was stabbed in a fight outside the property on 11 June.Concerns were raised at the time over whether enough was done to safeguard the family.The family’s home could have been fitted with a panic alarm and a fire-proof letterbox if the family were at risk, sources previously told the the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).A year after the attack two men were arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life although both were released with no further action.Two years later in August 2020, three further men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but were released under investigation.Image source, Family handoutDetectives believe that the amount of time since the attack means witnesses are more likely to speak up.Throughout the investigation, detectives have had a “suspicion that it might be related to gang membership,” according to Det Ch Insp Mark Rogers, who admitted that they “can’t say for sure”.He said: “Someone knows why this happened; I would ask that you search your conscience and do what is right.”More on this storyBrother of arson death boy was ‘at risk’5 December 2018Murder probe after boy died in house fire7 August 2018Sister pays tribute to boy killed in fire9 August 2018Around the BBCBBC – Local Democracy Reporting Service – Local News PartnershipsRelated Internet LinksMet PoliceThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

800-year-old Glastonbury bible page returns home

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Published3 hours agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Jason BryantA bible page written by monks 800 years ago has returned to the place it was penned.On public display for the first time in the UK, the roughly A5-sized page has gone on public display at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset.Written on animal skin, the page features Latin text, ornate lettering and full colour decoration.Loaned by Bristol University after it was bought at auction in 2020, it will be on display until 2 October.While the exact age of the two-sided page is unknown, it is believed to have been written in the abbey’s scriptorium between 1225 and 1250.Containing the beginning of the Old Testament Books of Chronicles, the hand-written page narrates the history of Israel and Judah from the Creation.Image source, GLASTONBURY ABBEYThe coloured writing and decoration, written on prepared animal skin known as vellum paper, was produced using a technique called tempera.The technique started to phase out in the 13th century, further indicating the bible’s age.Tempera is where pigments usually taken from natural materials such as stone, minerals and soil, were mixed with water-soluble emulsion such as egg yolk.Lucy Newman, the abbey’s collections manager, said the “beautiful object” was like “a tiny jewel because it’s so small yet so important in the history of the abbey.”‘Mystery'”The quality of it is utterly amazing, considering its age, and it’s the workmanship that would have gone into writing it that’s astonishing, when you consider the writing materials they would have had to use 800 years ago,” she added.Famous for its vast library of books and manuscripts, the contents of Glastonbury Abbey’s library were destroyed, dispersed or sold following the dissolution of the abbey by King Henry VIII in 1539.Image source, Jason BryantSurfacing in the collections of 18th century politician and antiquarian Roger Gale in 1744, the bible’s whereabouts were unknown for 240 years until it surfaced at Sotheby’s Auction House in London.Bought by a manuscript dealer from Ohio in the 1980s, the bible was then dismantled and sold page-by-page.Uncovered around the world, the main bulk of the bible has been acquired by Oslo Cathedral School in Norway.Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: [email protected] More on this story’Unique’ Beatles’ memorabilia sells for £11k27 MayMassive 1,005 teddy bear collection up for auction20 JuneObjects reveal history of abbey18 April 2011

Pig farmer fears for industry over energy costs

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Published2 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingA County Tyrone pig farmer has warned he is one of many considering leaving the industry, if costs don’t come down significantly before winter. Roger Johnston is used to fluctuating prices, but said this year is different. “This past three, four months, we’ve probably made record losses,” he said.Rising energy costs have had a real impact, with more than 200 breeding sows and thousands of piglets each year to house. Feed costs make up about two-thirds of outgoings. On top of staffing challenges post-Brexit and rising energy costs, pig farmers like Mr Johnston are feeling the pinch.Labour shortage human disaster for pig farms – NFUTesco gives £6.6m to pig producers following plea”We’ve had challenge after challenge, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine brought things to different level with grain costs doubling within a month.”About 20% of the UK herd has actually gone from going out of business,” he added.”So it’s been very, very bad and the worst we’ve ever seen in financial losses. “It’s not even just with feed side, everything’s gone up.”Industry leaders have called for more help, as farmers also try to recoup recent losses. “Farmers here are very resilient,” said Deirdre McIvor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum. “They take action to try and be innovative to address any problem themselves. But this is a problem that they just have no answer.”These are wider issues that are out there, and we desperately need support. “The end result for the consumer is there will be no locally produced product on the shelves ultimately, if things go to their worst endgame.”Government supportThe Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said it recently delivered a Pig Sector Support Scheme and has no plans at this point in time for further financial support.The forum has called on retailers to help as well. “There’s not been any sufficient increase in returns coming back up the supply chain from the retailers. “All in all, it threatens a very, very bleak picture for the industry moving forward. “We need strong intervention and support from government at this time to try and see us through, otherwise our industry could disappear.”Grain prices have recently started to come down. But after 18 months of losses, farmers like Mr Johnston are not seeing that change having an impact on their businesses yet. “I still think to myself: ‘What am I doing here, getting up every morning, seven days a week to go and look after the animals?'”We do have a passion for the work, but there’s only so much I can do. I still need to pay my mortgage and put food on my table. “If I can’t do that with the business, I’ll have to close it down.”More on this storyTesco gives £6.6m to pig producers following plea17 MayLabour shortage human disaster for pig farms – NFU7 October 2021Pig farmers fear for future of industry13 AprilPig farmers warn of cull over processing backlog21 September 2021

Bus strike leaves town’s Skelmersdale residents stranded

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Published2 hours agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingA whole town has been left cut off by public transport as an ongoing bus strike shows no sign of ending.Skelmersdale in Lancashire was purpose-built in 1961 to cope with the expanding population of Liverpool but famously has no railway station. So when Arriva North West cancelled services across the region in a row over pay last month, residents were left with few transport options.Recent talks with the bus drivers union collapsed earlier this week.Local councillor Maureen Nixon said: “This town was built for those who drive and if you don’t drive you have to rely on buses.” Ms Nixon said she normally travels by bus to hospital appointments with her partner after he had a stroke.She said her son, who lives in Blackpool, is also being forced to pay for taxis from Wigan when he travels to the town to see his children. “People rely on buses to get to shopping and the elderly to go to work,” she said.”Pensioners need to go shopping or to appointments. The cost of living is already through the roof”. However, the Labour councillor said she did not blame the drivers and supported the industrial action. “Drivers have been left with no choice, they have to do it. Arriva need to get their act together. They just want money to feed their families and live a decent standard of life,” she said. Arriva said it was “extremely disappointed” the drivers had not accepted its latest pay offer, but the unions said the firm had not improved on its previous 8.5% rise. Resident Freya said she had also found it difficult to travel anywhere from the town’s Hillside housing estate. She usually uses buses to visit her mother in Wigan twice a week and said she hoped the pay dispute would be resolved soon.”I love seeing my mum and she loves seeing her grandchildren. It would be great to go see her again, very, very quickly,” she said.Community worker Margaret Highton, who has worked at the Evermoor Hub community centre for more than two decades, said people were struggling to get to supermarkets.Image source, Margaret Highton”A lot of people coming to the centre can’t get to the shops at all,” she said.”To get to the concourse, well that’s £6 each way so at least so £12 before you’ve even spent any money on food.”In Skelmersdale its the bus or a taxi or walk, but not everybody is able to walk, or can afford a taxi.”The 72-year-old, who also runs a food bank, said she fully supported the bus driver’s strike.”At the end of the day people cannot live on wages that are not keeping up with inflation,” she said.”We are seeing people coming here who now just can’t make ends meet, what with gas and electricity and food prices all going up.”I’ve worked here for over 20 years and the last few months are the worst I’ve ever seen. Its heart-breaking”.Image source, Margaret HightonWhy not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to [email protected] on this storyBus drivers strike continues as talks collapse2 days agoDrivers’ strike sees firm cancel region’s buses20 JulyRelated Internet LinksArriva BusThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Bus strike leaves town’s Skelmersdale residents stranded

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Published2 hours agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingA whole town has been left cut off by public transport as an ongoing bus strike shows no sign of ending.Skelmersdale in Lancashire was purpose-built in 1961 to cope with the expanding population of Liverpool but famously has no railway station. So when Arriva North West cancelled services across the region in a row over pay last month, residents were left with few transport options.Recent talks with the bus drivers union collapsed earlier this week.Local councillor Maureen Nixon said: “This town was built for those who drive and if you don’t drive you have to rely on buses.” Ms Nixon said she normally travels by bus to hospital appointments with her partner after he had a stroke.She said her son, who lives in Blackpool, is also being forced to pay for taxis from Wigan when he travels to the town to see his children. “People rely on buses to get to shopping and the elderly to go to work,” she said.”Pensioners need to go shopping or to appointments. The cost of living is already through the roof”. However, the Labour councillor said she did not blame the drivers and supported the industrial action. “Drivers have been left with no choice, they have to do it. Arriva need to get their act together. They just want money to feed their families and live a decent standard of life,” she said. Arriva said it was “extremely disappointed” the drivers had not accepted its latest pay offer, but the unions said the firm had not improved on its previous 8.5% rise. Resident Freya said she had also found it difficult to travel anywhere from the town’s Hillside housing estate. She usually uses buses to visit her mother in Wigan twice a week and said she hoped the pay dispute would be resolved soon.”I love seeing my mum and she loves seeing her grandchildren. It would be great to go see her again, very, very quickly,” she said.Community worker Margaret Highton, who has worked at the Evermoor Hub community centre for more than two decades, said people were struggling to get to supermarkets.Image source, Margaret Highton”A lot of people coming to the centre can’t get to the shops at all,” she said.”To get to the concourse, well that’s £6 each way so at least so £12 before you’ve even spent any money on food.”In Skelmersdale its the bus or a taxi or walk, but not everybody is able to walk, or can afford a taxi.”The 72-year-old, who also runs a food bank, said she fully supported the bus driver’s strike.”At the end of the day people cannot live on wages that are not keeping up with inflation,” she said.”We are seeing people coming here who now just can’t make ends meet, what with gas and electricity and food prices all going up.”I’ve worked here for over 20 years and the last few months are the worst I’ve ever seen. Its heart-breaking”.Image source, Margaret HightonWhy not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to [email protected] on this storyBus drivers strike continues as talks collapse2 days agoDrivers’ strike sees firm cancel region’s buses20 JulyRelated Internet LinksArriva BusThe BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Growth in NHS recruits from abroad prompts concern about over-reliance

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Published22 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty ImagesThe NHS in England is increasingly reliant on doctors and nurses recruited from outside the UK and EU, analysis has found.Some 34% of doctors joining the health service last year came from overseas, a rise from 18% in 2014.The government said overseas recruitment had always been part of its strategy.But unions have warned it is an unsustainable way of recruiting in the long-term.A total of 39,558 domestically trained doctors and nurses joined the NHS in 2020-21, which is just over 3,200 more than in 2014-15. But UK medics have been occupying a decreasing proportion of the overall 1.35 million workforce during that period.The BBC’s Shared Data Unit analysed workforce data provided by NHS Digital from 2015 to 2021.That analysis found:The share of UK doctors joining the health service had fallen from 69% in 2015 to 58% last year. Over the same period, the share of new UK nurses fell from 74% to 61%The share of doctors recruited from outside of the UK and the EU rose from 18% to 34% while the share of nurses rose from 7% to 34%Patricia Marquis, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) director for England, said ministers must do more to reduce the “disproportionate reliance” on international recruits.The government is funding an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England – a 25% increase over three years. However, last week a report by MPs concluded the large number of unfilled NHS job vacancies, about 110,000 in total, was posing a serious risk to patient safety.Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said it was “high time for the government to commit to a fully-funded, long-term workforce plan for the NHS” to tackle “chronic workforce shortages”.Image source, Sumaira BabarConsultant radiologist Sumaira Babar is just one of the growing proportion to join the NHS from overseas. She moved from Karachi in Pakistan to Huddersfield with her young family last October. “I thought why not, it’ll be an adventure, it’d be something different,” she said. “It’ll be a change from what I’m used to. It will be good for the children as well. They’ll be exposed to a new culture, new environment, you know, they learn how the world works.” Yet the British Medical Association said that while the NHS is recruiting more people from abroad it also faced a challenge retaining them. It cited “punishing workloads” and the cost of visas.The percentage of doctors leaving the NHS from non-UK and EU countries also rose from 15% in 2015 to 25% in 2021.Dr Amit Kochhar, its international committee deputy chair, said medical graduates were charged up to £2,400 to apply for indefinite leave to remain, with each of their dependents facing the same fee.Image source, Dr Hajra UsmaniThat was a problem for Dr Hajra Usmani, who worked in the NHS for 18 years but decided to leave her post as an A&E consultant in Frimley, Surrey, last year.The mother-of-two, aged 46, who is now working in a similar role in Medina, Saudi Arabia, said she was deterred by visa costs to bring her elderly parents to England.”My mum has been diagnosed with severe dementia and my dad has cognitive impairment,” she said. “I cannot leave them on their own.”They would have had to pay a surcharge to the NHS, but I stopped the application last September because it was coming up to £6,000 for the visas plus the legal fees before the Home Office would even consider the applications.”We’re now in Saudi Arabia where they have visa extensions for dependents.”Dr Usmani said she knew of many fellow doctors taking a similar path.”Most of my colleagues here are ex-UK trained NHS staff. This is an exodus. The NHS is crumbling at the moment.”EU staff declineFrom within the EU, the share of recruits joining England’s NHS each year fell from 11% in 2015 to 6% last year.Image source, Alexia TsigkaDr Alexia Tsigka, a consultant histopathologist at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals, said her specialism “is a shortage occupation… according to the Royal College of Pathologists only 3% of UK departments are fully staffed.”And I haven’t seen anyone European coming after Brexit, at least in our department. Doctors that have applied to our department mostly come from India, Egypt and some from Sri Lanka. “Post-Covid, we’ve also lost quite a few colleagues. We’re facing an exodus.” The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the percentage decline in EU nationals joining the health service could have been down to more rigorous language tests introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).A spokesman said the government supported the tests as “an important patient safety measure”.Another possible factor was the economic recovery of southern European countries, as many nurses had come to the UK when work at home was limited.International recruitment has “long been part of the NHS workforce strategy”, the spokesman added, with around one-in-seven staff reporting as non-British.The department spokesman rejected the claim that “immigration restrictions were a key reason for healthcare staff leaving the UK”.There was “no obligation on healthcare professionals to apply for [Indefinite Leave to Remain],” he said, “and they could, under the new points-based system, remain in the UK on a health and care visa which was a key promise of the government’s manifesto”.More about this storyThe Shared Data Unit makes data journalism available to news organisations across the media industry, as part of a partnership between the BBC and the News Media Association.For more information on methodology, click here. For the full dataset, click here. Read more about the Local News Partnerships here.Additional data analysis by Molly WilshawMore on this storyNHS in England facing worst staffing crisis, MPs warn25 JulyInflexible NHS is forcing nurses out, union warns15 JuneNHS Scotland recruit nearly 200 overseas nurses19 AprilFix NHS staff crisis to tackle backlog, warn MPs6 JanuaryHas Brexit sparked NHS staffing crisis?16 October 2017

Hosepipe ban set to begin in Hampshire and Isle of Wight

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Published37 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty ImagesA hosepipe ban is set to come into force in parts of southern England. The move will be imposed on Southern Water customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from 17:00 BST. This means that using hosepipes to water gardens, clean cars, fill ornamental ponds and swimming pools will not be allowed.The restrictions are expected to last for three weeks. Similar measures are being introduced across Kent and Surrey after the driest July since 1935. Anyone breaking the rules could face a fine of up to £1,000.Southern Water said the decision to introduce the ban was a “vital step” to protect the habitats of the River Test and the River Itchen, where it extracts water.Last month the company said river flows were about 25% lower than they should be for July.Alison Hoyle, the company’s director of risk and compliance, told the BBC she wanted to remind customers that there would be no restrictions on essential water use. “We are hoping for substantial rain,” she said. “At the moment we’re saying we expect [the hosepipe ban] to be three weeks but we will need to monitor this closely depending on rainfall and river levels.”Portsmouth Water is not introducing a hosepipe ban but it urged its customers not to waste water. The firm said it was keeping its position “under review” and monitoring the situation “on a daily basis”. Thames Water’s customers have also been asked to use water “wisely”. The company said the next stage of its statutory drought plan would be to introduce a temporary use ban “which is likely to include hosepipes”.In a statement it added: “The timing will depend on the amount of water used by our customers, which determines the speed at which reservoir storage declines, and the amount of flow in the rivers, which determines how much water we can take to refill them.”Water is being transferred to Berkshire from north London to stop a hosepipe ban being introduced in the county, Thames Water previously said. At an emergency meeting held last month, the National Drought Group moved England into “prolonged dry weather” status – the stage before a drought.In Kent and Sussex about one million South East Water customers will face measures from 12 August. Follow BBC South on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to [email protected] on this storyIs the UK heading for a drought?1 day agoDriest July in England since 1935 – Met Office3 days ago’Real possibility’ of drought being declared27 JulyHosepipe ban on way in bid to protect rivers6 days ago

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