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Jan 19 round-up: NHS reaching capacity; Storm Christoph ‘major incident’; Extend furlough call; New Jag special

4 months ago

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, January 19

Health service reaching limit of critical care beds

As the number of first doses delivered in the UK passed four million, ministers and officials said it was still too soon to rely on the jab ‘coming to our rescue’.

The warning came as the latest official figures showed there was a record 37,475 people in hospital with the disease across the UK.

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As the pressure continues to mount, the NHS Confederation has said the health service could reach its limit for critical care beds this week. Northern Ireland’s health minister Robin Swann said ‘real intense pressure’ is expected on inpatient and intensive care units in the next week.

Major incident declared as Storm Christoph heads to the UK

A major incident has been declared in South Yorkshire as Storm Christoph is set to bring widespread flooding, gales and snow to parts of the UK.

People are being urged to prepare as an amber weather warning for rain was issued by the Met Office for today to Thursday for central northern England, affecting an area around Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and stretching down to Peterborough.

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It has led to a major incident being declared in South Yorkshire in preparation for potential flooding, said Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster.

Million took speed awareness course despite fall in car use

More than a million drivers took a speed awareness course in 2020 despite car use plummeting due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis of data from the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme by the PA news agency found that 1.09m UK drivers completed a course after being caught breaking the speed limit.

The 15 per cent year-on-year decline did not match the reduction in car traffic, which dipped below 50 per cent of normal levels between late March and mid May due to the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Government must extend furlough and rates support before Budget

The government should announce an extension to the furlough scheme and business rates holiday before the Budget in March, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

In its Budget submission to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the CBI said businesses cannot be expected to wait nearly two months to know whether support will be extended beyond the current deadlines.

The furlough scheme is currently set to finish at the end of April and a rates holiday closes at the end of March, but many businesses will already be planning spending for the year ahead.

Slow installation plan for on-street EV chargers revealed

There are fears that people who rely on on-street parking could be left behind when petrol and diesel vehicles are banned from sale in 2030.

New research suggests councils are planning to fit an average of just 35 on-street chargers each by 2025.

A Freedom of Information request issued to 400 councils by electric services company Centrica found that over the next four years, 9,317 chargers are planned to be installed across the UK, which will more than double the existing 7,682.

Countries should try to eliminate Covid-19 

Countries that have the resources and political will ‘should clearly eliminate Covid-19’, a public health expert has said.

Professor Devi Sridhar said that living with the virus is ‘too dangerous to health and too destructive to the economy and society’ and said it was time to ‘pivot from flu plan on to SARS plan’.

In a series of tweets Professor Sridhar, chairwoman of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, also said we are in a ‘precarious position’ with the emergence of new variants of coronavirus.

Big business told to slash payment times to small suppliers

Big businesses have been told to pay small suppliers within 30 days as the government strengthened the Prompt Payment Code.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said policy needed to be bolstered to protect small firms as poor payment practices are ‘still rife’ across the UK.

It also told around 3,000 large firms signed to the code that personal commitments will need to be made by a chief executive, finance chief or director.

Honda teases new HR-V ahead of full reveal

Honda has given a small preview in a cloudy picture of its upcoming HR-V prior to the SUV’s full reveal next month.

Standing as one of the firm’s most popular models, the new HR-V will be centred around a two-motor hybrid powertrain.

The firm’s current CR-V – which is larger than the HR-V – also uses a dual electric motor setup. There, the combination of petrol and electric power results in fuel economy of 42.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 151g/km. The new HR-V will debut on February 18.

FTSE drifts into the red in subdued trading session

The FTSE 100 sleepwalked into the red as a lack of major economic news resulted in a muted trading day yesterday.

Traders were cautious as they await positive updates regarding the global economic recovery, with few ready to sell off despite the good news currently priced into international markets.

London’s top flight closed 15.06 points, or 0.22 per cent, lower at 6,720.65 at the close of play. The German Dax was 0.31 per cent higher and the French Cac moved 0.02 per cent higher.

Jaguar brings special paint job to limited-run F-Type Reims Edition

Jaguar has released a new limited edition F-Type sports car. Called the F-Type Reims Edition, it gets a stunning paint job, with this particular shade called French Racing Blue.

Limited to just 150 units, it’s based on a choice of either P300 or P450 models with rear-wheel-drive and will only be made available to UK customers.

As well as the paint job, the Reims Edition gets 20-inch alloy wheels and the black pack fitted as standard, which adds gloss black side vents, Jaguar logos and grille surround.

Storm on the way

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Southern UK will have a dry start before rain pushes in from the west in the afternoon. Wales, Northern Ireland and northern England will see persistent rain. It will be drier and brighter in Scotland, says the BBC.

Tonight, it will stay unsettled for many with the heaviest rain in northern Wales and northern England bringing a risk to flooding. Rain will push into Scotland and turn to snow over the hills.

Tomorrow will be a largely dull day with further rain in England and Wales. Mostly drier and brighter in Northern Ireland, with a few scattered showers. In Scotland there will be snow over the hills.

James Baggott

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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