BYD's BD11 busBYD's BD11 bus

News Round-Up

May 23: July 4 election; Girl dies in mudslide; BYD’s electric double-decker

  • Here are the headlines for Thursday, May 23

Time 6:43 am, May 23, 2024

Sunak and Starmer kick off campaigns ahead of July 4 election

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will kick off their election campaigns today, six weeks before the country goes to the polls.

The prime minister will tour broadcast studios ahead of embarking on a two-day whistle-stop trip taking in all four nations of the UK. Meanwhile, the Labour leader will be in the south-east of England in a sign that he wants to make inroads in Tory areas.

Sunak fired the starting gun for a July 4 election in a damp Downing Street yesterday afternoon, surprising many in Westminster who had expected an autumn polling day.

Mudslide victim is named as 10-year-old girl

A 10-year-old girl who died in a mudslide while on a school trip in Yorkshire has been described by her family as a ‘happy, bubbly’ girl.

Mount Pleasant Primary School year six pupil Leah Harrison, from Darlington, died following an incident at Carlton Bank on the edge of the North York Moors yesterday.

A major operation involving 30 mountain rescuers was launched to save her, in weather conditions they described as ‘very poor’, but she died at the scene.

‘Councils refusing to fix potholes deemed too small’

Many potholes are left unrepaired despite being reported because some councils only fix them if they are a minimum size, according to new analysis.

More than a third (35%) of local authorities in Britain state the size a pothole must be before they will act, research by the RAC and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found.

The most common depth stated is 4cm (1.6in) by 54 councils, but in the case of six councils – Warwickshire, Torbay, Thurrock, Nottingham, Torfaen and South Lanarkshire – potholes need to be at least 5cm (2in) deep to be considered for repair, while 13 local authorities, including Buckinghamshire, Stockport and Devon, say only those at least 30cm (11.8in) wide and 4cm deep will get fixed.

South Downs National Park launches green investment scheme to boost biodiversity

The South Downs National Park has become the first in the country to launch a scheme to enable businesses to invest in ‘high-ethic, effective nature recovery’ with the aim of boosting biodiversity.

The authority for the national park, which stretches from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, has earmarked 500 hectares – the equivalent of 800 football pitches – of land on farms and country estates to be transformed through green finance investment.

The voluntary biodiversity credits scheme will include monitoring of the investments to avoid any double counting or greenwashing.

Millions missing out on smart meter benefits because of faults – Citizens Advice

Millions of households are missing out on the benefits of their smart meter because of faults and poor service from their supplier, Citizens Advice has warned.

More than half of British homes now have a smart meter, but they are being let down by suppliers who are often ‘nowhere to be found’ when problems arise with them, the consumer charity said.

It has called for new rules to ensure energy suppliers identify and fix problems as quickly as possible, saying it was particularly worried that people could end up with huge unexpected bills if their supplier isn’t able to take an automatic reading for an extended period of time.

Octopus Energy launches ‘buy now pay later’ for solar panels

Octopus Energy customers will be able to use a ‘buy now pay later’ scheme to fund and install solar panels as part of a new deal with digital lender Zopa Bank.

It means households can spread the cost of installation over several years.

Octopus, which is the UK’s biggest electricity supplier with nearly seven million customers, said the new financing offer means more people will benefit from the ‘cheap, clean energy source’.

‘Unsafe’ prison to be taken over permanently by Government

A prison branded unsafe by inspectors will be taken over permanently by the government.

Yhe Ministry of Justice (MoJ) intervened to take control of HMP Lowdham Grange in Nottinghamshire in December, bringing in new governor Neil Thomas to ‘improve safety and security at the prison’.

It came after warnings about conditions at the category-B Sodexo-run jail – which holds up to 900 men – were made by the prisons watchdog earlier in the year. The move was said to be for an ‘initial interim period’ that could be extended, and yesterday the MoJ confirmed the arrangement would become permanent.

Judge blocks effort to put Elvis Presley’s Graceland home up for sale

A Tennessee judge has blocked the auction of Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, by a company that claimed his estate failed to repay a loan that used the property as collateral.

Shelby County chancellor JoeDae Jenkins issued a temporary injunction against the proposed auction that had been scheduled for today.

It essentially keeps in place a previous restraining order that he issued after Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, filed a lawsuit to fight off what she said was a fraudulent scheme.

BYD's BD11 bus interior

BYD’s electric double-decker aims to transform bus travel

Electric vehicle maker BYD has revealed a double-decker bus – the BD11.

Measuring 10.9 metres long and with enough space for up to 90 passengers, it uses a lithium-ion blade battery and can be charged at a maximum rate of 500kW.

The huge 532kWh battery should mean it’s got more than enough charge for a day’s driving. It’ll go into service in London first, although exactly when is still to be confirmed.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 46.12 points down yesterday to end the day on 8,370.33. The Cac 40 was down 49.35 points at 8,092.11, the Dax was down 46.56 points at 18,680.20, and the Dow Jones was down 201.95 points at 39,671.04.

Weather outlook

Today will start dull and damp for many, with further spells of rain in the north, these turning heavy again for parts of southern Scotland, says BBC Weather. It’ll be drier further to the south with some bright spells.

Overnight cloud will continue into Friday at first, with showers in the north and far west. Later on, some sunny spells will break through in the south and north-east, but it’ll stay cloudier elsewhere.

This news round-up was originally published at 6.43am on May 23 and updated at 1.51pm the same day when the mudslide tragedy victim’s identity was made public

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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