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Tag Archives: 2017

Full steam ahead for beer festival

CROWDS turned out in force to raise a pint at this year’s Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Beer and Music Festival.

The event, which runs across three sites at Keighley, Ingrow and Oxenhope, began on Thursday and organisers say the festival welcomed around 2,500 to 3,000 people across the four days.

Discerning ale drinkers had around 150 beers from across the country to choose from and there was also a selection of cider and wine on the menu for visitors who enjoy those as their tipple of choice.

As in previous years, special beers were brewed for the event from the Kirkstall, Ossett and Timothy Taylor breweries.

And in a fresh addition for 2017, artisan gin was available at Oxenhope station and there was a ‘Cocktail & Gin Shack’ at the new Ingrow site.

Visitors also took in live bands and music at both Exhibition Hall at Oxenhope and in the marquee at Ingrow.

Sarah Howsen, from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, said: “It has been busy again – we thought with the weather it might have been quiet but the first two days were just as busy as last year.

“Everyone seems to have had a really good time.

“There’s regulars that come every year and it’s nice that they do come back year on year to support it.

“Even in the bouncing rain, the trains were packed and everyone was enjoying themselves.”

She added that the mix of beer and music, along with the unique railway location was a pull for the crowds.

Saturday was the main day for live music and Sunday was a family friendly day, with activities for younger visitors to enjoy.

At Ingrow, magician Tall Paul kept people entertained as the festival got underway on its fourth and final day.

Youngsters could also enjoy face painting and balloon modelling.

Money raised at the festival will be put back into the railway, which famously appeared in the 1970 film The Railway Children.

It also hosted the world-famous steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman earlier in the year.

With the festive season just around the corner, upcoming events include the railway’s Santa Specials, which run on weekends from November 25 up until Christmas Eve.

A carol service train will also run on December 16. Visit kwvr.co.uk for more.

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Residents speak of their horror after baby falls to his death from flat

Residents have spoken of their horror after a woman was arrested on suspicion of murder after an 18-month-old baby fell to his death from a sixth floor flat window.

Officers were called to Newcastle House, Barkerend, at about 5.10pm following a report that an 18-month old male had suffered life threatening injuries at an address there.

Emergency services attended and it quickly became apparent a child had died at the scene after falling from a window on the 6th floor, West Yorkshire Police said. 

A full crime scene was established and enquiries are continuing.

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is clearly an extremely traumatic incident and specially trained officers are working to support the child’s family members and those who witnessed what took place.

“ It is no exaggeration to say those who witnessed this incident will have been deeply traumatised by what they saw.

“A 23-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the baby’s fall and she is currently receiving medical assessment in custody.

“Although we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident I would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed what took place or have information who has not yet come forwards.”

This morning, a police officer was standing on a landing of the Y-shaped block of flats.

Entry to Newcastle House, which has shops on the ground floor and seven stories of flats above, is controlled by intercom.

A retired resident on the same landing where the boy fell said he did not know the people involved.

He said: “There’s quiet a high turnover of people in these flats, you wouldn’t necessarily know your neighbours. I just keep to myself.

“There’s babies and toddlers around and I have a four-year-old living above me.

“I don’t think they should be living in high rises.

“When I moved in, in 2000, there was an age restriction and no-one under the age of 35 lived here.

“When it changed from the council to a housing trust, that restriction disappeared.”

The resident saw police activity in the block on Saturday night but did not know what happened until he saw the news this morning.

“It’s horrible,” he said. “It’s hard to take.”

His living room windows – which offer views across the city to the football stadium – only open four inches, he said.

“It was blowing a gale and there was a lot of rain so I kept mine closed,” he said.

He said there were people of different nationalities living in the block.

“You do notice different accents,” he said. “They don’t tend to stay that long, they move to the private sector or buy a property.”

Notices in the lobby were displayed in English and translated into several different languages.

Another resident said: “I don’t know them personally but there is a woman and her boyfriend who live at the flat with two young children.

“It is such a shock to hear about and I only heard it this morning, I can’t believe it.”

While another said: “The beautiful blond hair, blue eyes boy fell at the front of the flats in front of the shops from a window.

“My Auntie thought it was a doll at first but it was a baby boy.

“My husband and a friend called 999 while my friend covered the baby with a shirt as it was completely naked.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101, quoting reference number 1506 of October 21, 2017.

Woman, 23, arrested on suspicion of murder after 18-month-old baby falls to his death

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an 18-month-old baby fell to his death from a sixth floor flat window. 

Officers were called to Newcastle House, Barkerend at about 5.10pm following a report that an 18-month old male had suffered life threatening injuries at an address there.

Emergency services attended and it quickly became apparent a child had died at the scene after falling from a window on the 6th floor, West Yorkshire Police said. 

A full crime scene was established and enquiries are continuing.

Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is clearly an extremely traumatic incident and specially trained officers are working to support the child’s family members and those who witnessed what took place.

“ It is no exaggeration to say those who witnessed this incident will have been deeply traumatised by what they saw.

“A 23-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the baby’s fall and she is currently receiving medical assessment in custody.

“Although we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident I would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed what took place or have information who has not yet come forwards.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101, quoting reference number 1506 of October 21, 2017.

Raise a pint to that! Crowds turn out to beer and music festival

CROWDS have turned out in force to raise a pint at this year‘s Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Beer and Music Festival.

The event, which runs across three sites at Keighley, Ingrow and Oxenhope, began on Thursday and organisers expect around 2,500 to 3,000 people to have visited by tomorrow.

Discerning ale drinkers have around 150 beers from across the country to choose from and there’s also a selection of cider and wine on the menu for visitors who enjoy those as their tipple of choice.

As in previous years, special beers have been brewed for the event from the Kirkstall, Ossett and Timothy Taylor breweries.

And in a fresh addition for 2017, artisan gin is available at Oxenhope station and there is a ‘Cocktail & Gin Shack’ at the new Ingrow site.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy live bands until the festival closes tomorrow at both Exhibition Hall at Oxenhope and in the marquee at Ingrow.

Sarah Howsen, from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, said: “It has been busy again – we thought with the weather it might have been quiet but the first two days have been just as busy as last year.

“The trains are full, it’s really good. Everyone seems to be having a good time.”

She added that today was the main day for live music and bands while tomorrow is a family friendly day with activities for younger visitors to enjoy.

Money raised at the festival will be put back into the railway, which famously appeared in the 1970 film The Railway Children.

Earlier this year, it also hosted the iconic steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman.

Banks consider 555 fraud ‘hotline’

older woman on phone with credit cardImage copyright Getty Images

Victims of financial fraud might soon be able to call for help via a new telephone hotline, similar to the 999 emergency service.

Under the plan anyone worried about scammers would be able to dial 555.

The idea – which is in its early stages – is being examined by Financial Fraud Action UK, and has backing from the Home Office.

Victims could be transferred immediately to their bank’s fraud department or to the Police.

The information could also be used to help build up a database of incidents.

In the first half of 2017 there were over 937,000 cases of fraud, many of which involved scammers trying to persuade victims to transfer their money into other accounts.

In such cases, prompt action is vital, allowing banks to freeze accounts and stop cash being moved.

“Protecting customers from fraud is a top priority for all banks and the industry is always investigating new ways to improve its response,” said a spokesperson for UK Finance.

“This is one potential idea that is at the very early stages of being explored.”

Tesco to start selling green satsumas and clementines

The insides of green satsumas are just as ripe as orange onesImage copyright Tesco
Image caption Tesco is to start selling green satsumas and clementines

Tesco has announced it will start selling green satsumas and clementines, as part of plans to cut food waste.

The supermarket chain says the green oranges are “perfectly ripe” and will be as sweet as orange-coloured ones.

Higher early season temperatures in Spain have slowed down the natural process by which the skin of the fruit turns orange.

Other UK supermarkets have also branched out to sell less-than-perfect produce.

In the past, retailers have been criticised for being too fussy. This has led to farmers throwing away large amounts of perfectly edible fruit and vegetables.

‘Perfectly imperfect’

Satsumas and clementines actually grow as green fruit to begin with, and the skin only turns to orange as summer wanes and the nights cool.

However, in recent years, warmer temperatures during the early growing season for satsumas in September and October have continued to remain high into the autumn, thus delaying the natural process by which the fruit turns orange.

Tesco launched the Perfectly Imperfect range in March 2016, which features apples, pears, potatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, courgettes, strawberries and frozen mixed berries.

Image copyright Tesco
Image caption Don’t be put off by the colour – Tesco says these satsumas are just as ripe as orange-coloured ones

Tesco’s aim is that no food safe for human consumption will go to waste from its UK outlets by the end of 2017.

“Key to encouraging consumers to buy these is communicating – for example, prominently at the point of sale – that the satsumas are ripe and shoppers can expect the same taste they are used to, perhaps even by offering tasters,” Kiti Soininen, Mintel’s head of UK food and drink research, told the BBC.

“From international examples, the success stories for initiatives to cut food waste by embracing ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables have been the ones helping shoppers understand what to expect from the taste and quality of the food, and reassuring them that ‘ugly’ doesn’t mean that the fruit and vegetables wouldn’t still taste great.”

House prices: Have they actually gone up in your neighbourhood?

House prices in more than half of neighbourhoods in England and Wales are still lower in real terms than a decade ago, BBC analysis has revealed.

In 58% of wards, residential properties are selling for less now, after accounting for inflation, than they were in 2007.

in

Your ward is

% after inflation adjustment

For the average price of a house in your ward, you could buy… or

How have house prices changed since the recession?

Average house prices from 2007 to 2017, not adjusted for inflation

England & Wales

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The findings, drawn from official data, expose a stark regional divide in price movement since the financial crisis.

Rising house prices have been confined to the South East and East of England.

Average house prices in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and the North West have declined by more than 10% since 2007, when values are adjusted for inflation.

Adjusting for inflation when comparing 2007 house prices to those in 2017 allows for a more realistic comparison of their value given changes in the cost of living over the last 10 years.

Housing market analyst Neal Hudson said the income squeeze in many parts of the country had constrained house price growth.

“Some people are trapped in their current homes as they have seen no increase in their income and cannot afford to borrow more,” he said.

“Potential first-time buyers in the private rented sector do not have a sufficient or stable income to buy their first home. The idea of committing to a 25 to 30-year mortgage when they are not sure what they are going to earn in the next year is difficult.”

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The BBC data team and the Open Data Institute (ODI) Leeds analysed more than eight million residential property transactions in England and Wales from the Land Registry database for the period from 2007 to July this year. These exclude mortgaged buy-to-let properties.

The price of an average home in England and Wales has remained flat since 2007, after taking inflation into account.

Although most regions have seen house prices go up, this has not been as fast as the rate at which prices in the rest of the economy have risen.

In some areas, a decline in the average house price could potentially be attributed to single properties being split up into multiple ones, as the analysis is unable to take into account the size of the property sold. In Hyde Park and Woodhouse ward in Leeds, the average price so far this year was 57% down from 2007, largely due to the sale of almost 50 student flats.

At one end of the scale, some parts of London have seen massive increases in house prices compared to a decade ago.

The average house price in some areas of Tower Hamlets and Hackney has more than doubled, even when adjusting for inflation.

In the Notting Dale ward of Kensington and Chelsea, which contains Grenfell Tower, average prices had risen from £340,000 in 2007 to £600,000 in 2016. In three of the wards bordering Notting Dale property prices average more than £1m.

Prices have also risen significantly in some parts of the East of England and the South East. In Iver village and Richings Park ward in South Buckinghamshire, the average price so far this year is £700,000, up from £275,000 in 2007.

The least expensive ward in the country is North Ormesby in Middlesbrough.

In 2017, the average house price there was £36,000. At £2.9m, an average home in the most expensive ward – Knightsbridge and Belgravia – costs the same as 80 homes in North Ormesby.

Horden, in county Durham, is another ward that has seen a major decline in house prices over the last decade. The average price for a residential property in the area has gone down from £74,000 ten years ago to just below £40,000 so far in 2017.

Lee Percival bought his two-bedroom home in Horden in 2008 for £113,000. It is now worth around £85,000.

“I feel trapped. I regret buying it, my wife loves it but I feel like we’ve made a loss. I think I’d just have to cut my losses or rent it out. I know I could never sell it at the moment,” he told the BBC.

Areas in Wales have also seen a significant drop in house prices, with nine in 10 wards in the country now selling for less in real terms than they were before the financial crisis.

The number of homes being bought and sold in England and Wales has also not recovered to pre-crisis levels.

Some property experts think transaction figures may provide a more accurate indication of the health of the market than house prices.

In 2007, almost 1.3 million residential properties were sold at full-market value in England and Wales.

The following year that figure almost halved and despite having risen significantly in 2014, sales still totalled just over 900,000, last year, according to Land Registry data.

Potential buyers’ ability to purchase a property is not based solely on the cost of the house.

Lenders have been told to impose stricter criteria when offering mortgages since the financial crisis. That has led to more stringent analysis of borrowers’ ability to repay and higher initial deposits than 10 years ago, in all parts of the country.

Low wage growth has also affected confidence of people willing to buy for the first time or move to a more expensive property.


Produced by Daniel Dunford, Nassos Stylianou, Ransome Mupini, Tom Forth (ODI Leeds), John Walton, Kevin Peachey and Ruth Green. Design by Sumi Senthinathan. Development by Joe Reed and Gabriel Lorin.

How is the average for your ward calculated?

The BBC data team and the Open Data Institute (ODI) Leeds analysed all residential transactions sold at full market value in England and Wales from the Land Registry database for the period from January 2007 to July 2017.

Therefore repossessions, buy-to-lets – where they can be identified by a mortgage – and purchases by companies are not included in the analysis.

All of these transactions were then mapped to government wards, small electoral districts, using ward boundaries from the Office of National Statistics as of December 2016.

The median was used to calculate the average house price for every ward in each of the years from 2007 to 2017. Where there were fewer than 10 transactions per ward in a given year, the median is not provided given the small sample size.

To calculate the percentage change from 2007 to 2017 in real terms, the 2007 price paid figures were first adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) figures for July 2017 and the month in 2007 that the house was sold.

The percentage change between the median price for each ward from 2007 (adjusted for inflation) to 2017 was then calculated.

In some areas, a decline in the average house price could potentially be attributed to single properties being split up into multiple ones, as the analysis does not take into account the size of the property sold.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton on party politics and manifesto

The defection of leadership runner-up Anne Marie Waters and the loss of her supporters was a “very minor split” for UKIP says new leader Henry Bolton.

He said the party was dropping its 2017 manifesto policies, as some were not subject to consultation, to return to those put forward in 2015.

He told Daily Politics presenter Jo Coburn that it was “not banning the burqa as a policy” and added that: “We are not an anti-Islam party and the leadership election demonstrated that.”

Mr Bolton said the party now had around 27,000 members, which he admitted was “low” and confirmed he would be a candidate at the next general election.

Academic study finds grime as ‘disruptive and powerful’ as punk

Grime is the most “significant musical development within the UK for decades”, according to the author of the first ever academic study into the genre.

It’s as “powerful and disruptive as punk”, says the man behind the Ticketmaster report.

Whilst 73% of those questioned are aware of grime, the report found less than half (43%) actually listen to it.

There is also evidence that grime fans still feel the genre is perceived negatively by non-grime fans.

Skepta won the 2016 Mercury Prize

Image caption Skepta won the 2016 Mercury Prize with his album, Konnichiwa

Mykaell Riley, director of the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster, says grime is “an outsider”.

“The genre said ‘we’re not going to do things in a conventional way’.

“Grime has challenged contemporary music in its production aesthetic, in its lyrical approach, in its performance ethic.

“It’s challenged perceptions of what a young audience would be into and it’s created politicians, in terms of how people have been followed.”

In the 1970s, punk’s sound, look and anti-establishment ethos caused disruption by energising a disillusioned section of youth culture.

He says grime has been allowed to evolve far longer than punk did, but the effect on its fans has been similar.

The Sex Pistols were the poster boys for the punk movement in the UK

Image caption The Sex Pistols were the poster boys for the punk movement in the UK

The report looks at grime’s impact in the build-up to the 2017 general election when many artists publicly supported Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn under the Grime4Corbyn hashtag.

“I would say grime artists are the most intelligent group of individuals I’ve met in the music industry,” says Mykaell.

“That’s in terms of them understanding how the industry works and their own futures. The way they manage what they say and do in real time is amazing.”

The report found – perhaps unsurprisingly – that the number of grime events on sale through Ticketmaster has quadrupled since 2010.

And of the 2,000 general music fans questioned for the report:

  • 73% are aware of grime
  • 43% listen to grime
  • 22% were fans of grime
  • 13% attended grime gigs

In addition, BPI figures show the number of grime streams has more than doubled in a year, from 86 million in 2016, to 206 million in 2017.

Spotify says Stormzy is the most streamed grime artist to date, followed by Skepta and Dizzee Rascal.

Wiley is often referred to as the Godfather of Grime

Image caption Wiley is often referred to as the Godfather of Grime

Wiley, the sixth most streamed, is seen as one of the genre’s key pioneers.

Speaking to Newsbeat, he says grime is firmly in the mainstream, because England is “built on pop music”.

“It’s a strong pop market. Stormzy and Skepta have made grime into something today that pays as well as pop does.”

However, there is evidence that some people are unhappy with how mainstream grime has become with 25% of those surveyed claiming its growing popularity is alienating “original” fans of the genre.

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Higher food and clothing prices drives retail sales growth

Oxford StreetImage copyright Getty Images

Higher prices for food and clothing prices driven up by the weak pound fuelled retail sales growth last month.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG figures showed that like-for-like retail sales rose 1.9% in September

That was far higher than the 0.4% increase for the same month last year. Total sales climbed 2.3%.

Much of this growth was due to price rises filtering through, particularly in food and clothing, said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

“Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point,” she said.

“Spending is still being focused towards essential purchases; with consumers buying their winter coats and back to school items, but shying away from big ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household electrical goods.”

The survey showed that food sales rose by 2.5% on a like-for-like basis over the three months to September and 3.5% in total, while non-food sales rose by just 0.5%, or by 0.9% on a total basis.

Non-food sales in stores slumped 2% last month, and slid by 1.5% in total in the three months to September.

Yet online sales for non-food surged 10.7% in September – well above the three-month average of 10% – as shoppers responded well to online discounts.

Paul Martin, KPMG UK‘s head of retail, said: “With potential interest rate rises on the horizon, shaky consumer confidence and ever-increasing levels of household debt, uncertainty remains.

“We’re now moving into the final quarter, which will ultimately define whether 2017 has been a good or bad year for retailers.”