News The MP Louise Ellman branded the use of parking fines to raise revenue unacceptable and illegal

Councils across England have been accused of implementing “an unacceptable mass ticketing culture” after the release of figures showing that car parking charges have generated £600m of surplus profit in the past year.

The Knack: How To Survive Winter Streets By Adrian Bradley

YOU HAVE to be organised or you're going to get into problems. Get some good kit, especially sleeping bags. I always have two for the winter, so being cold isn't a problem at night - although it is when you've got nowhere to go.

Letter: Runaway trolleys

Sir: The writer of Outlook on 28 October saw his pen rather ran away with itself like one of Sainsbury's trolleys before the pound coin trolley-release mechanism was introduced to encourage customers to return trolleys after use. Previously, local streets were littered with discarded shopping trolleys in roads, on pavements and in car parks, to the inconvenience of the public and with consequential costs of retrieval to the store. A pity more stores do not have this system, which has been normal practice on the Continent for a number of years.

Pope opens car park in Vatican

Pope opens car park in Vatican

Profit slump knocks Royal & Sun shares

ROYAL & Sun Alliance, the insurance group, saw profits slump 72 per cent in the first quarter to pounds 214m because of large loss claims in many countries and continued weakness in commercial rates, writes Andrew Garfield.

Bouncers to declare criminal records

BOUNCERS, wheel clampers and private security guards will be required to declare their criminal records under proposals for a new licensing system to be announced by the Government this week.

IMO Car Wash sold for pounds 138m

IMO CAR Wash Group, one of the fastest growing in Europe with operations in seven countries, has been the subject of a pounds 138m buyout organised by NatWest Equity Partners, writes John Willcock.

Can't shop - won't shop

Only five days to the big C, and you haven't set foot in a shop. Looks like you've blown it? Never, says James Sherwood. Not while there's a corner shop, a late-night garage and a little ingenuity

Letter: Nappies at the carwash

Sir: There are yet more advantages to reusable nappies (letters, 2, 6, 9, 15, 20 May).

Famous friends push up price of insurance

TONY BLAIR would like you to think he's the kind of guy who would drop in for a cup of tea, but you would be well advised to turn him away if one day he appears on your doorstep.

Outlook: Sir Donald's exit is as well timed as his entry

SIR DONALD GOSLING and Ronald Hobson, the duo who founded a dull old car park business 50 years ago only to discover they had a goldmine on their hands, look like they are selling out at the top of the market. The pounds 800m that Cendant of the US is paying for National Parking Corporation (National Car Parks to the rest of us) may only represent a 17 per cent premium. But this is hardly the most liquid of stocks, given that 72 per cent of it is in just two pairs of hands. What's more, those institutions who bought into NPC back in 1986 have already had their stake money back and can now look forward to a four-fold return on their original investment.

Bomb-site likely lads make pounds 580m fortune from sale of car parks

FOR MANY, there is little to be gained from the nation's car parks. But for one pair of likely lads, there are, in fact, 580 million reasons to be interested - and they all have the Queen's head on them.

The Investment Column: Kwik-Fit finds new markets

KWIK-FIT'S pledge to give "100 per cent customer delight" has also been applied to its shareholders. Under the astute leadership of Tom Farmer, the group's irrepressible chairman and chief executive, its shares have outperformed the market by more than 85 per cent over the last five years.

Society: Night owls keep the tills ringing

One in three people - nearly 17 million of us - now go shopping at night, according to new research. Unsociable working hours mean that people are now demanding more shops and services to be available 24 hours a day.

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The Half Penny

Personal finance: Car insurance on the way up

Prepare for the cost of motor insurance to go up over the next year. The cost of comprehensive policies rose just over 2 per cent in the last quarter. Non-comprehensive cover rose 1.7 per cent, according to a survey by AA Insurance.
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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape