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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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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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
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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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried