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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot