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.

Schroders drives a good deal

Schroders Investment Management boosted its stake in EuroDollar Holdings to a strategic 20 per cent earlier this year before selling the entire holding to agreed bidder Republic Industries of the US last week.

Letter: British Museum: clear the car park

Sir: I am delighted that the eyesore of car parking is to be removed from the courtyard of the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House (report, 28 July).

NPC brings flotation forward

Andrew Yates

Letter: The early bird ...

Sir: Swallows have returned to our garage a month earlier than usual. Could this be another manifestation of global warming?

Letter: Feminist fever

It's not necessarily cranky to object to "women only" car parks ("The perils in a nation of feminists", 9 February). There are principled objections to such extravagances which quite improperly support the bizarre notions that men in general are a threat and that men and women should lead increasingly segregated lives. It's intellectually and morally respectable to criticise feminism and to dissent from it, providing one does so in a reasonable manner. We are not obliged, I hope, to accept any set of opinions uncritically, at least not yet, and we are entitled to regard feminism as a flawed and somewhat stunted account of social reality without being written off as non-entity.

Car-park drama at Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne opera house has been given six months to dig up a car park which it laid without planning permission in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Garage tragedy

Garage tragedy

Things to do, places to go this weekend: Six of the best: New Year's Day walks

After the rigours of the night before, ease into the New Year with a brisk walk on 1 January. It is a popular day for walks organised by local branches of the Ramblers' Association. Here are six of the best. Anyone is welcome. Call the numbers given if you are worried about the weather, or want fuller information

LETTER: Pay and displays

From Mr Michael MccGwire

Take a look at the motor insurance you just bought. It says 'comprehens ive'. But is it?

W hy do sensible shoppers seemingly throw caution to the wind when buying motor insurance? For most people this is one of their most significant annual outlays, yet many hunt for the cheapest offer, assuming all motor policies are identical in every respect bar price.

LETTER: Own-grown water

From Mr Arthur Little

Gummer moves against out-of-town retail 'sheds'

The Government yesterday issued its strongest edict yet against the growth in out-of- town shopping centres, when John Gummer, Secretary of State for the Environment, issued new planning guidance to local councils.

How does your motor insurance measure up?

The table reflects one consultant's estimate of insurance premiums for selected types of motorist. It is not a "best buy" recommendation but an indication of what the market will charge for different risks, so individuals can assess their current policies. If yours seems out of line, Motor Advice could help. All quotes are for comprehensive cover.

Cornhill cuts

CORNHILL INSURANCE has made cuts of up to13.5 per cent in its buildings insurance cover and of up to 8 per cent in contents cover. Discounts are available according to the age of the policyholder and the security systems installed and the excess that the policyholder is willing to pay. There is also a no-claims discount on contents and personal possessions insurance.

Britain is `car parking mad', says rural group 2/24point bold of spacey

Britain has gone "parking mad" with town centres and villages increasingly dominated by car parks, according to a report published today.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

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As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
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Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

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Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
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Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

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Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

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The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

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A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

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Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star