Railtrack escapes crash prosecution

Railtrack is to escape prosecution over a crash which was almost a carbon copy of the 1988 Clapham rail disaster. Instead, British Rail will be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive next month for its role in the accident, last September, near Walthamstow, east London, when one train ran into the back of another.

Councils need not repay pounds 17m loans to bank

A merchant bank which provided loans totalling pounds 17m for two ill-fated projects guaranteed by local authorities was told yesterday that it cannot call in the debts because the councils had acted illegally in the first place.

Letter: Favourite sons

Sir: In response to the raging debate (Letters, 24 April) about Walthamstow's most illustrious offspring, neither William Morris nor William Penn is in the running. Anyone on Walthamstow High Street could tell you that Walthamstow's most famous sons are the pop band East 17.

LETTER: Penn's place

Sir: In "Trails of the Unexpected" (20 April), I read: "October 1996 marks the centenary of the death of Walthamstow's most famous son, poet, artist, designer, socialist and much else besides, William Morris."

Injured mental patient awarded pounds 500,000

A mental patient left paraplegic after throwing herself from a window when she was allowed to walk out of a psychiatric unit was yesterday awarded pounds 495,799 damages in the High Court.

Whistle-blowers' Bill wins support of MPs


LAW REPORT: Impecuniosity irrelevant to rent benefit

LAW REPORT 28 February 1996

LETTER:Why the Government paid pounds 150,000 per new 'council' house

THE pounds 150,000 spent on each new home in the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust was made available by a government desperate to make an unpopular policy appear workable ("This is a council estate ...", 7 January; Letters, 14 January).

LETTER : Costs for Oliver Close are not just for bricks and mortar

YOUR claim that the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trustspent pounds 150,000 on each house in our redevelopment is simplistic ("This is a council estate ...", 7 January). The costs include the demolition of the old homes; the diversion of main services and an underground river; and the construction of a 6m wall as a barrier against sound and pollution from the North Circular Road. I doubt any local authority or housing association has undertaken such a complex and large-scale task in recent history.

This is a council estate. The Government spent pounds 150,000 on each house. Why?

Catherine Pepinster explains how Utopia came to Oliver Close

Willey has Harris in his sights

Martin Harris, unchallenged as Britain's leading sprint backstroker for the past five years, could have his supremacy threatened at the Uncle Ben's Winter Challenge in Sheffield which starts tonight.

Maples chosen for Tory defector's seat

John Maples, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, was selected for the safe seat of Stratford-on-Avon last night, following the defection to Labour of the sitting MP, Alan Howarth.

Problem schools face compulsory inspections



IN WHICH picture by which artist can you find this twirl?

Straight from the horse's mouth

well i never. Vinnie Got Blown Away. Book by geezer name of Jeremy Cameron. You clock him you go down Walthamstow Probation, round the Magistrates. Tall geezer, skinny, 48 at a pinch, bit grey round the edges. Assists the courts daytime, spot of writing after dark. You write about the 'Stow got to be a bit funny or something. You write about criminals got to know the scene. Clever, though, could be plenty of folding the punters buy it...
Career Services

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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform