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

NICHOLAS TIMMINS

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

FRAN ABRAMS

DETAILS No 248

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...
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