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Jobs at risk as Poundworld heads for administration

Credit: PA

Poundworld is expected to crash into administration this morning after last-ditch sales talks broke down, putting 5,100 jobs at risk.

The budget retailer was in talks with private equity firm R Capital over the weekend, but is now calling in administrators at Deloitte after talks broke down.

Poundworld has around 350 stores, including those in Norwich, Kings Lynn, Ipswich, Wisbech, Braintree, Chelmsford, Cambourne, Bedford, Stevenage, Harlow, Luton, Dunstable, Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Peterborough.

Honoured Mary Beard says her children will treat her as a pantomime dame

The Cambridge classics professor and television presenter Mary Beard is now a Dame. Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Cambridge classicist Mary Beard said it was a "smashing honour" to be made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours.

Beard, who was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours, will receive a damehood for services to the study of classical civilisations.

The University of Cambridge professor is well-known for her online presence and regular appearances on classics and discussion panel programmes on the BBC, as well as contributing to Radio 4 series A Point Of View.

Yet she expects her friends and family to throw around a few jokes.

"I think there will be a bit of ribaldry to be honest - and a few jokes about 'pantomime dames'. But all good fun," she said.<

"It is of course a smashing honour. I feel especially pleased that someone working on the ancient classical world gets honoured in this way.

"I'd like to treat it as a bit of a tribute to the Greeks and Romans themselves - as well as to all my wonderful academic colleagues who also do so much for the study of antiquity."<

– Dame Mary Beard

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How to protect you keyless car or van

An actor posing as a car thief Credit: PA

Bedfordshire Police is issuing crime prevention advice to advise motorists how to protect their keyless vehicles.

T/Detective Inspector Chris Hutton said: “Following a rise nationally in thieves now using more sophisticated techniques to gain access to keyless entry/start button cars, there are simple steps you can take to help keep your vehicle secure and protect you from becoming a victim of crime.”

What is signal jamming?

Thieves use a gadget to prevent your key fob sending the command to lock your car and it remains unlocked. Whilst this tool will not allow them to steal your car it will allow them to root through your valuables.

How to avoid: Make sure the indicators flash when you press the lock button and listen for the doors locking.

What is signal relaying?

When the correct key fob is close by, the fob recognises the signal and transmits its own code, instructing the vehicle to unlock the doors and to allow the ignition to work on the car.

Thieves use wireless transmitters to capture its radio transmission. This is relayed to another device. It allows the thief to open and start your car in the same way.

How to avoid: Use car key signal blocker cases/sleeves, they cost less than £10, or an aluminium tin at home. Find a safe place for your keys at home and check to ensure they are out of range.

What is key programming?

Every car has a standard diagnostic port fitted. Computer hackers have developed devices that plug into the port, boot up a vehicle’s software and then program a blank key fob. In keyless cars this can be used to start the engine as well as unlock the doors.

How to avoid: Fit a lock to your diagnostic port and use additional security such as a steering wheel lock.

Number plate thefts

Officers are also encouraging residents to report number plate thefts. They are stolen to be used in other offences such as:

Speeding, illegal parking, not paying congestion charges, driving away from a petrol forecourt without paying, not paying for parking tickets or speeding fines‘, disguising’ a stolen vehicle.

Vehicles with stolen number plates have also been used in more serious crimes such as burglary, kidnap and robbery.

How to avoid: Use Anti-theft Number Plate Bolts, they cost less than £10.

You can also visit the Bedfordshire Police website for advice on how to keep all vehicles secure and protect you from becoming a victim of crime.

Urgent appeal made to find more foster carers

An urgent appeal has been made to find more foster carers in our region.

In Northamptonshire, 58 children were referred to the 'TACT' charity last month needing a foster home, while in Cambridgeshire the number was 46 - including 25 in Peterborough alone.

  • Watch an interview with TACT Chief Executive Andy Elvin
  • How can I foster? (information from TACT)

Foster carers come from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups.

The most important criteria for becoming a foster carer is your ability to listen and empathise, to provide a stable and loving home and to speak up for the children you care for.

Your sexuality, marital status, age and whether you own a home do not determine your suitability as a foster carer therefore will not impact your fostering application.

To be able to begin your fostering journey with TACT they ask that you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be over 21 years old
  • You must have a spare bedroom
  • You must be a full-time resident in the UK or have indefinite leave to remain
  • You must have good spoken and written English
  • You must have the time and availability to dedicate yourself to fostering

easyJet reveals impact of air traffic control strikes

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Luton based easyJet became the latest airline to lay bare the impact of air traffic control strike action as it revealed that nearly 1,000 flights were cancelled last month.

The airline said it cancelled 974 flights in May, with around 600 due to industrial action in France and Italy and 300 as a result of bad weather disruption and air traffic control restrictions.

The cancellations compared with just 117 a year earlier.

Rival Ryanair made a plea on Tuesday for the EU to take "immediate" action to end the ATC strikes and prevent a summer of travel chaos after more than 200,000 of its customers were hit by flight cancellations in May.

The Dublin-based airline was forced to cancel more than 1,100 flights, with the bulk due to the industrial action in France and ATC staff short shortages.

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