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  1. National

Tuition fee cuts would come into force next September

Ed Miliband has said a £3,000 cut to university tuition fees would come into force in September 2016 if Labour are elected.

He told supporters it would will benefit not only those starting degree courses next year, but "those already at university" and slash an average of around £9,000 off each student's debt.

Mr Miliband also said that maintenance grants will be raised by £400 a year, and that Labour is "determined" to help students with their living costs.

  1. National

Miliband pledges to cut university tuition fees to £6,000

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: pool

Ed Miliband has pledged to cut university tuition fees from £9,00 a year to £6,000.

The Labour leader said if the party were voted in at the General Election they would make life better for young people.

He also pledged to offer:

  • 25 hours of free childcare for every child aged three and four
  • Lower class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds to 30 or under
  • Guaranteed apprenticeships for teenagers if they get the grades at 18

Skeletons found by accident could have been criminals or soldiers

Twelve skeletons dating back to the time of Richard III have been found by accident by Northern Powergrid and their contractor Interserve.

The find, which dates back to the time of Richard III, is the first of its type to be found in the city Credit: Northern Powergrid

The first bones were discovered in November 2013 by Northern Powergrid and its contractor, Interserve, on Tadcaster Road, known locally as the Knavesmire.

A team of archaeologists remained present on site at all times and were called on to examine the find and start the process of carefully uncovering the skeletons. After initial excavations the team realised that this discovery was something very unusual.

Meticulous excavation in two trenches revealed 12 skeletons.

Unlike 15th century Christian burial practice, the skeletons were all together and weren’t facing East-West.

The Knavesmire was the site of York’s Tyburn, where convicted criminals were executed right up until 1802. Were these individuals criminals or could they have been Lancastrian soldiers?

They may have been captured in battle and brought to York for execution, possibly in the aftermath of the Battle of Towton during the Wars of the Roses, and their remains hastily buried near the gallows

– Ruth Whyte, Osteo-archaologist for York Archaeological Trust

Analysis and radiocarbon dating of two of the skeletons found that they could be dated to around the 1460s.

The skeletons were identified as male and mostly aged between 25 and 40 at the time of their death. Two had significant bone fractures which could be evidence of fighting, perhaps associated with professional soldiers.

The skeletons have been handed over to York Archaeological Trust to protect and preserve. Arrangements are also underway to exhibit one of the skeletons as part of the city’s Richard III Experience at Monk Bar in March.

Sally Simpson reports:

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Castle Howard lit up for tourism event

Yorkshire’s finest stately home, Castle Howard was lit up last night ahead of VisitBritain’s international tourism seminar in York today.

Castle Howard was lit up last night Credit: Visit Britain

We are working hard to rebalance inbound tourism to benefit the whole of Britain. This event for Yorkshire is a perfect example of how we continue to play a leading role in encouraging our visitors to explore the nations and regions.

Today’s event will facilitate further business deals to bring additional international visitors to destinations across the region. We look forward to working with Welcome to Yorkshire, Visit York and the suppliers we have met today to continue to grow inbound tourism to Yorkshire.

– Sally Balcombe, CEO at VisitBritain

Jessie J to perform at open air theatre

Jessie J has announced she will perform at Scarborough Open Air theatre in July as well as Whitby in February.

She has sold over 3 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide to date. Credit: Jessie J

Tickets are £37 are will go on sale next weekend.

We’re delighted that Jessie J has agreed to come back to the Open Air Theatre for a second time; the lure of the Yorkshire Coast proving too hard for her to resist!

The setting is a massive wow factor, we get the most enthusiastic audiences and our team really knows how to look after our visiting stars; it’s a great recipe for success.

– Cllr David Chance, Scarborough council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture

Nick Clegg announces new fleet of trains for the North

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will announce improvements to trains in the North today, promising "more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of trains"

Nick Clegg will announce changes to train services in the North today Credit: Press Association

Improving rail links in the region has been much anticipated. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the North for over 30 years; a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.

Modernising rail in the North will encourage business, boost tourism and give commuters the journey they deserve; one that is fit for a 21st century metropolis.

– Nick Clegg MP, Deputy PM

The government has said it will make the following changes to trains in the North.

  • replace outdated Pacer trains and introduce a brand new fleet of modern trains
  • tackle crowding
  • invest in stations
  • accommodate over 19,000 more commuters in Manchester during the morning peak
  • add over 200 new train services every day across both franchises
  • provide over one-third more capacity across both franchises
  • introduce free Wi-Fi

Unlike the last Northern franchise in 2004, which included limited plans to invest in services or meet demand, this deal will maintain investment and grow to fit the needs of passengers for years to come.

Together with the £1 billion investment we are making to improve the region’s railways and our plans to link east and west through HS3, our railways are making the region an economic powerhouse.

– Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary
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