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Scottish Labour calls for North Sea resilience fund

Scottish Labour is calling for a resilience fund to be made available for those whose livelihoods depend on the North Sea oil and gas industry.

It has also suggested reducing business rates on the sector as a temporary measure to "allow the business to stabilise or to mitigate the impact of large scale redundancies".

Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran accused both Westminster and Holyrood of inaction:

We need the UK Government to come forward with their long term plan for the industry to provide operators with some certainty, and we need the Scottish Government to set up a Resilience Fund so that Aberdeen and the surrounding areas do not have to bear the brunt of losses in the industry.

– Margaret Curran, shadow Scottish secretary

Government urged to take action over North Sea jobs

The Government will be urged to take action to save jobs in the North Sea oil and gas industry during a House of Commons debate on the situation today.

A BP platform around 100 miles east of Aberdeen Credit: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire

The industry is facing the loss of jobs and future investment as a result of the plummeting price of oil on global markets.

North Sea oil and gas provides about 450,000 jobs, with a high concentration in Aberdeen where it supports more than half of all jobs.

Labour's shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran said this could be the biggest threat to Scottish jobs in more than 20 years and urged the Scottish and UK Governments to "take the action that is needed".


Van overturns and seven vehicles slide off road in icy conditions

A van overturned and seven vehicles slid off the road in Sussex this morning as motorists faced icy driving conditions.

Two men, both in their twenties, suffered arm and facial injuries and were taken to hospital after the accident on the northbound carriageway of the A24 between Ashington and Washington.

Low temperatures continue after coldest night of the year

Last night was officially the coldest night of the year so far with temperatures dropping as low as -11C in places, but forecasters warn that there may be more cold weather to come.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for icy conditions across the country including the North, Midlands and East Anglia, until midday on Thursday and MeteoGroup have predicted there could be snow tomorrow or Wednesday.

Tegg's Nose Reservoir, Langley near Macclesfield was covered in ice and snow yesterday Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A message on the Met Office website stated: "Large areas of England will experience colder than average conditions in the coming week, with widespread overnight frosts."

The coldest temperature measured last night was reportedly -11.2C at Loch Glascarnoch, in Scotland, which beats this year's previous record low of -9C on December 27, in Cromdale, Moray.

A mostly dry but very cold start to the week

After a frosty start, it will be mostly dry and sunny although localised fog could persist in some areas.

Some coastal fringes will see cloud with further wintry showers, especially in north-eastern England, although these will gradually ease.

It will remain cold throughout and very cold across snow cover.

Tonight, the sleet and snow will gradually spread into Northern Ireland, and perhaps other far western parts by dawn.

It will be very cold with clear spells elsewhere, with a hard frost and localised fog.


Coldest night of winter expected as temperatures plunge

A man gritting a snow covered road near Ripponden in West Yorkshire on Saturday. Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Forecasters have warned of severe cold weather in parts of the country, with temperatures in some areas expected to fall as low as -15C tonight and early tomorrow.

The lowest temperatures are set to occur in Scotland, with lying snow, clear conditions and light winds contributing in southern, western and Highlands areas.

Sections of Northern Ireland are also expected to see temperatures fall as low as 7C-9C

The Met Office also predicted widespread frost and patches of freezing fog across much of the UK, with drives in particular warned to take extra care in icy conditions.

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