Teenager with brain tumour to undergo proton beam therapy

The boy will be treated at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, the UK’s first dedicated centre

A 15-year-old with a rare brain tumour is to undergo pioneering proton beam therapy at the UK’s first dedicated treatment centre.

Mason Kettley, from Angmering in West Sussex, will receive the highly targeted therapy, which helps shrink tumours and cuts the risk of side-effects.

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Amazon knocked off top of UK consumer poll once ethics considered

Firm falls to fifth place in customer satisfaction poll with First Direct ranked best

Amazon has slipped down a list of companies ranked by customer satisfaction after consumers were asked to consider ethics when rating brands.

The online retailer, which became the world’s most valuable listed company earlier this month, had taken the top spot in the last six published biannual UK Customer Satisfaction Indexes (UKSCI).

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Overspending on helping at-risk youngsters nears £1bn

National Audit Office reveals councils in England are failing to keep lid on child protection budgets

Ministers face calls for fresh investment in hard-pressed children’s social services after the public spending watchdog revealed that soaring numbers of at-risk youngsters taken into care had caused councils to overspend by nearly £1bn.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said that nine out of 10 local authorities in England were unable to keep a lid on child protection budgets in 2017-18 because of big increases in care rates, particularly among teenagers with complex needs.

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Education of academy pupils harmed by trust failures, MPs warn

Watchdog calls for tough sanctions to punish trusts guilty of poor governance and misuse of public funds

The education of tens of thousands of children has been damaged by academy failures and the misuse of public funds, a parliamentary watchdog has concluded.

In a report published on Wednesday, the public accounts committee (PAC) said governance of academy trusts must be strengthened, and that the Department for Education’s (DfE) oversight must be more rigorous.

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Bodyguard named best new drama at National Television awards

BBC One drama’s star Richard Madden also among the performers’ prize winners in London

The BBC thriller, Bodyguard, has been named best new drama at the National Television awards, and its male lead, Richard Madden, won in the best drama performance category.

The awards were presented at a ceremony at the O2 in London on Tuesday evening. Also among those honoured were This Morning, Strictly Come Dancing and Peter Kay’s Car Share.

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Teenage Corbyn fan rejects hypocrisy claim over Eton scholarship

Hasan Patel, 16, accepts place after calling school’s charitable status ‘absurd and corrupt’

A teenage supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who has been accused of hypocrisy on social media for accepting a scholarship to Eton has told his critics that he will use his education to “go out and tackle injustice”.

Sixteen-year-old Hasan Patel, a self-described socialist and avid supporter of the Labour leader, has accepted a £76,000 scholarship to study at Eton College, whose former pupils include Princes William and Harry, Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

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Father accused of plotting acid attack on three-year-old son

Incident in Worcester was ploy to make estranged wife look a bad mother, court told

A husband plotted a “cowardly” acid attack on his three-year-old son in an attempt to manufacture evidence that his estranged wife was a bad mother, a court has heard.

The 40-year-old taxi driver, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of conspiring with six others to carry out the attack on his own child.

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Teenager killed herself after changes at mental care home, inquest told

Sophie Bennett was ‘upset at prospect of leaving facility’, which was criticised by CQC

A teenager took her own life at a mental health care home after the charity in charge laid off external therapists, employed unqualified staff and turned it into a “boot camp”, an inquest has heard.

In May 2016 Sophie Bennett, 19, from Tooting, south-west London, killed herself in a bathroom at Lancaster Lodge in Richmond, west London, a facility that helps people with mental illnesses transition back to normal life, an inquest jury at West London coroner’s court was told.

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‘We were told to hide in bushes’: how I was trained to collect council fines

Former Kingdom Services Group employee describes ‘intolerable’ working atmosphere

Firm ‘uses aggressive tactics’ to collect millions in fines for councils

When I took on the job I had an interview with the area manager, who told me the rate of pay, and then said: “The sky’s the limit in terms of what you can earn.” They explained that my earnings were based on the amount of fines issued.

I started working for them in 2015. I was there for two years, going around a sprawling county in Wales. I travelled around in a council van and company vehicle issuing fines for crimes like dog-fouling, littering and fly-tipping.

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Tourist numbers to the UK down while global figures continue to rise

A decrease in visitors coming to Britain and a fall in spending are in stark contrast to a worldwide increase in international arrivals, according to UN data

The number of people visiting the UK on holiday fell in 2018. This was contrary to predictions and bucked the global travel trend, which saw worldwide international arrivals increase 6% year on year. The figure for worldwide arrivals has reached 1.4 bn, two years earlier than expected, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In contrast, the UK saw a decline of 5.3% in overseas tourists and a 2.3% fall in spending, despite earlier suggestions that a record year in 2017 would continue into 2018.

The drop in inbound tourism to the UK has been attributed to a fall in interest among Europeans, who account for two-thirds of overseas visitors. Research by VisitBritain showed that interest in visiting the UK since the Brexit referendum fell from 76% in August 2016 to 69% in autumn 2018.

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Councils need more tools to cut off rogue landlords’ profits | Letter

Brent councillor Eleanor Southwood says the London borough is leading the way in cracking down on those who make tenants’ lives a misery

I agree wholeheartedly with outrage about rogue landlords profiting from housing benefit (Law must change, says council that paid £500,000 to rogue landlord, 22 January). But focusing frustration on Brent council – where we’re leading the way in cracking down on landlords who make their tenants’ lives a misery – is regrettable.

Since 2016 we’ve secured over 140 prosecutions and in excess of £1.1m in fines, and issued over 100 civil penalty notices; last month we secured a historic victory by using the Proceeds of Crime Act in response to finding 31 people crammed into a four-bedroom house.

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Antony Gormley’s statue is the new flasher of Folkestone | Brief letters

Healthcare for all | Books | Ofsted | Markeaton footbridge | Antony Gormley | Elderly drivers

In 1999, we had a student from Ghana on a summer school at Oxford who needed immediate hospitalisation. At A&E, he asked if they wanted to see his passport and medical insurance. The nurse said: “Sir, all I need to know is that you’re sick.” Let’s keep that kind of NHS (‘I thought they were killing me’: NHS trust halted asylum seeker’s cancer treatment, theguardian.com, 21 January).
Andrew Shacknove
Oxford

• It is not possible to own too many books (Tom Gauld cartoon strip, Review, 19 January). It is, however, common not to have enough space for all your books, a problem that I and many others experience.

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Trump Organization faces £5m charge over luxury housing in Scotland

US president’s company refusing to build affordable homes in estate near Aberdeenshire golf course

Donald Trump’s property firm faces a £5m surcharge because it has refused to include any affordable homes in a new luxury housing estate beside his Aberdeenshire golf course.

The Trump Organization, which is run by the president’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr, wants to build 550 luxury homes and “leisure units” in fields a few hundred metres from their 18-hole golf course north of Aberdeen.

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UK pay growth surges as employment hits record high

Average weekly earnings were up by 3.4% in November – the biggest rise since July 2008

The spending power of British workers increased to its highest level in two years in November following the biggest rise in real pay since September 2016.

Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 3.3% on the year, the biggest increase since 2008 and well ahead of inflation, which fell to 2.3% in November.

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Wayne Rooney spoke ‘broken English’ at time of arrest, says police report

The former England captain Wayne Rooney was speaking “broken English” when he was arrested for public intoxication and swearing at a Washington DC airport last month, it has emerged.

Deadspin obtained the incident report from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, and published the details on Tuesday. According to the report, the arresting officer was dispatched after receiving a report of a person trying to go through a secure door.

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Patisserie Valerie falls into administration as bank talks fail

Almost 3,000 jobs at risk at chain plunged into crisis after finding a £40m black hole in accounts

Patisserie Valerie has collapsed into administration, putting more than 3,000 jobs at risk, after it failed to secure a financial lifeline from its banks.

About 70 of the cafe group’s nearly 200 stores and concessions will close immediately, with the loss of about 900 jobs.

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