Get into composting

Composting is another great way to reduce your kitchen waste and get free fertiliser for your garden. For successful composting, you need a good balance of ‘greens’ and ‘browns’. ‘Greens’ include vegetable peelings, fruit waste and teebags, whilst ‘browns’ are made up of scrunched up paper, egg shells, cardboard.

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It can take between six months and a year to create finished compost, but it will be worth the wait. If your garden is very small, you can still make compost by setting up a wormery that is the perfect size for patios and balconies.

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Birmingham worst hit city in UK by Storm Ciara

An insurance giant has seen a 285 per cent surge in calls and claims as it helps to repair the damage caused by Storm Ciara – with Birmingham one of the worst-hit cities.

Claims included property damage such as loose tiles and broken windows, as well as flooding.

Andrew Morrish, UK claims director for Aviva, said: “Storm Ciara is unusual in that it has affected a wide area and so far we’ve seen an increase of around 285 per cent in telephone calls and claims, compared to January.

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“Customers are able to contact us in a number of ways and around 10 per cent of people have made a claim using our online claims facility.

Mr Morrish said: “This means that around 12 per cent of customers have already received payments.”

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has advised people facing damage or flooding to contact their insurer as soon as possible.

Many insurers have 24-hour emergency helplines and they may be able to arrange temporary emergency repairs to stop any damage getting worse.

The ABI advises keeping any receipts which may be used to support a claim and not rushing to throw away damaged items unless they are a danger to health, as they may be repaired or restored.

Comprehensive motor insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged by storms.

Source: Birmingham Live 

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State of emergency declared in Australia due to worst bushfire fire

Authorities in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have declared a state of emergency as massive bushfires rage south of Canberra.

It is the worst fire threat to the territory in nearly two decades, officials said.

The main blaze, in the territory’s south, is burning over more than 18,500 hectares.

Residents in suburbs of Canberra have been urged to “remain alert” for potential evacuations.

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“The ACT is now facing the worst bushfire threat since the devastating fires of 2003,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters on Friday.

“There’s now no higher priority for the ACT government at this time than the bushfire threat.”

The small territory, located between Sydney and Melbourne, has about 400,000 residents.

In 2003, bushfires in the suburbs of Canberra killed four people, injured another 500 and destroyed or damaged 470 homes.

Similar weather conditions were being recorded on Friday, authorities said.

Three US firefighters died on the same day after their aircraft crashed over a fire zone near the city, in the Snowy Mountains region.

Earlier this week, photos of bushfires in the area turning skies red were shared widely on social media.

It prompted authorities to issue warnings against “disaster tourism”, following several reports of people driving near active fire zones to take pictures.

“I want to reinforce the message to disaster tourists they’re not welcome as this fire approaches,” Mr Barr said.

Since September, bushfires in Australia have killed at least 33 people and destroyed thousands of homes. More than 11 million hectares of land has been scorched.

Source: BBC News

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Brits to brace for disruption during Storm Atiyah

A yellow weather warning from the Met Office is in place for “very strong winds” which are expected tonight and into Monday morning which could cause disruption with coastal winds of more than 70 miles an hour.

It comes as Storm Atiyah is set to arrive in the UK with wind speeds of around 50mph predicted inland, with coastal areas being affected by gusts of up to 75mph.

There could be large waves offshore in Wales, the South West of England and potentially the North West as a result of the high winds.

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It’s likely to be gusty across the Pennines, but lower levels could also be affected, too.

Temperatures are likely to be in single figures.

The Met Office warns there could be some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, with train services and buses potentially affected, too.

Parents on the school run and commuters are warned to take care in the high winds on Monday morning.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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UK new build prices soars at 10 times more than existing homes

New build property prices are increasing at more than 10 times the rate as those for existing housing stock.

The typical cost of a new build home in England is rising at an annual rate of 4.3%, while property values for existing homes have edged ahead by just 0.3%, according to the latest figures from the Land Registry.

The trend is seen across all regions of England, with the average new build property costing £316,789, compared with £245,173 for other homes.

In many parts of the country property values for the two different property types are moving in opposite directions.

While house prices have fallen year-on-year for existing housing stock in London, the south east, the north east and the east of England, the cost of a new build home has jumped by as much as 3.6%.

Source: Zoopla property news

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IKEA to build sustainable & affordable new homes in UK

In an effort to solve the UK housing shortage, a company co-owned by project development and construction company Skansa and IKEA are building low-cost housing in the UK. The project is the result of a deal signed between Worthing council in West Sussex and Boklok , the IKEA-backed housing concept that provides low-cost, sustainable housing to individuals with average incomes.

 

 

IKEA-designed housing will soon pop up in Worthing, a town in southern England where average housing prices are 11 times that of the average salary. In a bid to ease the housing crisis, the council has signed a deal with international residential developer BoKlok UK to deliver 162 sustainable, factory-built homes to the coastal town. IKEA has already started (June 27, 2019) building hundreds of affordable houses in the UK.

BoKlok started in the early 1990s when IKEA and Skanska joined together to offer sustainable and low cost homes, to create an affordable way for those on average incomes to buy a home. The first homes were completed in 1997 and there are now over 11,000 homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

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IRA plans to Knockout power supply in England Homes

The IRA planned to knock out the power supply to the south east of England in the final years of its bombing campaign, a former insider has claimed.

Details are revealed in the final episode of the BBC series Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History.

Insiders describe a battle of wits between the IRA and British intelligence.

When the British Government refused to admit Sinn Féin to peace talks in the mid-1990s, Canary Wharf was bombed.

IRA-bomb

Two people were killed and damage was estimated at £150m in the attack in February 1996.

In June of the same year, the IRA exploded what was reported as the largest bomb to be planted in Great Britain since World War Two.

More than 200 people were injured in the blast in Manchester and significant damage to infrastructure caused.

The final programme in the landmark BBC series, presented by Darragh MacIntyre, includes first-hand accounts of the campaign in Britain after the IRA ceasefire was temporarily abandoned in 1996.

Source: BBC News

Fewest UK homes being put on sale since 2016 as Brexit nears – RICS

Britons are holding off from trying to sell their homes due to uncertainty about when and how Britain will leave the European Union, according to a survey published by RICS which adds to signs of a slowdown in the housing market.

PIPA property photo

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said new sales instructions fell last month (Sep. 2019) at the fastest pace since June 2016, when Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

(Source from UK Reuters News)