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USA UK and Malta News
17/08/2010 - 18:50

UK & USA Today Editoweb 17 August 2010

Wheel clampers are to be banned from operating on private land, the Government is set to announce. More than 2,000 existing clamping licences will be revoked under the plans for England and Wales, with towing away also outlawed

UK & USA Today Editoweb 17 August 2010
Clampers banned from private land
Wheel clampers are to be banned from operating on private land, the Government is set to announce. More than 2,000 existing clamping licences will be revoked under the plans for England and Wales, with towing away also outlawed, as ministers act to end the "scourge" of so-called cowboy clampers. Motoring organisations are hailing the "momentous" move, which will be introduced in the Government's Freedom Bill in November and could be in place by early next year. The ban comes two decades after the practice was outlawed in Scotland, with only unlicensed vehicles able to be clamped in Northern Ireland. Once in force, anyone who clamps a vehicle or tows it away on private land will face big fines or even jail.(itn)

Three Critically Hurt As Train Hits Tanker
Three people have been left fighting for their lives after a passenger train hit a sewage tanker on a crossing in Suffolk. The crash happened at the rail crossing at Bures Road in Little Cornard, near Sudbury, at around 5.35pm. A spokesman for Network Rail said initial reports suggested three people have been critically injured, including the driver. The driver is understood to be trapped in the wreckage of the two-carriage diesel train. Seven others are also thought to have been injured, but the spokesman described them as "walking wounded". He said: "The road vehicle was struck by the 17.31 National Express East Anglia service from Sudbury to Marks Tey. "The crossing is a user-worked crossing with gates and telephone. The Network Rail signaller did not receive a phone call from the user of the crossing. "British Transport Police are on scene and co-ordinating the response." A fire brigade spokeswoman has said the train's back two carriages derailed. Sharon Smith, 49, who was in her garden 200 yards away at the time of the crash, said: "I heard a massive bang.(skynews)

Civil servant axed over water firm
A top civil servant has been suspended over claims that he influenced an independent review of Northern Ireland Water which ended in the sacking of the board chairman and three non-executive directors. Paul Priestly, permanent secretary at the Department of Regional Development, was told to leave his desk by Stormont civil service boss Bruce Robinson. The suspension was announced after fresh allegations of Mr Priestly's involvement in the review process. Board chairman Chris Mellor and the three directors were sacked by Northern Ireland regional development minister Conor Murphy last March after a report by the independent review claimed there had been a "serious breakdown in the governance and control framework" of the company. A series of emails allegedly compiled by Mr Priestly is now at the centre of a new investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) at Stormont. A department statement said tonight that the suspension followed an earlier PAC hearing and was to facilitate the investigation. It was not a disciplinary penalty. The investigation would consider new information which had just emerged - a reference to a three-month investigation by journalist Jamie Delargy, business editor of Ulster Television. The independent review was commissioned by Mr Priestly and Laurence Mackenzie, the water board's chief executive. At the time, one of the sacked directors, Declan Gormley, 51, said the dismissals were unmerited.(press association)

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