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All primary school kids to get free breakfast as part of Labour’s childcare plan

Labour hopes to fund the plan by reversing Kwasi Kwarteng’s abolition of the 45p higher tax rate

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Crieff Primary School & Greggs Foundation

All primary school pupils will receive free breakfast under Labour’s newly unveiled childcare plan. 

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson will announce the plan at the Labour conference in Liverpool today, where she will reveal that all children regardless of wealth would get a free morning meal. 

Currently, schools are only eligible for free breakfasts if 40% of their pupils come from poorer families. 

Labour say the plan would cost roughly £365million, and would be funded by reversing Kwasi Kwarteng’s abolition of the 45p higher tax rate.

The reintroduction of the tax rate would bring in an estimated £2billion, with the remaining cash to go towards a recruitment drive of NHS doctors, nurses and midwives.

Phillipson also hopes the pledge will reduce childcare costs for parents who need to start work early. 

She will say at the conference today: “Labour will build a modern childcare system. One that supports families from the end of parental leave through to the end of primary school. 

“As the first step on that road, we will introduce breakfast clubs for every primary school child in England, driving up standards in maths, reading, and writing, and giving mams and dads choices.”

The Association of School and College Leaders said of the plan: “Not only is this important in terms of wellbeing, but it is also educationally important as pupils are not in a fit state to learn if they are hungry.”

Research by KidsHealth.org showed that high protein and fibre-rich breakfasts help to boost children’s attention span, concentration and memory, all of which are essential for good performance at school.

By reducing the stress of the morning routine for families and children, breakfast clubs can also help to improve behaviour and attendance. 

Sam Bailey, the headteacher of the Forest Academy in Barnsley, said after the launch of their own free breakfast club: “Pupil behaviour has improved dramatically and attitudes to learning are the best they have ever been.”

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Man, 27, killed after Audi crashes into wall as police appeal for information

A 27-year-old man has been arrested

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Police are appealing for information after a man was killed when a car smashed into a wall in Stockport. 

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the tragic incident.

An Audi S3 was travelling North East along Broadstone Road on Saturday night when it collided with the Houldsworth Mill external perimeter wall, opposite the Grey Horse Public House, police said.

The man, a 27-year-old passenger, sadly died in the collision which happened at around 6pm on Saturday, February 24th.

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Emergency services rushed to attend the scene of the incident but the passenger sadly passed away. The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody while enquiries continue.

Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to make a report.

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They are also keen to speak to anyone who may have any footage – including dashcam, CCTV, or mobile phone footage – from the area in the moments leading up to the collision.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 4741, quoting log number 2429 of 25/02/24.

Information can also be shared using GMP’s ‘tell us about’ tool or LiveChat function on the force’s website: www.gmp.police.uk.

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Strictly’s Amy Dowden shares ‘no evidence of disease’ in cancer update

‘I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life!’

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Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden shared her latest health update after her cancer diagnosis last year.

The professional dancer was first diagnosed with breast cancer last May, at the age of 32.

Dowden was forced to take a step back from the show while she faced treatment and shared the news with fans.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She joined the long-running hit reality ballroom dancing series in 2017, but was forced to pull out of the show after doctors discovered she also had tumours elsewhere in her body and would have to undergo a gruelling course of chemotherapy.

The star explained her ‘journey had changed’ with another update in an Instagram Live conversation with breast cancer survivor and Paralympic gold medalist Erin Kennedy, for the cancer charity CoppaFeel! in July 2023.

Dowden was originally meant to have a ‘lumpectomy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment’, but was then told she would have to undergo a mastectomy as well as chemotherapy.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She said: “So, all of a sudden, then I realised, and you get scared, but the oncologist did say that with chemo I’ve got a really good chance of a cure.

“I was really scared and I didn’t want to do chemo but then seeing someone like yourself [Erin] who’s carried on and for me straight away it was my dancing, like, you can take away my boob but you can’t take my dancing away from me and that’s what I get really upset about.”

In a recent update shared with her 659,000 followers on Instagram, Dowden had some very good news in her journey.

@amy_dowden / Instagram

She wrote: “NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! Words I dreamed of! My biggest accomplishment yet!

“I won’t be getting the all clear for 5 years especially with a hormone fed cancer. But it was all worth it. Words I never thought I’d hear at one point. So grateful for all the care I received and continue to have.

“To my husband, family and friends who supported me unconditionally and to you guys! Thank you!”

@amy_dowden / Instagram

Though the dancer still has a way to go as she recovers from the toll the last year has taken on her body. 

She continued: “I will still need a monthly injection for 5 years and regular check ups.

“Chemo and this past year has certainly took its toll on my body both physically and mentally, so I’ll be taking the next few months to heal and recover.”

Ending the post on a positive note, she added: “I have so much to strive and live for, and so grateful for another chance at life! 

“Something I know not all get. I certainly see life differently and my life has changed forever!

“Cancer affects too many so I will continue to do all I can to raise awareness and make sure I get as many as I can to #checkthemselves.

“It’s time to look ahead after what’s been the toughest year, and one I certainly didn’t expect! Dance floor I’m coming for you! Welsh love always, Amy x.”

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Taxi driver stopped by police for having illegal and dangerous tyres

‘Check your vehicle before every shift!’

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A taxi driver was caught driving with bald tyres after police officers pulled him over in Greater Manchester.

Officers out on patrol around the city-region as part of an operation with Wolverhampton Council’s Compliance Officers on Saturday night, February 24th, stopped the driver of the black Ford before checking the tyres.

As police made the discovery, in defence the driver claimed he had checked his tyres ‘just last month’.

Images on social media show an officer checking the vehicle along with an image of a tyre with completely worn tread depth – which is illegal and unsafe to drive with.

A spokesperson for City of Wolverhampton Council said: “Compliance Officers patrolled around Greater Manchester last night with Greater Manchester Police. One vehicle suspended for an illegal tyre, also vehicle prohibited by Police. 

“Driver – ‘I checked tyre last month’ … Really!? Check your vehicle before every shift!”

@WVProtect / Twitter

According to car experts at Kwik Fit, the legal limit for the minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is ‘1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre’. 

For safety reasons, it is recommended that you replace your car tyres before the legal limit is reached.

Motorists caught driving with tyres below the legal minimum tread depth could face penalty points being added to their licence and a hefty fine of up to £2,500 per tyre.

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