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Drivers warned they could be fined £5k for putting a Christmas tree in their car

Some useful information on December 1st…

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Julianna Arjes / Unsplash

Drivers across the nation could potentially be slapped with a £5,000 fine for incorrectly transporting their Christmas tree home.

While bringing home a fresh pine is the highlight for many over the Christmas period, car sales website Goodbye Car has warned that shoving it in the back of the car in a certain way could land drivers a hefty fine.

According to the research, drivers could face a maximum fine of £5,000 for ‘careless and inconsiderate’ driving in addition to the three points for that indiscretion.

That isn’t very Christmassy, is it?

Another motoring office likely to be committed is ‘causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers.’ This can result in three penalty points which can stay on a driving record for between four and eleven years.

@caragrobbelaar / Unsplash

Police can also dish out on-the-spot £100 fines and three penalty points for the offence, while more serious cases go to court and could result in the maximum fine and disqualification.

Again, not very Christmassy.

But fear not, because Goodbye Car has offered some advice on how to safely store your Christmas tree on its journey home.

Goodbye Car’s Operations Manager Mark Royal said: “Driving your Christmas tree home is an important one to get right for the safety of yourself and others, but with the right knowledge, it shouldn’t be a difficult job.

“Fines can easily be avoided if you properly secure the tree to the roof of your car.”

Here are their top tips:

@skyler_tv / Unsplash

Buy a netted tree

A netted tree is much more manageable and easy to transport in a vehicle – most places that sell Christmas trees know to provide the tree wrapped in a net and, if they’re not already netted, this is a service you should be able to ask for.

Face the tree stump to the front

The best way to position to a tree on top of a car is to have it laid lengthways with the stump facing the front of the car. This limits wind resistance due to the angle of the branches.

Use a roof rack

A roof rack is one of the safest ways to attach a Christmas tree to the roof of a car. Bungee cords or ropes will be needed to secure and tie down the tree tightly to the roof and the roof rack. Tip: Make sure the tree is secured right from the bottom branches to the tip of the tree.

Use your car doors if you don’t have a roof rack

Car doors can be used as another way to safely secure your Christmas tree within the law. Instead of attaching the ropes to a roof rack, open the car doors and tie the ropes inside the car. Once the car doors are closed, it should secure the ropes even further.

Attach reflective tags to an overhanging tree

Depending on the size of the tree, a car roof may not be long enough to accommodate it. If this is the case and the tip of the Christmas tree is hanging over the back of the car, make sure that you attach reflective tags so that other motorists and road users can see how much room to give you.

Drive more cautiously than usual

Transporting heavy cargo like a Christmas tree should have an impact on how you drive. Be careful in particular when taking corners and keep well back from other vehicles to avoid braking sharply – both of which could dislodge the tree from your car roof and be classed as driving dangerously.

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Shocking comparison between England Lionesses’ wages and their male counterparts

It is hoped that the success of the Women’s Euros will close the gender pay gap

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Following the Lionesses Women’s Euro 2022 victory last weekend, the shocking comparison between their wages and that of their male counterparts has started coming to light.

The Lionesses’ bonus for finally bringing football home after fifty-six years of hurt was £55,000 per player, a seemingly handsome sum. 

However, it is just a small fraction of the bonus the men’s team took home after coming in second during the Euro 2020 tournament last year.

The men were each awarded a bonus of £300,000, and could’ve have taken an even higher sum of £460,000 home if they had beaten Italy to the title. 

A BBC study claims Women’s Super League (WSL) players earn £47,000 a year on average, while the average wage of a Premier League player is £60,000 – a week. 

The only aspect of equality in the game is payment to each player for an England appearance, with both the men and women’s team being paid £2,000 for each appearance.

The significant gender pay gap can be put down to the amount of money individual clubs bring in – for example, Manchester City’s mens team reported £571m in turnover for the 2020-21 season.

According to Deloitte, the club spent 62% of that revenue on players’ wages, which works out at £354m.

Manchester City’s Women’s Super League team, however, reported a significantly lower turnover of £2.9m for 2020-21, with its wage bill reported at £3.3m.

Though it isn’t all doom and gloom for women’s football, with wages slowly on the increase.

England Captain Leah Williamson reportedly earns £200,000 a year, while right-back Lucy Bronze is also said to have been in a similar wage bracket when she was at Manchester City before her transfer to Barcelona this summer.

And things are looking up for the Lionesses as they consider brand deals, sponsorships and off-field collaborations with big names such as Pepsi, Gucci and Nike, all of which will increase the club’s revenue. 

Pay could also increase as a result of the tournament’s success, which saw a record attendance for any Euro game at Wembley for the final.

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Bury swimmer James Guy wins SIX medals at the Commonwealth Games

James also brought home gold at last year’s Olympic Games

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@james.g.guy / Instagram

A swimmer from Bury will be bringing home an astonishing six medals from the Commonwealth Games. 

After winning three silvers and two bronze at the Birmingham games, James Guy concluded his week with gold as part of the England team 4 x 100 metres medley relay after beating their Australian rivals.

These medals join his Olympics 2021 success in Team GB’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay team, where he brought home gold. 

Although winning gold is the dream, James says the medal he is most proud of this week is the silver he won for the 100 metres butterfly event.

He told ITV News: “I just haven’t got that race right this year just generally and tactically but this meet I wanted to swim it right and swim it how I usually do it.

“I trusted myself, believed what I was doing and believed in myself.”

He added: “It’s been a really good year this year. I think to get six medals at our home games is fantastic. I never really look at the results, I just try and see what I can do in my individual races and my team races. 

“Six medals is a nice accomplishment… I didn’t realise how many I’d won until I finished racing, but to finally get a gold on the last event and to beat the Australians… Yeah, a really really good week, and a nice start for the English team in Birmingham.”

James, who was awarded an MBE for his services to swimming earlier this year, was born in Bury and grew up in Altrincham, where he took up swimming lessons when he was four.

However, swimming wasn’t his only passion, with his childhood being full of different sports and activities. He said: “When I was younger I was obsessed with Bruce Lee. I used to do kung fu twice a week, gymnastics, football and even lacrosse.

“I was just a normal kid trying everything. Eventually swimming took over and it went from there.”

James swam at the Trafford Metros swimming club and went on to win a swimming scholarship at Millfield public school in Somerset, where he now lives. 

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Campaign group urges Brits to stop paying their energy bills in protest of soaring costs

‘It can only work if we show the powers that be that we would not stand for being treated as cash cows’

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Brits should boycott their energy bills this October in protest of the soaring costs, a campaign group has proposed this week.

As the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll, Don’t Pay UK is on a mission to get one million people to pledge to cancel their bills in a bid to force energy companies to reduce monthly costs.

The group says that if even a fraction of the million that they want on board agree to stop paying their energy bills, they will be able to bring companies to the negotiating table.

This comes after Ofgem announced the energy price cap will be updated every three months rather than every six months, as it warned that customers face a ‘very challenging winter ahead’.

Analysts at Cornwall Insight also predicted that the price cap is on track to rise to an astonishing £3,615 a year from January, adding further pressure on households. 

In response to this, Don’t Pay UK has devised a three-step plan:

Build support.

The group is currently setting up email lists and is on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter to spread its message. Zoom calls are also being organised, as are as in-person meet-ups. They are also printing flyers and stickers in a bid to bring people together.

A statement on the group’s website reads: “We’ll need people, organisations and community groups to do all of this too, building this up street by street, estate by estate and city by city.

“The first step is to get thousands of people like you to say you support the strike.”

Gather a million pledges.

Don’t Pay UK has stressed that the only way they can get their message across is by turning out in serious numbers to show energy companies that they have some power.

A statement reads: “One million sounds like a lot, but millions more will already be thinking about whether they’ll be able to pay come winter and afford the other things they need to survive for them and their families.

“Even more of us will be angry about paying more than double what we used to pay for the same amount we use. Let alone food, petrol and mortgages.”

Cancel direct debits if price increases go ahead.

If the government and energy companies have not reduced bills by October 1st, the group say they will take action by cancelling their direct debits. They hope that by everybody doing this on the same day, they will be able to send a strong message to energy companies.

Their website reads: “It can only work if we believe in each other and show the powers that be that we would not stand for being treated as cash cows.”

To read more about the Don’t Pay UK movement, visit the official website here.

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