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Iceland giving vouchers to combat the cost of living

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Iceland food shop

Pensioners in the UK are set to receive a £30 food voucher by the supermarket Iceland because of the rising cost of living crisis. To do so, the chain has collaborated with The Rothesay Foundation to launch the Summer Cheer campaign, which will run until September 16th.

 

With their voucher, pensioners can purchase food and other essentials, although the voucher will only be given to individuals of whom are either living independently or with a carer. They must also be solely reliant on state pensions and benefits.

 

Iceland have launched the new scheme as a development of their existing weekly over 60s discount in all stores which has been in operation since May. Since then, shoppers have been able to receive a discount on every Tuesday. Those with a voucher as a result of the new Summer Cheer scheme will be able to use their £30 voucher in conjunction with their Tuesday discount.

 

How to get one

To qualify for a voucher, you must be of pension age and living on a state pension and benefits. You must also be living either independently or with a full-time carer.

 

A story by Wales Online states that the campaign will also provide copies of financial advice produced by Age UK.

 

If you would like to access the Summer Cheer scheme, you can ask at your local Iceland store. Alternatively you can call the Summer Cheer hotline on 0800 098 7877 which is accessible from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Which stores will offer the scheme

 

Iceland say that the stores that will offer the Summer Cheer scheme have been identifies as the places in the UK with highest number of pensioners living in deprivation.

 

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland Foods, said: “Since the launch of the partnership last Christmas, the cost of living crisis has taken hold of the UK, and now more than ever, people are struggling to access the food they need.

 

“No one should ever have to worry about how they are going to eat or drink, and we hope that the support we can offer across the UK will help pensioners access and enjoy a worry-free meal during this time.”

 

The campaign will be distributed across the following locations

 

  • Greater Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • Wirral
  • Newcastle North
  • Sunderland
  • Birmingham
  • West Midlands
  • Glamorgan
  • Newport
  • North Wales
  • Lambeth
  • Croydon

 

What are people saying?

 

Both the Rothesay Foundation and Iceland are working with Age UK to address that older people can claim all the benefits and support that they are entitled to.

 

Addy Loudiadis, of the Rothesay Foundation, said: “We hope our vouchers will provide a small amount of relief to the growing number of older people living in real financial difficulty in the UK.

 

“Going forward, we are committed to working with brilliant partners like Iceland and AGE UK to help as many pensioners as possible to get access to their full benefit allowances.”

 

What are your thoughts in the scheme – join us on Facebook to join the conversation….

 

 

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THE NEWCASTLE WITCH TRIALS – NORTH EAST HISTORY SERIES

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We investigate into Newcastle Town Moor being one of the biggest witch trials in England’s history back in 1650! Did you know Newcastle’s Town Moor used to be home to the cities infamous gallows?

At the time of the Newcastle witchcraft trials, there was a time of social, political, and religious upheaval. The defeat of the Scottish army in the Second English Civil War and the rise to power of the radical Kirk party in Scotland—which sought to establish a “godly society,” a puritan society that exterminated witches and other criminals—both contributed to political and theological unrest. In 1649, they enacted a new Witchcraft Act and urged neighbourhood presbyteries to look for witches. While mostly limited to the Lowlands, particularly Lothian and Fife, the intensive witch hunts that started in 1649 and persisted into 1650 also spread into northern England, where Scottish witch prickers were active. When Cromwell led an army, the Kirk party’s reign came to an end.

In Scotland and Northern England in the years 1649 and 1650, there are approximately 612 records of witchcraft allegations, and more than 300 witches were put to death during the witch trials. The majority of these were in informal courts with a substantially greater execution rate than those presided over by attorneys with training. The majority of witches were female and belonged to relatively low social classes. Some of the witchcraft trials included references to the Devil, although they mostly focused on alleged harm caused by witchcraft.

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North-East True Crime – Mary Ann Cotton; One Of The Most Notorious Serial Killers In The World

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Mary Ann Cotton, an Englishwoman whose killing spree included her own husbands, a lover, and many children, must be mentioned in any discussion of the most infamous serial killers in history. Her overall number of fatalities during her 21-year reign of terror is the same. Her weapon of choice was poison, specifically arsenic, which caused symptoms resembling an upset stomach and allowed her to remain hidden from law enforcement for 20 years. She had several marriages during her life and killed primarily for insurance payouts. She attracted men with her beauty and charm, marrying primarily the wealthy. When she was done with them, she would subtly inject poison into their

Watch this chilling video below! 

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Newcastle Clean Air Zone explained: Where it is, when tolls start, and who has to pay

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Daily charges for some vehicles entering Newcastle city centre are not a tax-raising scheme for the council, its leader has said.

Launching on 30 January, the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will cover most of the city centre.

Private cars will be exempt but older taxis will be charged £12.50 per day and non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches will have to pay £50 each day.

Opponents warn it could deter people from visiting the city. They also claim recently-installed signs advertising the zone are confusing as they do not specify who could be charged.

Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July to allow extra time for vehicle replacements, which are currently affected by a national supply shortage.

Who has to pay a toll?

Under the CAZ, only some older, more polluting vehicles will be subject to daily fees to drive into Newcastle city centre. All private cars have been made exempt from the tolls, but other vehicles that do not comply with modern emissions standards will face charges.

Non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches will be hit with £50-a-day tolls, while the worst polluting vans and taxis will be charged £12.50 per day.

Petrol vans and taxis that meet ‘Euro 4’ standards are exempt, as are ‘Euro 6’ diesels, so it is important to check what class your vehicle is in. All HGVs, buses and coaches must be of ‘Euro 6’ standard to avoid the toll.

Newcastle and Gateshead councils say that, as a general rule, the following vehicles should meet the minimum standard, therefore be exempt from tolls:

  • Taxis – Diesels registered after September 2015, petrol cars registered after 2005;
  • Vans – Diesels registered after September 2016, petrol after January 2006;
  • HGVs, buses and coaches registered after 2014.

When do the tolls start?

You may have seen signs popping up around the city centre warning road users about the new CAZ charges, stating that “charges apply, pay online”.

The first set of tolls will begin on January 30, 2023 and will apply only to taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs. Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July 2023, with extra time having been afforded due to a national shortage of vans making it harder for people to upgrade to newer, cleaner models.

Originally, the CAZ was supposed to come into force in January 2021, but was pushed back amid delays caused by a High Court battle and the Covid-19 pandemic. It was then expected to start in July this year, before being pushed back again amid concerns over the financial impact it could have on struggling residents and small businesses in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

What area does the CAZ cover?

The toll zone is in Newcastle city centre only, including the routes in over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges. Earlier versions of the plans included a much larger CAZ that would have also included parts of Gateshead, a stretch of the Coast Road, and up to Gosforth, but the scheme was scaled back. Councils also ditched the idea of halving the number of lanes on the Tyne Bridge in order to deter car journeys.

Why has the CAZ been introduced?

This project has been years in the making and is a result of local councils being issued with a legal order from the Government to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in emissions hotspots, which has been linked to more than 300 deaths on Tyneside each year. Charging CAZ areas are the Government’s chosen means of improving air quality in the shortest possible time and there are versions already in operation in places like Birmingham, with the aim of reducing the number of high-polluting vehicles on the road.

Where can I pay my toll and how quickly do I need to pay?

Once the charges begin on January 30, 2023, affected drivers will be able to pay online via the Government website. You will also be able to pay using an online contact form or by calling a hotline on 0300 029 888, open from Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm. Taxi owners licenced by Newcastle, Gateshead, or North Tyneside councils can also apply for a seven-day permit at a cost of £50, instead of the standard charge of £12.50 per day.

Once the charges launch, drivers will be able to pay up to six days before their journey or six days after. Payments cannot be made before January 30, 2023.

What if I don’t pay the charge on time?

Owners of non-compliant vehicles that do not pay their toll will be issued with a penalty charge notice set at £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Are there any more exemptions, aside from private cars?

Yes, there will be. These include:

  • Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class;
  • Certain types of agricultural vehicles;
  • Historic vehicles;
  • Military vehicles;
  • Ultra low emission vehicles;
  • Vehicles retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS);
  • Specialist agricultural and similar vehicles such as tractors, gritters, snow ploughs, mowing machines digging machines, road-rollers, mobile cranes, mobile pumping vehicles and steam-powered vehicles.
  • Emergency services;
  • Showmen’s vehicles registered to the business of travelling showmen that have been specifically modified or constructed to be used to provide the performance and are permanently fitted with a special type of body or superstructure forming part of the equipment of the show, and are used solely by that person for the purposes of their business;
  • Non-commercial vintage buses aged between 20 and 39 years;
  • Vehicles awaiting replacement or retrofitting, where evidence is supplied that a compliant vehicle has been ordered or proof that the vehicle has been accepted for retrofitting by an approved supplier and is awaiting work to take place;
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles subject to an ongoing finance agreement;
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis/private hire vehicles;
  • Motor Caravans;
  • Community Transport Vehicles;
  • Vehicles registered to businesses located within the CAZ;
  • Emergency rail replacement buses and coaches;
  • Bus and HGV driver training vehicles;
  • Breakdown recovery vehicles;
  • Hybrid vehicles;
  • Taxis and vans belonging to people living within the CAZ.

You can check if your vehicle is compliant or not by entering your registration number at gov.uk/clean-air-zones.

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