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Quiet day in the office? In need of some inspiration to fill that slot on the features page? Check out our story ideas here and see if you can take news developments from around the UK and localise them for your patch.

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The price of education

As the new academic year approaches, students are facing a 20pc rise in rent in just four years according to new figures. Undergraduates can now expect to pay an average of £61.64 a week. Exeter showed the biggest price hike

Most important TV you could ever see

The British Heart Foundation has said people could be putting their lives at risk if they think ‘Hollywood heart attacks’ are actually realistic. The typical movie-style reaction of keeling over and clutching the chest in complete agony could be an

Fancy going electric

More than 70 per cent of motorists would consider driving an electric car to help the environment. The survey, by insurer esure, discovered the biggest support for the idea of ‘going electric’ came from north-west England while Scots were the

Ever wondered where you come from?

A dip into the family archives has revealed that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd descends from a clothes thief and a man convicted of stealing sugar. His fifth great-grandmother Mary Wade was about 12-years-old when she was sent packing Down

Knock knock – who's there – the world's oldest joke

What could be the world’s oldest joke has been found on a tablet dating back to 1900BC in Sumeria, now southern Iraq. The “hilarious” gag reads: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart

They're not just skipping in the schoolyard

Nearly three million schooldays were lost due to truancy or other reasons in the spring term this year, new figures have revealed. An estimated 61,000 pupils skipped class without permission and the number of children taking unauthorised holidays has also

Walk on the wild side

Many towns and cities now give you the ultimate chance to get scared – or not – on evening walks around some of your favourite haunts. From Jack the Ripper walks in deepest London town to tours of castle, cellars

Waiting games

Can you name the Seven Dwarves? Or all the children from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? You’d be surprised at how you pass the time when there’s a delay at the airport. Holiday makers have been facing delays recently because

Flying the flag

Is your MP backing Britain? A straw poll of what car they drive might give you an idea. And your local authority… or tax office? Which manufacturer do they use for their fleet cars or vans? Is it good business

Where there's muck…..

What happens to all the rubbish in your town centre on a Saturday night? It’s all gone by Sunday morning but who are the mysterious squads that keep the streets clean? Get out there among the pigeons, bottles and chip

Who has the freedom of your city?

South coast footy fans are calling for Portsmouth FC’s FA Cup winning team to be given the freedom of the city. At the very least, manager Harry Redknapp should get it, some are saying. With it come some special, and

Good sport

It will soon be the end of the summer term again – only a matter of weeks – and with it all the problems of what to do with the kids. But first there’s the old standby of school sports

Boys and their toys

What makes grown men play with toy trains and lorries? Now is the season for model railway exhibitions and sales of Corgi toys at leisure centres and village halls across the nation. There are even groups of mature gents who

Early sign language

Did you know that children as young as seven months can learn sign language and start to communicate with you, even though they are not ready to talk at that stage? Find out more and check here for contacts and

Secure that property

Many families will be going away this summer. Now is the time to check up on security at home. Get in touch with your local crime prevention teams and burglary reduction groups attached to your local council. And do some

Choosing a nanny

How can you ensure that the person you entrust your children to is completely trustworthy? Ask some childcare agencies how they screen their staff – it could be anything from the way they dress to how they react to children