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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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Housing problems for families with disabled children

Families with disabled children may be the worst-housed in Britain. Campaign group Every Disabled Child Matters says new evidence shows fewer than half of disabled children live in housing suitable to their needs. What are the facilities like in your

Beetles need love to you know

A 13cm elephant beetle took the trip of a lifetime when he left his native Costa Rica to look for love. ‘Billy’ is now being cared for at Linton Zoo, Cambridgeshire, and is displaying all the signs of a man

Packing a green punch in the High Street

High Street supermarkets are failing to increase their eco-friendly food packaging. A report by the Local Government Association, which names and shames some big supermarket players, found that 38 per cent of packaging in stores cannot be recycled. Perhaps shops

Are there tipsy teenagers in your town?

Thousands of children every year are admitted to hospital with alcohol-related problems, according to the Metro. New figures show that since 1998 more than 23,000 youngsters aged 14 and under have required NHS treatment. The Government has now unveiled a

Here comes the bride…..and a hefty credit card bill

As summer approaches, a new survey has revealed the true cost of weddings – as a guest!! According to research by, the average adult attends two weddings a year (and associated hen/stag parties) at a cost of £1,700 annually.

Shakespeare gets a shake up and a dust down

After years of being photographed by tourists, Shakespeare’s tomb in Stratford-upon-Avon is to undergo a makeover. The clean-up is part of a restoration project at Holy Trinity Church although renovators will be wary of upsetting a curse placed by The

Fostering good relations in your town

Charity Fostering Network has warned that more than 4,200 new foster carers will be needed in England in the next 12 months. It says the increase is vital to stop children being shunted from home to home, sometimes a long

Can councils cut pointless spending?

Average council tax bills could be slashed by £40 if town halls shaved ten per cent off low-priority budgets. The claim was made the TaxPayers’ Alliance which has launched a Ten Per Cent challenge. The lobby group wants to see

Are parents' evenings on the way out?

The dreaded parents’ evening could be a thing of the past if education secretary Ed Balls gets his way. The cabinet minister is urging schools to explore other ways of communicating with the families of its pupils as the popularity

Spring sun alert

If we saw a bit of sunshine now and then we might be more aware of it! Despite our often dismal climate we are still at risk of skin cancer and long-term damage through those burning rays. Even cloudy days

Caravan clubs

What is the appeal of driving along the road towing a sardine can on wheels behind you? Try reading this article by Chris Rundle. Useful websites: National Caravan Council; Camping and caravanning UK.

The misinformation age

Is this the information age, or the misinformation age? Would you be able to spot an e-mail or internet scam before falling for its charm? Many people forward chain e-mails which threaten a curse if you don’t. Others can unleash

Play away…

Councils up and down the country run after-school play schemes and school holiday schemes for the youngsters. But what sort of children go along each night after school – and what do they get up to? Most of the people

Oh baby!

The world’s eyes (well, some eyes in this country, at least) are on Kerry Katona to see how she sheds those extra pregnancy pounds. Many celebrity mums make the rest of the world green with envy at the speed with

Fancy tabling a bid for a slice of history

Charles Dickens’ writing table and chair which he used to pen Great Expectations are due to go under the auctioneer’s hammer. Reports suggest that the sale, at Christie’s in June, could raise anything up to £80,000, proceeds of which will

Good behaviour for youngsters – or else!!!

A new £218m scheme to address the causes of juvenile delinquency has been revealed. The project will see children as young as ten receive one-to-one sessions with specialist case workers. They will also have to sign so-called ‘good behaviour’ contracts