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London’s ULEZ expansion is bold action more cities need

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Last week Sadiq Khan announced that London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be extended from August, meaning those driving older, more polluting cars will be charged £12.50 a day to use their vehicles anywhere across the Capital. It has predictably been met with mixed reviews and will likely remain a controversial topic for some time, but ultimately it is a huge step in the right direction. Here are three reasons why:

1/ ⚠️Air pollution remains a big killer in UK cities.
The @MayorofLondon‘s decision to expand the #ULEZ London-wide, whilst politically difficult, is a step in the right direction to bringing #CleanAir to city residents and tackling the climate crisis. https://t.co/OaCNztqUNw
— Centre for Cities (@CentreforCities) November 28, 2022

1. ULEZ is simultaneously a health and environmental policy
Poor air quality, which is in part caused by transport emissions, can lead to serious health problems. In the UK, toxic air is the cause of an estimated 28,000-36,000 deaths a year, with a disproportionate number of these taking place in London. The poor air quality levels observed in the capital are often associated with driving and congestion, which means meeting London’s net zero targets by 2030 will require a significant reduction in private car use.
Despite new post-pandemic norms such as working from home, congestion levels are already above pre-pandemic levels. This only highlights the importance of bold policies, such as the ULEZ expansion, towards containing the costs associated with driving and air pollution.
2. ULEZ does not disproportionately hurt the poorest
One frequent criticism of the ULEZ is that it will unfairly impact lower-income households that cannot afford cleaner vehicles that are exempt from charges. However, this argument fails to address the distributional impacts of poor air quality in British cities.
First, air pollution disproportionally affects the poorest, especially in London. Previous analysis from the Centre for Cities has shown that NO2 concentrations are 25 per cent higher in the poorest neighbourhoods of London – where households are less likely to own a car.
Second, concerns around fairness should be addressed with the implementation of supportive policies, rather than inaction. For example, London is introducing a £110m scrappage scheme to help targeted groups replace their old private vehicles or opt for public transport.
3. ULEZ is not a money-making scheme but a proven means of cleaning London’s air
The ongoing experience with the ULEZ – with its introduction and subsequent expansion – shows this is an effective policy to clean up the air. This is because most drivers respond and adapt to the policy fairly quickly.
Within six months of the previous ULEZ expansion in October 2021, 94 per cent of the vehicles were compliant with the rules and there were 67,000 fewer non-compliant vehicles a day. This shows that ULEZ should not be interpreted merely as a policy to raise local revenues (especially because implementation is costly) but a genuinely effective means of improving air quality.
London (and Birmingham’s) experiences should serve as inspiration for other cities
The ULEZ expansion will go a long way in improving the health and outcomes of Londoners while reducing driving and congestion. Last year, Birmingham took a similar position by introducing its Clean Air Zone, which also made positive impacts on air quality.
Now it is time for more cities to take note and follow suit.

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ICE London 2023 to feature exhibitors from record 68 nations – IAG

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Industry trade show ICE London will feature exhibitors from a record 68 nations, topping the previous best of 65 set three years ago, according to organizer Clarion Gaming.
ICE London returns as a full-sized show for the first time since 2020 from 7 to 9 February, with the total 623 exhibitors representing everything from Argentina to Australia and Macau to Mexico.
“No other exhibition in the gaming space can come anywhere near the internationalism of ICE,” said Clarion Gaming Managing Director, Stuart Hunter.
“To have 68 nations represented by our community of exhibitors means that visitors are immediately part of what is a global experience with unique access to the smartest gaming innovators drawn from every corner of the world. There are very few exhibitions of scale in any industry sector which are able to compare with such international representation and legitimately lay claim to being a ‘global’ or a ‘world’ event.
“Once an event is recognized as being genuinely international, stakeholder groups including brands, regulators, trade associations, media groups and strategic industry-wide bodies focus their activities accordingly.
“Research that we’ve undertaken has shown that for many people ICE and iGB Affiliate London actually start on the Sunday preceding and finish on the following Saturday. In that week we estimate that over 100 gambling industry events will take place outside of the show hours providing a new and compelling perspective on why ICE and iGB Affiliate London are so influential and important to the world industry.”
IAG will have a team of four at ICE London next week. Visit us at Stand ND7-C.

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David Ford and Annie Dressner Live in London

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There’s something special about London on a Saturday night – there’s a certain buzz in the air as you head into the Capital city. For me that buzz was extra special, as I was going to see David Ford and Annie Dressner at The Lexington in Islington. I literally listened to their ’10 Days (Live)’ album for the first time a week ago, but since then it’s been on repeat and heading in I knew that the night was going to be special.
The Lexington is a great place for music, with a bar on the ground floor before heading up the winding stairs to the spacious venue itself. And as the crowd started coming in, the atmosphere in the room was growing by the minute.
Opening the night was Scottish singer songwriter Gary Stewart. He set the night off really well, with an engaging set that got the crowd onside from the start. He opened with his 2021 single ‘Hot To Trot‘ and you already knew the set was going to be a good one – a rousing folk song with great lyrical dexterity. The highlight of the set was ‘Frontlines’, a simply gorgeous song (check out a YouTube video of the song here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDCLwYwsesk). Gary ended with a fine cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Song for the Asking’.
It was time for a quick visit to the bar before settling down for the main event. 
The duo appeared on the stage to great applause, David in an orange shirt and Annie in a sparkling black dress. They opened with ‘Easy Falling’, the first song that I’ve ever heard of theirs, and a song that convinced me I needed to listen to the rest of the album. This slow and moving number is a touching love song and shows off the brilliant harmonies of David and Annie – there’s something special about the English (David) and US accents (Annie) mingling in the way that they do. 
Throughout the set, there were so many highlights. ‘Something I’ll Have to Learn‘ is a song with an almost timeless feel that feels like a conversation in song, Annie’s original ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names‘ was simply brilliant and ‘Some Folks Are Lucky I Guess‘ is a song with a great sentiment. ‘Can’t Help What I Want‘ (below) is a great example of those brilliant harmonies that the two share.

‘Trash‘, a cover of the Suede hit, was a particular highlight – a song that was a nice surprise on the live album. As they break into ‘Oh maybe, maybe it’s the clothes you wear‘ it almost feels like this was a song that Suede wrote for David and Annie, their version is that good. Outstanding.
The set had a second cover, a song that Annie introduced as ‘an American classic‘. This classic was ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You‘ from Chas and Dave, a song that typified the cockney sound of London back in the 1980’s. I love the way they re-worked it and there was something special about the way Annie sings the word ‘Darling’ in her US twang that just resonated and put a smile on my face.
There were great moments of humour throughout the night, the chat between the two great. At one point mid-song, Annie passed her guitar to David, exclaiming ‘I knew there were chords in this song, I just didn’t know which ones‘ which had the crowd laughing.
The best of the night was saved till last. ‘Warning Sign’ had quickly become my favourite song from the pair and hearing it live in person lived up to all expectations. There’s such a beauty in live music, and hearing songs like this with other people in a venue can really bring a song home – and almost even change your own personal relationship with a song.
The final song of the night (there was no encore as David explained that they literally had no more songs!) was ‘Put Me In A Corner’. Annie’s vocals take the lead in this track and it was just magical, the emotion of the song emanating from the stage and filling the room. You can listen and see for yourself below.

You never know what to expect when you see an artist or artists perform for the first time. Some exceed expectations and some just don’t hit the heights you expect. In David Ford and Annie Dressner, it was definitely the former. The gig was stripped back – just two people on a stage creating a moment. And what a moment it was.
Annie and David and reviewer Nick Cantwell
Check out their websites and hit and follow the social links!
http://www.dressnerford.com/

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http://anniedressner.com/
***Note – I need to say a word about the audience for the gig. The audience was impeccable, with barely any talking at all at any point (apart from whispered orders at the bar). Credit goes to Gary, Annie and David, who managed to grab the audience from the start, but also to everyone there. If you were there yourself, give yourself a high five!***
Review written by Nick Cantwell (instagram.com/nickcantwellmanagement)
 
 
 


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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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