Colors: Blue Color

For Arsene Wenger, it’s a chance to soften the blow and saving something from what has been the worst season in his 21-year tenure. Chelsea are Premier League champions with a record 30 victories from a 38-game season and a win will complete a remarkable first season for the amiable Antonio Conte, with a League and Cup double an impressive highlight on his Premier League debut season.

A record seventh FA Cup win for the Frenchman would hold no little appeal to his remaining acolytes, the type of romantic folk who consider millennials obsessing over UEFA Champions League qualification as being as uncouth as presenting a loved one with flowers plucked from a garage forecourt.

Conte's men go into this afternoon’s FA Cup final showdown having won eight of their past 11 competitive games against Arsenal. A record of six wins from their past seven games against teams in the top half is similarly impressive.

If Gooners chief, Wenger, can engineer a victor at Wembley he will become the standalone most successful manager in FA Cup history, with seven wins to his name. Victory for the boys from the King’s Road will be an almost immaculate debut season in English football for the infectiously likable Italian.

With football being nothing if not bittersweet - so it would turn out for one part of the nation’s capital, though probably more so in the north than west.

Dads can indulge their hunter gatherer instincts in the Yorkshire Dales by enjoying a special Father's Day (Sunday 18 June) 'Catch and Cook' fishing trip.

It's hard to beat the taste of freshly-caught fish and Kilnsey Park near Skipton is ideally placed to offer a lake-to-plate experience for dads and their families.

After landing a rainbow trout from one of the scenic fishing ponds, the chef at Kilnsey's Café by the Lake will prepare and cook it before serving the park's twist on fish and chips with homemade mushy peas to the proud fishermen.

The Father's Day Catch & Cook day costs £22.50 per person which includes the fishing experience, rod, and the landing of one fish that is then served as a lunchtime meal with a drink in the café.

Kilnsey Park, in the heart of the spectacularly scenic Upper Wharfedale, runs a fly fishery which includes fishing ponds specifically for those new to fly fishing.

Jamie Roberts, managing partner of Kilnsey Park explains: “Whether it's the thrill of catching that first fish or enjoying friendly competition between other members of the family, the Catch & Cook day will be a great opportunity for dads to relax and spend time doing something a bit different from the norm.”

The NEC Group has been announced as Large Company Management Team of the Year (Midlands) at the 2017 British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Management Team Awards in Birmingham.

The awards, now in their ninth year, are an annual celebration of UK companies, recognising and rewarding brilliant businesses that have been backed by UK private equity and venture capital investors.

NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi said: “Our driver for external investment was to realise our business plan and beyond.  Deliverability and pace are essential for us in responding to market opportunities, and bringing on board an external investor with the experience and breadth of LDC has brought a renewed energy and confidence to our teams and business, which has been essential in our progress.

“We have a clear strategy focused on data, customer experience and optimisation. Our key initiatives are helping us to push out the right messages, at the right time, to the right audience. We’re transforming our regional and national offer through a focused business and leisure destination strategy to give our visitors more compelling reasons to visit, and we’re extending our footprint through consultancy, management and operational expertise internationally.

“LDC have backed our management team since day one. Together we have changed the way we work and operate, and that speed of focus and speed of decision making has been fantastic for us; it’s injected huge energy into our company. We know we can grow our business exponentially over the next few years and LDC have been the catalyst for that, giving us a real singularity of focus.”

The Judges said: “Backed by LDC in 2015, Paul Thandi and his team impressed the judges by the way in which they are developing the commercial potential of this venue, notably the launch of Resorts World. Their management of the day-to-day business was also impressive, including their investment in people and in data capture technology.”

As regional winners, the NEC Group will now represent the Midlands in the national final at the BVCA Gala Dinner in London on 30 November.

Work will start early this summer to demolish an eyesore building as part of City of Wolverhampton Interchange’s development plans.

The former Mill Street Garage sits on land next to the old Sack Works off Corn Hill in the city centre – beside the railway line and facing the canal.

Once the derelict garage is razed it will enable the removal of the dilapidated roof structure on the Sack Works and the stabilising of its walls and gables for its future development.

Ion Development is leading on the works on behalf of the Interchange Partnership.

They are expected to take around a month and will pave the way for the whole Sack Works site to be marketed for commercial use.

City of Wolverhampton Council Head of City Development, Paul Lakin, said: “This is another important step forward for the wider Interchange project.

“The old Sack Works site sits in a prominent location within the Interchange area and this is the start of bringing it back to life after decades of lying empty.

“It presents an excellent commercial opportunity and we will ensure any development is also sensitive to the history of the building and the surrounding area.”

Steve Parry, Managing Director, Ion Development said: “The demolition of the former Mill Street Garage is the pre-curser to a development which will become mixed use leisure and office.

“The old Sack Works site is in a perfect setting, next to the canal, to offer an excellent environment for both leisure and business use.”

The works form part of the Interchange masterplan and follows the announcement in March of the i9 development – designed by Glenn Howells Architects.

This eye-catching modern office development is to be built on Railway Drive, and emerged as a scheme following the success of the award-winning i10 building opposite.

It is hoped i9, which will provide 50,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and will become a national or regional headquarters for a major business.

Other land earmarked for development beside the railway and canal as part of the Interchange project includes the Banana Yard and Boat Yard at Broad Street Wharf.

The charity Remembering Srebrenica is looking to sign up young players for their biggest ever memorial football tournament in July.

The 8-3-7-2 tournament is named in honour of the 8,372 men and boys who were killed due to their Muslim faith in the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Thousands of boys and girls across the UK have taken part in this tournament in memory of the victims over the past two years and this year the charity wants to reach even more people.

Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica, says:

“What more powerful way is there than football to unite our young people and inspire them to help kick racism, hatred and intolerance out of our society?

“The schools who sign up to play in this tournament on July 12 stand united with us in remembering Srebrenica through football and learning the lessons from the past to create a better, safer future.”

The tournament is supported by the FA, English schools FA and Kick it Out, as well as a number of high-profile footballers, including Chelsea and Bosnia goalkeeper, Asmir Begović and former England Women’s football captain Casey Stoney MBE, who explains why she supports the tournament:

“We don’t just play football, we are ambassadors and we have the power to make change. I think we should celebrate difference. We should celebrate the fact that we’re all very individual and that should never be something to be held against you. Srebrenica teaches us that it is really important that those issues are raised, we are aware of them and don’t ever forget them.”

Asmir Begović was forced to leave Bosnia as a child and adds:

“I'm proud to support Remembering Srebrenica's 8-3-7-2 Tournament which brings young people together through football to remember the victims and survivors. It's a really powerful way to help the next generation to learn about the importance of tackling hatred and intolerance and help us to build a stronger society."

One of Britain’s best loved value home and garden retailers, Wilko is looking for green fingered locals to enter the 2017 ‘Wilko Amateur Gardener Of The Year’ competition.

Research suggests the UK is a secret haven of garden enthusiasts – with 88%* of UK residents rating having a nice garden as important, according to a national survey.

Six lucky entrants from across the UK will be picked as category winners, shortlisted by an experienced garden judging panel, including Dominic Cole, President of The Gardens Trust and award-winning garden designer, Andrew Fisher Tomlin, before being selected by a public vote on the Wilko social media channels.

The categories to enter are:

Best Allotment

Best Garden Design

Best Hanging Basket/ Container

Best Junior Gardener

Best Wildlife Garden

Best Upcycled Garden

The competition is open until  30 June 2017 and the winners of each category will receive a £100 Wilko gift card and trophy. One of the six finalists will be crowned overall Wilko Amateur Gardener Of The Year 2017 and receive an additional £250 Wilko gift card.

To be considered, simply email an image of your garden to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including name, email address, telephone number and the category you wish to be considered for.

Full competition details and terms and conditions can be found at:

Finalists will be informed on 21 July 2017 if they have been shortlisted for the categories.

Lloyd Taylor, Head of Garden Category, from Wilko said:

“We know that UK residents are garden lovers and we want to celebrate those skilled amateur gardeners who might not otherwise be recognised for their talents. We’re spreading the word to encourage entries and look forward to seeing the work of garden enthusiasts from up and down the country.”

So if you think you have the expertise to be the next Wilko Amateur Gardener Of The Year 2017 - enter now.

Spot Liverpool landmarks as award-winning artists The Singh Twins exhibit their latest works at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

The Lichfield Street gallery is now showing The Singh Twins; Mersey Miniatures, which feature famous Liverpool landmarks set in colourful Eastern motifs.

Running until Sunday, July 23, the exhibition is an absorbing look at cross-cultural themes where east meets west and tradition runs alongside modernity.

Marguerite Nugent, manager of arts and culture at the gallery, said: “These might be miniatures but they pack a lot in and are really captivating in both their use of colour and subject matter. Anyone who knows Liverpool well will spot many mini landmarks.”

The Singh Twins are contemporary British artists of international standing whose award-winning paintings have been acknowledged as constituting a unique genre in British Art.

They have brought about the revival of the Indian miniature tradition in a modern art practice, which in 2011, was officially recognised when they both received an MBE for Services to the Indian Miniature Tradition of Painting in Contemporary Art.

In 2015 they were awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University of Chester for their outstanding contribution to British Art.

The Mersey Miniatures series features ten mixed-media original artworks.

A Coventry mother has partnered with Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity, in order to promote the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for all babies after her son was brought back from the brink of death.

In 2008, Leigh Dumighan’s son Warwick was born 11 weeks early and fighting for his life. The doctors told the family that Warwick would not make it and Leigh and her son were discharged from the hospital so that he could pass away peacefully at home.

Warwick was given palliative care but he began to respond to the skin-to-skin contact – known as “kangaroo care” and fought on. He is now a happy and loving older brother to four-year-old Wade.

Leigh has gone on to run Kangaroo Care UK, a social enterprise business to educate parents and health care professionals about the benefits of prolonged skin to skin contact.

The company also retails specialist wraps made by Vija Designs that help parents hold babies comfortably for long periods of time. Vija Designs already donate £1 to Bliss for every product they sell on their website.

In order to celebrate Kangaroo Care Awareness Day earlier this month, Vija Designs are also donating 50 per cent of profits made to Bliss on specially designed t-shirts that share the message of the importance of skin-to-skin contact.

Leigh Dumighan said:

“Our teeny weenie is our miracle man as he stayed with us. He's now eight years old and the power of skin to skin is a life saver. He didn't 'suit' the incubator.  He wanted real love and touch. He craved Mommy's warmth, safety and smell and he felt content when he had it. It felt normal for him and he felt better when he was on me. He loved it so much that our kangaroo care cuddles made him strong enough to fight to stay with us.

"We designed t-shirts for mums and dads that share the message 'skin to skin, heart to heart' the position where babies are placed during Kangaroo Care, which is where Warwick found the strength to keep going.  We are donating 50% of the profits from these t-shirts to Bliss with the aim of raising £1,000 for the charity's work supporting parents of premature and sick babies."

Caroline Lee-Davey, CEO of Bliss said:

“We are really pleased that Vija Design is supporting Bliss. We know the huge difference that Kangaroo care and skin to skin contact can make - boosting babies’ development, protecting and enhancing their growth and overall health, and supporting bonding with mum and dad. In the long term it also helps parents to feel closer to their babies and more confident in caring for them.”

After the devastating attack on concert goers at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Monday evening, that left 22 dead and 59 injured, there were vocal outpourings of support for the people of Manchester, with many taking to social media to voice their outrage at the attack and the perpetrator, and to lend a helping hand to the people of Manchester through whatever means they could. The Prime Minister issued a statement condemning the attack, whilst Her Majesty the Queen and various other royals across Europe offered their condolences and deepest sympathies to the people of Manchester.

In Manchester, the response to the attack was swift. The police and emergency services responded at once as one single unit to help those in need, to treat the injured, to help the lost reunite their friends and families, and to find out the reasoning behind the attack. Local taxi companies provided free lifts to those affected by the attack to get home, whilst others ensured that those at the MEN arena could contact loved ones and to have a place of safety to stay as they waited for their loved ones to come and get them.

Across the UK, people have been helping the people of Manchester through sharing posts of those still missing or in need of help through social media, as well as raising money for those in desperate need of assistance following the attack.  A series of vigils in town and city squares were arranged across the nation for six in the evening on Tuesday 23rd May, including one in Birmingham.

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With representatives from all major political parties in the city in attendance, as well as most faith groups in the region, there was a good turnout in Victoria Square in front of the Council House.

Speaking at the vigil, the Bishop of Birmingham the Right Reverend David Urquhart said, "When we come together like this as we have tragically from time to time in this city, we do so in solidarity with those who are passionate for peace."

"Do Birmingham proud on behalf of Manchester by making this a place where we are world famous for getting on together."

Ahmed Kazi, from the President Saddam Hussein mosque on Birchfield Road, condemned the attacks stating, "These people who call themselves Muslims are not following the true path of Islam. Islam teaches unity, and they have gone against the teachings of our Prophet. We today are showing the world that our communities are standing together."

Amrick Singh Ubhi from the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Sikh Gurdwara on Soho Road and Chair of the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham softly encouraged the crowd,  "This is not in the name of religion, I would go as far as saying that this isn't in the name of humanity. If we are not feeling the pain of Westminster, of Manchester, and the world over, we are not human. Join up, unite and stand together, and do not let terror rule or win the day."

Recently elected Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street added, "There is so much in common between our two cities, the histories, the aspirations we now have, and the welcome that our cities have offered so many people. Our heart goes out to all Mancunians tonight. There is a very important message for us to send today, and that is quite simply that terrorism will never win."

Despite the tragedy that was inflicted on the people of Manchester by a senseless attack, they have rallied, and have the full support of the people of the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

A brilliant group of nurses, housekeepers, sisters, health care assistants and domestic staff are grouping together to climb the highest mountain in England and Wales, Mount Snowdon, to raise as much money as possible for patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

The kind hearted staff will undertake the physical challenge to support elderly patients at the hospital, using the hard-earned sponsorship money to buy specialist equipment for their patients.

Judith Thornton, an auxiliary nurse on ward 518, said: “We will use the money we raise to buy an extra Sara Steady for the ward. This is a specialist piece of equipment that helps patients who are unsteady on their feet to get to the bathroom more easily.

“This is going to be a huge challenge for all of us, particularly as we haven’t done anything like this before! We’re all really excited to raise as much money as we can for our patients. Any donations, big or small, would be hugely appreciated and would really help to give us a boost for the big day.”

Sophie Carroll, Fundraising Officer at QEHB Charity, said: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome this brilliant group of staff to the Snowdon team, and would like to thank them for choosing to fundraise for QEHB Charity.

“It’s wonderful that staff are getting stuck into our events and we can’t wait to welcome them to what promises to be an exciting adventure!”

To support Judith, Linda, Louise, Amy, Kelly, Donna, Kirby, Jade, Natalie, Emily, Clare, Sarah, Chris, Alisha, Lisa and Abbey, please visit their Just Giving page by clicking here.

Theresa May visited Nishkam Primary School Birmingham today, where she praised pupils, staff and the community who are closely involved with the pioneering free school.

The Prime Minister spent time in the classroom with eight-year-old pupils who demonstrated their knowledge of an artist, Henri Rousseau, and discussed JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books with her.

Talking to Dr. Brinder Singh Mahon, Chief Executive of Nishkam School Trust, the multi-academy trust operating the school, the Prime Minister commented that she was inspired by the strong values education upon which the school is based and by the warm, family-like atmosphere within the school.

Bhai Sahib, Bhai (Dr.) Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, who is the patron and visionary behind Nishkam School Trust said, “We are living in new global contexts, with new global challenges. These require a mind-set centred on values and virtues, along with a keen sense of shared responsibility. Our vision at Nishkam School Trust is to help nurture such a mind-set, enabling our future society to advance and flourish for the benefit of all.”

Mr. Terry Green, Chair of Directors of Nishkam School Trust commented, “On behalf of pupils, parents, staff and the entire community behind Nishkam School Trust, may I thank the Prime Minister for recognising the contribution our multi-faith Sikh ethos school is making to the educational and spiritual life of pupils in this part of Birmingham.”

Ms. Ruby Kundi, Headteacher, added, “We are very grateful for government policy which has allowed the Department for Education to give us this opportunity and responsibility to make a difference to each and every pupil in all of our schools.”

Nishkam Primary School Birmingham (NPSB) is located in Handsworth, an inner-city area of northwest Birmingham. It opened in September 2011 as part of the country’s first wave of free schools. The school is part of a cluster of developments serving to regenerate the local area by combining social innovation with heritage conservation.

Nishkam Primary School Birmingham is currently judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in all categories by OFSTED, an accolade shared by three of the four schools in the Nishkam School Trust.

Hot on the heels of the Hippodrome Theatre’s B-Side Festival of dance battles, graffiti and street arts, rap, live music and workshop, the genre continues to get its ‘props’ with another weekend of major celebration – in yet another internationally renowned arts venue.

Marked as ‘The UK’s Biggest Festival of Hip Hop Dance,’ Breakin’ Convention ‘17 will be bringing jaw-dropping performances from around the world and around the corner to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with live performances from international crews including Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa), Just Dance (South Korea) and Tentacle Tribe (Canada). In addition local crews, DJs, graffiti art and freestyle jams will transform The REP’s foyer making it an experience rather than just a show.

Now in its 14th year, it’s firmly established itself as one of the major highlights on the British dance calendar and one of the world’s greatest celebrations of hip hop culture, hosted and curated by the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention Jonzi D who said: “This city’s hip hop scene is one of the best in the UK and whenever we’ve brought Breakin’ Convention there in the past, it’s always been hype!”

The festival line-up also includes Rhythm Junkiez Dance Company from Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham based companies Jigsaw Collective, Broken Silence, Marshon Cadets, 2014 UDO world street dance champions Street Dance Academy and Nuvo Origin.

The two day event - on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 June - is suitable for all ages.



Following the explosion in Manchester last night, free App citizenAID has been highlighted as it is an app and pocket guide that has been developed to advise members of the public on what they can do if involved in a multiple casualty incident, including a bombing or a shooting. The simple system enables the public to keep safe and offers guidance on how to provide life-saving immediate aid for the injured around them.

citizenAID has been set up by a team of senior clinicians with military and civilian experience and is a part of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. This deep experience of blast and gunshot injury has been gathered during recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the basis of the information provided in the guide. For more information please see, where you will also find a public information film on immediate actions that will save lives in the aftermath of a bombing (this film carries a ‘discretion advised’ warning).

Professor Sir Keith Porter, co-author of citizenAID said, “The events in Manchester last night sadly highlight the need for everyone to be empowered with the knowledge that they may need if they are caught up in such an incident. The citizenAID app is free to download and I would encourage everyone to do so, and to familiarise themselves with its content.”

One of the aims of citizenAID is to give the younger generation the tools that they need to keep themselves safe and to help to treat others. The events of last night have once again highlighted the importance of this.”

Last week the three main parties in Britain and Northern Ireland released their manifestos. It seems that the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour all agree that the key areas of policy for a future government will be: the economy, housing, healthcare and Brexit.  With two weeks to go until the general election on 8th June, here is a quick look at how the three main parties compare on the key policies.

On the economy, all three parties are in agreement that more needs to be done to encourage growth and investment. Whilst the Conservatives wish to lower taxes and improve corporate governance, the Liberal Democrats and Labour wish to provide proper scrutiny of big companies and ensure that those who can afford to are paying an appropriate amount of tax, through a 1p increase in income tax as proposed by the Liberal Democrats, or a 5% increase in income tax for those earning over £80,000 in the case of Labour. Both the Liberal Democrats and Labour would use the British Business Bank to provide investment and funds to small and developing businesses, whilst the Conservatives remained vague on how they wished to promote small business.

Brexit sees all three parties taking completely different stances. The Conservatives are in favour of a ‘hard Brexit’ meaning leaving the EU completely including the customs union and the single market, taking back control of immigration and leaving the European Court of Justice. They would also replace or amend laws that were implemented when the UK was part of the EU through a Great Repeal Bill. Labour wishes to leave the EU but go for a ‘soft Brexit’ meaning that Britain remains part of the customs union and the single market, but prevents freedom of movement. Labour would also seek to guarantee the rights of European citizens currently living in Britain, as well as the rights of British citizens currently living in Europe. The Liberal Democrats would remain in the single market, the customs union and allow for freedom of movement. They would also wish to hold a referendum on any deal signed between them and the EU, and allow the people the final say, giving them the chance to completely reject the deal and remain in the EU.

Healthcare is a big issue for many voters within the country, and considering the ageing population this is no surprise. It is also no surprise therefore, that all three parties have promised significant investment into the NHS. The Conservatives have promised £8 billion of investment throughout the next Parliament, with £1 billion of that going toward Mental Health funding. The Liberal Democrats would use the 1p increase in income tax to help increase funding for the NHS and A and E, they would also set up a cross party consultation group to assess how the NHS is performing and whether it needs to adapt and change, and if so how that change might be implemented. Labour would invest £30 billion into the NHS, and would invest heavily in GP services. They would also develop a Child’s Health Index to assess how healthy the children in the country are and how their health can be improved.

On housing, the three parties appear to vary between have clear cut and costed proposals and vagueness. The Conservatives promise to use the Homelessness Reduction Act to half homelessness by 2022, and to end homelessness completely by 2027. They would also seek to modernise the home buying process through increased emphasis on their ‘Help to Buy’ Scheme and increasing protection for renters through introducing procedures that make the renter the priority in law. The Liberal Democrats would seek to build 300,000 new houses by the end of the 2022 Parliament. They would use the Housing and Development bank to attract investment into the country for housing development. They would also introduce ‘Rent to Buy’ schemes to ease people into the housing market. Labour would build 100,000 new houses using brownfield sites, 4,000 of which would be for those with a history of rough sleeping. They would also reintroduce housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.

All three parties have provided fully detailed manifestos to go alongside these key policies, that are available on their websites. If you have not already done so, please do register to vote. And do remember to turn out on Thursday 8th June, to get the government you want!

By Vivek Rajkhowa

Birmingham-based DriveSafe & StaySafe has called for increased safety education after new data have revealed that road traffic is the biggest killer of teenagers globally.

Road injury accounted for a tenth of more than 1.2 million deaths among 10 to 19 year olds worldwide in 2015, while in Britain in the same year road accidents killed 145 people and left 3,166 more seriously injured in the same age group, according to newly released World Health Organisation figures.

Most of the teenagers that were killed by road injuries are classed as “vulnerable” road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

DriveSafe & StaySafe, a not-for-profit organisation that is campaigning for road safety education to be part of the UK national curriculum, recently completed the successful piloting of its new ‘Walking to School Safely’ early learning book featuring new safety heroes The Conies within 27 Birmingham primary schools.

Fay Goodman, Managing Director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, said: “It is tragic that so many teenagers are killed needlessly on the roads, with all the devastation this causes families and friends. We need to start now in educating children as young as four on how to keep safe and be aware of the environment around them, and in ensuring schools, colleges and all educational outlets continue to promote the message of how important it is to follow sensible road safety procedures.

“I would also like to see more government awareness campaigns to remind families of the dangers on the roads and the need for drivers to be more careful and conscious of children and young people around them.”

DriveSafe & StaySafe’s ‘Conies: Walking to School Safely’ pilot scheme proved so successful that teachers from all 27 schools in Yardley, Hall Green and Hodge Hill - locations identified in the 2016 Birmingham Road Safety Strategy as child accident ‘hot spots’ – reported that the lessons ‘made a 100% improvement in road safety awareness’.

Fay added: “We hope that the lessons the children learn in primary school about walking to school safely will stay with them when they reach secondary school and begin to walk to school unassisted and negotiate unfamiliar routes, and continue to remain with them to pass on to future generations. We all need to keep sending out the DriveSafe message of ‘Be Aware, Be Prepared, Be Responsible and Be Safe’.”

Fast broadband, at least two toilets and off-road parking are among the features that have become essentials for many property buyers.

A new survey has revealed the top 20 things people look for in a new home, with central heating, double glazing and a garden unsurprisingly leading the way.

But more modern factors – such as a strong internet connection, clear mobile phone signal and enough living space for a large flat-screen television – are also priorities for buyers.

Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialist Leaders, says: “New technology and modern design standards have changed the way people think about the place they live and what they expect when buying a new home.

“Many people are looking for a property that boasts fast broadband and a good mobile phone signal, meaning sellers who can offer these should realise these factors have become a major selling point.

“It is also interesting to note that a strong performance when it comes to energy efficiency is another must for buyers. This shows the importance of investing in eco-friendly solutions such as solar panels, cavity wall insulation and a high-specification boiler.”

Other issues that were named by respondents to the survey as among the 20 most important things in a new home included ample electric sockets, friendly neighbours, a driveway or dedicated parking space, secure doors and windows, a dining room and a bath.

Despite the modern feel of many of the answers, buyers still insisted that a landline telephone is also essential in any new property.

Kevin adds: “Efficiency, security and connectivity have overtaken aesthetic issues such as period features. How a home performs in these areas is likely to sway modern buyers so sellers are advised to prioritise such matters.”