Bristol mayoral candidates oppose Severn barrage

Reports that all but one of the 15 candidates vying to be Bristol's elected mayor have said they would oppose plans for a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription) says the scheme faces opposition in Bristol because of "fears of environmental damage and disruption of the city’s port", which is a major employer. Bristol was the only city out of 10 to vote in favour of introducing an elected mayor in May. Its mayoral vote takes place next Thursday. The paper says the dispute over the barrage "looks set to provide an early test of the winner’s powers".

The Times (subscription) reports that wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is cutting 3,000 jobs as a "wind of change blows through the industry". The paper says wind turbine manufacturers globally "have been hit by a triple whammy of overcapacity, rising costs and shrinking demand as cash-strapped governments cut subsidies for wind farms".

The administrators for struggling electricals retailer Comet are preparing for a "fire sale" ahead of store closures, the Guardian reports. The paper says that with no buyer expected to emerge for the whole chain "there is a growing expectation that it will broken up with its best stores cherry-picked by rivals such as Dixons and Staples". The paper adds that "retail insiders" have suggested that some of the retailer’s 236 stores could begin closing as early as next week.

The Guardian also reports
that "experts are warning of a wave of public art sales by local authorities" after the London Borough of Tower Hamlets agreed to sell a Henry Moore statue, "donated by the artist on the understanding it would be left permanently on open-air display for the enjoyment of people in a socially deprived area of London". The paper says Lutfur Rahman, the independent mayor of the borough, overruled the recommendation of his councillors that Draped Seated Woman - which could fetch up to £20 million - should not be sold.

The Independent reports that the owners of one of the country's last remaining deep pit mines has announced plans to mothball the operation, with the loss of up to 540 jobs. The paper says the decision to shut the Maltby colliery near Rotherham comes two days after UK Coal took steps towards mothballing another mine in Warwickshire. The paper says the decline in UK coal production looks set to continue, as the UK seeks to comply with EU legislation, introduced in 2001 and designed to reduce carbon emissions.

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