Evening Update Monday 2 October 2023

Ceremonies have been held today to mark the third anniversary of Storm Alex, which devastated parts of the Alpes-Maritimes in October 2020. Elected officials gathered this morning on this Durandy bridge which joins Tinée and Vésubie valleys to pay tribute to the victims and to those who intervened to help and rescue victims and to rebuild the area. Christian Estrosi described the work as "titanic", saying that 470 buildings, over 60km of roads, dozens of engineering structures and 200km of networks were missing or damaged and electrical structures were destroyed. He said that "what took a century and a half to create, we had to rebuild as quickly as possible" and it was achieved in 3 years.

Meanwhile, firefighters gathered this morning at Bollène Vesubie to honour the memory of two colleagues, Bruno and Loic. The two firefighters were swept away by Storm Alex on October 2, 2020. In a post on social media, Alpes-Maritimes firefighters said that 3 years later, the emotion is still present and they will not be forgotten.

Industrial action today and tomorrow is affecting train services in our region. SNCF have said that there will be disruption to trains on the TERZOU network because of action by circulation staff. Bus services are replacing some trains. You can search for trains which are running on https://www.ter.sncf.com/sud-provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/se-deplacer/fiches-horaires

Two people have lost their lives in a fire in Saint-Blaise in the arriere-pays of Nice. The man in his forties and the woman in her seventies died in the blaze which broke out at a house in the village in the early hours of this morning.

President Macron has announced the creation of 238 additional gendarme brigades across France. He has been on a visit to the Lot-et-Garonne department today. According to the Elysees, local prefects will be consulted on the location for the new brigades which are likely to be about two hundred in number. Some are expected to be in fixed locations but many others will be mobile units. Locally, according to the Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture, units will be created in the department in Tourrette-Levens, La Gaude and Cagnes-sur-Mer. The Var prefecture has said that there will be two new brigades, stationed in Cotignac and Cuers.

The French minister in charge of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises has said that restaurant vouchers will go digital before 2026. Olivia Gregoire said that the move would reduce costs and difficulties for restaurant operators. She added that a quarter of restaurants currently refuse the vouchers.

An accident involving three heavy goods vehicles caused disruption early this evening on the A8 motorway towards Italy near the Mougins exit. To allow the intervention of firefighters and tow trucks, one traffic lane was closed. The accident caused a traffic jam of more than 6 km before Mougins towards Italy.

 

BUSINESS

The head of UK retailer John Lewis is to step down. Dame Sharon White's five-year term as chair ends in February 2025. She has told the board she will not seek a second term. The partnership reported a loss of £234m last year, forcing it to scrap the annual staff bonus. Her five-year term as chair will be the shortest in John Lewis's history.

The price of a first class stamp in the UK has risen to £1.25. It's the third increase in 18 months. Royal Mail blamed increasing cost pressures and the tough economic environment for the latest rise.

 

SPORT

Rugby Union... It's been confirmed that Dewi Lake will captain Wales against Georgia in Nantes on Saturday. Gareth Anscombe will start but Dan Biggar has been left out. There are six changes to the side that played Australia.

The chief executive of Rugby Australia has said that they are "committed" to head coach Eddie Jones and want him to stay on. Jones has a contract until 2027. Phil Waugh said that "our intent is to continue on the path that we're on".

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