Mick Hucknall has called out Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party over environmental policy which has seen a river declared “ecologically dead” as a result of dumping sewage into UK waters.
The River Lim in Dorset has been described as essentially dead by locals and conservationists after reports of a thick “layer of brown sludge” and tests by the likes of the River Trust found “shocking” levels of E.coli, with a freshwater ecologist confirming that it now contains “barely any” invertebrates.
As per The Times, the bottom of the food chain has effectively been cut off meaning that larger species will simply be unable to survive along the waterway, with yellow warning signs now put up warning the public to keep of out the water which is now full of human waste for the nearby SWW treatment centre.
With environmental activist group Greenpeace reacting to the grim news, adding that the levels of sewage flowing into River Lim have tripled in 2022 compared to the previous year, many online have been deeply troubled by the information — one of those being Mick Hucknall. He only had this to say:
The Manchester-born musician and Simply Red frontman summed up his thoughts rather succinctly, holding Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives responsible for the deeply concerning increase in sewage dumping throughout Britain’s various seas, rivers, canals and other bodies of water.
In the instance of the Lim, sewage was dumped into the river for more than 2,200 hours last year alone and the levels at which waste, treated or not, is seeping into British waterways are getting increasingly worse year on year. It is estimated that since 2016, sewage has been discharged every two-and-a-half minutes, with 1,276 years’ worth of raw waste dumped into our waters over the last seven years. Awful.
Quoting Environment Agency figures, research by the University of Manchester revealed that “sewage pollution incidents – many of which were legal – have increased 29-fold over five years and countless urban rivers are now effectively extensions of the sewerage network.” Moreover, there seems to be little interest in combatting pollution as water companies are simply making too much money from it.
In the grand scheme of things, it is now said that only 14% of rivers in England have “good” ecological status and this figure is expected to fall to just 6% by 2027.
While Labour are still pushing for a Water Quality Bill to put an end to the rampant sewage dumping once and for all, Tories voted against it, with current Environment Secretary Therese Coffey calling the motion “pointless” and “ill-considered”, insisting that the part has a “credible plan” to tackle pollution.
Nevertheless, the ‘Tory Sewage Scandal’ is not going ignored and many have been campaigning for proper accountability for years now. When Liz Truss was the minister in charge, she oversaw £235 million incuts to environmental funding and in 2021, levels rose to their worst since 2013. She went on to become Prime Minister…
The most concerning part is that this doesn’t just stop with the Lim and Dorset: given the excessive levels of sewage being dumped into rivers all around the UK, it won’t be long before more fall victim to a growing ecological crisis.
Featured Image — Simply Red (via Instagram)/Greenpeace UK/Wikimedia Commons
Oldham Council is asking local kids to name its six new gritters
Oldham Council has announced the news that a handful of its hardest-working salt spreaders are retiring this year.
After gritting more than a million miles between them over several years of “super service”, it’s now the end of the icy road for six of Oldham‘s famously-named gritting fleet, and a new wintery journey is gearing up to begin for the town’s replacements machines.
But, you know that that means – the the popular ‘name a gritter’ competition is back once again.
With the nights drawing in, and the weather getting colder and colder by the day, it won’t be long before local residents will be able to see the big yellow machines traveling around the borough spreading grit and salt.
Fan-favourites Winston Chur-chill and Nicole Saltslinger will be making welcome returns this year, but they’ll also be joined by six newbies, and it’s our job to name them equally-iconic names.
Oldham Council‘s ‘name a gritter’ competition is now open, and it’s hoped that primary and junior-age children in the town will, once again, come through with “an avalanche of entries” like they have done in the past.
Brad Grit, Gritiana Grande, Snowbee One Kenobi, Nick Gritshaw, Leonardo de-ice-io, and Basil Salty are just some of the names of the gritters who’ve spread Oldham’s salt in previous years, so they should be able to serve as inspiration for what the Council’s looking for.
The winning names from this year’s competition will be added to the front of the six new cabs.
“Oldham Council was one of the first local authorities in the country to name its gritting fleet, and since then many others have followed our lead,” Councillor Chris Goodwin, who is Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said as the competition opens.
“In the past, we’ve always run the competition as a bit of fun and it’s really captured the imagination of our young people, so please urge your children to get their thinking caps on and send in some names.”
Unfortunately, Cllr Goodwin did stress that this year’s competition is only open to all children aged four to 11 who live in Oldham or attend one of the boroughs primary or junior schools, and that any “40-odd-year-old ‘comic’s who are thinking of sending in unfunny names” should thinking again, because they’ve “heard it all before”.
As social media suggestions “will not be accepted”, parents, guardians, and carers will need to help their little Oldhamers get their entries in on the Oldham Council website here, and you’ll need to make sure the child’s details are included, plus how the Council can contact you.
The closing date for entries is 11:59pm on Friday 3 November.
All naming suggestions will then be put to a panel of councillors and council officers to have the final say, and the lucky winners will be invited down to the town’s Moorhey Street depot to have their photo taken with the gritter they’ve named.
Featured Image – Oldham Council
Four jailed for over 70 years for ‘daylight murder’ of Withington teen Kyle Hackland
Four teenagers have been collectively sentenced to more than 70 years for the murder of another teenager in Withington last year.
Kyle Hackland, who was just 17 at the time, was brutally stabbed in broad daylight in Withington at around midday back on Tuesday 22 November 2022, and went on to sadly pass away in hospital as a result of his injuries – which were described as “catastrophic”.
Detective Superintendent Neil Jones, of GMP South Manchester Division, said at the time that the force understood the incident would “cause distress and concern to the community and across Manchester”, but assured the public it was an isolated incident and there was no wider threat.
Several men were subsequently charged in connection with the incident nearly two weeks later on 7 December, and were remanded in custody while awaiting trial.
And now, after the trial at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court has finally concluded yesterday (Tuesday 3 October), and accumulative sentences of more than 70 years were handed out, all four men have been publicly named.
They have been named as Yousef Sesay (24/11/2004), Lewis Ludford (05/12/2004), Tafari Kosey-Smith (26/06/2006), and Alfie Benson (30/03/2006).
Sesay was sentenced to 22 years, Ludford for 21 years (with two years concurrent for a bladed article), and Kosey-Smith for 19 years (with two years concurrent for a bladed article), after all were found guilty of murder.
Benson has been jailed for 12 years (with two years concurrent for burglary offences) after being found guilty of manslaughter.
Kyle lost his life in what the court heard this week was “a pre-mediated revenge attack”, and was “brutally attacked with knives” by the four teenagers during the “violent assault” in broad daylight.
“This is another heartbreaking example of how carrying a knife can have devastating consequences in a matter of seconds,” said Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector David Moores, after the trial concluded yesterday.
“Our thoughts as a force are once again with Kyle’s loved ones, who will have to continue to live with the pain, but hopefully this can be eased in some way with the conviction of his killers.
“Officers in our Major Incident Team have worked tirelessly to bring justice, and, in our role, we are reminding any young person willing to carry a knife to put it down and think twice before doing so.