Go on then, own up – who put another storm on their Christmas list this year? We’re going to hope no one said yes to that.
It might not be what we asked for, but unfortunately, it’s what we’re going to get.
It’s that awkward part of the festive break where the hustle and bustle of the Christmas days have died down, Boxing Day has been and gone, the new year is coming up, and nobody knows what day it is – but what we do know though, sadly, is that another storm is arriving today, and it’s set to batter the UK with some pretty grim weather.
Storm Gerrit was officially been named by the Met Office yesterday, and forecasters say it will bring “strong winds and heavy rain”, with “wintry hazards” also likely in some parts of the country.
With Brits told to prepare for the newly-named storm to arrive today (27 December), a number of weather warnings have been put in place by the Met Office – including two yellow weather warnings, one for wind and one for rain, covering most of north west England.
The yellow weather warning for rain means we should expect heavy downpours, with a potential for disruption to travel and a risk of flooding, while the yellow warning for wind is also forecast to bring travel disruption, and potential short-term power loss, among other inconveniences.
“Storm Gerrit will run towards western UK on Wednesday and bring with it potential impacts for much of the UK,” explains Frank Saunders, who is a Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office.
“Winds across southern coastal areas of England will be strong, possibly peaking around 70 mph on exposed coastlines, but more widely around 50-60 mph within the warning area.
“Rain is an additional hazard from Storm Gerrit, with active weather fronts leading to a wet day for many.”
Mr Saunders also added that snow is “likely to cause problems for some northern areas”, but this will only be briefly for a few upland routes across the Pennines and southern Scotland overnight and early on Wednesday.
For the rest of the UK, including Greater Manchester, it’s the combination of heavy rain and very strong winds that will “dominate”.
Storm Gerrit will transition gradually to the North East late on Wednesday and into Thursday, according to the Met Office, and then, when looking forward to later in the week, forecasters say we should prepare for “further unsettled weather” is likely later in the week.
Yet again, strong winds, rain, and even some snow are expected across parts of the UK.
GMP officer sacked for using ‘racially aggravated language’ to colleagues
A serving Manchester police officer has been sacked after making “offensive and derogatory” remarks to his colleagues.
PC Radoslaw Mikulski – who worked in Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Trafford district, and had been on restricted duties since October 2022 – was officially dismissed from his role with immediate effect this week (19 February) following an accelerated misconduct meeting at GMP’s headquarters.
It comes after the police officer used “racially aggravated language” on two separate occasions.
The “offensive” language was used in private meetings to colleagues in September and October 2022 – with the first use referring to an incident, and the second about a member of the public.
After a debrief into the first incident, GMP advised PC Mikulski that this type of language was “inappropriate”, and he then went on to admit that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct and subsequently apologised.
He did, however, explain in the hearing this week that his comments in the first case “referred to an incident, rather than a person”.
PC Mikulski’s actions were reported to GMP’s Professional Standards Directorate, who then carried out an internal investigation which led to disciplinary proceedings.
Chief Constable Stephen Watson – who presided over the hearing this week – agreed that the behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, and that PC Mikulski had therefore “breached the standards” of Equality and Diversity, as well as Authority, Respect and Courtesy.
In dismissing the officer, CC Watson accepted that PC Mikulski’s use of the derogatory term had not been “malicious”.
But he said that despite this acceptance, this type of language is still “highly offensive” and ultimately “falls below what the public rightly expects”, adding: “Racially aggravated language always constitutes an aggravating factor, and there is a risk of the trust of minority communities [in the police] being harmed.”
CC Watson also ordered PC Mikulski’s name to be added to the College of Policing Barred List.
Featured Image – GMP
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.