Cloudy, cool and calm at the Castle this morn, the phone calls have started from desperate users and I am orf to Tesco for some stale bread, gruel and cat food.
I see that the Irish/Kenyan/Hawaiian/American president Barack O’Bama is due to visit our dry and broken land.
Now there’s a good reason to stay at home.
In a speech in Buckinghamshire, U-Turn Cam will insist that creating the Big Society is the central mission of the Government alongside cutting the deficit. Ministers will announce that they have reached agreement with banks that will allow customers to give money to charity through cash machines for the first time. Every minister will also be instructed to undertake a day of volunteering work a year.
Members of Mr Cameron's Cabinet view his decision to make another high profile attempt to reinvigorate the idea of the Big Society with some bemusement.
He still doesn’t get it does he……
Apparently Lambeth Council has decided that a pothole is not a pothole when it is less than 1.57 inches deep.
Under the guidelines, holes that are less than 1.57 inches (40mm) in depth will no longer be repaired. Previously, holes as shallow as 0.98in (25mm) were filled in.
The cost-cutting move, by Lambeth council in south London, is set to be followed across the country with nearly three-quarters of local authorities preparing to cut their roads maintenance budgets.
It comes as parliamentary research shows that the total cost of repairing every pothole on England’s roads has soared to more than £13 billion, following a run of bad winters which damaged road surfaces across the country.
In Lambeth, the council has also cut road inspections from every four months to every six months in a further bid to cut costs.
And the moral of this story-fill your holes when they appear or prepare for a lot of damage claims.
The Ex Nazi (and rather creepy looking) Papa has phoned the Endeavour shuttle and bestowed a blessing on the astronauts.
Seated at a table before a television set tuned to NASA’s live broadcast from orbit, Benedict told the space travellers that “you are our representatives spearheading humanity’s exploration of new spaces and possibilities for our future”.
Hoping for some brownie points from his boss?
A cyclist has found a novel way of making his bike safe from thieves - he has thrown away the front wheel.
Li Qingyou, 24, from Shenzhen, in southern China's Guangdong Province, says he can ride his bike on just the back wheel.
He reckons that he can ride his one-wheeled bicycle for more than 30 miles at speeds of up to 20mph.
"I was curious to try, to see if I could ride with only one wheel - and after a month of practice, I mastered it," he said.
"I have never had my bike stolen since I started riding like this. I don't even lock it because no thief could ride my bike."
Unless they bring a front wheel now that they know….
Apparently teenage girls are flaunting more skin than ever and raising the eyebrows of older women across Sydney as the hemlines get shorter and shorter.
Girls as young as 13 are purposely - and proudly - revealing breasts, bums, navels, bare backs, and wearing clothing so tight little is left to the imagination.
Bet there are no complaints from the men…..
A council has created a 20-page “risk assessment form” for putting on fetes. Not only do organisers have to read through a 20-page “risk assessment form”, but they must to sign it to vouch that they have taken precautions against 78 potential hazards.
Risks identified in the paperwork include:
- Injuries caused by stray balls from the coconut shy
- Someone accidentally eating a fire-lighter from the barbecue
- Children who are allergic to facepaint
The form ranks the possible accidents that could occur at a public outdoor event in order of their potential risk. Among other perils for organisers to take account of are 'road rage’ caused by the slow pace of traffic. The form states “Reducing traffic to a slow pace and/or standstill leads to driver frustration and possible U-turns creating hazards to other drivers and pedestrians”.
Pony rides are also another potential source of injury. “Ponies with good temperaments [should be] used,” the form states, adding that riders could fall off, be bitten or trodden on by their mount.
There could also be “potential conflict” over gaining entry to the event, the form states.
The guidance says that organisers of activities such as children’s races and sponsored walks should ensure that the ground is even, and free of stones and dog faeces.
Concerns are raised over ensuring the welfare of children, though the risks it highlights are particularly specific.
It says that they could suffocate in the ball pond, which might also contain balls contaminated with urine or faeces, and could be allergic to having their face painted.
“Erect sign: if child has allergy/skin condition then must not have face painted,” the document recommends.
Even the traditional car-boot sales do not escape the risk assessment, advising that sturdy tables must be used as otherwise they could collapse and hurt members of the public.
That’s it: I’m orf to try out MotionScan.
And today’s thought: 'It's not pollution that is hurting the environment; it's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.' - Dan Quayle