Press Release Category: Society

A car-free London is within our reach | Hirra Khan Adeogun

Last Friday, everyone living in London was told to avoid strenuous physical activity. An intense area of high pressure meant pollutants were caught in the air, rather than being blown away as usual. The government forecast the highest level of pollution – band 10 – would be reached, with air pollution at its highest recorded…

Boris Johnson broke law over No 10 parties, says Keir Starmer – video

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, says Boris Johnson broke the law by attending at least one of the parties at Downing Street during lockdown.  Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Morning show, Starmer said: ‘There was industrial-scale partying going on, not much of it is being denied. The facts speak for themselves. The prime minister broke…

Bradford council to trace fly-tipped cannabis farms with ‘smart water’

Landlords who illegally dump the remains of cannabis farms will be traced using “smart water” spray in what is thought to be one of the first trials of its kind in the UK.Council officials in Bradford said they were taking action after a rise in the number of cannabis farms that had been fly-tipped in…

Cultivating calm: how gardening helps me find peace

It was the runner beans that did it. My neighbour, who is in her 90s, dropped round an envelope filled with a small handful of dried beans, which looked as if they’d been dipped in pink and black paint. A few months later, I was eating the best runner beans I’ve ever tasted, and they…

Be bad, better – from anger to laziness, how to put your worst habits to good use

We have the Babylonians to blame for making the new year a festival of self-flagellation – although their resolutions were more about appeasing gods than weight loss or cutting back on booze. (Sensibly, they carried out their rituals in spring in the Middle East, not the meteorological hellscape that is a British January.) John Wesley,…

Tell us: how have you been affected by staff shortages in community care in England?

Community care services have been hit by staff absences and increasing numbers of patients as Omicron cases have continued to rise in England.Community care, particularly nursing, could end up being rationed, the Royal College of Nursing has said.We would like to hear from people affected by these staff shortages. Are you struggling to access community…

Good chablis and ‘halfies’: life with the other Duchess of Argyll

For most of 1991 I was employed as secretary to the Dowager Duchess of Argyll, the fourth and final wife of Ian Campbell, the 11th duke. Mathilda was the wife after the more famous Margaret, the subject of A Very British Scandal, Sarah Phelps’s brilliant and frankly horrifying BBC three-part drama. Whenever I talk about…

Contact with nature in cities reduces loneliness, study shows

Contact with nature in cities significantly reduces feelings of loneliness, according to a team of scientists.Loneliness is a major public health concern, their research shows, and can raise a person’s risk of death by 45% – more than air pollution, obesity or alcohol abuse.The study is the first to assess how the environment can affect…

Wood burners cause nearly half of urban air pollution cancer risk – study

Wood burning stoves in urban areas are responsible for almost half of people’s exposure to cancer-causing chemicals found in air pollution particles, new research has shown.The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in tiny pollution particles are produced by burning fuels and have long been known to have carcinogenic effects. The new study examined the sources of…