Broadchurch is back! Episode 1

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What.an.episode. 

I already cannot wait to find out who did it, and we have to watch 7 more to find out….!

I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen, and silence fell in our living room ( a rarity in our house).

So, we were thrust into the new series, with a powerful and emotional first episode, leaving us already caring for Trish and screaming to know what has happened.

And the odd couple have returned. Alec is back and appears to be a little softer than before, and Ellie is just as lovely, caring and tough as we remember.

Who is Trish? What happened? Is she telling us everything? And is it just me or was it a little strange when she asked the pair ‘do you believe me?’

And in true Broadchurch style, we are introduced to a number of new characters who could be attached to the attack or even the attacker himself…

So, we have met:

  • the curt shop owner
  • the friend and her (dodgy) husband and was it 50 (?) men at that party!

And of course, the Latimer family are back: Beth and Mark, Chloe and their youngest child, but they aren’t a united team… losing Danny has clearly broken them and even writing a book hasn’t helped…

I think Beth would be a great support to Trish but is she the right person for the job? I’m undecided.

But Alec and Ellie are on the case, and have (hopefully) already found the crime scene and can start investigating.

 

One episode in and I’m hooked. Roll on next Monday.

 

‘My son keeps asking me why can’t his friends come over?’ : Harrow family’s desperate plea to end fly-tipping hell

A father is desperate for the “disgusting fly-tipping mess” outside his home to be cleared as he says it’s affected his family’s life for long enough.

Mohsin Farooqi, 32, lives in High Road, Harrow Weald, with his wife Angelika and their three-year-old son.

The have had to deal with fly-tipping problems since they moved into their flat in February last year, and say people move their own rubbish into their street, forcing them to walk through the mess each time they leave their house.

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Mr Farooqi said: “My son keeps asking why his friends aren’t visiting the house to play with him, but they don’t want to come here because of the disgusting mess.

“We keep our bins outside as the domestic one used to be filled with rubbish bags, old rotting food, and shop waste.

“The council focuses on the town centre, and doesn’t spend enough time on Harrow Weald, there are police and environmental officers in the town, but not in our area. We are being totally ignored.

“I pay council tax but do not think the money is going towards environmental services for the borough. I wish I could hire people to clear it but I don’t have enough money.

“I really hope this can be resolved for me and other people facing this issue in Harrow.”

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The fly-tipping land has been labelled as “orphaned” meaning it is private land and not the responsibility of the council.

Mr Farooqi contacted Harrow council who told him a Public Spaces Protection order would be put in place to prevent the fly-tippers, but Mr Farooqi fears this will not help.

Harrow Cllr Graham Henson, portfolio holder for environment said: “We deplore this disgusting behaviour by people who have no respect for our community. We are dedicated to keeping our public highways free from this filth.

“This alleyway is not a public highway and doesn’t belong to the Council but we are looking at new ways to fight back against this vile behaviour – even on private land.

“Look out for our forthcoming Public Spaces Protection Order which will soon allow us to take tougher enforcement action against those who blight our borough, including fines for fly-tippers on the spot.”

‘It’s a matter of basic justice’ : fair deal demands for Harrow over council tax increase

Harrow’s Labour councillors are calling on PM Theresa May to offer them equal treatment as fears over increased council tax grows.

All councils are entitled to raise tax by up to 4.99% this year without having a local referendum, Surrey County Council had a proposed a tax rise of 15 per cent, requiring a local referendum.

However, on Tuesday February 7, the council chose to reverse their position.

It has been revealed that leaked messages suggest the reversal is linked to a “sweetheart” deal between Department for Communities and Local Government and Surrey Council.

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Harrow’s councillors are now demanding they are offered the same deal.

Harrow west Councillor and cabinet member for Finance, Adam Swersky, is now fighting for the people of Harrow to receive the same deal.

He said: “The outrageous secret negotiations between Surrey Council and the government must be immediately opened up to public scrutiny.”

“If Surrey is getting more money to deal with huge social care pressures and government cuts, then Harrow residents must get exactly the same deal.

“It’s a matter of basic justice.”

David Hodges, Chair of the Conservative Group on the Local Government Association and leader of Surrey Council, said the decision to not proceed with the 15 per cent council tax increase was theirs and no one else’s.

Mr Hodges said: “We have to take an axe to services unless people vote for this.

“It’s very painful, as Surrey people already pay a fair whack, but we will lay out the choices honestly.”

However, Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Susan Hall said the Labour group need to re-think their finances.

Cllr Hall said: “Labour are merely trying to distract attention from their own local failures.

“Whilst other councils, such as Conservative-run Hillingdon, have managed to freeze their Council tax rates Labour’s mismanagement of Harrow’s finances are punishing our residents with yearly tax rises.

“Let’s not forget, the last time Harrow’s Council Tax was frozen was under a Conservative administration.”

STRIKE: London tube drivers set to walkout over ‘displacement’ of staff

London Underground drivers are to stage a new strike in a row over “displacement” of staff.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on parts of the Tube’s Central line will walk out for 15 hours from 9pm on February 21.

The drivers went on strike last month in the same dispute, disrupting services on the Central and Waterloo and City lines.

 

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Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “RMT negotiators have made strenuous efforts through the Acas machinery to resolve this dispute but the door has been slammed in our faces.

“To up the ante, LU have now written to us confirming that they will be bulldozing through the displacements regardless.

“Let us be in no doubt, if LU are allowed to get away with this move on the Central line they will start shunting drivers around at the drop of a hat regardless of the consequences.

“Our members will be sent out from pillar to post to plug gaps that are solely down to staffing shortages.

“With massive budget cuts in the pipeline at LU this is a straw in the wind as to how the company expects to operate in the future.

“Staff across London Underground are angry and the company would be wise to recognise that.”

Before January’s strikes, LU said the dispute concerns the need to move eight train operators in three depots on the Central line.

They said: “These drivers need to move to other depots where they are needed so that we can provide the best possible train service to our customers.”

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said it threat of action is “completely unnecessary.”

He said: “Like any responsible transport authority we regularly examine how we can provide the best possible service to customers, and to achieve this sometimes we need to move staff from locations where they are under-utilised, to the places where they are really needed. We have agreements with the trade unions that enable us to do this.

“We have identified eight drivers for whom there is not enough work on the Central line, so we have asked them to move to another line where they would make a real difference to the service our customers receive.”