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How daft does it have to get?

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"Park benches across the country will have to be replaced at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds - because they are too low.


Under new health and safety laws, benches must be more than 17.75in high so the elderly and disabled can get off them easily.


The new rules came to light after Bramcote Crematorium in Nottinghamshire was told by officials from the local Broxtowe council to replace 40 memorial benches costing ?400 each.


An inspector found that the benches were 14.75in high - 3in lower than the "allowed minimum" height and 5in lower than the "optimum" height.


The crematorium has also been ordered to pay a further ?200,000 for lighting, because, under the same legislation, the new benches must be lit at night.


Kevin Browne, the crematorium's manager, said: "The inspector went around with a tape measure measuring everything for compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.


"Apparently, it means that the buttocks of infirm people are below the point at which they can easily return to a standing position, and 72 per cent of our visitors are elderly.


"But we also have to pay to put the new benches on an elevated slab, clear enough space at the side to give wheelchair access and make sure all the benches across our 18-acre site are properly lit.


"This will have staggering financial implications for us - about ?200,000 - and we have to carry it out within two years.


"It is very difficult to strike a balance between our responsibility to the bereaved and the other obligations placed on us."


The order has led to the benches - many of which were paid for by bereaved families in memory of their loved ones - being removed.


Jayne Allen, whose husband Phillip died suddenly five years ago aged 48, paid ?400 for a bench bearing a plaque with her husband's name.


She has now been told that, because of the new regulations, the bench is being returned to her and the plaque moved to a replacement bench.


"It is all very undignified and quite insulting,' said Mrs Allen. "I also think it shows little respect for the dead. I have told them I want my plaque returned on the bench.


"There's no way I want it stuck on a new bench alongside other plaques of people I don't know.


"I was furious when I first got the letter, but when I spoke to the officers at the crematorium I realised that the problem didn't come from them - it's the Government's health and safety laws."


A spokeswoman for the Disability Rights Commission, which oversees the operation of the law, said that it was down to individual councils to interpret the legislation.


She said in the Bramcote case, the precise bench measurements had been drawn up by the borough council.


"The legislation includes a provision which says that the costs of any changes to conform with the law must be taken into account, and must be reasonable,' she added.


"No one from Broxtowe Council was available for comment.


Last month, a bench in the village of East Prawle, Devon, became the focus of health and safety concerns.


Villagers using the bench - the only place where they could get a mobile signal for more than two miles - were told their plans for a replacement stone platform had had to be abandoned.


Parish councillors had applied for permission to build a ?100 concrete plinth dubbed "phonehenge" - for residents to use instead.


But the scheme stalled after they were told health and safety laws meant safety railings, wheelchair access and a light for safe night-time use would also have to be provided."


Mail on Sunday


Maybe best to remove all park benches, then there will be no H&S issues.....nor maintenance costs....and we can sack the inspectors, sorted. :wink:

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Whilst they keep the general public confused and upset over things like height of park benches - much worse things are happening around us. I don't know that propaganda and misinformation that goes on at certain levels isn't all just a game to keep the John Q Public from knowing the real problems that are happening. I know that sounds paranoid - but think about it before you jump me! :roll:

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Very perceptive and true.


Isn't that why a lot of countries go to war or cause some international conflict to act as a smoke screen.


Putin is doing it now.


As for the benches, it's a pity they don't worry about car seats and how the elderly are supposed to get in and out of them. :o

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Sunday Times:


"BRITISH taxpayers are to meet the ?2 billion cost of reintroducing free university education in Scotland ? but students from England and Wales will still have to pay the full fees.


Under plans to be announced by the Scottish executive on Wednesday, Scottish students who now pay ?2,000 on graduation will be charged nothing from 2009. From 2011 at the latest they will also see loans wiped out and maintenance grants reintroduced.


The move by the minority SNP administration is likely to reignite the debate about the Union and fuel anger at the emergence of a two-tier system whereby a more generous level of public services in Scotland is largely funded by English taxpayers.


In the decade since devolution, Scotland has made use of its grant from Westminster to subsidise care homes for the elderly and to authorise the use of a wide range of cancer drugs denied to patients south of the border. It receives approximately ?1,500 more per head than England.


But the latest plan is the most divisive yet. All tuition fees in Scotland will be scrapped from 2009 for Scottish students.


Students from the European Union will also receive free education from 2009 unless they come from England, Wales or Northern Ireland. At present there are about 15,000 English undergraduates at Scottish universities paying ?1,700 a year for a four-year degree. On top of an average loan of ?11,000, it means they leave with an average debt of ?17,800."


The "best bit" is in bold :x


[ 10.06.2007, 14:11: Message edited by: Paul Kennedy ]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Daily Mail:


"British job- seekers are being refused work because they do not speak Polish, it has been claimed.



The influx of Eastern European workers means the language is now vital for jobs in agriculture, says MP Malcolm Moss.


His North East Cambridgeshire constituency has seen the arrival of a huge number of migrant workers to pick fruit and vegetables, as well as fill other low-paid jobs in packing and food processing plants.........


Mr Moss told yesterday how a constituent had been denied work at one factory because she did not speak Polish.


"A woman came to my surgery to tell me about her daughter's experience when she was looking for work," he said.


"The daughter was aged 18 or 19 and had been to the job centre, where there was little work.


"Instead she was told to try the local factories in person.


"They, in turn told her they did not recruit directly and referred her on to a gangmaster who held the contract to supply the staff."


Mr Moss added: "This particular gangmaster told the woman, 'If you don't speak Polish I can't put you on the assembly line, because they all speak Polish.


"They won't accept you, and you won't be able to communicate with them anyway".


"This is obvious discrimination. It is no wonder that youth unemploymentis on the rise." "


I guess the gangmaster has a point really. :(


PS the final bit of the article:


"Around 640,000 Eastern Europeans, most of them Poles, have registered to work in Britain.


But the figure could be as high as 800,000, experts believe, because in most cases the Government keeps no record of the self- employed, spouses or children." :o


[ 19.06.2007, 07:29: Message edited by: Paul Kennedy ]

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Iran introducing petrol rationing.


Seems although it is awash with oil, it doesn't have the refining capacity and has to import 60% of its petrol. Guess ts government has been spending too much on nuclear research and not enough on oil refineries.

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right that's me nipping down sankey valley to have a quick slip on the grass the mowers left on the paths and then off to A&E with a bad back. next a quick call to injury lawyer us and i am set for life :D


either that or i will put a claim in against any house owner who has a garden with a shrub that sheds leaves or blossom. just think of the possibilities folks. millions and millions going begging. :crazy:

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Bit like the proverbial London bus, nothing then two come along, thanks to the Daily Mail who love these sorts of things:


"An RAF typist who injured her thumb at work is to be paid almost half a million pounds by the Ministry of Defence.



The civilian's award is almost 30 times the amount a serviceman would receive for the same injury.



It is eight times more than a soldier would receive for losing a leg and almost double the amount he could expect if he lost both legs.



The ?484,000 payout was condemned by former soldiers, politicians and servicemen's charities who fear it will severely damage morale.



The woman, believed to be in her 20s, developed a repetitive strain injury while typing computer data.



She claimed it left her unable to work and caused her to become depressed, and she started legal action against the MoD."




"A woman aged 108 has been told she must wait 18 months before the Health Service will give her the hearing aid she needs.


Former piano teacher Olive Beal, one of the oldest people in Britain, has poor eyesight and uses a wheelchair.


The delay could mean she will be unable to communicate and listen to the music she loves."


PS At 108, I would suggest the delay might mean that she is dead before she gets a hearing aid! :(

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The petty bureaucrats who make decisions like this have no common sense and no sense of shame :onfire: :onfire: :onfire:

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Don't you just love the priorities we have in the UK. This from the Daily Mail:


Olympics organisers are spending millions of pounds hiring a team of 'equality and inclusion' managers.


Part of their job will be to ensure that all the construction firms involved with the 2012 Games employ enough ethnic minority and female builders.


At least ten senior equality executives will be employed and paid for by the Olympic Delivery Authority.


This organisation, headed by Civil Aviation Authority boss Sir Roy McNulty, is charged with building the stadiums, village and park for the Games in London.


Five key jobs have already been advertised with salaries of more than ?100,000 - plus bonuses.


The authority was yesterday attempting to recruit a 'Head of Equality and Inclusion'; a 'Deputy Head of Equality and Inclusion'; an 'Equality Monitoring and Research Manager'; an 'Equality and Inclusion Manager (Audit and Support); and an 'Equality and Inclusion


Manager (Impact and Engagement)'.


And this great comment from Ruth Lea:'I wonder if they will extend this principle throughout the Games? I would like to see them pick athletes for the 800 metres on the same basis they want to employ construction workers.'


The reality of the situation is of course that the organisers will be hard pressed to find enough builders of any description, and at a price within the current budget......which of course has already tripled....or is that quadrupled since the original bid. No doubt those recruited for these top jobs will be selected on the basis of their ethnic origins, sex or disability.....all quite illegal of course, but that is so called "positive discrimination" for you. :wink:

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Mail on Sunday:


"A teenage science student has been banned from applying for a training programme with the Environment Agency because she is white and English.


The recruitment agency handling the scheme told Abigail Howarth, 18, that there was no point in her submitting an application because of her ethnic background.


But bizarrely she could have applied if she had been white and Welsh, Scottish or Irish."


Click the link to see the actual advert:




Funny old world. :wink:

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I'm Irish. But since my great-grandfather was English, does that mean I am banned too? :D Since I have Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh blood, in that case when the time finally comes (soon) for me to finally move to England, all going well, does that mean that I have to chop one of my arms off to get a job? :P

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