The owner of G-A-Y, a Manchester-based nightclub, has launched a legal challenge against the government’s 10pm curfew.
Jeremy Joseph, CEO of G-A-Y, said the measure which was imposed from September 24th is both detrimental to business and unsubstantiated, claiming that the nighttime economy has been ‘consistently treated as a scapegoat’.
He added that Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock need to be ‘made accountable’ for the curfew.
The controversial measure which causes all hospitality businesses, including bars, pubs and restaurants, to close at 10pm has been widely criticised by operators, who have seen revenues fall dramatically due to the reduction in trading hours.
Mr Joseph, who operates three other LGBTQ+ bars across the UK as well as G-A-Y over on Canal Street, has instructed leading barristers to challenge the restrictions with support from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
A pre-action protocol for judicial review has been served by barristers at Kings Chambers, including Sam Karim QC, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides, along with Dan Rosenberg of Simpson Miller Solicitors, the Manchester Evening News reports.
The legal team has written to Matt Hancock with a formal challenge of the curfew.
Jeremy Joseph said: “The 10pm curfew which has now been in place for the last two weeks and has been detrimental to the hospitality sector, including G-A-Y, makes absolutely no sense.
“It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them onto the street at the same time.
“They are going from safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport.
“This government has failed to show why the 10pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation.
“It seems to direct the blame for this action on the sector, consistently treating the nighttime economy as a scapegoat when, in fact, we have years of operational experience of keeping customers safe, and have spent substantial time and effort making sure our venues are Covid secure.
“Enough is enough.
“Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have to be made accountable and today we have instructed our legal team with the support of the NTIA to serve the government with a Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review to challenge the decision to implement the national curfew of 10pm on the hospitality sector.”
Dan Rosenberg, a partner at Simpson Miller, said: “Our clients are well aware of the need to prioritise the health of the public and are supportive of any measures that help control the virus.
“Ultimately, their businesses in the long term depend upon the virus being brought under control.
“However, while they have been supportive of other decisions made by Government, including in relation to social distancing and other measures to protect the safety of their patrons, they fail to see the logic behind the arbitrary decision for all venues to close at 10pm.”
Michael Kill, CEO of NTIA added: “The implementation of the 10pm curfew and further restrictions on the sector has had a catastrophic impact on business levels, resulting in thousands of businesses making the difficult decision to close the doors, or make staff redundant.
“The decision to implement a curfew makes no sense and has no published scientific or medical foundation to reducing transmission rates.
“If anything, it is counterproductive, with thousands leaving hospitality venues at 10pm, creating mass gatherings on the street and overcrowding public transport.
“Jeremy and his team at G-A-Y have been long-standing members of the NTIA and we are fully supportive of the action he has taken to start a Pre-Action Protocol to judicially review the decision by the Government to implement the national curfew of 10pm on all hospitality sector businesses.”
Marcus Rashford calls for guarantee free school meals will continue over summer holidays
Well done Marcus!
Marcus Rashford is calling for a guarantee that the free school meal scheme will continue over the upcoming summer holidays.
The Manchester United star forced the government to U-turn on the issue last year, and is once again calling on ministers to keep the support going over the holidays.
Rashford relied on free school meals when he was growing up, saying that if his family had received help in the summer it would have made a ‘massive, massive difference’.
During the lockdown school closures last year vouchers were offered, but the government had resisted calls to continue the coupons – worth £15 a week – over the summer until Rashford got involved and piled pressure on ministers.
The striker didn’t stop there, also shaming the government into supporting families in need over the holidays in November via a Covid winter grant scheme.
As it stands, since the first lockdown more than 300,000 additional children have become eligible for free school dinners, with the total number of people able to access the scheme rising to 1.63 million in October.
Rashford told The Mirror: “I definitely think it needs to be extended and the reason why I say that is, I’m just going back to what it was like for me in the summers.
“It’s much more difficult for my mum to keep on top of. Obviously in my household there were four children so as a single parent it was obviously tough for her.
“But when we were all in school or in high school, she can rest a little bit because she knows that we’re having a meal there, and then potentially she only has to worry about one meal, which is dinner time.”
He continued: “So having free school meals throughout summer holidays for me would have made a massive, massive difference.
“And I feel like what’s happened this year, like the pandemic, it’s affected everyone in different ways.
“I just don’t see there being anything wrong with extending free school meals, like it’s going to do a lot more good than bad so I definitely think that that should happen.”
The footballer isn’t the only one calling for the scheme to continue, with Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza also asking for free school meals to be extended into the summer holidays.
Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day
‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’
A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.
According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.
The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.
According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.
The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.
Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.
Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.
In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”
They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.
The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.
“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”
He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.
“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”
Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules
Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes
A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.
Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.
According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.
The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.
They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.
The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.
A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.
The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.
However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.
The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.
Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.
“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.
“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”