A number of beaches across the North West and the rest of the UK could be wiped out as a result of climate change, worrying new research has shown.
Global warming has been an issue for years now, having mainly been fuelled by man-made issues such as the burning of fossil fuels, factory farming, the increase in livestock production and deforestation.
As a result of this, temperatures across the globe have slowly been creeping up, resulting in increasing sea levels and more severe weather conditions, with the world’s ice caps melting at alarming rates.
However, while melting ice caps may not seem to directly affect us here in the North West, Climate Central – a non-profit news organisation focused on climate science – has recently revealed the devastating impact the climate crisis could have upon British beaches.
Kent beaches such as Folkestone, Dungeness, and Whitstable are just a few of those expected to be completely submerged by water by 2050.
Over in north Wales, Llandudno, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Shotton and Queensferry are also expected to be vulnerable to flooding.
In the North West the likes of Blackpool beach, Lytham St Annes, Formby, Crosby and Southport are at risk of sea levels rising and coastal flood threats. Other Northern locations such as Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe, Skegness and swathes of towns in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk are also noted as at risk.
Earlier this year, Climate Central also reported that areas surrounding Blackpool, Lytham, Fleetwood and Morecambe could also be underwater by 2050.
Other affected areas include Lancaster, Thornton-Cleveleys, Heysham, Preston, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Southport.
Inland areas including Common Edge, South Shore, Little Marton, Marton Fold and Squires Gate would also be impacted along with Fylde Industrial Estate, Blackpool Zoo and Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve.
It is worth noting that these images are based on predictions if no cuts are made to emissions – they also do not take into account engineered coastal defences nor long-term dynamic changes.
North West residents urged to cut back on water as reservoirs run low
United Utilities has suggested a number of ways in which residents can cut back on their water usage
United Utilities has issued a water usage warning for North West residents as reservoir levels plummet.
While reporting that the region’s supply of tap water is ‘less than half what it should be’ at this time of the year, the water supplier has offered an array of suggestions as to how residents can lower their water usage.
In an email to customers, United Utilities said: “To keep precious water in the reservoirs until they have a chance to recover and help protect local wildlife, save water and only use what you need.
“We can do this with very little impact on our usual routine and every drop is precious, so swap a bath for a four minute shower, use the washing machine once less each week and re-use water where you can.”
The water supply across the North West comes from Haweswater and Thirlmere reservoirs in the Lake District, which are both only 36% full – usual levels in September would be around 70%, according to ITV News.
The shortage comes as a result of an unusually dry summer; although there were plenty of wetter days in North West cities and towns and even flooding in some areas, it has been the driest June to September in over 130 years in the Lake District.
There has also been extra demand on water being used as a result of more people staying at home and taking holidays in the north west during the pandemic.
Over on their website, the supplier also suggests a number of methods to lower water usage, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, using a washing up bowl when washing the dishes, and refraining from overfilling the kettle by only boiling what you need.
For those with a garden, United Utilities also suggests investing in a butt, a device which collects rainwater to be used in the house, and to fully ditch the hosepipe while watering plants and washing cars, noting that using a watering can for your plants and a bucket and sponge for your car will not only save water, but will do wonders for the environment.
See their full list of tips here.
More than 10,000 foreign workers to be handed UK visas amid HGV driver shortages
The workers will be given the right to work in the UK up until Christmas Eve
Over 10,000 foreign workers will be given temporary UK visas in the government’s bid to tackle the ongoing supply issues experienced across the country.
The temporary scheme will be offered to around 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers, who will be granted employment in the UK until Christmas Eve.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that the visas will be made available from next month and will ‘ensure preparations remain on track’ for the festive season.
He said: “This package of measures builds on the important work we have already done to ease this global crisis in the UK, and this Government continues to do everything we can to help the haulage and food industries contend with the HGV driver shortage.
“We are acting now but the industries must also play their part, with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers.
“After a very difficult eighteen months, I know how important this Christmas is for all of us and that’s why we’re taking these steps at the earliest opportunity to ensure preparations remain on track.”
As a result of the worker shortage, supermarkets across the country and major restaurant chains such as Nando’s, KFC and McDonald’s have been experiencing major supply issues.
Various retailers have also been warning that a solution must be found within days to avoid ‘significant disruption’ in the run-up to Christmas.
The exact cause of the labour shortages remain unclear, though it is believed to be a result of both the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the cost of training and pay.
According to Sky News, the RHA claims around 20,000 European drivers have left the UK for ‘Brexit reasons’. They added that the pandemic saw many foreign HGV drivers return to their home countries, with the ‘vast majority’ not returning. There has also been a large backlog in HGV driver tests due to the pandemic, meaning tens of thousands of potential new drivers have been unable to join the industry.
Marcus Rashford urges Boris Johnson not to axe £20 universal credit lifeline
The footballer has stressed the impact the £20 cut will have on millions of families across the country
Marcus Rashford has urged the government to abandon its plan to cut the £20 universal credit uplift and instead tackle the ongoing ‘child hunger pandemic’.
The Manchester United and England footballer, who last year lead the fight to a historic government U-turn for free school meals for children across the UK, has stressed that millions of people will ‘lose a lifeline’ when the extra money is scrapped next month.
He said, as per The Guardian: “Instead of removing vital support, we should be focusing on developing a long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.
“On October 6th, millions lose a lifeline. It’s a move that Child Poverty Action Group says will raise child poverty to one in three.”
The twenty-three year old footballer has also urged the government provide long-term funding for food and activities during school holidays and expand the Healthy Start voucher scheme to households earning £20,000 or less after benefits.
Executive director of the Food Foundation Anna Taylor, who is working alongside Rashford, said food insecurity was ‘surging and is set to get a lot worse’.
She said: “It takes its toll not just on the wellbeing of children, but also on wider society. Getting ahead of this crisis is the litmus test of the government’s ambition to level up.
“Stopping the cut to universal credit and extending free school meals to poor children who currently miss out would provide a minimum protection for at-risk children. It is baffling that currently the government is planning neither. That’s why it is so important that everyone gets their voices heard and asks their MP to support this in the forthcoming spending review.”
The £20 universal credit rise, which was introduced during the pandemic last year and impacted over 5.8 million universal credit claimers, is set to be axed next week on October 6th.
The government’s argument is that as the economy opens back up, the focus needs to shift to getting people back to work.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast that the government had spent a ‘huge’ amount of money during the pandemic to provide ‘massive support’ to the economy and workers, but that ‘there was a debate about how long we could afford this’.
He said he was speaking ‘a great deal about it’ to the chancellor and other ministers as part of his focus on tackling fuel poverty.