A company is facing three separate investigations after a wheelchair-user discovered that the reception desk of the hotel he was staying in was left unstaffed every night.Mahmood Qureshi only made the discovery after he had already spent a night in a wheelchair-accessible room at the Knighton Hotel (pictured) in Knighton, on the Welsh-English border.On his first night at the hotel – where he was staying during a visit to an international draughts competition – he booked an agency care worker to arrive at 9.30am, but she agreed to arrive earlier on the second morning.When he checked with the hotel staff that they would let her in at 6.30am the next morning, he was told that would not be possible because there were no staff at the front desk between midnight and 7am.Qureshi, who lives in Bradford, pointed out to hotel staff that he had high support needs and was staying with an older friend who was also disabled. If there was a fire, he said, he could be trapped in his room on the first floor.He said: “It was very dangerous. We were on the first floor, and there were… steps going down to reception.“Basically, we would be left to defend ourselves if there was a fire. I would have panicked, I wouldn’t have known what to do.”Following his two-day stay last October, he complained to Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, which has launched an investigation into the hotel’s fire safety procedures.The hotel is also being investigated by trading standards, and by Visit Wales, the Welsh government’s tourism team.A Welsh government spokeswoman said: “These allegations are very concerning. “Visit Wales is in contact with the owners and hoping that these issues can be resolved quickly.”Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said there was an “ongoing investigation” into the concerns raised by Qureshi.And a spokesman for Powys council’s trading standards department confirmed that it was also carrying out an investigation into Qureshi’s concerns.Rowena Williams, director and owner of Rural Retreats and Leisure, which runs the Knighton Hotel and several other hotels in England and Wales, said Qureshi’s complaints were “completely unfounded” and “completely fictional with completely inaccurate information”.She said the hotel had a duty manager “on site”, but she confirmed that the hotel did not have a night porter and so the front desk was not staffed overnight.Her husband, Paul, said the hotel had a “sleepover manager” while “the building is manned 24 hours per day seven days per week”.He said: “In the event that a guest requires assistance out of hours, they just dial 0 from their room or the hotel number if they are not in the room, the call is then put straight through to the duty manager who is on for that evening. “This is common practice and is explained to all of our guests and is also outlined in the guest information booklet contained within each bedroom.”But he admitted: “It is true that we have been asked to modify our risk assessment and procedures but this is all that was requested following an inspection that was carried out on 13 November by the fire service.”Rowena Williams said that all the rooms had fire doors and that “the 20 stepped staircase [is] wheelchair compliant” [with wide enough steps to allow a wheelchair to sit on it] while a “risk assessment shows there is no serious risk”. She said: “The hotel is not being investigated by trading standards at all. This is complete fabrication.”She added: “The fire brigade have raised no major issues but minor issues that have been dealt with as a matter of course.”
The House of Commons will again take control of parliamentary business and hold a second round of ‘indicative votes’ today to try to establish which Brexit plan has the most support.Ahead of the debate, MPs have tabled eight (or nine) Brexit options – double the number tabled last week.Labour is supporting the following motions:(C), customs union membership(D), Common Market 2.0(E), confirmatory public vote(F), public vote to prevent no dealLabour’s alternative Brexit deal (not on the order paper as it was tabled late)Speaker Bercow is very likely to choose motions (C) and (E), which received the most support on Wednesday. It is then a question of whether he will allow MPs to vote on (D) – Common Market 2.0, which now has Labour and SNP backing – and Labour’s alternative deal.The Tories are being given a free vote, apart from cabinet members who are being told to abstain.Update, 5pm: Bercow has selected motions (C), customs union; (D), Common Market 2.0; (E), confirmatory public vote; and (G), Article 50 extension/revocation.Here’s a quick guide to all the tabled motions…(A) Unilateral right of exit from backstopJohn Baron, Andrew PercyAgrees to leave with May’s deal on 22nd May – amended to allow the UK to unilateral exit from the backstop. This was motion (C) last week; it was not selected.(B) No deal in the absence of a Withdrawal AgreementJohn Baron, Sir David AmessWould see the UK leave without a deal on 12th April. This was motion (B) last week – it was defeated by 240 votes and isn’t likely to be selected today.(C) Customs UnionKenneth Clarke, Hilary BennWants to make customs union membership a negotiating objective and enshrine that in law. This was motion (J) last week and the slimmest defeat – only rejected by six votes. It is likely to get a majority today.(D) Common Market 2.0Nick Boles, Lucy PowellDirects government to renegotiate the political declaration: the UK would join EFTA, stay in EEA and single market, enter a customs arrangement until Irish border solution is found. It’s the Norway Plus/CM2.0 plan.This was motion (D) last week. It was defeated by 95 votes then, but today the SNP has pledged to support it. Tricky for Labour MPs who don’t want to back freedom of movement, but if selected could attract significantly more votes than last time.(E) Confirmatory public votePeter Kyle, Phil WilsonSays any deal should be put to the people in public vote. This was Margarett Beckett’s motion (M) last week, which surprised many when it got the most votes in favour. But it was defeated by 27 votes (more than Clarke’s customs union).Three shadow cabinet members were not disciplined after abstaining despite being whipped to vote for it, and there aren’t many more votes to get for another referendum. Suggests it will do well but not much better today compared to last week.(F) Public vote to prevent no dealGraham P Jones, Dominic GrieveBacks a public vote only if it were necessary to avoid no deal. Supported by Labour today.(G) Parliamentary SupremacyJoanna Cherry, Dominic GrieveInstructs government to seek Article 50 extension if ‘no deal’ is two days away. If extension is refused by the EU, Commons must vote on no deal versus revoke Article 50. Lots of signatories but not supported by Labour.(H) EFTA and EEAGeorge Eustice, Jack DromeyThe more Tory version of Common Market 2.0. EEA and EFTA but not the customs arrangement of motion (D). This was motion (H) last week, defeated by 312 votes. Unlikely to be selected.Bonus: LabourList understands that Labour is tabling a motion setting out its own alternative Brexit plan. It is likely to be the same as last week’s motion, which consisted of Corbyn’s five-point Brexit plan (customs union membership, close alignment with single market, etc).Tags:Labour /Brexit /customs union /Common Market 2.0 /Indicative votes /
Jeremy Corbyn has called on Boris Johnson to ban fracking “immediately”, as fresh research by Labour reveals that the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target would otherwise be impossible to meet.Ahead of a visit to energy firm Cuadrilla’s fracking site in Lancashire, where environmental activists are demonstrating, Corbyn accused the government of allowing fossil fuel companies to ignore ecological concerns in their pursuit of profit.“Instead of bending the knee to a few corporations who profit from extracting fossil fuels from the ground, we need to change course now,” the Labour leader said. “It’s the next generation and the world’s poorest who will pay the price if this Conservative government continues to put the interests of a few polluters ahead of people.”In his first speech to parliament as Prime Minister, Johnson promised to lead the world in delivering a carbon-neutral country by 2050, but has previously embraced the fracking boom as “glorious news for humanity”, while describing climate change as a “primitive fear” that is “without foundation”.New analysis conducted by Labour shows that the government’s target will be impossible to reach if the UK exploits its entire shale gas reserve. Hydraulic fracturing, which blasts porous gas-bearing rocks with tons of chemicals, sand and water, has also been linked to increased risks of cancer, asthma and birth defects. Cuadrilla’s fracking site near Blackpool was repeatedly forced to suspend work for causing earth tremors that surpassed the 0.5-magnitude limit.The Labour leader has renewed the party’s commitment to a transformative economic programme that tackles both inequality and the climate crisis.He commented: “Tackling the climate emergency cannot be left to the free market. Labour will ban fracking and our Green Industrial Revolution will face the climate emergency head-on and leave no community behind, transforming our country’s energy supply and creating 400,000 good, well-paid jobs across the country.”Beyond motions related to Brexit, the conference motion drafted by campaign group Labour for a Green New Deal is thought to be the most popular policy proposal among local parties.If passed, it would mean Labour’s highest policy-making body approves of bringing the net-zero emissions target forward to 2030.The plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’, led by John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey, could form the central plank of an early election campaign.Tags:Boris Johnson /Labour /Fracking /Jeremy Corbyn /
Photograph by Dan Winters Sign up for free access Enter your email address Subscribe Why am I seeing this? You’ve read your last free article Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. When the Shuttle Was YoungBy Gregory CurtisFrom “Behind the Lines,” originally published in January 1984The glory of the space program is that in fifty years we have gone from setting off rockets with matches to sending up laboratories where six men can live for ten days and return to Earth as gently as a jetliner pulls into DFW. The shuttle’s takeoff is an exhilarating spectacle because it is incontrovertible proof that all the problems that stood in its way were solved by human energy and intelligence.Capitalizing on the Right StuffBy Helen ThorpeFrom “Can John Glenn Do It Again?,” originally published in October 1998It is easy to understand why John Glenn wants to go back into space. But why would NASA, a multibillion-dollar agency with important things to do, want to send him? Like John Glenn, NASA itself longs for a return to its former glory days. Employees dream like fading starlets of future leading roles, above all, a manned mission to the Red Planet. Getting anybody there would be a monumental undertaking and would cost billions. How better to generate public support for such a quest than to remind the nation of the first time it fell head over heels for an astronaut? One Giant Step for LogisticsBy Stephen HarriganFrom “Heaven & Earth,” originally published in April 2003Spaceflight has changed in ways that have inevitably leached some of the glamour away. The shuttle is a vehicle less for exploratory voyaging than for near-shore exploitation of space. Its primary job these days is the servicing and maintenance of the International Space Station. Compared with the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María, the shuttle is more like a crew boat ferrying personnel and supplies to an offshore drilling platform. When those supplies are unloaded in the weightlessness of space, astronauts, like grocery stockers, keep track of the inventory with bar code readers. In orbit, they receive a per diem of just $2.The United Colors of NASABy Al ReinertFrom “The Last Blast,” originally published in April 2011More than 350 people have now gone into space on the 133 space shuttle missions, and they represent our species probably better than we deserve. There have been female commanders and farmworker’s sons, schoolteachers, heart surgeons, senators, astronomers, biologists, geologists, psychologists, jet pilots, and enough engineers to construct a space station the size of a shopping mall. And that’s just the Americans. [They have been joined] over the years by the citizens of fifteen other countries, from Mexico and Switzerland to Israel, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, men and women who took salsa music and sashimi into outer space and gave other cultures a taste of the dream. Hope you enjoyed your free ride. To get back in the saddle, subscribe! Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Last Name Already a subscriber? Login or link your subscription. This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly First Name If you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly Subscribe now, or to get 10 days of free access, sign up with your email. Cancel anytime.
Half-back Fairclough has joined Swinton whilst Cooper will link up with Whitehaven.The duo have made the move to gain regular game time.
WPD says it hosts some of the most state of the art tests compared to neighboring law enforcement agencies.It’s national forensic science week and the department is showing off these tools to the public. The lab helps law enforcement agencies in multiple nearby counties with drug and blood alcohol processing.“It’s so important with the taxpayers they pay for what we do and so we’re accountable to them,” Bethany Pridgen, forensic lab director, said. “We’re busy and the public is busy so to have that opportunity to hit the pause button and say hey here’s what we’re doing and here’s how proud we are and how good we are is a great opportunity.”Related Article: Criminal summons issued for David Eason of “Teen Mom 2”Wilmington Police will also host a night for students on Wednesday and kids safety event Thursday.To RSVP to events, which are first-come, first-served, contact Kim Breeden at 910-409-9484 or email@example.com. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you are a fan of forensic files or other crime dramas the Wilmington Police Department is letting neighbors see first hand how they process crime scene evidence.The department hosted a crime lab tour this afternoon. The lab has gone from one to 15 employees since 2009.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Last week we told you about the Street Turkey Food Drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, now the numbers are in.The event racked up more than $13,000 pounds of food donations and more than $12,000 in monetary donations.- Advertisement – That will enable the food bank to provide a total of more than 71,000 meals to those in need.Thank you to everyone who helped feed the hungry this holiday season.
Polar Plunge. (PHOTO: WWAY) WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Wrightsville Beach is expecting another great turnout for its beach plunge on New Year’s Day.Like in years past, this year they are “plungin’ for a purpose”. The 3rd annual Wrightsville plunge benefits Communities in Schools of Cape Fear, which works to help keep kids in school, and on the path to graduation.- Advertisement – Prep gets underway around 10:30 with the plunge set for noon over near The Oceanic.Surf City plans to still have their Dolphin Dip Extravaganza but Holden Beach has canceled their event due to weather.The temperature for when they hit the water on Wrightsville Beach are forecast to be around freezing.Related Article: Blockade Runner closes until spring due to extensive storm damage
The NCDOT says roundabouts would improve safety and decrease traffic delays because the design eliminates the stop-and-go nature of a four way stop.Interested residents may learn more at a public open house from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 13. It will be held at Bladen Community College. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and collect comments about the proposed project. Comments may also be submitted until February 27.For additional information or to submit comments about the proposal, contact Sean Matuszewski, NCDOT Project Engineer, at (910) 364-0603 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.Related Article: Driver in critical condition after rollover crash (Photo: NCDOT) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation is holding an open house in February to discuss a proposed roundabout outside of Dublin.The roundabout would be built where NC 410 and NC 41 cross with an all-way stop.- Advertisement –
The EPA says methyl bromide, which is used as a pesticide, can be toxic and can damage the ozone layer.According to documents, Malec Brothers Transport wants to emit up to 140 tons of methyl bromide a year. Malec Brothers would be a new international wood transporter facility in the area.The comment period for Malec Brothers’s permit ended on March 17, but because of an increased public interest in methyl bromide, there will be a whole new comment period, NCDEQ said.Related Article: County bans unvaccinated minors in public as measles spreadsTIMA Capital wants a permit that would allow the release of up to 90 tons of methy bromide annually. The NCDEQ says TIMA’s actual emissions would be somewhere between 30 and 60 tons a year, but they theoretically could emit up to 90 tons if they operated around the clock.Michael Pjetraj, Deputy Director for the Division of Air Quality, says they are not going to issue a permit unless the facility complies with the terms of the permit. In this case, the permit has a number of monitoring conditions included. Pjetraj says they have discussed these internally and with other states to ensure there is no impact with anyone in the surrounding area.Pjetraj says the facility has to do monitoring at the boundary of its property when releasing fumigant. The monitoring has to demonstrate 0 ppm of the fumigant is measured, meaning the methyl bromide is effectively dispersed enough that there should not be any adverse effects.The NCDEQ says there are a handful of other fumigation facilities in our area that are considered synthetic minor facilities, which means they emit less than 10 tons a year.No word yet on when or where these public hearings will take place. We will keep you updated. SOUTHEASTERN NC (WWAY) — People who live in Wilmington and Columbus County will get the chance to learn more about the emission of methyl bromide in upcoming public hearings.Two companies have requested Title V permits. They are Malec Brothers Transport, which wants to build a fumigation facility in the Acme Delco area of Columbus County, and TIMA Capital, the company that wants to take over Royal Pest Solutions on Sunnyvale Drive in Wilmington.- Advertisement –