Author: Spire Radio

Natalie Fée, an award-winning environmentalist, author, speaker and founder of City to Sea, a UK-based organisation running campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source, is to give an online talk to mark Earth Day, an international day of environmental awareness and action. In the talk, hosted by local campaign group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, Natalie will […]

A virtual hustings will be held on Monday 12th April by Chesterfield Climate Alliance for the upcoming Derbyshire County Council elections. The hustings will enable Chesterfield residents to question representatives of the local political parties on what they will do if elected, on the subject of climate, environment and nature. Chesterfield Climate Alliance believes that local action […]

Tickets for the Chesterfield Area Walking Festival have gone on sale today (6 April) – giving residents and visitors something to look forward to this summer. The Walking Festival is an annual event that this year will be running from 26 June – 4 July and features more than thirty walks around Chesterfield. There are walks for all ages […]

A pioneering Chesterfield Property and Construction Group has been launched at the annual Celebrate Chesterfield event held on 31 March 2021. The new group, which is organised by Destination Chesterfield, brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sectors to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield. It is chaired […]

Chesterfield have announced the signing of central defender Fraser Kerr from Torquay United. The 28-year-old has been handed a contract until the end of the season.   Kerr started his career in the youth set-up at Motherwell before going South of the border to join Birmingham City. He signed first team forms but didn’t make […]

All district and boroughs in Derbyshire are to get a community testing centre to help reduce the number of coronavirus cases in the county. Derbyshire County Council will open new centres in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire this week, and High Peak next week. Centres for Derbyshire Dales and Erewash are planned to open by […]

Work to improve the stairs and ramp at the Spa Lane end of the Hollis Lane subway in Chesterfield is due to start on Tuesday 9 February. The subway enables pedestrians to walk under the A61 to get from Spa Lane to Dixons Road/ Hollis Lane in the town, but the stairs and ramp at the […]

Scientists warn Covid deaths will continue to rise after record daily toll
Deaths from coronavirus will continue to rise for some days to come, scientists have warned after the UK recorded its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Officials believe there are signs the various lockdown measures in place around the country are having an effect as the vaccines are rolled out, with infection rates continuing to fall.

But the lag between people becoming infected and then being admitted to hospital means deaths will probably not start coming down until towards the end of the month.

Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, warned there could be further “record-breaking” days concerning the number of newly reported deaths.

“The lockdown is starting to show an effect on new cases per day,” he said.

“However, a proportion of the cases from early January will be admitted to hospital approximately this week, and deaths from those cases will likely peak around the end of this month.

“Therefore, we will alas see several more ‘record-breaking’ days in terms of newly-reported deaths.

“Over the coming weeks, the combination of the lockdown and the impact of the vaccine rollout will start to translate into a reduction of severe Covid-19 cases.”

His warning came after the UK recorded a further 1,610 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday – the highest number reported on a single day since the outbreak began.

Public Health England (PHE) said the figure – for those who had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 – brought the UK total to 91,470.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 108,000 deaths involving the virus in the UK.

PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said coronavirus-related deaths would “continue for some time throughout this second wave”.

“Whilst there are some early signs that show our sacrifices are working, we must continue to strictly abide by the measures in place,” she said.

“By reducing our contacts and staying at home we will see a fall in the number of infections over time.”

Ministers have insisted the programme to vaccinate 14 million of the most vulnerable – including elderly care home residents, frontline healthcare staff and the over-80s – by mid February remains on track.

But while more than four million people across the UK have now received a first dose, the latest figures show the numbers getting the jab have fallen in recent days, from more than 324,000 on Friday to just over 204,000 on Monday.

Asel Sartbaeva, a vaccine specialist from the University of Bath, said there was a “big problem” with delivery due in part to a shortage of the equipment needed to store the vaccines at low temperatures – down to minus 70C in the case of the Pfizer vaccine.

She said the Government had failed to take advantage of equipment in university laboratories or equipment that was normally used for transporting food.

“The Government is not thinking laterally and that is not using the equipment that is available at the moment because of the lockdown and could be used for this,” she told BBC2’s Newsnight.

Coronavirus infections continue to fall but experts say it will be some days before fatalities follow.

Meanwhile, retailers in Scotland have warned they could lose almost £1 billion in total as a result of the latest lockdown after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed shops and many other businesses must remain shut until the middle of February.

In addition to extending the lockdown, with its stay-at-home order to Scots, Ms Sturgeon also confirmed schools and nurseries across Scotland will stay closed to most youngsters until at least the middle of next month.

In Wales an app has been launched to support people experiencing the longer term debilitating effects from coronavirus, known as long Covid.

The bilingual app has been developed by the NHS Wales respiratory health group on behalf of the Welsh Government and is designed to help people in their recovery from the disease.

Published: 20/01/2021 by Radio NewsHub

Donald Trump wishes good luck to new administration ahead of handover of power
President Donald Trump trumpeted his administration’s accomplishments and wished his successor luck in a farewell video as he spent his final full day in office preparing to issue a flurry of pardons in a near-deserted White House, surrounded by an extraordinary security presence outside.

“This week we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous,” Mr Trump said in the video farewell address, released by the White House less than 24 hours before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“We extend our best wishes. And we also want them to have luck — a very important word.”

Mr Trump, who spent months trying to delegitimise Mr Biden’s win with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud, repeatedly referred to the “next administration”, but declined to utter Mr Biden’s name.

Many of Mr Trump’s supporters continue to believe the election was stolen from him, even though a long list of judges, Republican state officials and even Trump’s own government have said there is no evidence to support that claim.

Mr Trump in his address tried to cast his presidency as a triumph for everyday people as he highlighted what he sees as his top achievements, including efforts to normalise relations in the Middle East, the development of coronavirus vaccinations and the creation of a new Space Force.

And he tried to defend the endless controversies that have consumed the last four years as justified.

“As president, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families,” he said.

“I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult.

“I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism.

“I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do.”

Mr Trump also made clear that he has no plans of going quietly into the night, telling his supporters that, as he prepares “to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning.

“There’s never been anything like it.”

Mr Trump has remained largely out of sight since his supporters stormed the Capitol building earlier this month, trying to halt the peaceful transfer of power.

Aides had urged him to spend his final days in office participating in a series of legacy-burnishing events.

But Mr Trump, who remains consumed with anger and grievance over his election loss, largely refused.

He has not been seen in public since last week, when he travelled to Texas for one last photo opportunity at the border wall he pushed so adamantly throughout his presidency.

In the end, he spent less than 45 minutes on the ground there and spoke for just 21 minutes.

Mr Trump is set to leave Washington early Wednesday morning after a grand farewell event at nearby Joint Base Andrews.

Once there, he will board Air Force One for a final time, flying to Florida and becoming the first outgoing president in more than a century to skip the inauguration of his successor.

But it remains unclear how many people will be there to see him off.

Several former administration officials-turned-Trump critics have expressed surprise that they received invitations.

And even Vice President Mike Pence will be absent.

A person familiar with his schedule cited the logistical challenges of getting from the base back to DC for Mr Biden’s inauguration ceremonies, which Mr Pence will be attending.

Mr Trump has also refused to take part in any of the symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions that have been the capstones of the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next.

He is boycotting not just the ceremony at the Capitol, but also passed on inviting the Bidens to the White House for a get-to-know-you meeting.

And it remains unclear whether he will write Mr Biden a personal welcome letter, like the one he received from former president Barack Obama when he moved in.

Published: 20/01/2021 by Radio NewsHub

One in eight people in England has had Covid-19, new figures suggest
An estimated one in eight people in England had had Covid-19 by December last year, up from one in 11 in November, new figures show. Antibody data on infection in private households suggests that one in 10 in Wales had also been infected by December, alongside one in 13 in Northern Ireland and one in 11 in Scotland.

The figures come from the Office for National Statistic’s Covid-19 Infection Survey in partnership with the University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Public Health England and Wellcome Trust.

Last week, the Medical Research Council (MRC) Biostatistics Unit Covid-19 Working Group at Cambridge University said it believed the proportion of the population who have ever been infected was 30% in London, 26% in the North West and 21% in the North East.

This dropped to 13% in the South East and 8% in the South West.

It came as some family doctors continue to express their frustration about the rollout of vaccines across the UK.

With more than half of the over-80s and half of elderly care home residents having received the jab, ministers have now given the go-ahead to begin vaccinating the next priority groups – the over-70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said “there will be an overlap” between those in the first group getting their jab and those in the second as the NHS keeps up the momentum of the vaccine rollout.

He told LBC radio: “We’re very clear that areas should be getting through the majority of the first cohort before they move on to the second cohort, but there will be an overlap.

“The reality is, as you’re moving through these, as you start to bring the second cohort in, there will be a bit of an overlap.

“So, while they’re still finishing cohort one, some people from the second cohort will be having their vaccines and being contacted.

“That’s understandable because the other alternative is you get through cohort one and you pause before you can start getting cohort two in and that would be wrong.

“In order to keep things flowing and moving we will see some overlap, but areas should be getting through the majority of cohort one before they start moving to cohort two.”

On Monday night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged that some parts of the country had made better progress than others in vaccinating those in the top priority group, but said more supplies of the vaccine are being pumped to areas that have fallen behind.

He said: “We’re prioritising the supply of the vaccine into those parts of the country that need to complete the over-80s”, adding: “But we don’t want to stop the areas that have effectively done that job already.”

Some GPs have taken to social media saying they are “crying out for more vaccines” and that their elderly patients want to be vaccinated in local surgeries rather than having to travel further afield to mass centres.

The number of people in the UK receiving their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine has now passed four million and the Government is on track to vaccinate around 15 million high-priority people across the UK by February 15.

Once those vaccines have taken effect, around two to three weeks later ministers will consider whether lockdown measures can be eased in England.

Despite pressure from Tory MPs to move as quickly as possible, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned there will be no “open sesame” moment when restrictions will all be lifted together.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Lewis said it is “too early” to outline how the national lockdown will be eased in England.

“I’m afraid it’s still a bit early to outline that at the moment. The Prime Minister said when we put these restrictions in place that we’d have a review point in mid-February; we’re still some weeks away even from that review point.

“I think we’ve got to wait until we get to that point and see where we’re at, see how the vaccine programme is rolling out, see how the restrictions have worked and then we can look at what the next steps are.

“But whether that’s in February or whether we move forward in March, it’s just too early now in relatively early January to give an outline to that.”

Elsewhere, Professor Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, urged caution among those who have been vaccinated.

Asked whether people who have received the jab can hug their children, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I would certainly advise not to do that at the moment because, as you probably know, with the vaccines they take several weeks before they are maximally effective.

“It’s really important that people stay on their guard even if they’ve had that first vaccination.”

She also warned against the idea of a coronavirus immunity passport until more is known about transmission of the virus among those who have been vaccinated.

“People might think (it is a) passport to freedom and even those who haven’t been vaccinated will see those changing their behaviours and think ‘Well, why should I bother if no-one else is either?’,” she said.

“That’s the real worry we’ve got at the moment.”

However, Professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said those who have proven immunity should not be restrained.

“There’s a serious ethical issue that you’re only entitled to restrict people’s liberty in a liberal society if they represent a threat to other people,” he told the Today programme.

“Carrying a virus is like carrying a loaded gun that can go off accidentally.

“We’re entitled to restrain people and check whether they have a gun, but, if they don’t have a gun, to restrain them, that’s false imprisonment.”

He added that efforts should be made to allow those with “certain immunity” to return to work and normal life.

Published: 19/01/2021 by Radio NewsHub

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