Good morning readers. For this morning, our news comes via local news hub InYourArea.
A cannabis factory containing drugs worth more than £1,000,000 has been uncovered near Essex. Detectives from the East Area Drugs Focus Desk of the Metropolitan Police raided a commercial premises in Ferry Lane, Rainham on Tuesday. On entry, officers found that the property was being used as a cannabis factory. Det Sgt Owen Morgan of the East Area Command said: “A seizure of this magnitude will undoubtedly have an impact on drugs supply on London’s streets.”We remain focused and committed to disrupting and preventing drug supply in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham.” – Essex crime: Huge £1,000,000 cannabis factory uncovered after police raid Rainham property (Essex Live – News – Essex News – Crime)
AT our November meeting Martyn Lockwood gave us a whistle-stop tour of Essex, citing many heroes and villains who lived there. Julian Hedworth Byng commanded the army at Vimy Ridge in WW1. He was born in Hertfordshire but lived and died in Thorpe le Soken. Edith Thompson lived in Westcliff on Sea and Ilford. Augustus John, who painted Lawrence of Arabia lived with his wife and mistress, sometimes touring in a gypsy caravan. A blue plaque was awarded to Henry Winstanley, born in Saffron Walden who invented the lighthouse; another plaque celebrates George Shillibeer who lived in Chigwell and invented the horse-drawn omnibus – Thurrock History Society: November Report (Your Thurrock)
Heathrow has reopened Terminal 4 as a dedicated facility for processing travellers arriving from red list countries. The red travel list has been reintroduced due to concerns surrounding the Omicron coronavirus variant, and currently includes 10 countries in south Africa. People entering the UK from red list countries must spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £2,285 for solo travellers. Heathrow first opened a facility for red list arrivals at Terminal 3 on June 1 following concerns that allowing passengers to mix with those who had flown in from other locations could increase the spread of the virus. “The rapid introduction of restrictions for international travel will nonetheless be a further significant blow for British exporters and those wanting to visit friends and relatives. “Keeping the changes under constant review, and a Government commitment to the removal of red list countries as soon as it is safe to do so, will help” – Major UK airport reopens dedicated terminal for red list arrivals (InYourArea Newsroom – National)
An extra 85,000 unlicensed vehicles are being driven on UK roads compared with two years ago, official figures show. Some 45% of vehicles being used without VED have been untaxed for more than two months, suggesting there is a persistent minority of motorists who are intentionally not taxing their vehicles. Every vehicle registered in the UK must be taxed if it is driven or parked on a public road. The amount varies based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “It’s hugely concerning that we’re seeing ever greater numbers of unlicensed vehicles on the roads with the total number now standing at nearly three-quarters of a million.” “While we’d like to think the abolition of the paper tax disc back in 2014 isn’t responsible, the fact remains evasion has increased significantly since then to the point where a shocking two in every 100 vehicles on the road aren’t taxed.” – Number of unlicensed vehicles on UK roads up by 85,000 in two years (InYourArea Newsroom – National)
The number of children out of school for Covid-related reasons in England has risen over the past fortnight, figures show. It comes after the number of pupils off school in England due to Covid-19 fell after the October half-term break. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “There has been a marked increase in Covid-related absence once again” The National Education Union has suggested face coverings could also be worn in secondary school and college classrooms in England to reduce the spread of coronavirus. He added: “You keep children in school by reducing the rates of Covid in schools, rates which have a highly consequential impact on families and the wider community” – Number of pupils in England off school due to Covid-19 surges (InYourArea Newsroom – National)