Watch | Rains swamp subways, streets, spills onto railways, submerges vehicles in New York

As the New York metropolitan area witnessed one of the city’s wettest days in decades, videos showing floodwater spilling into subways, onto railways, flooding roads, and causing major disruptions have been widely circulating online.

New York City and the areas surrounding it experienced relentless heavy rainfall on Friday, resulting in flash floods, the complete shutdown of subway lines, inundated roads, and the relocation of students to upper floors in flooded school buildings. Governor Kathy Hochul also declared a state of emergency and encouraged residents across New York to remain indoors. She specifically cautioned those residing in basements to prepare for potentially severe conditions.

Weather and city officials reported that, by midday on Friday, some areas of Brooklyn had received nearly 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rainfall, with one location experiencing a staggering 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) in just one hour.

In one of the videos posted on social media platforn X,  a construction worker can be seen working on a flooded road of New York City.

Some people also took to social media platforms to explain the reason why the city is grappling with floods, claiming among several reasons that “the city is made out of concrete, and concrete does not absorb water.”

In a separate video, vehicles can be seen submerged in water, while commuters are making their way back home on foot amidst scenes of disorder and chaos.  This deluge has occurred two years after the remnants of Hurricane Ida unleashed record-breaking rainfall on the Northeast, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 13 lives in New York City, predominantly in flooded basement apartments. While there have been no reports of fatalities or serious injuries from Friday’s storm thus far, it has rekindled unsettling memories.

As the torrential downpour struck the New York metropolitan area with remarkable force, even causing the closure of a terminal at LaGuardia Airport, state and city officials urged residents not to underestimate the storm. Governor Hochul characterised it as a “life-threatening rainfall event,” and Mayor Eric Adams emphasised that the storm was something they couldn’t afford to dismiss lightly.

Why so much rain?

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According to National Weather Service meteorologist Ross Dickman, the remains of Tropical Storm Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean merged with a mid-latitude system approaching from the west, news agency AP reported. This convergence occurred during a season when the atmospheric conditions over the ocean were especially conducive to storm development.

This amalgamation of storms remained stationary over New York for a duration of 12 hours. The weather service had issued warnings forecasting 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 centimeters) of rainfall and advised emergency managers to anticipate over 6 inches (15 centimeters) in specific areas, as explained by Dickman. This inundation occurred in less than three months following a storm that led to fatal floods in New York’s Hudson Valley and inundated Vermont’s capital, Montpelier.

Could this event have been worse?

Meteorologist Mark Bove highlighted on X, previously known as Twitter, that the most substantial rainfall from the storm primarily happened just offshore, accumulating to more than 8.5 inches, The New York Times reported. Had this amount fallen directly over the city, it would have constituted the most severe flooding catastrophe the city has ever witnessed, he pointed out.

(With inputs from AP and The New York Times)

Coronation Street’s Stephen Reid and Carla in showdown as she uncovers truth

Coronation Street’s Carla Connor (played by Alison King) finally gets the truth about her recent mental health breakdown and is determined to expose Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce).

A few months ago, Stephen was adamant he was going to be the sole owner of Underworld and wanted to take control, kicking Carla out.

After learning of her previous psychosis breakdown, he drugged her with LSD to induce the same effects of the psychosis, leaving Carla to walk away from Underworld and go back to rehab.

However, coming out stronger and returning to work, official ITV spoilers reveal that Carla is set to find out the truth and risks exposing all of Stephen’s dark secrets.

In upcoming scenes, Carla receives a letter from the clinic which confirms that they found traces of LSD in her hair sample.

Concerned, she tells Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) she thinks it was Rufus Donahue (Steve Meo), but after checking the dates of her illness, something doesn’t add up.

Later in the factory, Carla grimaces as she takes a sip of a coffee made by Michael Bailey (Ryan Russell).

He soon apologises and points out that normally Stephen or Sarah Barlow (Tina O’Brien) make the coffee, leaving her to freeze as the truth dawns.

Furious and not afraid of him, Carla drags Stephen into the office and reveals she knows he spiked her drinks with LSD and is going to prove it.

She storms out and Sarah’s unease at the situation is evident, unsure of who to believe, her boss or her uncle.

Determined to get to the truth, Carla shares her suspicions with DS Swain (Vicky Myers) but is frustrated when DS Swain asserts that it’s mere speculation and she needs proper evidence.

How will Carla get the evidence she needs to send Stephen down for drugging her? As she digs for the truth, will she find out the horror of Stephen’s other crimes?

Elsewhere in the cobbles, Sarah overhears Stephen talking to Jenny Connor (Sally-Ann Matthews) about moving to Thailand.

Stopping him in his tracks, she reminds him that he still owes Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) the money from the house that he stole, but he assures her it is just a holiday.

Stephen heads towards Rita Tanner’s (Barbara Knox) flat where he and Jenny are staying but freezes when he hears ‘Sexy Boy’, the ringtone he heard by the canal.

Turning around, he notices Tim Metcalfe (Joe Duttine) answering the phone and realises with horror that Tim must have followed him that night.

Will Stephen take action against Tim to stop his horrific secret coming to light? Has Tim’s clock finally run down?

Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on ITV.

Coronation Street’s Paul Foreman star says character’s death was ‘wake up call’

Coronation Street actor Peter Ash admitted the death of Shelly Rossington (played by Natalie Amber) was a big wake-up call for his character.

Earlier this year, Paul Foreman was diagnosed with MND as fans of the ITV soap have watched his symptoms strongly increase over the months.

Being encouraged to find solace in a support group with people who have the same condition, he met Shelly and the duo quickly became friends.

However, as Shelly was further down the line in her MND journey, Paul soon realised he would be in the same position as her as his mobility decreases

Sadly, earlier this month viewers watched as Shelly lost her battle with the condition and died after being discovered by her carer in the flat.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk and other media publications, actor Peter Ash detailed how Shelly dying has affected Paul.

He said: “It’s had a big effect, through Shelly, he found someone who totally understands his situation.

“As much as Billy, Bernie and Gemma love and care for Paul so much, they still will never understand what it’s like to live with MND.

“Meeting Shelly, they got on so well that Paul felt as though he could tell her anything, so losing Shelly was a big shock for Paul.

“All of a sudden it’s looking at Paul’s future, Shelly is just Paul a bit further down the MND journey, so it was a bit of a wake-up call I guess.”

Initially, Paul started to notice mobility issues within his hands and wrists before it progressed to his legs.

Before the death of Shelly, Paul was on his way to visit her when he had a bad fall and was unable to get up with no one around to help.

After the incident, viewers saw him decide to listen to his partner’s concerns in case another fall happened as he then started using his wheelchair.

Although after Shelly’s death, he made the heartbreaking decision to go ahead with his assisted dying plan.

Peter told Express.co.uk: “Paul’s determined to end things on his own terms because he realises that Shelly didn’t get to do that.

“Paul really wants to do that before he can’t speak anymore or do the little things.

“Knowing that Shelly was alone at the end, Paul wants it (his death) to be on his terms.”

Coronation Street continues Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV from 8pm.

Coronation Street’s Sarah Platt star hints villain could be ‘coming back‘

Coronation Street star Tina O’Brien has teased there could be a familiar face returning to Weatherfield.

Fans of the ITV soap saw a steamy affair unfold earlier this year between Tina’s character Sarah Platt and Damon Hay (played by Ciaran Griffiths).

However, when her husband Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson) found out what was happening, it all took a nasty turn.

Wanting Damon to get as far away from his wife as possible, Adam took revenge by tracking down a criminal contact of his.

Lying to the criminal stating that Damon was planning on speaking to the police to get a better sentence for his involvement in insurance fraud, Damon fled the cobbles in fear for his life.

Although it seems as though he could be making a comeback as soap star Tina O’Brien told Metro at the charity event CUREUsher this week.

Speaking about Sarah’s current storyline in the soap, she said: “Obviously at the moment Sarah’s going through a divorce.

“I’m not sure if there’s too much water under the bridge.

“I have heard a rumour that a certain Damon might be coming back soon, so we’ll see.”

However, if Damon does return there could be drama ahead as unbeknownst to him, Sarah was pregnant with his child before suffering a tragic miscarriage.

The loss happened during a heated argument with Adam before she started to get serious stomach cramps and took herself to the hospital.

After learning about the miscarriage, Adam blamed himself for what happened as he mentioned it could have been because of the stress he put her under.

Although Sarah assured him it wasn’t his fault, it seemed as though fans thought Damon wouldn’t see it that way.

Taking to Twitter, @RyanTheSoapking said: “I’m curious to see how Damon would feel now if he returned to the street and knew that Sarah was pregnant and lost his baby.”

@k_heyrab added: “Yeah that’s sad. If Damon finds out, he’ll blame Adam and then he’s in trouble. Out for blood. It’s coming.”

@ChewBarker78 commented: “So Adam will be getting the blame for this then.”

Coronation Street continues Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV from 8pm.

Techie from Bengaluru crosses paths with Google CEO Sundar Pichai on the streets of San Francisco

Imagine you are walking down the street, and suddenly, you meet a celebrity. How would you react? Probably, you would request them for a picture. That is exactly what Sid Puri, a techie from Bengaluru, did when he ran into Sundar Pichai on the streets of San Francisco. Puri took to X to share a picture of himself with the Google CEO.

The image shows a techie from Bengaluru with Sundar Pichai. (X/ @PuriSid)

“Go to SF they said, no one prepared me to just run into Sundar Pichai on the street,” Puri wrote while sharing the picture on X. He also posted the same photo on LinkedIn and shared, “Landed in SF last week, jet-lagged after 1.5 days of travelling. Just to see Sundar Pichai walking down the street and getting my photo op.”

The picture shows both Puri and Pichai in casual outfits. They are seen looking at the camera and smiling.

Take a look at this picture of Sundar Pichai:

The post was shared on September 25. Since being posted, it has collected close to eight lakh views. Additionally, the share has received more than 5,300 likes. People posted varied comments while reacting to the tweet.

What did X users say about this tweet?

“Wow, so cool. Also, that’s my neighbourhood!” shared an X user. “Wow, he walks without any security? I am a little happy because he is so simple down to earth, and a little scared for his security at the same time,” added another. To which, Puri replied, “He had a security guard who took the photo.” A third inquired, “Great photo. What questions did you ask Sid?” A fourth wrote, “He’s very kind. Anytime I ever (nervously) presented to him, he was nothing but kind and gracious to me.”

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First look at Coronation Street’s first gay wedding

BILLY Mayhew and Paul Foreman are making the most of the time they have left together following the latter’s MND diagnosis.

Coronation Street will be making history next week on ITV with its first ever gay wedding.

5

Paul’s motor neurone disease is taking overCredit: ITV

5

But he’s able to tie the knot with Billy next week despite the illnessCredit: ITV

5

Could it be the first successful wedding to go ahead in Corrie?Credit: ITV

Will the cobbles ever had a successful LGBTQI+ wedding?

Paul Foreman (portrayed by Peter Ash) and Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) decided to walk down the aisle as the builder’s fight against motor neurone disease continues.

With his health spiralling and his mobility slowly but surely leaving, Paul has a limited amount of time left to live.

But due to Corrie’s history with gay weddings, will the couple really be able to go ahead with their ceremony?

Weatherfield has seen lesbian ceremonies go downhill as viewers will undoubtedly remember Sian Powers and Sophie Webster’s 2011 wedding never materialising.

In 2019, Kate Connor and Rana Habeeb’s big day was ruined by the roof collapse in the Underworld factory – which resulted in the latter’s death.

Will Billy and Paul be the lucky ones?

Coming up next week, at No.5, Gemma and Bernie Winter (respectively played by Dolly-Rose Campbell and Jane Hazlegrove) help Paul prepare for his wedding, 

Meanwhile, wedding guests take their seats in the Bistro, eagerly waiting for the happy couple to tie the knot.

Bernie and Gemma walk Paul down the aisle where Billy waits for him, his heart full of love.

The lovebirds exchange vows and the registrar pronounces them married but after the ceremony Billy is shocked to discover his new husband has been keeping a secret from him.

As they prepared for their ceremony, the couple realised they would have to compromise on certain details and go for a civil ceremony as the Church of England still does not allow same-sex marriages.

CORONATION STREET NEWS

Everything you need to know about Coronation Street

But could Billy and Paul’s marriage be over before it even begins?

In later scenes, Billy, Paul and Summer Spellman (Harriet Bibby) survey the new wheelchair that has arrived and realise it won’t fit through the doorway to the flat.

Whilst Ed Bailey (Trevor Michael Georges) measures up the doorway, a parishioner called Babs approaches Billy and, handing him a bottle of fizz, congratulates him on his marriage. 

When a parishioner called Vaughn tells Billy he should be ashamed of himself, Billy loses his temper and tells him he doesn’t need to worry as his husband is dying, unaware that Paul has heard.

How will Paul react?

Coronation Street airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on ITV.

5

Paul and Billy exchange their vowsCredit: ITV

5

But what could burst their bubble?Credit: ITV

Coronation Street’s Paul star says wedding’s ‘beacon of light’ after tragic year

Coronation Street actor Peter Ash admitted Paul Foreman’s upcoming wedding to Billy Mayhew (played by Daniel Brocklebank) is a “beacon of light” after a tragic year.

At the start of the year, ITV viewers watched heartbreaking scenes as Paul was told he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

After keeping it a secret from family and friends, it all came out during a trial hearing when he almost went to prison for stealing cars to help with money.

With his health condition out in the open, fans have seen his symptoms worsen over time as his mobility has started to decline.

Now using his wheelchair every so often, Paul found solace in making a new friend with the same condition at a support group called Shelley Rossington (Natalie Amber).

However, this month his new friend sadly lost her life to the condition with Paul taking on the responsibility of planning her funeral.

With all the tragic news ongoing this year for Paul, there’s some positivity to look forward to as he’s set to wed his partner Billy in Coronation Street’s first gay wedding.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk and other media publications, soap star Peter Ash spoke about how his character is feeling in the build-up to the wedding.

He replied: “With everything else that he’s dealing with at the moment, the wedding is like a beacon of bright light.

“It’s something so positive to look forward to, despite all the negative news that he’s had since the diagnosis began.

“Getting to marry Bily is great, it’s perfect, it’s what he wants to do with his time left.

“It’s not just a distraction (from his MND) obviously, he wants to do this.

“He loves Billy so much, the distraction is nice to take his mind off the MND and things but it’s real, it’s all real love it’s not just distraction.”

However, official spoilers for the soap reveal there’s something Paul is hiding from Billy on the wedding day as his secret is set to be exposed.

Later on in the week, Paul’s new wheelchair arrives, although when surveying it alongside Billy and Summer Spellman (Harriet Bibby), it’s clear it won’t fit through the door.

With the help of Ed Bailey (Trevor Michael Georges) measuring up the doorway to get the chair through, a parishioner approaches Billy and congratulates him on his marriage.

However, will everyone share the same outlook on the same-sex newlyweds?

Coronation Street continues on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV from 8pm.

Akshata Murty’s take on 10 Downing Street’s Larry the Cat and Nova the Dog

Akshata Murty, entrepreneur and spouse of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, recently shared some interesting insights about the pets residing at 10 Downing Street. While appearing on the Sky Kids FYI show, Murty revealed that her family dog Nova has ‘mixed emotions’ about living in Number 10 with Larry the Cat. She further shared about the hidden power struggle between the two and who ended up victorious.

Akshata Murty shared her family dog Nova’s feelings about living in Number 10 with Larry the Cat.(British High Commission)

“Nova has mixed emotions about (living here) because she sometimes doesn’t get on with Larry the Cat. And they’ve had some heated exchanges and Larry’s come out on top,” Murty told Sky Kids FYI.

She added, “But, you know, our family is so grateful to be here.”

Watch Akshata Murty’s first-ever interview here:

Larry, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, recently completed a 12-year tenure and has provided his services to five Prime Ministers, namely David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and the current one, Rishi Sunak.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Sheffield adopted Larry from London’s Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in 2011 to address a pack of rats near their official residence. This cat was the first to be appointed to the rat-catching portfolio after the retirement of Humphrey the Cat in 1997.

When Rishi Sunak became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and moved to 10 Downing Street with his family and dog Nova, Larry expressed his disapproval.

A tweet from the cat’s official X (formerly known as Twitter) account read, “ANOTHER dog?! Bring back Liz Truss.”

A few days later, the cat tweeted a picture of himself standing behind the podium and declared that he was not UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s cat. He added that he is a permanent resident of Number 10, while ‘politicians are temporary residents’.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times’ Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online. …view detail

Surat: Residents flock to streets for lost diamonds after rumour. Watch

Rumours can make people do crazy stuff in India. The same happened in Surat’s Varachha locality recently when locals started searching for diamonds on the streets after they heard about an unidentified businessman accidentally dropping a packet of diamonds worth crores.

The Varachha bazaar, a mini-market known for diamond trading, soon filled with people on the streets searching for the lost precious stones, reported Ahmedabad Mirror report.

The videos and images of the incident have gone viral on social media.

In the message, that people received, apart from the unidentified businessman accidentally dropping a packet of diamonds worth crores, it was written the diamonds somehow slipped and ended up on the road.

ALSO READ: Why lab diamonds are sparkling during a crisis

Following this, it was a scene to watch as several people gathered in the Varachha bazaar looking for lost diamonds. Few of them even went to the extent of collecting dust from the road in a quest to locate these valuable stones.

Though one person found a diamond, said the report, adding, that it was later revealed to be an American diamond, which is commonly used in imitation jewellery.

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Known as diamond city of India, Surat is home to half a million diamond workers and plays a pivotal role in supplying up to 90 percent of the world’s cut and polished diamonds.

Confirming the incident, the Police Inspector at Varachha Police Station, Alpesh Gabani, said, as quoted by AT, ““Somebody dropped a bag of American diamonds on the street, following which the rumours started circulating. After this, people began looking for the diamonds on the street.” He also added that the incident was unrelated to the difficulties the diamond market was experiencing.

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Updated: 26 Sep 2023, 06:06 PM IST

Coronation Street’s Todd Boyce hints at murderer Stephen Reid’s escape

Coronation Street star Todd Boyce has revealed that his character Stephen Reid might be planning an “escape” as his controversial villain is expected to leave the show.

Todd spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk as he attended the red carpet at the Inside Soap Awards 2023 on Monday evening.

The American actor hinted that the end is in sight for serial killer Stephen Reid, who has so far murdered three people.

When asked about his exit storyline, Todd said: “It’s a lot of unmasking going on.

“It makes me feel very uncomfortable as an actor because he’s been getting under the radar all this time. Now the other characters are seeing for maybe what I am.

“It’s scary. He’s smart and I think he’s capable of escaping.”

Stephen’s exit is due to be aired in a highly dramatic storyline in October as his multiple murders come to light.

So far, he’s murdered Leo Thompkins, Teddy Thompkins and Rufus Donahue, but whether or not he will be caught remains to be seen.

According to Metro.co.ukupcoming scenes have been filmed at a canal with police and Corrie locals gathering around to find a gruesome discovery.

Alongside his three murders, Stephen also tried to kill his wife Elaine by poisoning her and drugged Carla with LSD.

Todd was one of the many soap stars to take to the red carpet of the Inside Soap Awards 2023.

The Inside Soap Awards returned for its annual live event at Salsa! – one of London’s most eclectic venues on the bank of the River Thames in London.

Awards for Best Soap, Best Storyline, Best Villain and Best Newcomer were all up for grabs at the star-studded evening.

Gary Gillatt, Editor of Inside Soap said: “Every winner of an Inside Soap Award is the best of the best, as they need to triumph in a hugely talented and competitive field.

“We look forward to seeing who has truly reached out through the screen and made the biggest impression on viewers this year… And there’s no more discerning viewer than the Inside Soap reader.”

Homelessness: Target to end rough sleeping by 2024 ‘will fail’, experts say, as more people are pushed on to the streets

Ian’s face is grimy, his hair matted. A cigarette butt picked from a dustbin hangs from his fingers.

He calls out from the pavement asking: “Can you spare any change please?”

Yet, somehow, he is invisible.

People walk on by and in a moment, he is forgotten. It seems too that the government target to end rough sleeping by 2024, has vanished and is too forgotten.

A report today by the Kerslake Commission says the opposite is happening, rough sleeping is on the rise, up 26% on last year. It says clearly: “The government won’t meet its target.”

The panel says this is because “unresolved systemic issues have left the country exposed to rising homelessness”.

It calls for “urgent action to address the rapidly rising rates of homelessness and rough sleeping”.

The study says much of the problems stem from a severe shortage of affordable housing and a lack of appropriate support services. This combined with the cost of living crisis is pushing more people into homelessness.

Image:
Ian Harrison struggles with mental health issues and drug addiction. Pic: Andy Portch

From a hostel to Hammersmith flyover

Sky News has followed Ian Harrison’s progress since the pandemic when he was living in a hostel. Now he is back out on the streets surviving in make-shift homes using palettes and cardboard boxes constructed under the Hammersmith Flyover in west London.

Like many rough sleepers across the country, the 33-year-old is struggling with a range of issues, such as mental health problems and drug addiction that have been exacerbated by street life.

He has tried and failed to change his fortunes. In the spring of this year, he managed to get a job at McDonald’s in Skegness and held it for three months before falling out of employment and getting a ticket back to London.

For those four months he says he was clean from the drugs, but being back on the streets means he is also back on heroin and crack.

He says: “It’s pointless trying to stay away from it when you are on the streets – you know it’s on the streets. It’s a part of street life.”

Ian scores some crack cocaine from a dealer and smokes it during the time Sky News is with him. Asked what would get him off it, he says: “Getting in somewhere – meeting the right people. I want to get a job and stuff. I just want a job and a normal life but it’s hard to get.”

Image:
For four months, Ian was clean and off the streets. Pic: Andy Portch

A revolving door existence

Ian’s mental health problems and chaotic lifestyle stem from childhood trauma, which if addressed earlier may have transformed his life and saved the taxpayer the cost of his revolving door existence between mental health inpatient services and life on the streets.

During COVID, the “Everyone In” policy rapidly reduced the number of rough sleepers, and the Kerslake Commission was set up to learn the lessons. It suggests three main strategies to end rough sleeping.

Firstly, preventing people from getting to the brink of homelessness. Secondly, ensuring no one needs to arrive on the streets to get help, and thirdly that everyone should have a route out of rough sleeping.

The commission is “urgently calling on the government to increase housing benefit so that it covers local affordable rents”.

During Sky’s time with Ian, we called StreetLink which is a helpline run by St Mungos for rough sleepers or concerned members of the public. The service is designed to connect homeless people with local services and accommodation.

However, Ian warned that we wouldn’t be able to speak to anyone and it turned out we were on hold for over an hour before an operator replied – something you wouldn’t expect a homeless person with limited phone credit to be able to hold on for.

Ian was later put in touch with an outreach worker, but weeks later remained on the streets.

Image:
His chaotic lifestyle stems from childhood trauma. Pic: Andy Portch

A chronic shortage of housing

StreetLink says: “Since its launch in 2012, StreetLink has successfully managed over 500,000 alerts, connecting thousands of people with the support and accommodation they need to end their rough sleeping.

“The team works hard under tight resources to make sure every alert and contact with the public is managed efficiently and sensitively to ensure that people who are sleeping rough receive swift support.”

Read more:
Number of homeless people admitted to hospital rises by 60% in four years
Record number of households and children in temporary accommodation
Prince William launches project to help end homelessness in Britain

St Mungo’s Chief Executive, Emma Haddad, who was on the panel of the Kerslake report, said of its findings: “The chronic shortage of affordable housing and appropriate support services means we are just responding to people already in crisis rather than preventing them from reaching that point in the first place.

“The recommendations give a clear set of actions to both the current government and the next administration that would make a big difference to tackling rough sleeping and homelessness.

“We made so much progress on rough sleeping during the pandemic, which clearly demonstrated what can be done when we work together with a shared purpose and dedicated funding. It’s time we applied the same energy to stop this homelessness and rough sleeping crisis spiralling further.”

Image:
Ian’s makeshift home is under the Hammersmith Flyover in west London. Pic: Andy Portch

Bob Kerslake died in July 2023 and the report is a tribute to him and his life’s work.

The Kerslake family said: “After over 40 years as a public servant, many of which were spent on delivering quality homes and environments, Bob was saddened and dismayed by the rise of homelessness across our country. He was proud to chair the commission and totally committed to its findings. He would have been vociferous in publishing its conclusions and recommendations.”

What the government says

A spokesman for the department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said it remained focused on ending rough sleeping: “[We] are spending £2bn to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the areas that need it most.

“We are making significant progress with over 640,000 households prevented from becoming homeless or supported into settled accommodation since 2018.

“We would like to pay tribute to Lord Bob Kerslake for his life’s work on this issue and we will continue to work with the commission to end rough sleeping for good.”

‘Dump’ seaside town with streets so filthy tourists don’t make it to the beach

A once-thriving seaside town has now been turned into a “dump” littered with rubbish, according to disgruntled tourists.

Clacton-on-Sea in Essex was once so popular that the A12 was built to cope with the influx of visitors.

Fast forward to 2023 and people aren’t so keen to visit.

“The town is a public loo writ large,” exclaimed a disgruntled Tim W on Tripadvisor.

Some tourists weren’t kind about the beach either. David Q wrote: “This so-called beach allows dogs which urinate and defecate all over the place.

“It would most definitely fail any health and safety inspection.”

Another said they didn’t make it to the beach, saying after “walking through a filthy town centre we returned to our car as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile another simply said: “What a dump.”

A fourth visitor described it as “a shadow of past glory”, complaining “it was as if the Gods had conspired against me to ruin my day”.

He even lamented the Tubby Isaacs’ fish stall as “overpriced” and “offering miniscule portions”, saying the original Tubby who emigrated to America must be “turning in his grave”. 

Nevertheless, the negative reviews – as shocking as they are – are in the minority.   

With an average 4.5 star rating out of over 1,000 reviews, one recent visitor described Clacton-on-Sea as having a “terrific beach” while another explained: “Rides were great! So much fun and laughter was had! Will definitely be going again!! Thank you!”

Clacton was home to the pier of the year in 2020, according to the National Piers Society, with several rides including a helter-skelter and the Looping Star rollercoaster which was opened in 2021 after being bought from an Aberdeen amusement park. 

The town would have undoubtedly won awards in the early 20th Century too, when it attracted thousands of working class holidaymakers from the East End of London and parts of Essex.

A Butlin’s was built just before World War Two, and was taken over by the Army during the war as a training camp. 

It resumed its strong tourism status after the war, while a pirate radio ship which broadcast Wonderful Radio London, was anchored just off Clacton-on-Sea from 1964 to 1967, when it was forced to close. 

The town’s tourism prominence declined with the rise in cheap flights to the Mediterranean, leaving it with high unemployment, as is the case in many seaside towns around the UK.

Nowadays, house prices in the area are slightly below the national average at £269,739 according to Rightmove

Served by two secondary schools, one received a “needs improvement” rating by Ofsted, while the other was most recently given “good” – and is also one of the schools affected by aerated concrete crisis.   

Clacton’s MP Giles Watling scolded the negative reviews and provided a passionate defence of the town: “I am proud of this community and our Sunshine Coast, which despite the difficulties faced by coastal towns has continued to be a place that people visit to enjoy the town and beach. 

“A few poor TripAdvisor reviews by disgruntled people looking to whine at anything mean nothing to me when I know that our beaches have been nationally recognised with awards for their quality. 

“I will continue to bang the drum for Clacton and argue that investment here is necessary for levelling up, but our community is not what some professional moaners would have you believe it is. 

“I’ve managed to secure £20m for levelling up our constituency, we’ve got development bringing investment to areas like Jaywick, and crime has fallen significantly recently – those that talk down about Clacton simply don’t know what they’re talking about. 

“Bring on the investment, level up Clacton, but to paint it the way some of these reviews do simply isn’t true.”