Britain’s shrinking councils: Blackpool, Ceredigion… Kensington and Chelsea

According to recently-released data from the ONS, there were 4.82 million more people in the UK on this date in 2016 than on 30 June 2006, an increase of 7.9%. Many cities and big towns are growing much faster, with Manchester, Coventry, Peterborough, Luton, Milton Keynes, Slough and Bournemouth all up by more than 15%.

But 22 top-tier council areas (unitaries or county councils) have actually seen a fall in population over that decade. With one exception, they fall into two groups. Some are badly-off remote rural areas including Cumbria, Na h-Eileanan Siar (the Western Isles) and Ceredigion in Wales. Others are badly-off urban and suburban areas in the north of England and Scotland including Blackpool, Knowsley and Sefton on Merseyside and several authorities around Glasgow – although not the City of Glasgow itself, which grew 8.2%.

Continue reading “Britain’s shrinking councils: Blackpool, Ceredigion… Kensington and Chelsea”

Unhealthy valleys: Wales’ problem with ill-health

Greater Glasgow gets a lot of coverage for its poor health through having the lowest average lifespans in the UK. Although residents of the Welsh Valleys – the post-industrial areas north of Cardiff – don’t have such short lives, they are most likely to be living with poor health. The three UK council areas where more than 10% of adults say they are in bad or very bad health are in south Wales: Neath Port Talbot (10.5%), Blaneau Gwent (10.7%) and Merthyr Tydfil (11.1%). Continue reading “Unhealthy valleys: Wales’ problem with ill-health”

Articles on Electric Mountain power station tour and US visas

Obviously, you don’t need a US visa to visit Dinorwig power station in Snowdonia, just a ticket from the Electric Mountain visitor centre. This buys you the chance to see a stirring film, then take a bus tour around an amazing piece of underground engineering that is capable of filling the gaps in UK power demand when millions of people put the kettle on.

I mentioned tea a lot in this article for the Register, such as the following: Continue reading “Articles on Electric Mountain power station tour and US visas”