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Fire risk fridges: Standards are deficient, says Which?

fridges and freezers for saleImage copyright Getty Images

Householders are being warned that current safety standards for fridges and fridge-freezers may be “deficient”, creating a potential fire risk.

Consumer group Which? says new, tighter standards due by 2019 should be brought in much faster.

The body responsible for those standards said it was working hard to introduce them as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, Which? says, the current tests used are insufficient and do not replicate a real house fire.

In more stringent testing it carried out itself, Which? found that fridges with plastic backs were highly flammable.

Two samples were subjected to an open flame and caught fire after 10 seconds.

Image copyright Which?
Image caption In a test Which? found that a fridge’s plastic backing caught fire after less than 30 seconds

Under this particular test, the samples should be able to withstand a flame for at least 30 seconds.

“This once again shows that the UK‘s product safety regime is simply not fit for purpose and the government can no longer continue to allow it to fail,” said Alex Neill, managing director of Which? home and product services.

New standards

The British Standards Institution (BSI), which is responsible for standards, said it had already tightened up the rules on the way that fridges and freezers are tested.

However, it will be more than a year before those rules come into force.

“BSI has been a driving force in getting more stringent fire safety requirements included in any revision of the standard at both European and international level,” said Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI .

“We have already achieved a certain level of changes made in the newly amended international standard.”

Which? conceded that fires caused by fridges and freezers are very rare.

Of fires that are caused by faulty appliances, only 7% are caused by a fridge or freezer (see chart above).

And as yet, there are no known cases where such a fire has proved fatal.

A Hotpoint fridge-freezer was cited by police as a cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which killed 71 people, but it is not yet known whether it had a flammable back.

Which? has also said that such appliances do not generally cause a fire to start, although they can help it to spread.

Which? has already advised consumers not to buy fridges or freezers with plastic backs. In a list published earlier this year, it recommended householders chose metal or aluminium laminate-backed appliances instead.

It has also appealed to manufacturers to stop making appliances with plastic backs.

The London Fire Brigade has campaigned for a change in safety standards for more than five years.

The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) said there were 43 million fridges and freezers in the UK and fires were rare.

A spokesperson said the issue was about fire retardancy, rather than the self-combustion of appliances themselves.

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New archbishop wants to ‘refresh’ Church in Wales

The Archbishop of Wales John DaviesImage copyright The Church in Wales

The new Archbishop of Wales has said he wants to help “refresh” the Church in Wales once he is enthroned on Saturday.

The Most Rev John Davies, who has been Bishop of Swansea and Brecon since 2008, was elected in September after the retirement of Dr Barry Morgan.

Mr Davies will be enthroned as the 13th archbishop since the Church in Wales separated from the Church of England in 1920, at Brecon Cathedral.

“It is not business as usual,” said the 64-year-old former lawyer.

Mr Davies is now head of the Church in Wales, which includes six dioceses – Bangor, St Asaph, St Davids, Llandaff, Monmouth and his own diocese of Swansea and Brecon.

The father-of-two from Newport was appointed ahead of the five serving bishops in Wales by an electoral college of 42 people made up of clerics and lay people in Llandrindod Wells, securing two-thirds of the vote.

The former criminal law solicitor, who left the profession to join the church in 1982 before being ordained in 1984, has called for the Church in Wales to “pause and draw breath” after his appointment.

Image copyright Church in Wales
Image caption The Most Rev John Davies and his family, from left to right, wife Jo, son Christopher and daughter Kate

“The coming into post of a new archbishop is an opportunity for me to say to the very good and very many people that we have as part of our church, that we need to take stock,” Mr Davies said.

“I want to try and refresh the vision of the church as that institution to support and nourish the lives of wider society.”

Curries and cricket

Mr Davies has been married to wife Jo, a specialist nurse and long-distance cyclist, since 1986.

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Media captionNew archbishop John Davies: “Time for church to pause and re-engage”

They have two children – Kate, 29, and Christopher, 27 – who both live in London, and they have two black Labradors, Ollie and Izzy.

The law graduate from Southampton University is a talented organist who loves France and cooking, saying his specialities are curries and steak pie.

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John Davies’ Church in Wales CV

  • 1982: Left post as a lawyer to train at St Michael’s in Llandaff
  • 1984: Ordained in Church in Wales as a deacon and became a priest a year later
  • 1984-86: Curate at St Mary’s Church, Chepstow
  • 1986-89: Curate-in-charge of Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry
  • 1989-95: Rector of Bedwas and Rudry
  • 1995-2000: Vicar St John Evangelist Church in Newport
  • 2000-08: Dean of Brecon Cathedral
  • 2008-: Bishop of Swansea and Brecon
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Mr Davies is a big sports fan and is “addicted” to BBC cricket show Test Match Special, but said he was “concerned about violence in sport, particularly football”.

Mr Davies will become the first serving Bishop of Swansea and Brecon to hold the post and the 13th since former Bishop of St Asaph Alfred George Edwards became the first archbishop in 1920.

About 700 guests are expected at his enthronement service, which is due to begin at 14:00 GMT on Saturday, when the new archbishop will be led into the cathedral by a procession of 200 dignitaries.

Image copyright Geograph/Jaggery
Image caption The service will be held at Brecon Cathedral

The service will be led by Dean of Brecon, Dr Paul Shackerley, and Mr Davies will be placed in the Archiepiscopal chair – or throne – by the Bishop of Bangor, the Right Rev Andrew John.

The Archiepiscopal chair is a wooden replica of the Chair of St Augustine in Canterbury Cathedral.

It was a gift from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1920 when, at its disestablishment, the Church in Wales became a separate province of the Anglican Communion.

Right Rev John, the senior bishop, will present the new archbishop to the congregation before Mr Davies will give the address.

Image copyright The Church in Wales
Image caption The Archiepiscopal chair will remain at Brecon Cathedral throughout the archbishop’s tenure.

Pump action: New ale pays homage to former brewery

BRADFORD Brewery helps recreate the “golden years” of the brewing industry with a special beer paying homage to the city’s former Hey’s brewery.

The Hey’s Gold Premium has been brewed by their head brewer, Graeme Rothery on behalf of Kathryn Hey, a family descendant who’s been working to preserve the company’s heritage.

The beer was launched on Friday at Bradford Brewery’s recently reopened Exchange Ale House, in Market Street. The choice of venue adds even more nostalgic flavour into the mix as the Exchange will be remembered by many as Spinks Bar – one of the original Hey’s pubs.

Kathryn Hey, who launched the beer alongside former Hey’s Brewery employee Geoff Poole, said: “The response to our anniversary beer was absolutely brilliant, so I wanted to build on that and on all the precious memories.

“Reuniting people in an original Hey’s pub to sample the beer and relive old times is really the icing on the cake.”

New jobs served up at coffee shop in iconic city centre building

TEN new jobs have been created at a new coffee shop in one of Bradford’s most iconic buildings.

Tiffin Coffee is opening in the Grade I listed Wool Exchange, in the former ATOS offices on the corner of Bank Street and Hustlergate.

The cafe, which displays distinctive artwork and products, has been helped by Bradford Council through its City Centre Growth Scheme.

The business benefited from a £100,000 grant which has been used to refurbish the grand premises including fitting them out with new equipment.

The business’s Facebook page says the official opening will be on Monday.

The Wool Exchange is also home to Waterstones and the recently-opened Exchange Alehouse.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “This fantastic new business is yet another great addition to the food and drink offer in our city centre. I wish them well in their new venture and look forward to visiting myself.”

New whisky distillery near Dingwall ‘a world first’

Aerial image of GlenWyvis Distillery during its constructionImage copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption An aerial image of GlenWyvis Distillery during its construction

What is described as the world’s first community-owned craft whisky distillery has opened.

GlenWyvis Distillery has been constructed on a hillside near Dingwall in the Highlands following a crowdfunding campaign.

The community benefit company set up to raise funds has more than 3,000 members.

The distillery will make the first whisky in the local area in about 90 years.

Gin is also to be produced at the site, which gets its power from a renewable energy project, from next year.

body-narrow-width”> Image copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption The distillery will make the first whisky in the area for about 90 years

GlenWyvis managing director and founder, John McKenzie, said: “From the outset we have envisaged the project as much more than a distillery.

“We recognised this was an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the town of Dingwall and build on our whisky heritage through community-ownership.

“We have undertaken a massive outreach programme to build interest and investment in the project both locally and further afield.”

Image copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption A view over Dingwall from the distillery

Chairman David O’Connor added: “We are now all set to move from commissioning to whisky production, and we are all extremely proud that this ambitious two-year project has reached the stage of the official opening today.

“This is a remarkable community project and the support has been overwhelming.”

The first of a number of community shares offers to pay for the distillery was launched in early 2016.

Doubt cast on Moray Firth carbon storage

The Captain Sandstone rock formation lies under the Moray Firth and out into the North Sea
Image caption The Captain Sandstone rock formation lies under the Moray Firth and out into the North Sea

Geologists have cast doubt on one of the most-favoured sites for storing carbon dioxide captured from Scotland‘s gas or coal-fired power stations.

The idea of the process is to capture greenhouse gases before they are released into the atmosphere and pump them in to underground rock formations.

The Captain Sandstone formation beneath the Moray Firth is a potential site.

But geologists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh claim it would leak CO2 back into the atmosphere.

Image caption A 3D visualisation of the Moray Firth shows the depths of the rock formation

The man who led the research team, Prof John Underhill, insisted the idea of carbon capture and storage (CCS) remained a good one but Scotland would need to find better sites, such as depleted oil fields in the North Sea.

Captain Sandstone lies half a mile below the seabed and continues at least 30 miles into the North Sea.

It has been put forward as a site that could store anything from 15 years to a century’s worth of CO2 emissions from Scottish power generation.

The system would involve pumping in captured carbon dioxide to displace the sea water in the porous rock.

However, writing in the journal Interpretation, Prof Underhill said there were “potential leakage points”.

Image caption Prof Underhill said carbon capture could work but Scotland would need to find better sites

Earlier this year Prof Underhill cast doubt on plans for large scale onshore fracking, saying the UK’s geology was unsuitable.

He said the same was true for the Captain Sandstone site – and for the same reason.

Fifty-five million years ago the fragment of the Earth’s surface on which the British Isles sits came up against a hard place: the continent of Europe.

Stuck between an irresistible force and a near-immovable object, our tectonic plate tilted and cracked.

It was a seismic event which shaped where we stand now.

“The whole of Britain has risen towards the west and dips towards the east,” the professor says.

“As a result of that the Captain Sandstone and other rock formations rise up to the seabed and are potential leakage points.”

Image caption Geologists used 3D graphics and a giant 8K screen to visualise the rock formation

Prof Underhill’s solution is to look to rock formations under the North Sea which already have a proven capacity to hold CO2 over geological timescales.

These could be depleted oilfields or areas in which oil exploration has concluded because they are not commercially viable.

Prof Underhill said: “What was an exploration failure for the oil and gas industry becomes a carbon storage opportunity for the future.”

The research was funded by the Scottish Overseas Research Scholarship Award Scheme and co-authored by PhD student Gustavo Guariguata-Rojas.

The researchers arrived at their verdict using Heriot-Watt’s newest piece of technology – so new it is not due to open until 2018.

It is called the Ogilvie Gordon 3D Audio-Visualisation Centre – OGAVC for short.

Image caption The Rosslyn Chapel is one of the animations available in the OGAVC

By donning 3D goggles and standing before a massive 8K video screen, we’ve been able to walk the depths of the Moray Firth and into the rocks beneath.

It enables researchers to collate vast amounts of data – in the case of the Moray Firth, from seismic surveys – and present it in ways which can be readily understood.

Its potential goes far beyond geology.

As well as the rocks beneath the waves it can look at the seabed, the marine environment, dry land and the buildings on it.

Bring ideas out

Among the attractions currently available on the 3D big screen: a fly-through model of Edinburgh, a dissection of a Victorian office building and an animation of Rosslyn Chapel that lets you look inside and outside at the same time.

Ben Evans has been helping Heriot-Watt create the OGAVC.

He said the importance of the technology lay in the way it could encourage researchers to work together.

Mr Evans said: “Everyone can work on their data by themselves but it’s the collaboration that really brings the ideas out.

“Working with your peers to look at your data and actually to get in, hands dirty, on the data itself.

New ideas spring up from that.”

The OGAVC is the result of £700,000 in funding from the UK government.

It is named in honour of the pioneering geologist Dame Maria Ogilvie Gordon.

She lived from 1864 to 1939 and won the Geological Society’s Lyell Medal for her work on plate tectonics; the damehood was awarded for her tireless campaigning for women’s’ rights.

It is now up to the current generation of geologists to seize the opportunities presented by the OGAVC.

The only limitation to that would appear to be their imaginations.

New city centre facilities to provide boost to local sports groups

A BRADFORD City legend has helped open newly refurbished sports facilities in Bradford city centre.

Wayne Jacobs, former assistant manager at City as well as former left back, was at the University of Bradford this afternoon to open the upgraded sports hub on Laistridge Lane.

The facilities, described as playing a “key role” in local sports, were upgraded thanks to a £500,000 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund, delivered by the Football Foundation.

That money has enabled the university to replace a poor quality sand-dressed artificial grass pitch with a third generation pitch. There has also been a major upgrade to the hub’s changing rooms and indoor facilities.

The new pitch can be used all-year-round and will benefit university’s students, as well as other community and schools teams that use the facility, including Phoenix JFC and Athletico FC.

The West Riding FA will also use the 3G AGP to deliver coaching qualifications.

The University worked alongside the West Riding FA and the Football Foundation to compile a fiveyear Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

It is expected that, thanks to the upgrade project, the number of teams using the site will rise from 44 to 71. This supports an expected 87 per cent increase in overall sport participation across all age groups.

Additionally, thanks to plans for the West Riding County Amateur League and Bradford Sunday Alliance League to move fixtures to the new 3G AGP, a 99 per cent increase in football participation for those over the age of 26 is predicted.

Joining Mr Jacobs at the launch was former Bradford South MP and sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

Mr Jacobs, who is also the co-founder and CEO of the One In A Million charity, said: “It’s so important for our community to have access to state-of-the-art sports facilities like this one.

“Through my work with Active Bradford, as well as my football career, I know first-hand the difference that grassroots sport can make to people’s lives, and I’d like to thank the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for their investment and support of the University throughout this project.”

Chris Spargo, Head of Commercial Services at the University, said: “The significant enhancement of the University’s sport facilities has been a key strategic objective for the University for some time.

“The support provided by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund in terms of finance and professional advice, has enabled the University deliver its objective of high quality state of the art facilities for its students, its staff and the local football community. The facility is now being used by a variety of local clubs for training and match play, for coaching courses and a wide variety of University sports clubs – the feedback to date has been exceptional.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.”

New beer created by Bradford Brewery in tribute to city’s former Hey’s brewery

BRADFORD Brewery has created a special beer paying tribute to the city’s former Hey’s brewery.

The new ale, Hey’s Gold Premium, has been created by head brewer Graeme Rothery on behalf of Kathryn Hey – a Hey family descendant who has been working to preserve the heritage of the historic company.

The beer will be launched with a celebratory event at Bradford Brewery’s recently reopened Exchange Ale House, on Market Street, Bradford, on Friday, December 1, from 4pm.

A number of former Hey’s Brewery employees are expected to attend the event, which is being held at what was once Spinks Bar – one of the original Hey’s pubs.

Thirty-eight casks of Hey’s Gold Premium have been brewed and the beer will be on sale in bars across Yorkshire and Manchester in the run-up to Christmas.

Managing director of Bradford Brewery, Phillip Ogg said: “The revival of the brewing industry in Bradford city centre has always been an important part of our ethos and we love what Kathryn is doing to bring all these memories back to life.”

New round of grants to help improve young lives

DADS in Bradford will be cooking up healthy treats for their families – thanks to funding from Better Start Bradford.

The project’s Parents in the Lead Activity Fund has awarded five more awards totalling more than £6,000 to community groups in the Bradford area of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. So far 16 groups have received a total of more than £18,000.

One of the groups is Dishy Dads whose members will be rolling up their sleeves and embarking on a sixweek course to learn how to cook healthy meals from scratch with their children at St John’s Bowling Hub.

David Brickman, Dishy Dads’ project co-ordinator, said: “We are looking forward to bringing together a group of Dads to cook healthy food together. The Dads will not only learn new skills, they will have fun cooking with their children and form a supportive network for each other in the community.”

Mums, grans, toddlers and babies are also set to benefit from Parents in the Lead with funding of £795. The intergenerational Mamas and Papas Lullabies project at Womenzone Community Centre in Hubert Street, off Leeds Road, will bring together older women and young mums with their under fours. The mums will learn lullabies from the older women’s heritage and culture, and together they will do craft activities, gardening and growing fruit and vegetables.

Gill Thornton, Better Start Bradford project manager, said: “It’s great to see dads, mums and grandparents embracing the opportunity the Parents in the Lead Awards fund gives them to put their project ideas into action.

“The fund really does ensure that parents and carers are leading on giving their children the best start in life.”

The Big Lottery-funded Better Start Bradford started Parents in the Lead Activity Fund earlier this year which is designed to help parents run activities for families expecting babies or with children aged under four in the Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton areas.

Projects must be parent or grandparent-led and the project must benefit children under four and their parents. Projects must contribute towards social and emotional development, the development of communication and language, or improving nutrition and health.

The next deadline for applications for funding from Parents in the Lead is Thursday, November 30.

Go to the ‘our projects’ section at betterstartbradford.org.uk to find out more.

‘Third of mothers’ experience mental health issues

Lauren Doyle
Image caption Lauren Doyle suffered PTSD after having her first daughter Ava

More than a third of mothers have experienced mental health issues related to parenthood, according to an online survey of 1,800 British parents by the BBC Radio 5 live and YouGov.

The study revealed that, in comparison, 17% of fathers had experienced similar issues.

More than two-thirds of the affected mothers sought professional help – suffering from conditions such as acute stress, severe anxiety and postpartum depression.

‘All mums feel like that’

Lauren Doyle experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after giving birth to her first daughter Ava.

“It just wipes you out really – you just become a completely different person,” said the mother-of-three from West Yorkshire.

“I’d get upset over something as simple as we’d ordered a takeaway and they’d forgotten the fried rice and I just couldn’t stop crying,” she said.

The birth was physically traumatic and it meant that Lauren and her daughter were looked after in different hospitals, which prevented them from developing a strong bond.

She said: “I didn’t think I was unwell. I thought, ‘All mums feel like that, this is just mum mode, I’m a mum now.’

“I’ve got to put up with feeling this way.”

Lauren would cry in the shops and find herself getting angry and upset all the time.

She also felt burdened with guilt when she couldn’t breastfeed.

“It’s another factor that makes you feel isolated, that you’re not being the best mum,” she said.

Image copyright Supplied
Image caption Lauren’s children Isaac, Isla and Ava

Lauren’s not alone. Many of the parents surveyed reported feeling criticised by a large number of people.

Mothers said their parents were the most critical of their parenting (26%), followed by their spouse/partner (24%) and other family members (18%).

About 14% said they had been criticised by strangers, compared with 5% of the 800 fathers who responded to the survey.

New parents can experience troubles in the workplace as well.

About 30% of mothers who responded said they had felt discriminated against at work through being a parent, compared with 14% of working fathers.

According to Citizens Advice, new mothers are reporting increasing levels of unfair treatment at work.

Image copyright Supplied

The survey also found women turn to online forums for support more than men.

A total of 60% of women said they had received emotional support from their friends, 56% from their partner and 18% went online.

But 15% of mothers and a quarter of fathers say they didn’t receive any emotional support for their parenting at all. This is despite a growing understanding that postpartum depression affects men as well as women.

For Lauren, receiving support in her local community was challenging because she had recently moved to a new area and therefore didn’t have many established friendships.

The mother-of-three relied on her parents-in-law and her husband, Rob, who first noticed there was a problem and encouraged her to seek help.

“I didn’t know where to go to, where to turn to, to get support,” she said.

She saw a doctor after the birth of her second daughter Isla. She said all they could provide was medication and eventually received support through the parenting support group Pandas.

“It looked so effortless being a parent and that’s what I thought it was going to be,” she said.

Six years on, Lauren says things have improved. “I’m happy – I feel that I’m doing my job properly now.”

Watch the live stream of Mum Takeover on 5 live on Tuesday between 13:00 GMT and 15:00 on their website or Facebook page.