Author: Anna Girolami

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EU haulage firms now avoiding the UK

Anna Girolami
EU Haulage

One of a series of articles addressing the UK’s haulage and looming supply chain crisis. Central Bylines has already written about the UK’s shortage of HGV drivers. According to the Road Haulage Association, the profession is about 100,000 drivers short. In brief this is mainly because European drivers formerly based in the UK have returned […]

East Midlands Tory MPs: how much bang for our buck?

Anna Girolami

Here at Central Bylines, we have been tapping our foot impatiently. Our East Midlands Tory MPs (on whom we generally rely for a regular supply of comedy pratfalls) have been suspiciously quiet of late. Luckily, the imminent arrival of silly season seems to have prodded them into life. All of which we have faithfully recorded […]

The death of Dalian Atkinson – manslaughter verdict

Anna Girolami
Dalian Atkinson

In May, Central Bylines reported on the trial of West Mercian police officers, Benjamin Monk and Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith for the murder, manslaughter and actual bodily harm of professional footballer Dalian Atkinson in 2016. Atkinson, 48 years old at the time of his death, had played for several clubs, most notably Aston Villa with whom […]

We need to talk about Serco

Anna Girolami
Serco

In 2019 Serco was found to have “engaged in quite deliberate fraud against the Ministry of Justice.” It had already repaid £68.5 million to the government in overcharges and was subsequently fined £19.2 million for fraud and false accounting over its electronic tagging service. It also had to pay the Serious Fraud Office’s costs of £3.7 million. It still has the contract.

Cuts in UK foreign aid to East Midlands charity deprives street children in Uganda

Anna Girolami
Uganda children

A Chesterfield-based charity supporting street children in Uganda has had its only international development grant withdrawn when the government cut foreign funding from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent gross national income (GNI). S.A.L.V.E. International S.A.L.V.E. International is a Chesterfield/Ugandan charity, aimed at supporting homeless and out-of-school children in Uganda. It was founded by a group […]

Keeping up with Lee Anderson

Anna Girolami
Lee Anderson

Back in November last year, Central Bylines posted a profile of Lee Anderson which concluded that Ashfield, his constituency, deserved better than the Labour-turned-Tory-turned-antiwoke-warrior as an MP. Seven months later, we thought we’d see how he’s getting on. Is Ashfield getting a better service from its MP these days? If what you want from your […]

Surescreen miss the gravy train

Anna Girolami

SureScreen offered the tests to the government nearly a year ago but they were ignored. Addressing the government’s response to their approach, David Campbell, one of the directors, said, “We’ve done our best to engage with the government. There’s been tentative interest but unfortunately we haven’t had any good dialogue.”

Safety first

Anna Girolami

The recent Queen’s Speech saw Her Majesty announce the arrival of the government’s Online Safety Bill, which has now been published in draft form. The much-anticipated bill has been in the pipeline since 2019 when Theresa May’s government brought forward a white paper as a response to the death of Molly Russell. Russell, a 14 […]

Central Bylines ‘rona round up

Anna Girolami

Today sees the launch of step three of the government’s roadmap to get us out of lockdown. Today, I can go to a sauna (yeah..no), have a meal inside a pub (blessèd relief, it was snowing here last week) or stay overnight with my in-laws (I’m more likely to go for that sauna, to be honest). It all sounds wonderful. Our region has been in one sort of lockdown or another almost continually since November last year, bar a brief and lethal giddy spell over Christmas. It’s been hard but it’s worked – by the end of April, new cases, hospital numbers and deaths were all down, down, down.

It’s a gas, gas, gas

Anna Girolami

Anaesthetists, on the whole, have a chip on their shoulder. We are the single largest hospital specialty in the NHS and, in our own view, we pretty much run the place. Try having surgery without an anaesthetist, or a baby or a critical illness or a chronic pain issue or an intravenous dialysis line or.. I could go on, but you get the point. In essence, we (yes we, I worked as an NHS anaesthetist for ten years) provide the physiological bedrock upon which all other specialties have to stand to perform their work.

The Death of Dalian Atkinson

Anna Girolami

Last year in Minneapolis, a black man was killed by a white US police officer. Two weeks ago, officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd in a landmark court case that was reported around the world and hailed by the US president himself as a “giant step forward” against systemic racism […]

Just not cricket

Anna Girolami

Today is 4th May, we are deep into spring. This year’s county cricket season is three weeks’ old and Derbyshire is already languishing at the bottom of their group. Despite Covid-19, despite the Big Bash League, despite the razzamatazz of the Indian Premier League*, cricket remains the quintessential game of the English summer. The gentle […]

Currie Purdah

Anna Girolami

Purdah – a term previously used to describe the period leading up to an election, commencing on the date the Notice of Election is published and ending at the close of the poll on election day. Was ever anyone more aptly-named than Edwina Currie (yes, yes. I know she calls herself Currie Jones these days […]

Lamport Hall lambasted over lack of payment

Anna Girolami

Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire is a pretty typical, privately run stately home. It’s got painted ceilings and Neapolitan cabinets. It’s got extensive gardens and a classical frontage. It’s even got a baronet credited with introducing the garden gnome into Britain. What’s not to love? What it also seems to have is huge amounts of chutzpah. […]

Latest news: East Midland MP banned from China

Anna Girolami

Today, the Chinese government has announced sanctions against a number of UK individuals and organisations – including MP for Harbrough, Neil O’Brien who leads the China Research Group and advises the Prime Minister on policy. These sanctions are a tit-for-tat response to similar sanctions brought against a number of Chinese officials four days ago by […]

Whisper who dares

Anna Girolami

We will have no recourse when the police silence us. No-one will have to resign or explain.


11 days ago, Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham at about 9.30 pm. She was walking home from a friend’s house.