You’ll maybe surprised to hear that I’m not much a follower of the Twitterati, I’m more of TikTok man myself, but Twitter really caught my eye last week. It was all because of a Twitter spat about the amount of money that was the budget for the NHS Test and Trace scheme, £37 billion, writes David Little, a Partner in the Corporate and Commercial department of solicitors Bishop & Sewell.
Tom London tweeted, “People don’t realise the difference between a million and a billion.
“1 million seconds equal 11 *DAYS*
“1 billion seconds equal 31 *YEARS*
“I do not believe it is even possible to legitimately spend £37 *BILLION* on Test & Trace.
“Where has £ gone? Suspect CORRUPTION on a HUGE scale.”
His words, not mine.
If you dig a little deeper the Full Facts blog helpfully points out the actual budget was £37 billion for its first two years, but around £29.5 billion was actually spent.
By my reckoning that’s at least £4,400 for every adult and child in the UK, (which still didn’t prevent 180,000 Covid related deaths.) Still, I’m sure the Government will assure us that it was money well utilised.
On lighter note my eye was drawn to another number, 8.
That was the number of locations from the UK and beyond who bid to become our newest cities, as part of a Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition.
Each potential city was required to demonstrate royal associations, cultural heritage, and why their community deserved city status. For the first time, the competition was open to applicants from Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, with the Falklands’ Stanley and Douglas in the Isle of Man among the winners:
Bangor, Northern Ireland
Douglas, Isle of Man
Milton Keynes, England
Stanley, Falkland Islands
According to the report here the competition for city status has taken place in each of the last three jubilee years, with previous winners including Chelmsford, Lisburn and Newport.
Winning city status can provide a boost to local communities. Research shows that Perth, which was granted city status in 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, experienced a 12 per cent expansion in the local economy in the decade it was granted city status.
City status is officially granted by “Letters Patent” – meaning a document that is officially issued by the monarch.
What the article doesn’t expand upon is that if city status grants a location a 10%+ uplift in their economy perhaps we can all expect increased rail and flights to the cities concerned?
Perhaps not until after the strikes have cleared…?
David Little is a Partner in Bishop and Sewell’s Corporate & Commercial team. Should you require any further advice or assistance, please contact him quoting reference CB325 on +44 (0)20 7079 4143 or email: [email protected]
About Bishop & Sewell LLP
Bishop & Sewell is a long-established, full service Central London law firm – with an international reach – specialising in Personal, Property and Commercial legal matters. To learn more, visit www.bishopandsewell.co.uk