The Thoughts Of Mr Bloggy

Are University Lecturers Cutting Corners?


I have recently been speaking to a university student who was commenting that she was unhappy with the value for money she was receiving from her university lecturers.

It would appear that some lecturers are now preparing their lectures using systems like Powerpoint, but seem to be forgetting that the Powerpoint presentation systems are intended as an aid to lectures, not to replace it.

Those lecturers under question now seem to be giving lectures by reading out their Powerpoint presentation verbatim, and not embellishing or expanding on the contents.

Given how much our students are being charged for their University education, and how much they get into debt to pay for it, surely they are entitled to Lecturers actually earning their fees by adding their personal input into supplimenting the automated presentation given.

If lecturers continue to only read out their presentation verbatim, then there…

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Originally posted on The Thoughts Of Mr Bloggy:
? Just what is happening to care for the elderly and disabled within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets? ? John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets Just after hearing about Tower Hamlets Council stopping it’s funding for nursery services in the borough, resulting in the closure of…

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Dear Minister for Disabled Children and Families

Scope's Blog

Carly is an Autism advocate, consultant and professional speaker. She didn’t receive her Autism diagnosis until she was 32, after two of her daughters were diagnosed. She found it a battle to get the voices of Autistic women heard and in 2008 started to notice a lack of understanding and resources when it came to autism and girls.

In this letter Carly shares her thoughts on why she is supporting our Now is the Time campaign, and how a future Minister for Disabled Children and Families can help disabled children and their families get the best start in life.

Dear future Minister for Disabled Children and Families,

My name is Carly. I am an autism advocate, the mother of autistic daughters, and autistic myself.

Like many British disabled parents, we want our children to have a better tomorrow.

We have the passion and the drive. We won’t stop until all UK children have equity, including our disabled children. We don’t want anybody left behind.


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Homerton Residents Without Gas for Months!

Cold showers and nowhere to cook – people in Homerton block have gas shut off for months

PUBLISHED: 07:58 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:20 02 November 2018

From Hackney Gazette, article by Emily Webber

David Taylor of Exbury House has been given two small fan heaters to heat his flat. Picture: Polly Hancock

David Taylor of Exbury House has been given two small fan heaters to heat his flat. Picture: Polly Hancock

People in a Homerton housing block are having to layer-up after being left with cold water and no heating for two months while temperatures plummet to two degrees

Nine Exbury House flats had their gas cut off on September 12 because a pipe needed replacing – and it could be out for another three weeks.

Both the gas network Cadent and Hackney council say residents shouldn’t be affected but David Taylor, 75, who leases his flat from the council, has been left having to heat his meals upstairs at a neighbour’s flat after having no gas stove or hot water.

Gas network Cadent provided him with two small electric fans to heat his entire flat and a couple of hot plates.

He said: “I don’t know why it’s taking so long. With the winter getting close now, something should be done.”

Neighbour Carl Stratton, 35, who owns his property, is left with having a cold shower everyday unless he travels three miles to wash at work.

David’s neighbour, Angel Willie, 53, is similarly affected, and said the lack of communication is frustrating.

“Hackney council didn’t even know anything was going on with our gas.”

She described the hot plates as “useless” and she is barely able to reach the one Cadent provided her.

She said: “There are always people on site but they don’t tell us anything. We are just in limbo. We are just standing still and we don’t know what to do.”

A spokesperson for Cadent said: “The work to replace the gas pipe was delayed after asbestos was discovered in the ground

“In the meantime people do have communal heating for cooking and heating facilities.

“The compensation will be given once the work has been completed.”

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “We are working as quickly as possible to restore gas supply to residents. The building has a communal heating source so all residents have access to hot water and heating as this is not linked to the gas supply.”

Cadent offered residents compensation up to £,1000.

However, Mr Stratton said he has not received any formal letter of compensation.

He said: “They are trying to cover their tracks and are not telling the truth.”

Cadent began erecting scaffolding on Monday but no work has yet begun to fix the pipework.

Cadent said they have received no complaints and the gas should be restored by November 21.

From Hackney Gazette, article by Emily Webber




All 8000 London buses are accessible to all Disabled and older people. The only restriction is for travellers using a very large electric wheelchair or large mobility scooter (see below).

Picture of visually impaired travellers getting on a bus

  • Assistance dogs are welcome on all buses and may travel upstairs or downstairs.
  • Audio-visual announcements are available on all London buses informing passengers about destinations and issues. If the system does not seem to be working, speak to the driver.
  • Priority seats: There are priority seats on the lower deck for people who find it difficult to stand. Don’t hesitate to ask passengers to give you their seat if you need it. Don’t forget that TfL has issued a “Please offer me a seat” badge for people with an invisible impairment. Contact our helpline for more information.
  • A Travel Support card is also available for people who need a bit more support from the driver. This can be very useful for people with dementia, people with speech impairments and people with learning difficulties. Click here for more information.
  • Buses can also kneel to help you get on-board.
  • Mobility walkers and shopping trolleys are welcome on-board and you can ask the driver to lower the ramp or kneel the bus if needed.
  • Ramp: Buses usually have a ramp at the middle doors (wheelchair and mobility scooter users board via these doors). Some single-decker buses have a ramp at the front doors.
  • Wheelchair priority space: On each bus, there is at least one space in which wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority over other passengers: the dimensions of the wheelchair priority space vary, but it should be big enough for wheelchairs with the following dimensions: 1200mm long and 700mm. There is often conflict over who has priority to use this space. Wheelchair and mobility scooter users have priority: see below for more information.

Limits for mobility scooter users:

Picture of a mobility scooter user boarding a bus

  • Dimensions: You can use your mobility scooter on buses if it is a class 2 mobility scooter and it has the following dimensions: maximum width is 600mm; maximum length is 1000mm; maximum turning radius is 1200mm. If your mobility scooter is smaller than those dimensions you should be allowed on board, but to avoid any uncertainty, it may be better to apply for the Mobility Aid Recognition Scheme.
  • The Mobility Aid Recognition Scheme can provide a card to owners of scooters that TfL have approved for travel on buses. This will prove to the bus driver that your mobility scooter is allowed on board. To apply, contact TfL’s Travel Mentoring Service on 020 3054 4361.

If you experience any problems with drivers not permitting you to travel, please contact us (click here for our contact details).


Join us to fight for our right to ride

Buses are one of the most accessible way to travel in London but they are far from perfect. Transport for All receives calls daily from Disabled and older passengers who are being let down on the buses. We’re campaigning to ensure:

  • Disabled people always gets priority in the wheelchair space
  • Bus are carefully and don’t pull away before passengers are seat
  • Audio-visual announcements on every bus and bus stop

Transport for All is fighting for these changes. But we need your help.

Take action so that everyone can access buses with independence by becoming a member or donating today (click here)



Freedom pass holders can use any London bus 24 hours a day. (click here for more information about the Disabled Person Freedom Pass OR click here for the Older Person Freedom Pass)

Wheelchair users, mobility scooter users as well as visually impaired people using a guide dog, are entitled to free travel on London buses and do not need to show any ticket or pass.

Personal assistants or carers must hold a valid ticket/Oyster card or bus pass. Transport for All is campaigning so that discounts and concessions are also made available to personal assistants and carers: click here to help us achieving this goal.


Journey planning

There are various different timetables and maps available online, for a printed version please ring Transport for London (see below for contact details).

Picture of a older person looking at information at a bus stop

You can also plan your bus journey using the TfL journey planner (click here to use it). This journey planner is very useful despite not being perfect.

Transport for London also runs a helpline to help you plan your journey (bus or other type of public transport). You can contact them via:

Telephone applications:

If you use a mobile phone there are quite a few applications out there to help you plan your journey such as Citymapper. You can also use Google Maps. TfL Journey Planner is not available via an app but you can still use it on your mobile phone. Please note that all those apps needs internet access to give you live/updated information.

Live information:

There are Countdown signs at 2,500 bus stops that show which buses are coming and when they will arrive. There are also apps available giving you live information on when your bus will arrive.


Top Tips…

…for travellers using a mobility walker or a shopper trolley: If you use a wheeled mobility walker or a shopper trolley, don’t be too shy to ask the driver to lower the bus or the ramp so you can board more easily. The bus has been designed to do this and the drivers have been trained to operate this function when requested – they only have to push a button.

…for Hard of hearing travellers:

In the following video, our member Mike Theobald gives you advice on how to travel by bus:

…for Wheelchair and mobility scooter travellers:

  • Boarding: The ramp is at the doors in the middle of the bus. When arriving, the bus driver should acknowledge that they saw you. They will first let passengers get off the bus. Then in order to deploy the ramp the driver needs to close the doors. The doors will reopen once the ramp is deployed. On most buses, the wheelchair user sits facing backwards. You don’t have to wear a seat belt but you do need to put on your brakes for your safety. You can see how wheelchair users board buses here (Video produced by Transport for London):
In the following video, our member Gwynneth Pedler gives mobility scooter users advice on how to travel by bus:
  • Who gets priority over the wheelchair priority space? Wheelchair users, mobility scooter and disabled children using a buggy as a mobility aid are to be given priority on all buses. If the space is occupied by other passengers or buggies, the driver must us the iBus automated announcement stating “A customer needs the wheelchair priority area. Please make space“. If the customer does not move, a second message should be played: “Customers are required to make space for a wheelchair user. This bus will wait while this happens“. The bus driver can’t force someone to move but should actively require that the space is vacated for you. If this doesn’t happen, please contact us; we need to complain about it!
  • Getting off the bus: There is a blue button for wheelchair and mobility scooter users to ask for the ramp to be deployed at the next stop. This will send a signal to the driver that they need to lower the ramp at the next stop. Once again, they will have to let passengers get off first, then close the doors to deploy the ramp and finally let you get out.


Know your rights

As a traveller you have some rights and can expect certain standards when travelling. Your rights mainly come from two places: the Equality Act and the Big Red Book. The Big Red Book is a guide explaining to drivers the rules they need to follow.

Here are some of the standards you should expect while travelling on buses. If something goes wrong please contact us!

  • No London bus should leave the garage with a faulty ramp.
  • The driver should stop and deploy the ramp when the blue button is pressed.
  • The driver is only allowed to refuse entry to any dog if it is behaving aggressively.
  • Guide/assistance dog owner can use the seats by the wheelchair priority area so the assistance dog can sit in it. If needed the bus driver should ask people already occupying the area to share the space.
  • The bus driver should extend the ramp or kneel the bus, if a passenger with a mobility walker or shopping trolley asks for it.
  • Audio-visual announcements should be turned on.
  • Bus drivers should pull over very close to the kerb and bus stop.
  • They should allow you enough time to get seated before pulling away from the bus stop.
  • Wheelchair users, mobility scooter and disabled children using a buggy as a mobility aid are to be given priority on all buses. The bus driver can’t force someone to move but should actively require that the space is vacated for you. If this doesn’t happen, please contact us; we need to complain about it!
  • Passengers using a class 2 mobility scooter (maximum width is 600mm; maximum length is 1000mm; maximum turning radius is 1200mm) should not be refused access to buses.
  • Bus drivers should always make sure that passengers who want their bus have an opportunity to board before they pull away: this means that they need to pull up to the bus stop’s flag-post if needed.

Please contact us, if you feel that you have not received the service you should have, or you feel that the driver did not carry out the correct procedure:

telephone symbole

We need to report it or complain about it. Every time we report a problem, it helps build the case for a more inclusive and reliable transport system.


May’s Brexit disaster unreported by UK press: Britain BLOCKED from $1.7 Trillion in WTO projects

Pride's Purge

Theresa May’s kowtowing to the hard Brexiters in her party may have just cost the UK $1.7 Trillion of access to international projects after Brexit.

The U.S., New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Israel and Moldova have all blocked Britain’s post-Brexit entry into the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, a market worth $1.7 Trillion.

And while the first six big players on that list may eventually (after perhaps years of hard negotiations) give in with separate trade deals, with the last one – the small country of Moldova – it’s unlikely.

Because it’s personal.

This is because Theresa May – in an effort to look tough on immigration – made the inexplicable and utterly disastrous decision last year to deny visas to a Moldovan government delegation who wanted to visit the UK on a trade mission.

Corina Cojocaru – a government adviser to the Moldova government – and her…

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ITALY’S DEFIANT MATTEO SALVINI threatens the EU with closing the airports.


SALVINI: “If anyone in Berlin or Brussels tries to unload tens of thousands Muslim migrants into Italy by using unauthorized charter flights, they must know that there isn’t and there will not be any airport available. We will close the airports just like we closed our ports to them.”

DefendEuropa  Salvini responds to Berlin after the news of a latest band-aid effort on Merkel’s immigration policy.
Previous meetings speak of agreement and understanding, yet Germany sends no warnings for the Italian government on Berlin intention to send back to Italy 40 illegal migrants, and a European common response to mass migration seems less and less likely.
However, shortly after Interior Minister Salvini’s statement and Prime Minister Di Maio’s resistance, the German Interior Ministry backtracked by saying, “No deportations are planned.”

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