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Sitting down in shop doorways and failing to control your sheep – have you committed a ‘new’ crime?

Also in Barometer: the state of Emmanuel Macron’s marriage and the many wonderful ways local councils spend your money

6 May 2017

9:00 AM

6 May 2017

9:00 AM

Spend, spend, spend

London mayor Sadiq Khan ended support for the Garden Bridge, probably killing it off. How are other public projects going?

— Manchester City Council spent
£3.5 million blocking a right of way with a glass pod and iron gates likened to Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’.

— Birmingham City Council proposes to spend £10 million on a water feature and new lights in Centenary Square.

— Trafford Council spent £16,000 on a stone in Altrincham bearing the words ‘market’ and ‘1290’.

— Since 2005, Belfast City Council has spent £104,650 on portraits of its lord mayors.

Gap years

Emmanuel Macron’s wife is 24 years older than him. How unusual is this?

— In 2001, 4 per cent of UK couples had husbands more than 15 years older and 4 per cent had wives over eight years older.

The US has more detailed figures

Husband 20 or more years older 1.0%
Husband 15-19 years older 1.6%
Husband 10-15 years older 4.8%
Husband 6-9 years older 11.6%
Age-gap five years or less 76.7%
Wife 6-9 years older 2.7%
Wife 10-14 years older 1.0%
Wife 15-19 years older 0.3%
Wife 20 or more years older 0.3%

Source: US Current Population Survey

Crime watch

East Devon District Council made it an offence to feed seagulls under a Public Spaces Protection Order. Other new or proposed crimes under such orders:

— Under-16s gathering in groups of three or more (Bassetlaw)

— Sitting in a shop doorway on more than one occasion (Tendring)

— Busking for over an hour (Hammersmith)

— Sleeping in public in the dark (Wrexham)

— Walking more than four dogs at a time (Gosport)

— Allowing your sheep to enter the village of Bream (Forest of Dean)

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