If you’ve been out and about you might have missed some of these stories that have come out today:
Gandhi statue is safe, city mayor assures Leicester people
A campaign to pull down the statue of Mahatma Gandhi has been stopped in its tracks by the city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby.
Sir Peter told LeicestershireLive that not only did he have no desire to remove the statue, he did not think he had the power to anyway, as the statue was paid for by the local community when it was put up in 2009.
On a Change.org petition, the anti-colonial campaigner who inspired people around the world to use non-violent resistance, is described as a “facist, racist and sexual predator”.
The petition, which has more than 6,000 signatures, calls on Leicester City Council to remove the statue.
Earlier this month local people formed a human ring around the statue to express their support for Gandhi and the statue.
But Sir Peter said: “There’s no prospect at all of us removing it. And I’m not sure we’d have the power to take it down anyway.
“It was a community effort to put it there to celebrate someone who, for all of us, was a very inspirational leader in India who inspired the rest of the world with his creed of non-violence.”
Latest R rate reveals coronavirus spreading most quickly in the region
The Midlands is the worst region in England for the spread of coronavirus, according to new figures released by Public Health England.
Each region is given an R rating which measures how quickly or slowly a disease is spreading.
In the Midlands the R number is somewhere between 0.8 and 1.
If it is at the upper rate each person with Covid-19 passes it on to one other person.
If the number gets above 1 the disease will spread exponentially.
Loughborough University to make jobs cuts – coronavirus partly to blame
Job losses at Loughborough University have been announced in response to budget pressures.
Yesterday the chief operating officer, Richard Taylor, sent a letter out to all staff, stating it was hoped the cuts could be limited to voluntary redundancies.
A copy of the letter, forwarded to LeicestershireLive, said the university would announce a “discretionary severance scheme” in the near future and that the university would make “every effort to avoid compulsory redundancies”.
No details about how much money needs to be saved were included or how many posts would have to go but it appears that all kinds of jobs could be affected.
Goverment set up new coronavirus testing centre following recent spike in cases in city
A new coronavirus testing centre has been opened at Spinney Hill Park to help tackle the recent spike of new cases in Leicester.
On Thursday Health secretary Matt Hancock announced there had been an upturn in cases in Leicester.
The government has now arranged for a new Covid-19 testing centre.
In a letter to groups in the community, the city mayor, Peter Soulsby said: “As you will have seen, there has been some concern about the upturn in Covid-19 cases in Leicester.
“So far this appears to be based on a limited number of tests and a comparatively small increase in positive results.
“I’m pleased to confirm that government have agreed to set up a mobile testing facility at Spinney Hill Park and wanted to let you know that it will be there from today.”
Rescue mission to save 160,000 honeybees found in chimney
A race against time has begun to save about 160,000 honeybees living in a chimney.
The bees live in a 15-foot long colony of honeycomb stretching from the bricked-up fireplace of the house to the top of the chimney.
The previous owner of the building recently sold up and the new owner, wanting to save the bees, called in beekeeper Peter Clarke, to investigate.
It was only when Peter, who works as a lorry driver for a living, started taking the bricks out of the chimney of the house in Parkside in Groby that he realised the scale of the problem.
So far he has rescued about 75,000 bees – using his own special vacuum machine – and he needs to recover the queen shortly so the hive stays functional.
He said: “I’ve been doing this for seven years and I’ve never seen anything like this ever.
“I do this for free because otherwise pest control people would just come and kill them.
“When I pulled away the first six bricks and looked inside at all the honeycomb, larvae and eggs this morning it was a wonderful feeling.”
So far Peter has been stung about 160 times but it goes with the territory and he won’t be put off.