COUNCILS across the land are under pressure to cut costs and it now seems that spending a penny in a public loo may become more difficult.

For a story in the Daily Express reveals that in the past three years, 13.5 per cent of public toilets have been cut by local authorities trying to save cash.

The paper reports that Liverpool, North East Derbyshire and the City of Westminster are among 11 areas where disabled people must buy a special key to use conveniences in shopping centres and other buildings because all council toilets are closed.

A warning has come from Raymond Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association, that the closures are putting off visitors and shoppers. He commented: “We feel that the health and well-being of our residents and visitors is being greatly jeopardised each day.”

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, added: “Worrying about being caught short or facing the indignity of having an accident in public can have a devastating impact on older people, resulting in many being stuck at home.”

When it comes to believing whether aliens exist, nearly half of UK men are believers, says the Daily Star. Forty five per cent said the Government had covered up evidence of paranormal activity.

Apparently almost a third of Brits said they believed in ghosts, while 10 per cent claimed to have been confronted by a spooky being.

A quarter of women think dogs possess telepathic powers, while nearly one in four people are convinced humans will one day be able to converse with our four-legged friends.

The findings come in a poll carried about amongst more than 1,000 people to launch a new ITV show Mystery Map, which delves into Britain’s top myths and mysteries.

Spicy curries used to be the favourite 'ethnic' meal for Brits but, says the Daily Mirror, Mexican food is fast becoming the most popular dish.

Brits now spend nearly twice as much on tortillas and Mexican meal kits than on the ingredients for curries, according to a survey by industry analysts Kantar which reveals that we spent £101million on tortillas and £67.5million on Mexican meal kits.

Now it is not a word I have come across, but the BBC tells us that 'Selfie' has been named as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.

It is defined as 'a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website'.

Research suggested its frequency in the English language had increased by 17,000 per cent in the last year. Other short-listed words included 'twerk' - a raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus - and 'binge-watch' - meaning watching lots of TV. So now you know...

Surely someone, somewhere must be missing it... a BBC story reveals that around £60,000 in banknotes were spotted by a dog walker floating in a waterway in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Police say the notes were damaged but 'a good quantity' appeared to be in reasonable condition.

The force is considering carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the money in an attempt to trace where it came from.

A police spokesman said: “It isn't everyday that an amount of money like this is found. Somebody must have information that will help trace the lawful owner.”

If you like playing the game poohsticks, then you might be interested in a story in the Daily Express which says that a lost sketch, the first-ever depiction of the children's game, has been discovered after 87 years.

And the pencil, 9in by 5in, sketch by Winnie-the-Pooh illustrator EH Shepard, which still has a perforated edge from where he ripped it from his sketchbook, is expected to go for around £50,000 when it is sold at an auction at Sotheby's in London on December 10.

The artist's finished work – showing Pooh and Christopher Robin dropping sticks from a river bridge – appeared in AA Milne’s 1928 book The House At Pooh Corner.

A spokesman for Sotheby’s said: “It “one of the most famous illustrations in children’s literature”.

Reference lists:

The Express(www.express.co.uk)

Daily Mirror ((www.mirror.co.uk)

Daily Star (www.daily star.co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)