You could be in for a spot of bother if you are caught short and need to go the loo in England, because nearly one in five public lavatories has been closed in the past three years as councils try to cut costs, says a Daily Express story.

A survey of 252 local authorities in England shows 18 per cent of all council-run lavatories have been shut since 2010.

Raymond Martin, of the British Toilet Association, said the closures would hit shops and tourism. “These are vital public services. As human beings there are five things we must do in order to survive – breathe, eat, drink, sleep and go to the toilet.

“Toilets are not a luxury, they are essential to our health and well-being. There needs to be an increase not a decrease in public toilets.”

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Most people believe that OAP stands for 'old age pensioners' but as the BBC reports, it can also stand for 'old age pussycats:  The Lincolnshire Trust For Cats is running what it believes is the only dedicated 'retirement home' for elderly cats.

Most people prefer to adopt young cats and many older cats are put down if their owners die, so the charity offers them a new home from home, with luxuries such as heated beds, sofas and an open fire for the cats, some of whom live there because their owners have died, while other owners have moved abroad.

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Animal news of a different kind in the Daily Express which says an army of rats as big as cats are swarming through the UK.

It seems that they have been bulked up by feeding off the current bumper crop of potatoes and are resistant to poison.

Kevin Higgins, of the British Pest Control Association, said rat numbers were soaring by about 15 per cent each year.

He said: “We see big rats in cold stores. The rats grow a very thick fur. That can make them look bigger. You might see a rat under a pallet that looks as big as a cat.”

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One man caught not practising what he preaches is George Ferguson who, as elected mayor of Bristol, imposed a 20 mph speed limit in the city.

The Daily Telegraph reports that over £2.3 million of public money was spent installing 13,000 20mph speed limit signs in parts of Bristol.

But now Mr Ferguson has been caught doing 35mph in a 30mph zone on the edge of the city.

Mr Ferguson commented: “I am only too aware of the dangers of exceeding speed limits and commend the Avon and Somerset police for their vigilance.”

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How about this for a stroke of luck? According to the Daily Mail, when lifeboatman Mark Thorne lost his wedding ring at sea during an emergency call-out off the coast at Weymouth in Dorset, he did everything he could to try and find it again.

Mark scoured the shoreline with a metal detector and even searched for it underwater using scuba gear but to no avail.

Now, amazingly, six years on, a friend stumbled across it during a stroll along the shoreline.

Mr Thorne's wife Sarah said: “It's absolutely crazy. When Mark lost it I never thought I'd see it again but it's definitely his ring.”

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A British member of parliament has suggested that astrology could help the crisis in the country's National Health Service.

David Tredinnick, the Conservative MP for Bosworth in Leicestershire, is quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying: “Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart. I do foresee that one day astrology will have a role to play in health care.”

He added “The opposition (to astrology) is based on what I call the SIP formula - superstition, ignorance, and prejudice.

“It tends to be based on superstition, with scientists reacting emotionally, which is always a great irony.”

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The Daily Star tells us that we Brits spent more than £2 billion on crisps last year. And, according to research, cheese outstripped traditional favourites including ready salted, salt & vinegar and BBQ. The least favourite flavour is garlic.

Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)

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

Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph co.uk)

BBC (www.bbc.co.uk)