Connect with us
https://propermanchester.com.temp.link/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/secret-suppers-advert.jpg

News

A third of Greater Manchester’s children are now living in poverty

The problem is sadly getting worse.

Published

on

Caleb Woods/Unsplash

According to the latest figures, the number of children living in poverty across Greater Manchester has increased.

Commissioned by the End Child Poverty coalition, new figures from a study at Loughborough University has found that a third of all children across the North West are living below the breadline.

It also shows that child poverty rates across all but just one Greater Manchester borough have increased, and four of the North West’s top 10 increases are found in the city-region boroughs.

The new data reveals the true extent to the hardship experienced by families on low incomes – an overwhelming majority of which were working households before the pandemic, according to the research.

Research shows that children from low-income families are more likely to experience worse physical and mental health, do less well in school, and have fewer opportunities in the future. 

End Child Poverty is calling for an urgent government plan to end child poverty in the country, and for the chancellor to not go ahead with planned cuts to Universal Credit which will see a loss of £1,000 to families. 

The rate in Oldham has risen by 8.1% in the last four years, from 31.8% in 2014 to 39.9% now. Rochdale has seen a 5.3% increase and now stands at 37.7%.

34.8% of Tameside’s children now live in poverty, a 3.4% rise. In Bolton over the past four years, the number of children in poverty has increased from 32.7% to 39%. 

In Bury, more than a third of its children live below the breadline (33.8%).

Salford saw a 2.3% increase, meaning 34.8% are now in poverty and in Wigan the figure is 30.8%. 

Stockport saw the lowest increase at just 0.2%, however, 25.9% of its children are still below the breadline.

In Trafford, there was a 0.9% reduction in the child poverty rates, the figure still stands at 23.1% of children affected.

Des Lynch, of Wood Street Mission in Manchester City Centre said: “In Manchester and Salford, child poverty has never gone away. We’re 151 years old and we’ve been dealing with it in all of that time.

“It’s a subject that has never been tackled by any government, let alone the one we have at the moment.

“The issue comes up in manifestos but then is dispatched into the background.

“While Manchester and Salford outwardly look like affluent areas, if you walk 20 minutes from city centre in any direction, you’ll hit poverty-stricken areas. And that’s only going to get worse in the coming months and years.”

Des added that people aren’t coming forward to get help due to following the Covid rules, adding that the problem is hitting those classed as ‘working poor’ the most.

He said: “People are too scared to access help, they’re sticking to the rules, no matter what is sometimes said out there, they’re trying their best and they don’t know what to do.

“But the poor housing rates, the poor quality of housing in Manchester and Salford, that’s been a problem for some 40 years with housing costs increasing.

“We haven’t been building enough social housing and what we are building isn’t the touching the sides.

“Giving developers permission to build is all well and good, but with the small percentage of social housing required, quite frankly it’s negligible.

“And the knock on effect that has on children, it’s appalling, we should not be bringing children up in these environments.”

The fight to end child poverty and to stop children from experiencing food insecurity has been highlighted in the media over the pandemic, not least due to Marcus Rashford MBE’s efforts.

Over the summer holidays, he made the government U-turn on its decision to not provide free school meals over the summer. This put a stop to ‘Holiday Hunger’ which many of the UK’s children face. 

His new petition calls for free school meals to be available for every child from a household on Universal Credit or equal. This would reach an additional 1.5 million children aged seven to 16. 

However, ministers responded to the campaign on Thursday saying: “It’s not for schools to regularly provide food to pupils during the school holidays.”

Adding: “We took that decision to extend free school meals during the pandemic when schools were partially closed during lockdown. We’re in a different position now with schools back open to all pupils.

“We believe the best way to support families outside of term time is through Universal Credit rather than government subsidising meals.”

Senior Tory MP Rob Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, wrote on Twitter that the government’s response was ‘very disappointing’, adding: “We need a long-term plan to combat child food hunger, especially given 32% of families have had a drop in income since March.”

Sign Marcus Rashford’s petition here.

News

New Covid-19 Rules: Everything you need to know as masks become compulsory in shops and on transport

The new rules will come into place tomorrow at 4

Published

on

Mika Baumeister / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

From tomorrow, November 30th, the use of face masks and coverings will once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. The Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave more detail yesterday, November 28th, saying the masks rule would apply from 4am on Tuesday

Here’s everything you need to know:

Where will face masks be compulsory after November 30th? 

Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in all shops and on all forms of public transport.

A statement from the Government says: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

However, all hospitality will be exempt from the rule change, with the Prime Minister saying further details would be outlined by the Health Secretary ‘in the course of the next day or so’. 

Will face masks be compulsory in schools?

While staff and secondary school students are being ‘strongly advised’ to wear face masks in communal areas from Monday, the rule won’t be mandatory in schools

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recommends that staff, visitors and pupils in Year 7 and above should wear masks in communal areas in schools, colleges and universities such as corridors, canteens and halls.

@arturorey / Unsplash

What other measures are being brought in?

Passengers arriving into the UK from Tuesday will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. PCR tests must be purchased from private providers as free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

All close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant must also self-isolate for ten days regardless of their vaccination status.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty also said during Saturday’s press conference that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will consider extending boosters from the over-40s to the over-18s.

Will more restrictions be brought in?

The Health Secretary said during Saturday’s press conference that it was ‘nowhere near’ the time to reintroduce social distancing rules and work-from-home guidance, and was hopeful the mask mandate would be removed ‘within weeks’.

Also speaking on Saturday, Boris Johnson added that the measures are simply a ‘precaution’ and are in place to ‘buy time for scientists’ while more is learned about the Omicron variant.

Continue Reading

News

Iceland boss says shoppers won’t be forced to wear face masks

‘We need to continue to encourage people to shop in stores if they feel comfortable’

Published

on

Pixnio

Iceland supermarkets across the country won’t be forcing shoppers to wear face masks, despite new Covid rules being introduced this week.

The supermarket chain’s managing director Richard Walker has announced that he won’t be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the ‘long-term recovery of the high street.’

Walker told The Daily Mail: “We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won’t be asking our store colleagues to police it.

Adcro / Wikimedia Commons

“Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it’s crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.

“We need to continue to encourage people to shop in stores if they feel comfortable, and I’m hopeful that the latest guidelines won’t discourage customers from doing so.”

Supermarket giant Co-op has also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.

The British Retail Consortium has said it’s down to the police to enforce the measure, saying, as per The Sun: “Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff.”

@arturorey / Unsplash

This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of face masks and self-isolation in a bid to tackle the new Omicron variant. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that face masks will be once again made compulsory in shops and on public transport from tomorrow, Tuesday November 30th

While appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, Javid confirmed that people who refuse to wear masks will be hit with new sanctions, saying: “Yes, it will be a legal requirement by government regulations to wear masks in shops and public transport.”

Continue Reading

News

The key symptoms of the new Omicron Covid variant have been revealed

Here’s what we know so far…

Published

on

Annie Spratt / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

As new measures are put in place to combat the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, speculation surrounding its symptoms are rife.

While little is still known about the latest variant of Covid-19, it is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity,’ and has already been detected in a handful of locations across the UK. 

Measures have been introduced to combat the new strain, which is believed to have originated in South Africa, such as making face masks compulsory once again in shops and on public transport. 

But what exactly are the Omicron symptoms, and how do they differ from regular Coronavirus?

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who spotted the variant when patients arrived at her practice in Pretoria, South Africa, says the new variant has presented some young people with intense fatigue and a six-year-old child with a high pulse rate.

Dr. Coetzee said symptoms didn’t include a sore throat, but more of a ‘scratchy’ throat, and a mild headache. She added there was also no cough.

The thirty-three-year-old GP also pointed out that none of the patients had the loss of sense of taste or smell which has become a common indicator of Covid-19.

Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

Dr Coetzee, who also chairs South Africa’s Medical Association, said: “Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before.”

She added that most of the patients she has seen so far are healthy men who are ‘feeling so tired’. 

As of 4am tomorrow, November 30th, face masks will be compulsory in all shops and on public transport. A statement from the Government says: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

Find out more here.

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2019 Proper Manchester