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

The problem is sadly getting worse.

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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.

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Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach Manchester is hiring over 100 new bus drivers to work from its Oldham depot, following the second phase of the Bee Network launch in March.

You can apply for a range of roles, from positions with no experience required to fully qualified bus drivers.

Successful applicants will receive full training as part of the job, and trainees will get paid to train. Then after only 12 months’ service at Stagecoach, drivers can expect to earn up to £16 per hour, which equates to £31.6K per year, before overtime.

As well as that, drivers that already hold a PCV licence may be eligible to receive a £1,200 joining bonus.

Stagecoach

There’s also a host of other benefits available to all Stagecoach employees, like 28 days paid holiday, generous pension and free Stagecoach bus travel for successful applicants and a companion.

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester said: “Expanding our offering in Oldham means we’ll be investing more in the economy and supporting our local community, as well as strengthening our workforce.

“Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re a fully qualified, experienced bus driver, there’s a role for everyone here in Oldham.

“We’re looking for personable and dedicated drivers who are ready to help us build on the success of the Bee Network and connect the people of Oldham and Greater Manchester with the places and people that are important to them.”

Stagecoach

Phil Cornwall, bus driver at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “I’ve been a driver at Stagecoach for 25 years and I couldn’t recommend it more.

“From the perks to the people to the passengers, it really is a great place to work.”

To apply, head to the Stagecoach website HERE.

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Two men charged with murder after torso discovered in Salford nature reserve

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Greater Manchester Police

Two men have now been charged with murder, following the discovery of a human torso in Kersal Dale.

As well as that, more suspected human remains were also discovered this morning, Monday April 29th, in an alleyway close to the railway lines off Worsley Road, Eccles.

This follows earlier discoveries of human remains over the past three weeks, at Kersal Dale, Blackleach Reservoir and Colliery Wood, all in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police


Michal Jaroslaw Polchowski (25/04/1956) and Marcin Majerkiewicz (10/04/1982) both of Worsley Road, Eccles, have been charged with murder.

They are set to appear at Tameside Magistrates Court this afternoon.

While formal identification is still ongoing, the remains found at Kersal Dale are believed to be of a local man in his 60s. The remains found at the other three locations are still to be tested, but police are confident they belong to the same victim.

ACC Sarah Jackson said: “We have had large numbers of officers, staff and specialists working diligently on this investigation over the last three weeks. It has been very much a large, collective effort, with the victim and family at the heart of it from the outset.

“We have specially trained officers deployed to support the family as they come to terms with this tragic news. They are aware of this morning’s further discovery and will continue to be kept up to date with how we are progressing.

“Despite the charges brought today, our work is far from over.

“The scenes we already have established in Bury and Salford will remain in place for much of this week whilst our searches and enquiries continue. Local officers will continue to patrol the impacted areas to provide reassurance.

“We will continue following every line of enquiry to recover and reunite the victim with his family, bringing a dignified end to this terrible scenario.

“I’d like to thank the communities of Salford and beyond for their cooperation throughout this investigation. I know this incident has come as a shock, and the support we’ve had from those in the area is very much appreciated.”

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More human remains discovered in Greater Manchester as police identify victim

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Detectives investigating the discovery of a torso in Kersal Dale have found more human remains around Greater Manchester.

GMP released a statement on the weekend, revealing they had opened four scenes for extensive searches – one of them at a warehouse in Bury, and three in Salford.

Searches took place at Blackleach reservoir, where human remains were found, and a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood.

Officers believe they have now identified the man, who they believe to be a man in his 60s that lived in Salford, and his family have been informed.

Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the murder probe, with officers saying they are thought to have lived with the victim.

Greater Manchester Police / Facebook


Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer for this investigation, said in a statement at Blackleach reservoir yesterday, Sunday April 28th: “We have continued to make significant progress in our investigation into human remains being found in Kersal earlier this month.

“From day one, our priority has been to identify the man and his family so that we can give them the support and the answers that they need.

“Thanks to meticulous forensic work, we are now confident we have identified the man. Formal identification hasn’t yet taken place, but we believe he is a man in his 60s and lived in Salford.

“Specially-trained family liaison officers have met with his family this afternoon to give them the devastating news, and we will do all that we can to support them at this awful time.

“We believe he is known to the two suspects we have in custody. They have remained in custody for questioning over the weekend, as we work to establish how the victim met this tragic outcome.”

He continued: “We have painstakingly worked to follow up every line of inquiry in this investigation. Over the last couple of days, we have acted on information and had four scenes in place for extensive searches – one of them is at a warehouse in Bury, and three of them are in Salford, including here at Blackleach reservoir.

“Today, we have found some human remains at the reservoir here, and last night a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood. Forensic tests will continue to establish whose remains these are, but we are very confident that this is also the victim in our investigation.

“We have also been searching a house in Winton where we believe the victim and the two suspects lived. We have found evidence that the victim is likely to have died there – most likely in late March.

“While this is significant progress, we know there is still some way to go to complete this investigation. I also recognise details of this case will have been distressing for the people of Salford and beyond – including the officers that are diligently working on this investigation, and most importantly the man’s heartbroken family.

“Local officers will continue to patrol the affected areas, and we will provide updates when we have more information.”

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