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Andy Burnham calls for review of 10pm curfew that’s ‘doing more harm’ after chaotic scenes over the weekend

The mayor says it’s ‘doing more harm than good’. 

Alex Watson

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photojournoadam/Twitter

Andy Burnham has called for a review of the 10pm curfew as it is ‘doing more harm than good’. 

The Greater Manchester Mayor has warned that the new rule put in place across the nation is doing ‘more harm than good’ as people spilled into the streets and supermarkets following the closure of the pub.

This weekend in Manchester city centre, people were spotted gathering on streets and in supermarkets rather than going home after the 10pm curfew.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Burnham said: “I received reports (in Manchester city centre) that supermarkets were absolutely packed out to the rafters and lots of people gathering after 10pm.

“There needs to be an urgent review of the emerging evidence from police forces.

“My gut feeling is that this curfew is doing more harm than good. It is potentially contradictory. It creates an incentive for people to gather in the streets or more probably, to gather in the home. That is the opposite of what our local restrictions here are trying to do.”

Mr Burnham added that his ‘gut feeling’ is the 10pm curfew should be lifted. He then added that a 9pm cut off for alcohol sales in supermarket could be imposed.

He added: “I’m not here to score points, I’m looking for solutions here. I can understand what the government is trying to do.

“Let me give some suggestions. Perhaps there could be a 9pm curfew on the sale of alcohol in supermarkets and shops that would prevent the rush to shops once pubs have closed. That’s what we certainly saw on Saturday.

“The government has said the 10pm curfew is based on Belgium, but they also have police to disperse people on the streets.

“My personal feeling is that the curfew is probably doing more harm than good as it’s creating a major incentive for people to carry on drinking and partying at home. And that is where we are told the virus spreads – gatherings in the home.”

He said: “If it is doing more harm and damaging businesses, then the government shouldn’t just plough on with it. It certainly requires urgent attention.”

Contrastingly, health minister Helen Whatley has praised the 10pm curfew. Speaking on the BBC 1 Breakfast programme she said: “As people drink more they tend to socially distance less.

“So one approach to keeping people socially distancing is to limit the amount of time that people are in places where they are drinking and then this breaking down of compliance with the rules.

“We have also seen in some of the places where there have been higher rates over the summer that sometimes bars have been the places where there has been an outbreak so this is a reason why one of the actions we have taken is to have people stopping being out drinking at an earlier time.”

Despite this, latest reports from The Times show that Parliament’s bar has not been made subject to the 10pm curfew as it falls under the description of ‘workplace canteen’.

There are 19 restaurants and cafeterias, nine bars and a coffee bar that cater for MPs within the Houses of Parliament. Furthermore, customers and staff are not required to follow the new face-covering rules.

Around the country, there have been reports of crowds flocking to streets after the curfew.

One person wrote: “This breaks my heart. Pls boris close the pubs again, full lockdown needed. They can’t be trusted”

Another wrote: “Scenes from my old home city of Liverpool last night. Whatever the merits of the 10pm curfew, if such behaviour continues we are heading for a complete shutdown of the night time economy and worse. The choices of individuals as well as governments have consequences.”

A third pointed out that at 10:15 the Uber surge charge in Manchester was three times, trams were ‘full of people sitting wherever they could’ and taxi ranks became ‘crowds of people arguing over who got their first’. Adding: “How exactly, does this help stop the spread of the virus? Spoiler alert….it doesn’t.”

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy has questioned the ‘science’ behind the new curfew explaining that it is ‘not clear where that came from’.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has confirmed that there is ‘definitely science behind it’. Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Dowden said ‘that’s why we’re requiring people to be seated in pubs and restaurants, so that stops the flow of them to and from the bar’.

Brewer and pub chain Greene King told the BBC: “Without the usual slow ‘wind-down’ time that pubs would see with a gradual closure, customers were all leaving at once which presented more of a challenge for the pub teams managing people’s safety on exiting the premises.”

The chain urged for additional help from the government for the hospitality industry: “The measures have not been well thought through and the combined impact of [the curfew], the challenges of table service-only and the fact that the government are unfairly targeting the hospitality sector has had a cumulative negative impact.”

Wetherspoons boss, Tim Martin, said: “The main problem with the 22:00 curfew is that it’s another random and arbitrary move by the government, which lacks logic or scientific credibility.”

 

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McDonald’s pledge £1m worth of free meals joining Rashford’s calls to feed kids over half term

Amazing!!

Alex Watson

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FareShareUK/Twitter

McDonald’s have joined Manchester United hero, Marcus Rashford, in the fight to feed families in desperate help this half term.

If you head over Rashford’s Twitter you’ll see the amount of support he’s received this past week, with restaurants up and down the country offering free meals to those in need.

McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food restaurant, are among the many out there supporting this campaign. Providing funding to FareShare to urgently redistribute food to families who need it most.

McDonald’s tweeted: “Our funding will enable the urgent redistribution of meals across the next couple those in greatest need.”

It’s not the first time McDonald’s have worked with FareShare, they have previously donated over 400 tonnes of food and 100,000 litres of milk through FareShare and other organisations.

FareShare is a charity aimed at relieving food in poverty across the UK which the star striker has already raised a huge £20million for.

The FareShare CEO says: “The funding will enable the equivalent of 1 million meals to be redistributed to our charity network very swiftly, and we are very grateful for their urgent support.”

The announcement comes days after Rashford said kids were made to feel like they “don’t matter” – after he lost his bid to get the nation’s most vulnerable youngsters free school meals this winter.

Earlier this week MPs rejected a motion to extend free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021.

Despite this Rashford pleaded with the government to re address talks on the issue on Wednesday night adding: “A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter.”

The striker is keeping an up to date list of restaurants cafes and bars offering free meals to schools, stating he was ‘blown away’ by the amount of small businesses offering their help.

They include Bolton, Liverpool, Wirral, Sheffield, Wigan, Bristol and Devon, Whitley Bay, Staffordshire, Nottingham, Stevenage, Teesdale , Anglesey, Whitehaven, Watford and County Durham.

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Toy donations urgently needed for this year’s Wood Street Mission Christmas Appeal

They need donations!

Alex Watson

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Wood Street Mission/Facebook

The Manchester charity, Wood Street Mission, is in urgent need of toys and gifts for the children of Manchester. 

The Manchester and Salford children’s charity, Wood Street Mission, has been providing Christmas support to low-income families in the region for over 150 years.

Ensuring that every child, no matter what their circumstances, wakes up on Christmas day with something special to open and a huge smile on their face.

In 2019 Wood Street was able to provide over 11,000 toys to 4000 children thanks to the generosity of local people and businesses

Wood Street Mission

Through the 150 years of operating, Wood Street Mission has never failed to fulfil its Christmas appeal. However, the COVID-19 crisis has completely thrown the project into doubt for the first time this year.

Wood Street Mission faces the unthinkable: thousands of children across Manchester and Salford waking up on Christmas Day without a single gift.

Thanks to building awareness on social media, great Northern Warehouse have stepped in to lead the drop off point and provide the space and resources needed to house the gifts. Helping over 1500 families this festive season.

Wood Street Mission

At this difficult time the charity is issuing an urgent call for donations of new and packed toys for all children.

The Great Northern Gift Hub will open November 10th and donations can be made today to Wood Street Mission HQ!

Those not local to Manchester can order donations via Amazon Wishlist that will deliver the toys directly to the charity. The toys on the wishlists are separated by age category plus one full of family basics like pencils and nappies. 

Mark Schofield, Centre Director at Great Northern Warehouse added: “We are so pleased to be able to offer space at Great Northern and support the incredible work that Wood Street Mission are doing with local families this Christmas.

“Our team will be doing everything we can to support this essential project and bring some happiness at this incredibly challenging time.”

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Marcus Rashford and his mum help out at FareShare food bank

Well done Marcus.

Alex Watson

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FareShareGtrM/Twitter

Marcus and his mum, Melanie have been helping out at FareShare this morning.

It comes following the vote on the extension of the free school meal scheme being defeated in the House of Commons this week.

Rashford has been an ambassador for the national food redistribution charity, FareShare since March this year.

The charity says they’ve seen a huge soar in demand for food since the outbreak of Covid-19 and now find themselves distributing double the amount since before lockdown.

The charity is delivering enough food for two million meals a week.

The charity has taken on additional warehouse space to allow for more food redistribution in the region. 

The new warehouse is named after Rashford’s mum, Melanie Maynard House. The charity have launched a £300,000 fundraising appeal to fund it.

Rashford said: “The real superstars in this country can be found in the heart of most cities, towns and villages, working tirelessly to support our most vulnerable across the UK.

“As FareShare and other food-related charities approach one of the toughest Winters on record, with demand higher than ever before, it is important that I stay connected and lend my support wherever it is needed.

“When we stumble, there will always be a community to wrap their arms around us and pick us back up. For many of us, that is FareShare or the local food bank.

“Food banks who are staffed with selfless volunteers, dedicating their lives to protecting those most vulnerable, those who, in many cases, have fallen into unforeseen circumstances due to illness, personal loss and unemployment.

“It should be noted that a lot of these volunteers have themselves suffered unemployment as a result of the pandemic, yet they still strive to help others less fortunate.

“That to me is the greatest example of what we can do, and the difference we can make, when we just work together.”

FareShare is now delivering more than 80 tonnes of food a week in Greater Manchester alone, equating to 200,000 meals.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare UK, added: “We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote, which would have been the first step on the road to providing some peace of mind to the millions of struggling UK families.

“FareShare continues to provide over two million meals each week to vulnerable communities across the UK and we stand ready to provide all the food we can obtain, so we can continue supporting those families and children that seek help to access good, healthy food.”

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