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Andy Burnham wants to add £22 to council tax to pay for buses, fire service and police

If the general precept is approved, the overall council tax increase would be 7.1%

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Greater Manchester Police

Council tax bills across Greater Manchester could reportedly increase by £22 under Andy Burnham’s plans to pay for bus reform, the fire service’s response to terrorism and improvements to 101 police calls.

Those living in Band D properties would see a £12 increase to their bill from April if the proposed change is approved next month.

The Greater Manchester mayoral precept would reportedly be spent on homeless shelters, the Our Pass bus scheme and reversing a reduction in fire engines.

£10 of the precept would also go towards Greater Manchester Police, which has been in special measures since a damning report by inspectors last year found that 80,000 crimes hadn’t been recorded across a twelve month period.

@Ilovetheeu / Wikimedia Commons

It was also found that the force had a significant backlog of 2,700 emergency calls from vulnerable individuals that it was failing to prioritise.

The mayor didn’t increase the police precept last year after GMP was placed in special measures, saying ‘rewarding failure’ would ‘send the wrong message’.

This year’s proposed tax increase also promises to improve response times to 999 and 101 calls which inspectors say has ‘already improved’.

Read More: Andy Burnham responds to petition opposing Clean Air Zone after it reaches 20k signatures

The fire element of the precept, which accounts for £5 of the increase for Band D properties, would go towards a proposed pay rise for firefighters.

Burnham said the proposed pay rise recognises the need to respond to terrorist incidents.

The mayor has since said that he recognises the cost of living pressures residents are facing, promising that the proposed increase has been minimised ‘as best we can’.

Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity

He said the main reason for the increase is the ‘huge undertaking’ of bringing buses in the city-region back under public control.

Burnham said: “This is a massive change. We are the first city-region in the country to use the powers set out in the legislation to do this.

“We already know there are bumps along the road because we are still subject to legal challenge from bus operators. So this is a challenging process.”

The mayoral precepts must be approved at the Police, Fire and Crime Panel today before coming into effect in April.

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Mount Snowdon has officially changed its name following a petition

The petition got 5,000 signatures

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Raintheone / Wikimedia & George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

Mount Snowdon has officially had a name change, following a petition which garnered 5,000 signatures.

A county councillor from Gwynedd brought forward a motion which encouraged the local authority to drop the English name of both Snowdon and Snowdonia, leading to the petition.

Councillor John Pughe Roberts said the reason for implementing the motion was ‘all down to respect’ for both Wales and the Welsh language.

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The petition urged the National Park to formally use the Welsh names Eryri for Snowdonia and Yr Wyddfa for Snowdon.

And now, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will use both Welsh names, rather than the English versions.

Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move earlier this month, saying it was ‘a mark of respect for our cultural heritage’.

Naomi Jones, head of cultural heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: ”Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.

“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.

“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.

“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”

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However, the National Park will still legally have to use both the Welsh and English names in any official documentation.

Snowdon is one of the most well-known landmarks in the UK, and stands at 3,560ft – making it the highest mountain in Wales.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Police believe this car was used in three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

Do you recognise the vehicle?

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have released CCTV footage of a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield said: “It’s very important that we get this man identified and off the streets as soon as possible.”

Police have identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Anyone with dashcam footage from the following times, officers are keen to speak to you:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm

  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am

  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

 

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