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Andy Burnham warns Greater Manchester ‘won’t accept new lockdown system drawn up behind closed doors’

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Portable Antiquities Scheme / Flickr

Andy Burnham has warned that Manchester will not accept a planned three-tier lockdown system without seeing it first. 

His view is shared with many other leaders in the north, who warned that local lockdown restrictions are ‘not working’ and are confusing and ‘counterproductive’.

My Burnham has said that local leaders have not seen details of the new proposal which splits lockdown into three varying degrees.

Ministers were expected to announce the move to the new ‘traffic light system’ today or tomorrow, but it looks like the plans have been held up, the Manchester Evening News reports.

David Dixon/Geograph

Alongside Sir Richard Leese, Mr Burnham laid out a number of conditions at the weekly press conference. 

He said they have both had conversations with other leaders and now want to provide ‘some messages to government, so that we do this in the right way and learn from some of what we’ve been through so far’.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “The first point I would put down as a clear request to the government is they must open meaningful negotiations with mayors and leaders about these matters.

“We do have the odd conversation here and there with ministers.

“But we need proper discussion. We will not have a tier system imposed upon us without us having the ability to see and agree the detail. That is just a prerequisite.”

David Dixon/Geograph

Mr Burnham’s concerns echo those raised in a letter sent from Sir Richard Leese, Leeds council leader Judith Blake, Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes and Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson to the health secretary Matt Hancock yesterday.

Appropriate financial support to reimburse businesses, local authorities and communities affected by any potential economic measures was called for in the letter. Similarly, Mr Burnham said this was essential.

He said: “Any tier system – or indeed any potential restriction, and as you’ll know there’s a lot of scepticism here and across the north about what they can achieve – but any new system has to come with a substantial support package for councils, for businesses, but also for the individuals that are affected by those decisions.

“Let me particularly talk about any potential tier three, where non-essential retail and hospitality would probably be closed, or could be closed.

“We cannot have a repeat of the situation we saw in Bolton, where people behind bars or in kitchens were basically told from one day to the next that they had no job to go to or local furlough scheme to fall back on.

“That is simply unacceptable.”

“I would not accept any closure of businesses without the employees of those businesses having the ability to access a furlough scheme.”

Following the confirmed 500 job losses at Manchester Airport, Mr Burnham once again called for an extension of the national furlough scheme for specific sectors that cannot get up and running any time soon, including live entertainment and aviation.

He added that ministers need to provide clear exit routes for areas hit by any new measures. 

David Dixon/Geograph

It is yet to be confirmed whether there will be new restrictions in the north following the reports of high and rising coronavirus cases.

Currently, the infection rates in Manchester are being driven by university students and are not said to be translating to the older demographic. 

Yesterday it was revealed that pubs and restaurants could face closure from Monday in the north of England due to rising infection rates. 

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Celebrate Embankment Kitchen’s fourth birthday with prizes to be won throughout October

There’s some fantastic prizes to be won throughout the whole month

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Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Manchester restaurant, bar & grill Embankment Kitchen is celebrating its fourth birthday, where diners will receive a scratch card to win a variety of prizes throughout October.

Celebrations kick off on Wednesday, October 4th at the sophisticated venue, located in the CitySuites Aparthotel, and will continue throughout the entire month.

The birthday month will feature live music every Thursday, a special birthday cocktail menu, and the chance to win some big prizes too.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Diners also receive 25% off* their food bill, throughout October, every Tuesday to Saturday (*This offer is for the a la carte menu only).

Guests could also find themselves sipping on free beer, prosecco and cocktails, or even enjoying a meal on the house – all to be won on the Embankment birthday scratch cards.

The live music features a range of talented artists performing throughout the evening, from duos covering modern songs to the fabulous gypsy jazz band The String Beans.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Embankment’s special birthday cocktail menu includes the Peach Blossom Bellini, made with Grey Goose Vodka and Baron de Marck Champagne, with notes of Peach and Rosemary.

Sip on the delightful A Toast To 4, made with Beefeater gin, strawberry and lemon flavours and topped with Baron de Marck Champagne. 

The EK Sour is made with Havana 7, Disaronno, Lemon, Pineapple, and the Birthday Bubbles cocktail is made with Tanqueray 10, Aperol, Passionfruit, Lemon, Soda – perfect for the celebration.

Embankment Kitchen Manchester

Guests who chose to dine at Embankment Kitchen throughout October will receive a scratch card with one of the below prizes:

  • 15% off food (*Food only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or set menu)
  • Free beer or prosecco
  • Free cocktail
  • Free starter or dessert (*When dining with a main)
  • Your meal on Embankment – x2 

To book a table and celebrate with Embankment and be in with the chance to win great prizes, click HERE.

Embankment Kitchen, CitySuites Aparthotel, 16 Chapel St, Salford



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Sunak announces HS2 leg to Manchester to be scrapped

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Rishi Sunak announces at the Tory party conference that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the HS2 is to be scrapped.

The Prime Minister made a key speech at the conference held in Manchester city centre where he confirmed the rail line will stop in Manchester but from Birmingham it will switch onto using the existing West Coast Mainline track.

This means the high speed route, to connect the north with the south, will no longer exist, effectively confirming days of speculation.

BBC

After being introduced by his wife, Akshata Murty, as a ‘wonderful father, my best friend, your prime minister’, Mr Sunak thanked both his wife and the audience.

Speaking live from Manchester, Mr Sunak called HS2 the ‘ultimate example of the old consensus’.

The Prime Minister then said he’s cancelling ‘the rest of the HS2 project’ – which means everything outside the London to Birmingham leg, and is currently under construction.

He then said he ‘will reinvest every single penny’ saved from HS2 – £36 billion pounds – into hundreds of new transport projects in the North and in the Midlands, as well as across the country.

BBC

He went on to say that the north would benefit from the new projects rather than HS2, saying he ‘challenges anyone to tell me with a straight face that all of that isn’t what the north really needs’.

Mr Sunak said: “With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes, Sheffield in 42 minutes, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line.”

He continued: “So those who wish to disagree with me, I respect that. But they should have the honesty to admit that they would now be cancelling the hundreds of alternative projects right across the country that people will benefit from instead.

“I think our plan is simply a better long term investment of £36 billion pounds of taxpayers money.” 

BBC

He also said that he will keep single bus fares capped at £2 ‘across the whole country’.

The prime minister added: “I say, to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed. And the right thing to do when the facts change, is to have the courage to change direction.

The anticipated announcement came after defence secretary Grant Shapps suggested a change in HS2 plans was thanks to fewer people travelling into work and instead choosing to work from home, following the coronavirus pandemic.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has labelled the, now confirmed, decision as ‘disgraceful’.

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Gary Neville welcomes new £400m five-star hotel and residences to Manchester

The world famous W Hotel and W Residences will open in 2027

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W Hotel & Residences Manchester / Relentless Developments

Exciting first look images are revealed for the hugely anticipated £400 million five-star hotel and residency set to open in 2027.

Gary Neville’s Relentless Developments has announced the St Michael’s development, currently being built between Deansgate and Albert Square, will be bringing with it a world famous hotel brand

The St Michael’s plot, soon to be home to luxury W Hotels and W Residences, will be the first outside London and one of 20 around the world, in a major deal with Marriott International. 

Relentless Developments

The glossy new arrival will see hotel-inspired living offered at St Michael’s 217 apartments, offering buyers the opportunity to purchase a permanent residence within Manchester’s most exclusive postcode. 

The iconic 41-storey tower will boast a 162-room hotel, with the tower also housing W Residences, a complex of 217 apartments which will be offered for sale from November, with occupancy also in 2027.

The live-in residences will also boast the facilities of the W Hotels, including 24-hour concierge (W’s whenever/wherever service), round-the-clock in-residence dining, laundry and dry cleaning, as well as the hotel’s gyms and other features.

Relentless Developments

“W Hotel and W Residences are going to put the distinctive 41-storey tower that is No.2 St Michael’s on the global map,” said Neville, Director, Relentless Developments.

“There is no better home for W Hotel in the North of England than Manchester.

This is a bold city which continues to defy expectations and which embodies the same values of originality and passion that have made the W Hotel experience world-renowned. 

Relentless Developments

“Situated alongside this, W Residences Manchester will be immersive, design-forward homes that will set a new standard in hotel-inspired living and massively raise the bar for city-centre home ownership.” 

“I’d like to thank Marriott International and our developer partner, Salboy, for seeing the potential in this scheme and remaining committed to our vision,” he added.

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