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Boris Johnson’s £5bn plan for UK’s post-coronavirus recovery revealed

He’s set to outline his plan.

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The Prime Minister is planning on pledging £5 billion in a bid to create jobs, skills and infrastructure for the UK post-coronavirus.

Tonight, Mr Johnson is expected to deliver a speech in the West Midlands where he will outline the government’s post-covid ‘build build build’ plan. 

Part of the plan sees a £5bn ‘New Deal’ pledge, which promises to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure to the UK. 

The UK has been the hardest hit of the G7 major industrialised nations by the virus, with the economy shrinking by 20.4% in April.

It is expected there will be £1.5bn set aside for hospital maintenance, eradicating mental health dormitories, enabling hospital building, and improving A&E capacity.

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According to the BBC, Boris Johnson is set to use the coronavirus ‘crisis to tackle the country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades’. 

The PM added: ‘To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK.

“Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.

“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up.” 

Some of the projects expected to be outlined include:

  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and colleges
  • £1bn will be set aside for funding of ten-year school rebuilding that will start 2020-21 with work beginning September 2021
  • 101 selected towns will be given deals of between £500k and £1m to spend on projects such as park, high street and transport improvements
  • £142m will be spent on upgrading around 100 courts and £83m will be set aside for prison maintenance and youth offender facilities.
  •  £900m for ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects and £96m investments in town centres and high streets

In terms of investment in the environment, Boris Johnson has called for a ‘build back greener’ approach, however, environmentalists have considered the response of his pre-released summary as inadequate.

Boris claims he will plant 75,000 acres of trees every single year by 2025.

Furthermore, he is expected to promise £40m to boost local conservation projects which in turn will create 3,000 jobs such as Conservation Rangers and safeguard a further 2,000.

According to reports, Boris is expected to say: “Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.

“And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up- the mission on which we were elected last year.”

Director of Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, said: “The Prime Minister in his speech tomorrow will join those of us including his Chancellor, our Metro Mayors and Northern business leaders who believe it is vital to put front and centre the work to level up and unite the country in the recovery.

“The scale of ambition of this ‘Roosevelt’s New Deal’ cannot merely be rhetoric, but must also be met by the full commitment of necessary public and private resources.

“The £10m towards completing the Northern Hub in Manchester will help curtail delays for trains crossing West to East as far as Newcastle and Hull.

“But there is a need to accelerate projects like the TransPennine Route Upgrade electrification and start building HS2 from Leeds to the Midlands, including related upgrades and the new Northern Powerhouse Rail line through Bradford.

“£900m for shovel-ready projects is not enough for the number of jobs which could be generated by accelerating delivery in our cities and wider regions across the North alone, which is why releasing local investment capacity of up to £5bn at the local level is so necessary.

“History teaches us that the New Deal only worked because the scale of its aspiration was met by spending on the ground to match.

“If this is a start in that direction and not the limit of what is to be built then it is to be welcomed.

“Otherwise, the Deal will not meet the promises made of closing the North-South divide made previously by the Prime Minister when he first took up his office.”

Boris Johnson is expected to make the speech today, June 30th. 

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Greater Manchester town officially named one of the happiest places to live in UK

Well-deserved?

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Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

A Greater Manchester town has been named among the 20 happiest places to live in the UK, alongside a couple of other North West spots.

Altrincham was placed in the top 20 of Britain’s happiest places to live in an annual survey, coming in at number 17 in Rightmove’s survey.

St Ives, a seaside town in Cornwall, took the number one spot, while Galashiels in Scotland came in a respectable second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

Other North West areas in the top 20 were Northwich (16) and Macclesfield (18).

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked more than 21,000 people their thoughts on where they live.

Each area is ranked on factors like whether people feel there is a sense of belonging, local amenities, whether there is a community spirit and the proximity to green spaces.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

According to Rightmove, these are Britain’s happiest places to live in 2022 (including the average house price and average asking monthly rental price):

1) St Ives, South West – £523,731, £1,152

2) Galashiels, Scotland – £153,546, £530

3) Woodbridge, East of England – £481,978, £1,196

4) Hexham, North East – £262,265, £810

5) Perth, Scotland – £179,410, £812

6) Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber – £381,124, £1,327

7) Anglesey, Wales – £324,048, £766

8) Bury St Edmunds, East of England – £334,160, £1,368

9) Stirling, Scotland – £197,075, £990

10) Cirencester, South West, £382,065 – £1,331

11) Richmond-upon-Thames, London – £1,153,347, £3,931

12) Falmouth, South West – £373,752, £1,289

13) Monmouth, Wales – £331,844, £1,104

14) Leamington Spa, West Midlands – £383,553, £1,274

15) Worcester, West Midlands – £286,250, £1,059

16) Northwich, North West – £246,995, £942

17) Altrincham, North West – £615,246, £2,297

18) Macclesfield, North West – £292,078, £1,146

19) Newbury, South East – £380,842, £1,364

20) Llandudno, Wales – £260,245, £760

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Northern to start using new technology to catch train fare dodgers

‘This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues’

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Northern has announced that they will be bringing in some brand new technology to catch train fare dodgers.

Britain’s second largest train operator is planning to install the system within station barriers at ‘known hotspots’, the BBC reports.

The technology will automatically detect whether a ticket is valid, and alert rail staff for any additional checks, or if the customer has the right railcard.

Jon David Houghton / Wikimedia Commons

According to Northern, around 180 fare dodgers were caught in a single day when they trialled the system at Manchester Victoria in November.

Northern’s Customer and Commercial Director Mark Powles said: “This technology will be invaluable for our gate line and revenue protection colleagues whose job it is to ensure ticket checks are carried out quickly and efficiently.

“Unfortunately, we know that a small minority of customers try to exploit the automated nature of barrier checks to travel on tickets they know they’re not eligible to use.”

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Powles added that the kit was ‘very easy’ to install, saying it could be: “deployed to known hotspots across the whole network to help tackle this fraudulent activity”.

The Department for Transport confirmed last month that anyone travelling on a train without a ticket can be fined £100 from January 23rd, rising from £20. 

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Man, 33, charged following attempted kidnapping of schoolgirl

A 33-year-old has been arrested and charged

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Google Maps / Greater Manchester Police

Police have charged a man, following the release of CCTV footage featuring a car 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 Monday, November 21st.

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

Google Maps

Officers have confirmed that Sean Anthony Gillings (06/09/1989) of no fixed abode has been charged, following an appeal to the public.

This appeal resulted in the arrest of 33-year-old Gillings, who was then questioned and charged on Tuesday November 29th.

He also remains on bail for the other two attempt kidnaps, while further investigations are ongoing.

Gillings was remanded in custody yesterday, Wednesday November 30th, to appear at Manchester Crown Square Court on Wednesday January 4th 2023.

Police previously confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers on 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, previously 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 believe the incidents happened at 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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