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Chancellor unveils ‘unprecedented’ plan to rescue businesses devastated by coronavirus

NEWS JUST IN…

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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the government will step in to help businesses and individuals affected by coronavirus. 

Rishi Sunak addressed the nation at today’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister began the briefing by saying that the new measures he announced yesterday will reduce suffering, adding: “I stress that although the measures are extreme, we may have to go further and faster in the coming days to protect the NHS.”

Rishi Sunak then took over, saying he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to support the economy, saying the UK needs a ‘collective national effort’ to protect people and businesses devastated by coronavirus. 

He added: “This government will give you all the tools you need to get through this – we will support people, support jobs, we will do whatever it takes.”

The Chancellor  went on to unveil an ‘unprecedented package’, giving businesses access to £330bn of government backed loans.

Small businesses can access a loan of up to £5 million, with no interest due in first six months.

For the retail and hospitality sector, he announced a package of no business rates, alongside a £25,000 cash grant available to everyone.

On top of that, the Chancellor addressed people’s concerns about whether insurers would pay out to pubs, clubs and cafes, saying that the Government will make sure insured businesses receive payouts, and non-insured companies get payouts of £25,000.

Mortgage lenders are also set to offer a three month ‘mortgage holiday’ to help protect anyone who cannot afford to pay, according to the Chancellor, added that they will go ‘much further’ over the coming days. 

It comes after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wrote to the Prime Minister to ask him to do more to help businesses affected by the pandemic.

As of today, Tuesday March 17th, 1,950 in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, with 14 more dying from the virus, bringing the total number to 69.

Yesterday Boris Johnson told the nation that people need to start working from home, saying: “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others, we need people to start working from home.”

The Prime Minister also said the government no longer supports mass gatherings, as everyone should stop all non-essential contact with others, including avoiding pubs, clubs and other venues, with people taking only essential travel.

He also had some new isolation advice: “Last week we asked everyone to stay at home with a high temperature or a new and continuous cough.

“Today we need to go further, it looks like we are approaching the fast part of the upward curve and cases could double every 5 or 6 days.

“If you or anyone in your household has one of those two symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days – only going out for exercise at a safe distance.”

During the same address, chief medical officer Chris Whitty stressed that most people will only have a mild or moderate disease, before adding: “This is going to go on for some time – it will be a prolonged period. But a significant minority will need hospital care, a small amount of those will need intensive care and sadly some will die.”

Whittey also said that anyone over 70, people under 70 with significant health issues and pregnant women should take additional care to minimise their social contact.

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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.

Caff55 / PxHere

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.”

Raintheone / Wikimedia

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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