The possibility of moving the Greater Manchester region into Tier 3 will be discussed at a top-level meeting today, according to reports.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said ministers risk confusing residents and has accused the government of ‘piling the pressure’ on the region ‘without negotiating’.
This morning he further reiterated his point saying that he ‘will set out why the current Tier 3 proposal is fundamentally flawed and why we won’t accept it’. He added that the government has not discussed the matters with him.
On Monday, Greater Manchester was placed into Tier 2 of the new Covid Alert Level system, after almost a week of pushback from local leaders and authorities.
Tier 2 means households cannot mix indoors, however, they can mix in private outdoor gardens. Tier 2 also meant avoiding the disaster of a forced closure of hospitality businesses in the area.
Another MP has said it would be ‘utterly maddening’ if a change came so soon after the original announcement.
Boris Johnson warned in the House of Commons that the infection rates in the area are ‘worrying’, putting pressure on local leaders and Labour MPs to ‘prevail on the authorities in Greater Manchester to come into Tier 3’.
Sky News has reported that a ‘Gold Command’ meeting will be held this evening to discuss the move of the region to the highest tier.
A Downing Street source has said they are ‘concerned’ about Greater Manchester and Lancashire and that top-level discussions are needed.
Boris Johnson further outlined that the new rules in Tier 3, including a ban on social mixing indoors or in private gardens and closure of pubs and bars that do not serve meals, acts as a ‘baseline’ for the areas – explaining that other measures can be introduced on local levels.
Previously, leader of Manchester Council Sir Richard Leese has said there is no evidence that closing Covid secure establishments would have an impact on the spread of the virus, but that it would pose an ‘existential threat’ to the businesses and workers of the city.
Yesterday, Andy Burnham tweeted: “Disappointing that the Government is piling the pressure on GM in this way without negotiating.
“It risks confusing people coming so soon after the Tier 2 announcement.
“Our view is unchanged: unfunded restrictions are unfair & will cause real damage to lives, jobs & businesses.”
Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne said: “It will be utterly maddening if Government puts Greater Manchester into Tier 3 before we’ve even given Tier 2 a go… and when our local leaders have put a full & comprehensive package of measures they are confident will work to Ministers, and have been ignored. So much for Devo!”
In the briefing on Monday, Boris Johnson confirmed that if necessary, the government would step in and impose tougher local lockdown restrictions without the agreement of local politicians.
Woolworths possibly returning to British highstreet next year
Please be true.
A Twitter account called ‘UKWoolworths’ claims the much-loved chain will be making a comeback to the high street next year.
The account posted on Twitter to explain that three new trial stores will be opened late next year. They wrote: “Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store!
“A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we’re full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ.
“We want to get this right, so we need your help. What do you want at your UK #YourWoolworths?”
They went onto explain that they want fans to tell them exactly what they want from their local Woolies to make sure they get the reopening right.
They added: “Throughout this week, we’ll have announcements and chances to win gift cards for Woolworths and gift cards for other retailers on your high street. Welcome back to Woolworths!”
In response, one person wrote: “Apart from pick ‘n’ mix and the top 40 singles, cheap but good quality homeware like saucepans and picture frames and doormats and pillows. And sewing thread and needles. And shoe polish. And seeds and compost and plant pots. Everything Just what it was before, that’s all.”
Another said “I want pick n mix and lots of gift items”.
Another person added: “It’s got to be kid friendly. Easy access, wide aisles and full of stuff kids love. Comics, books, stationary, pic ‘n’ mix etc. Don’t try and stock a little bit of everything… Decide your market and stick to just that.”
However, not everyone is convinced the news is really true. One person wrote ‘obviously a hoax’ and another said the news is a ‘twisted and cruel PRANK’.
Another wrote ‘it’s a scam’ and a third added ‘it’s fake news’.
Do you hope the news is true or not?!
Scooters are now available in Salford for public use
Let’s hope this goes better than the Mobikes…
Salford City Council and the University of Salford are said to be thrilled to be trialling the new project.
The Department for Transport has opened the doors for cities, including Salford, to trial new schemes for renting e-scooters.
Previously banned in the UK, the introduction of e-scooters is to discourage workers from using their cars in cities.
Lime, the company behind the e-scooter trial, is a US-based company that currently already operates in London, Milton Keynes, Europe and of course the USA.
With great success in other cities, we can’t wait to see the scooters take off in Salford.
Costing £1 to unlock then an additional 15p per minute whilst you’re out and about. Each scooter is also fitted with an alarm which will activate if someone tried to move it without unlocking.
It’s important you remember to obey traffic laws, to ride safely in the bike lane or street and to wear a helmet.
Will you be trialing the new scooters? Let us know!
Manchester United set to deliver 5,000 free meals for local kids over half-term
Manchester United have announced they will be delivering 5,000 free meals to children over half-term.
Food provided by charity FareShare will be processed and packaged into individual meals at Old Trafford by United staff this week.
It will then be shipped out to local Manchester United Foundation partner schools.
The six schools involved include Waterhead Academy, Dean Trust Rose Bridge, The East Manchester Academy, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester Academy, Stretford High School. Other charities will also receive some of the meals as part of the scheme.
It comes as United Striker, Marcus Rashford, campaigned to extend free meal provision until Easter 2021. MP’s voted against the action last week but are now facing a lot of pressure to reverse their decision.
A statement from the club reads: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more families are dealing with food poverty,”
“The impact of the virus has exacerbated an existing problem and, with unemployment rising and the economic crisis biting hard, many are struggling with reduced income.
“As a result, many families and children simply do not have enough food and are going hungry. This initiative does not solve the issue locally, but will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of families across Greater Manchester.”
John Shiels, the chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, added: “We’re incredibly proud and humbled to be working with FareShare over October half-term.
“This initiative will go a long way to ensuring that pupils from our partner schools and families using local food-banks have fresh meals to eat, during what we know is a difficult time for many.
“We’ve seen first-hand how children from socially challenged backgrounds can be even more vulnerable when they’re not in school, it’s therefore imperative to be present in their lives throughout the school holidays, showing that we care and the Foundation is always here to support.”