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Greater Manchester given midday deadline for Tier 3 decision

JUST IN.

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BBCPolitics/Twitter & Number10/Flickr

Andy Burnham and other local leaders have been given until midday today to reach an agreement. 

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said ten days of discussions of moving Greater Manchester to Tier 3 have not resulted in an agreement. Jenrick warned that the prime minister would have to intervene if no deal is made by the deadline.

Andy Burnham and other local leaders are demanding further economic support for those businesses that would be affected by the new tighter restrictions in Tier 3. 

Last week, Burnham explained that there is a £62m gap per month between what the government was offering and what they thought was necessary. 

Burnham said he was meeting with council leaders this morning to come up with a ‘fair funding framework’ to help compensate the regions poorest workers, many of whom will suffer under the Tier 3 restrictions. 

He said: “This is about people who work in pubs, people who work in bookies, people who drive taxis, generally the people who Westminster politicians ignore,”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Burnham said: “A late-night ultimatum briefed to the media was a slightly provocative move, but I’m not coming on to rise to that. I’m going to try to be positive and respond and find a way forward.”

Jenrick’s ultimatum said: “We have offered an extensive package of support for local people and businesses, proportionate to the approach we have taken in the Liverpool city region and Lancashire and in addition to the wider national support.”

However, Burnham insisted: “We’ve never been given a figure for that additional support. So what I will be proposing to the Greater Manchester leaders, when we meet this morning, quite early, is that we write to the government with what we think a fair figure is, given we have been under restrictions for three months and that has taken a real toll on people and businesses here.

“The second thing we would need is full flexibility to support the people who we think are going to need to be supported under a tier 3 lockdown.”

Burnham recognised that London asked for support for businesses and workers hit by Tier 2 last week and added: “I don’t disagree with them and I support them in that call. But I hope people will support us in recognising the position that we are in and all along this has been about standing up for people and businesses which otherwise are going to be seriously harmed by a lockdown which at this point in time is not fully funded.

“And it’s really important to stress that this unites everybody in Greater Manchester. This isn’t posturing. It commands the support of our MPs and all of our council leaders.”

One of Greater Manchester’s nine Conservative MP’s (Bury South), said while he was not insistent on 80% furlough wage like Burnham there should be a ‘minimum floor’.

He added: “If it’s not 80%, it’s no lower than a set amount, whether that’s minimum wage or something else, so that we are not forcing people into destitution.

“I appreciate the knock-on effect that has because you couldn’t just introduce that for Greater Manchester, but I do think that’s an area that has unity between Conservatives and Labour. I don’t want to be a member of parliament who pushes someone into destitution so they can’t put food on the table just before Christmas.”

“There needs to be that minimum floor, the threshold beneath which you know you are not going to go, especially as we are approaching winter months. It’s one thing saying 80% during the summer but when a lot more money is going on heating your home we really do need to focus on that.”

Burnham said he made no apology for fighting for a ‘fair financial framework’ that would benefit Greater Manchester’s 2.8m residents, and the rest of England.

“We are standing up not just for ourselves but everywhere. Because there is a very good chance that every part of England will find themselves in tier 3 over the coming winter,” he said.

Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese told BBC2 Newsnight: “I am hoping that tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we will be able to sit down again with ministers and come to an agreement which will serve the best interests of the people of Manchester,”

“Clearly if Government imposes Tier 3 – and I hope that won’t happen – we will clearly need to comply with that.”

On Sky News this morning, Andy Burnham said ‘this is not about politics’, adding: “I’m coming along today to say I still want to work to try and get a resolution, but I just hope your viewers will understand that this is not about politics.

“I have the support of Conservative MPs here for what I am saying – it is not posturing.”

“I do worry that if the Government is going to go down this route of imposing these punishing lockdowns on local areas, I think it will lose the public support that it will need to try and help us all as a country rise to the fight against this pandemic this winter.”

Burnham further explained that he wanted to ensure the lowest-paid people in the region would be supported if Tier 3 restrictions are put in. He said, ‘these are the people that Westminster politicians traditionally ignore’ 

Adding: “We are not going to do that here. If you’re going to impose a lockdown here, it’s going to cause certain harm … to all of the people that I’ve mentioned.

“That is why we have stood firm, because we don’t believe we can consign our residents to hardship in that way.”

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Manchester’s derelict arches set to be transformed into food, drink and retail destination

The plans will transform the empty site into a trendy new hangout for tenants and working professionals

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Google Maps & The Arch Company

Several derelict railway arches in a forgotten corner of Manchester are set to become a new food, drink, leisure and retail destination.

The council have granted planning permission to revamp the 10 arches, located on Corporation Street in Red Bank, with the project to be undertaken by The Arch Company – which has also secured permission from Salford Council to transform a further 10 arches, located on Norton Street in the Green Quarter.

The vision is to turn the area, near Angel Meadow, into a street of arches that appeal to potential residents looking to move to a trendy area, with plenty to do, in the city.

Pick Everard

The company has pitched the development as a plan to transform the arches into a new destination ‘for food and drink, leisure and retail businesses to occupy’, while respecting and maintaining the city’s industrial history.

Santosh Patel, from Pick Everard – the construction consultants brought into the project – said: “Manchester is famously proud of its industrial heritage, and this project not only maintains and celebrates that history, but rejuvenates it in an exciting and innovative way to bring added social value to the city’s modern landscape and its residents.

“Seeing this project to completion will bring a new offering to Manchester, further regenerating its town centre in a way that makes sense within its larger community.”

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The new spaces present a great opportunity for independent retail, restaurant, and other leisure businesses to develop in an area that will grow and thrive with them,” he added.

However, breathing new life into deteriorating Victorian railway arches will not be without its challenges as Alan Soper, studio director at SGP, highlighted that one issue on Corporation Street was ‘substantial level differences from the front to the rear of many of the units’.

He added that ‘clever design’ was needed for requirements like fire escapes — because the arches back on to the River Irk, so an exit route can only go through the front. 

Mr Soper said: “By any standards, arches are not a ‘normal’ building type and each can differ considerably in height, depth and shape, realising the potential of these previously overlooked spaces takes experience and good technical know-how if we are to refurbish them to modern occupancy standards.”

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“Our previous experience with old, historic or listed properties, and the ability to work within the existing building fabric, has proved invaluable in realising some of these schemes, as, too, has our technical knowledge of building regulations, particularly in relation to ventilation and fire security,” he added.

Both the Manchester and Salford arches developments form part of Project 1000, The Arch Company’s £200m plan to bring 1,000 empty or derelict spaces into use across England and Wales by 2030.

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Urgent appeal to find missing teenager from Stretford

Have you seen Leon?

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Greater Manchester Police

Concerns grow as police make an urgent appeal to find a missing teenage boy from Trafford.

Leon, 17, was last seen on Gorse Street in Stretford at 8.30pm on Saturday, February 24th.

He is described as being 5 ft 7 ins tall, with brown hair and glasses.

Greater Manchester Police

Leon was last seen wearing a black and green jacket, red hoodie, grey jogging bottoms and black trainers. 

Greater Manchester Police officers are becoming increasingly concerned about Leon and want to make sure that he is safe and well.

Anyone with information about Leon’s whereabouts should contact police on 101 quoting log 1654 of 25/02/24.

 

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Man, 27, killed after Audi crashes into wall as police appeal for information

A 27-year-old man has been arrested

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Police are appealing for information after a man was killed when a car smashed into a wall in Stockport. 

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the tragic incident.

An Audi S3 was travelling North East along Broadstone Road on Saturday night when it collided with the Houldsworth Mill external perimeter wall, opposite the Grey Horse Public House, police said.

The man, a 27-year-old passenger, sadly died in the collision which happened at around 6pm on Saturday, February 24th.

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Emergency services rushed to attend the scene of the incident but the passenger sadly passed away. The man’s next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

The driver of the vehicle, a 27-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody while enquiries continue.

Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) are now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to make a report.

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They are also keen to speak to anyone who may have any footage – including dashcam, CCTV, or mobile phone footage – from the area in the moments leading up to the collision.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 4741, quoting log number 2429 of 25/02/24.

Information can also be shared using GMP’s ‘tell us about’ tool or LiveChat function on the force’s website: www.gmp.police.uk.

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