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Greater Manchester gym refuses to close as owner says it’s essential business

Is this the right thing to do?

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Jayne Deakin Personal Training/Facebook

Fitness For Life on Manchester Road in Bury says it will be staying open during the second national lockdown, despite the new restrictions. 

Jayne Deakin, 51, who has worked in the fitness industry for more than two decades believes her business should be classed as essential and therefore able to remain open. 

Speaking to the Bury Times, she said: “The only reason I’m doing this is for my members.

“I’m frightened to death, I’m not daft and I know there’s a virus so I’m really worried, but these are the people I get out of bed every day for.

“There’s no logic in shutting a gym – not when I’ve spent thousands of pounds making it covid safe.

“They’re not giving a valid enough reason – how can garden centres, and click and collect alcohol from pubs be essential, but gyms that keep people physically and mentally fit and healthy, and able to fight the virus aren’t?”

Fitness For Life has now been reopen for 110 days and has had no cases linked to the site.

Latest NHS Test and Trace figures (week 43) show that of the 107,046 cases reported in that week, 33,233 had common exposure with another.

From this, the data has calculated 10,036 common locations or settings including restaurants, schools, supermarkets and gyms that were reported.

Public Health England

This data shows that gyms accounted for 2.8% of all common locations reported (based on shared postcode). 

This puts gyms behind secondary schools, which takes up 6.8% of all the common locations and supermarkets (11.2%).

The data explains that locations with more visitors are more likely to be identified as common exposures and that no adjustments have been made for how often a common location is visited.

This means that while the data shows that 930 people (2.8%) had visited the gym it doesn’t explain that they caught coronavirus at the gym. 

Mrs Deakin added: “These people need that reason to get out of bed in the morning – I’ve got full classes booked all day tomorrow.

“The only people who aren’t coming are people either in the police or married to police officers, or those in the NHS who can’t come because of their jobs.

“For everyone else it’s a lifeline – I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, if I’ve made the right decision, but I know in my heart I’ve got to do what I believe in.

“It’s not about money, I could shut that door, put my computer on, and teach through Zoom, but it’s not about that.

“It’s been a difficult eight months and now it’s dark, it’s wet, it’s that time of year when depression and anxiety is harder, my members need me.

“It feels so empty, you’ve not got that interaction you just do the class and then you go, there’s just a feeling of loneliness.

“For some of my members I’m the only thing they see in a day, I can’t take that away from them. As long as my members want to come I will try and be there.”

Danielle Cerullo/Unsplash

She added that she’s worried about being fined for staying open. Currently, the fines begin at £1,000 for businesses found to be breaking the coronavirus restrictions and double until the fourth offence, when it reaches £10,000.

She added: “I’m 51 years old and I’ve never been in trouble with the police so I’m absolutely terrified.

“I’m scared I’m going to get fined, I can’t pay fines but I’ll find a way to make it work – what else am I going to do, shut my doors?

“I’m not blindly following the rules without reason.

“There’s been a lot of backlash, people telling me I deserve to be fined because I’m breaking the rules but I’m not – I’m making a stand for what I believe in.”



Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

Fancy a career change?

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Stagecoach Manchester is hiring over 100 new bus drivers to work from its Oldham depot, following the second phase of the Bee Network launch in March.

You can apply for a range of roles, from positions with no experience required to fully qualified bus drivers.

Successful applicants will receive full training as part of the job, and trainees will get paid to train. Then after only 12 months’ service at Stagecoach, drivers can expect to earn up to £16 per hour, which equates to £31.6K per year, before overtime.

As well as that, drivers that already hold a PCV licence may be eligible to receive a £1,200 joining bonus.


There’s also a host of other benefits available to all Stagecoach employees, like 28 days paid holiday, generous pension and free Stagecoach bus travel for successful applicants and a companion.

Rob Jones, Managing Director at Stagecoach Manchester said: “Expanding our offering in Oldham means we’ll be investing more in the economy and supporting our local community, as well as strengthening our workforce.

“Whether you’re looking for a career change or you’re a fully qualified, experienced bus driver, there’s a role for everyone here in Oldham.

“We’re looking for personable and dedicated drivers who are ready to help us build on the success of the Bee Network and connect the people of Oldham and Greater Manchester with the places and people that are important to them.”


Phil Cornwall, bus driver at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “I’ve been a driver at Stagecoach for 25 years and I couldn’t recommend it more.

“From the perks to the people to the passengers, it really is a great place to work.”

To apply, head to the Stagecoach website HERE.

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Two men charged with murder after torso discovered in Salford nature reserve


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Greater Manchester Police

Two men have now been charged with murder, following the discovery of a human torso in Kersal Dale.

As well as that, more suspected human remains were also discovered this morning, Monday April 29th, in an alleyway close to the railway lines off Worsley Road, Eccles.

This follows earlier discoveries of human remains over the past three weeks, at Kersal Dale, Blackleach Reservoir and Colliery Wood, all in Salford.

Greater Manchester Police

Michal Jaroslaw Polchowski (25/04/1956) and Marcin Majerkiewicz (10/04/1982) both of Worsley Road, Eccles, have been charged with murder.

They are set to appear at Tameside Magistrates Court this afternoon.

While formal identification is still ongoing, the remains found at Kersal Dale are believed to be of a local man in his 60s. The remains found at the other three locations are still to be tested, but police are confident they belong to the same victim.

ACC Sarah Jackson said: “We have had large numbers of officers, staff and specialists working diligently on this investigation over the last three weeks. It has been very much a large, collective effort, with the victim and family at the heart of it from the outset.

“We have specially trained officers deployed to support the family as they come to terms with this tragic news. They are aware of this morning’s further discovery and will continue to be kept up to date with how we are progressing.

“Despite the charges brought today, our work is far from over.

“The scenes we already have established in Bury and Salford will remain in place for much of this week whilst our searches and enquiries continue. Local officers will continue to patrol the impacted areas to provide reassurance.

“We will continue following every line of enquiry to recover and reunite the victim with his family, bringing a dignified end to this terrible scenario.

“I’d like to thank the communities of Salford and beyond for their cooperation throughout this investigation. I know this incident has come as a shock, and the support we’ve had from those in the area is very much appreciated.”

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More human remains discovered in Greater Manchester as police identify victim

All the latest updates

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N Chadwick / Geograph

Detectives investigating the discovery of a torso in Kersal Dale have found more human remains around Greater Manchester.

GMP released a statement on the weekend, revealing they had opened four scenes for extensive searches – one of them at a warehouse in Bury, and three in Salford.

Searches took place at Blackleach reservoir, where human remains were found, and a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood.

Officers believe they have now identified the man, who they believe to be a man in his 60s that lived in Salford, and his family have been informed.

Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with the murder probe, with officers saying they are thought to have lived with the victim.

Greater Manchester Police / Facebook

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, Senior Investigating Officer for this investigation, said in a statement at Blackleach reservoir yesterday, Sunday April 28th: “We have continued to make significant progress in our investigation into human remains being found in Kersal earlier this month.

“From day one, our priority has been to identify the man and his family so that we can give them the support and the answers that they need.

“Thanks to meticulous forensic work, we are now confident we have identified the man. Formal identification hasn’t yet taken place, but we believe he is a man in his 60s and lived in Salford.

“Specially-trained family liaison officers have met with his family this afternoon to give them the devastating news, and we will do all that we can to support them at this awful time.

“We believe he is known to the two suspects we have in custody. They have remained in custody for questioning over the weekend, as we work to establish how the victim met this tragic outcome.”

He continued: “We have painstakingly worked to follow up every line of inquiry in this investigation. Over the last couple of days, we have acted on information and had four scenes in place for extensive searches – one of them is at a warehouse in Bury, and three of them are in Salford, including here at Blackleach reservoir.

“Today, we have found some human remains at the reservoir here, and last night a dog walker found a package containing human remains at Colliery Wood. Forensic tests will continue to establish whose remains these are, but we are very confident that this is also the victim in our investigation.

“We have also been searching a house in Winton where we believe the victim and the two suspects lived. We have found evidence that the victim is likely to have died there – most likely in late March.

“While this is significant progress, we know there is still some way to go to complete this investigation. I also recognise details of this case will have been distressing for the people of Salford and beyond – including the officers that are diligently working on this investigation, and most importantly the man’s heartbroken family.

“Local officers will continue to patrol the affected areas, and we will provide updates when we have more information.”

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