This weekend marks the fourth anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack, in which 22 innocent people tragically lost their lives.
The victims were killed when a terrorist detonated a bomb after an Ariana Grande concert on May 22nd 2017.
Saturday May 22nd will mark four years since the incident shook our city, and while pandemic-related restrictions do remain in place there will be some limited scope for gathering to pay tribute.
According to the Oldham Chronicle, this year the anniversary will be marked with acts of remembrance at a morning (9am) and late afternoon (4.30pm) prayer service at Manchester Cathedral.
During the services the names of those who lost their lives will be read out, with both events livestreamed on the Manchester Cathedral Facebook page.
The cathedral will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm during the day for private prayer and lighting candles, as people look to pay tribute to those affected by the events of that day.
However, leaving floral or other tributes outside the cathedral and around the city centre is being politely discouraged this year.
The cathedral bells, as well as the bells of those at St Ann’s Church, will be tolled at 10.31pm on the day to mark the exact anniversary of the attack.
While the memorials this year will remain low-key, from next year the main focus point for commemorations will be the new Glade of Light memorial, with work on this expected to be finished by December, ready for next year’s fifth anniversary.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May, 2017 nor the moving way the city came together to express solidarity with all those affected by the attack and a determination not to give in to hatred.
“This year will pay our respects once more, albeit in a necessarily low key fashion, and our thoughts remain especially with the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack.”
Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, added: “Four years may have passed, but we know that for many the pain of what happened on 22 May 2017 has not diminished.
“We will always remember those who were killed, as well as those left with physical and mental injuries.
“Of course, anniversaries have a particular resonance but we don’t just remember them one day every year and it is heartening that good progress is being made on the city’s permanent memorial.”
If you know of any other events to commemorate the anniversary, please share them in the comments.
Our thoughts are with those who tragically lost their lives in the attack, and others who were affected by the events of that day.
Manchester will never forget.
Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th
We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…
Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.
The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.
According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.
As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.
The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.
Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim.
Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.
This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th.
Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.
“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.
“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”
Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers
The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night.
It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.
The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.
It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.
The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.
Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.
The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.
An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.
As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.
Budget supermarket cheaper than Aldi and Lidl ‘to open 300 stores in the UK’
Get your wallets ready, there’s a new bargain supermarket in town…
A new supermarket that could rival the likes of Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Asda is set to open hundreds of UK stores, according to new reports.
Mere was founded as Svetofor in Siberia back in 2009, and has already opened four stores in Preston, Castleford, Mold and Caldicot.
However, according to The Grocer, a platform dedicated to supermarket and grocery news, its plans to expand are now well and truly underway – with a few Greater Manchester locations on the list of planned new stores.
And, to make the arrival of this new supermarket even more interesting, Mere’s head of UK buying, Pavels Antonovs, claims it would be thirty percent cheaper than other UK rivals.
He said: “We are the gap in the market. We don’t have any competitors. Our model is no service and no marketing.”
Existing Mere stores are said to include a walk-in chiller room and freezer, while items are typically sold directly from the pallets they’re delivered on.
The supermarket also apparently buys stock from suppliers on a ‘sale or return basis’, meaning it will return any unsold goods to the seller.
The planned locations which are currently listed are Stretford, Stockport, Devon, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Southampton, south Scotland and Wales.