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Leading scientific advisor warns of another national lockdown as ‘it’s the only thing that works’ in fighting coronavirus

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Lockdown measures could be tightened further within ‘two weeks’ if the ‘rule of six’ doesn’t work.

Earlier reports have speculated that the government is considering a national 10pm curfew, with pubs forced to shut early, but now a leading scientific advisor has warned that ‘lockdown is the only thing that we know works’, when speaking on ITV. 

They added: “I think that if we want to keep schools open, we probably have to give serious consideration to a wide range of other measures to stop a major second wave.

“And we have to think about doing that right now – which we are starting to do.”

A member of SAGE (the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) also added: “My big worry now is that we might be too late again to avert a major second wave.

“If we wait for deaths to go up again before taking decisive action we will be in trouble again.”

A member of the government has also said that ‘there is no possibility of us waiting for the death rate to rise before we act’, according to Metro

Government sources have said that further measures are still being considered if the new ‘rule of six’ fails to reduce the coronavirus rate. 

Curfew rules could be similar to those already in place in Bolton, which sees bars and other venues close between 10pm and 5am.

Restaurants in the borough are also only permitted to sell takeaways, as the Greater Manchester borough became the area with the highest infection rate in England. 

Furthermore, those in Bolton cannot socialise with anyone outside of their household. 

The Mirror has reported that ex-WHO expert Anthony Costello tweeted ‘Chris Whitty is advising PM for a two week national lockdown’. 

Professor Whitty has not responded to the claims but Costello later tweeted: “I’ve been told by another insider I respect that Chris Whitty does not support a 2 week lockdown, so I’m pleased to correct the record.”

Health Minster Edawrd Argar also insisted: “It is not something I have heard from Chris or that I have seen in my capacity from Chris.”

The government are reportedly sticking to plans to put restrictions in local areas, as a second lockdown would be ‘disastrous for the UK economy’.

MPs at the Commons Liaison Committee asked the PM if the country could afford a second lockdown. Johnson replied: “I don’t want a second national lockdown – I think it would be completely wrong for this country and we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.”

He added: “And can we afford it? I very much doubt that the financial consequences would be anything but disastrous, but we have to make sure that we defeat the disease by the means that we have set out.

“So when I see people arguing against the rule of six or saying that the Government is coming in too hard on individual liberties and so on – I totally understand that and I sympathise with that, but we must, must defeat this disease.”

Speaking to Sky News, Health Minister Edward Argar further dampened Mr Costello’s claims of a lockdown. He said: “It is not something I have seen within the department.

“The Prime Minister has been very clear on this. He doesn’t want to see another national lockdown. He wants to see people abiding by the regulations and making the local lockdowns work.”

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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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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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