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Manchester park announces major change for visitors next month

‘We’re a city of firsts, so I know that together Mancunians can and will deliver this ambition’

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Peter McDermott / Geograph & lil artsy / Pexels

A Manchester park  has announced it will be making a major change for its visitors from next month.

Manchester’s newest park, Mayfield, will ‘ban’ smoking cigarettes, cigars and vaping from a date next month.

The move — announced on World No Tobacco Day (May 31st) — is an effort to protect residents from the harmful effects on health caused by smoking.

From June 26th, Mayfield — which opened last September — will become a smoke-free zone, making the six-and-a-half acre park the most notable open garden in the city centre to ban people from lighting-up.

Peter McDermott / Geograph

The new rules will also help protect the burgeoning wildlife that have begun to call the area home after it was transformed into a green oasis from former industrial wasteland, sandwiched between Mancunian Way and a railway line.

Park users who smoke will be asked to extinguish their cigarettes or cigars, and if they refuse to do so, will be asked to leave. 

However, no fines will be issued for people who don’t abide by the new rules, as the change is not a law that can be enforced by public officials.

This is partly because Mayfield is not a council park, but instead a space the public can use, which has been built by joint public-sector and private business partnership. 

@MayfieldMCR / Twitter

As reported in The Manchester Evening News, staff who work on site will have a ‘friendly chat’ with smokers to ask them to ‘put it out’.

The decision has been brought in for the benefit of everyone using the park, and to protect the wildlife in the area, according to Laura Percy, Development Director, for LandsecU+I, which is leading the regeneration of Mayfield on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership.

“The park offers a beautiful space in the heart of the city for people to enjoy with many benefits to their health and wellbeing,” she said.

Becoming a smoke-free park is a natural step that will only create a more enjoyable experience for many of our visitors and staff, as well as protect the park’s wildlife, waterways, and biodiversity.

lil artsy / Pexels

We will be working closely with Manchester City Council and NHS Greater Manchester to encourage and support people to refrain from smoking within the park when we go smoke-free next month.”

NHS chiefs have commended the decision, describing tobacco as one of the major drivers of Manchester’s dire health inequality problem. 

Sarah Price, from NHS Greater Manchester, added: “As one of the greatest drivers of health inequalities, Greater Manchester has made enormous progress over the past few years to tackle tobacco harm and the impact of smoking across our most disadvantaged communities.

“As part of our commitment to achieving a smoke-free Greater Manchester by 2030, we continue to advocate for healthier, smoke-free environments, and welcome Mayfield Park as the most recent example of a cleaner, greener, healthier city region.”

TBEC Review / Wikimedia

Councillor Thomas Robinson, Executive Member for Health and Social Care, believes the move will also improve the health of other creatures nearby. “We hope that this is the first of many smoke-free public spaces for people to enjoy in the city,” he said.

“We’re a city of firsts, so I know that together Mancunians can and will deliver this ambition – because we know it’s the right thing to do. 

“Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable disease in Manchester and cigarette litter causes significant damage to the environment, so it is brilliant news that visitors will be able to enjoy this wonderful, outdoor green space in a smoke-free setting.”

The park is just one element of a wave of development set to come to the area, with plans announced last November for a £400 million project to build two office buildings with 320,000 sq ft and a 581-space multi-storey car park, and further works expected.


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

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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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