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Merseyside gym fined for ignoring Tier 3 rules and refusing to close to save the business

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Police have fined a gym owner who refused to close his business on the first day of Tier 3 restrictions in Merseyside.

A gym based in Wirral is the first to be fined after failing to comply with the tough new Tier 3 restrictions.

Liverpool City Region was placed in Tier 3 earlier this week, which sees the closure of gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos from yesterday, Wednesday October 14th. 

However, owner of Body Tech Fitness in Moreton, Nick Whitcombe defied the new rules, keeping his gym open because there ‘won’t [be a gym] to come back to’ if he didn’t. 

A video of police standing guard among gym members using the equipment has been shared widely on social media. 

Body Tech Fitness is one of two gyms in the Wirral that said they would stay open despite the new rules.

Mr Whitcombe shared a video on Instagram where he said: “We have just received our first £1,000 fine at Body Tech.

“After meeting with the police yesterday, they told us we would get a warning first day, then a second warning, £100 fine, £200 fine and so on.

“They were with us this morning gave us our warning, came back this afternoon. Orders from their top boss to issue a fine straight away.

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WE ARE STAYING OPEN TO OUR MEMBERS Today the UK’s Government has took it upon themselves to close gyms in the North West, despite the overwhelming evidence that gyms are not a major spreaders of COVID. We respected the last lockdown although we financially suffered and only survived because of our amazing members. However they now want us to close, with minimum financial support for 6 months. We get no rent break, bills break both personally and as a business. We are not staying open for financial gain but more for our members mental and physical well-being. Gym’s should be supported in fighting against COVID, obesity, mental health and many other conditions and diseases. So let’s look at the facts and evidence that has lead us to this decision and what the Government should be looking at: UKActive published this study • 22,000,000 (22 million) gym visits resulted in a mere 78 Covid cases • Uk gyms showing just 0.35 cases per 100,000 visits Then we have the latest (unpublished study) since the increase in positive tests https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-54464470 • Gyms are still only showing 1.7% percent of cases, but they want to close us and keep restaurants open which have a higher rate of 9.6% cases, which is still CRAZY LOW so these should also stay open. Mental health – the gym helps so many people with their mental health daily. • Male suicide is now at an all time high – https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3431 Data published by the Office for National Statistics on 1 September showed that in 2019 the suicide rate among men and boys was 16.9 deaths per 100 000, the highest since 2000 and slightly above the 2018 rate of 16.2 per 100 000. The suicide rate among women and girls was 5.3 deaths per 100 000 in 2019, up from 5.0 per 100 000 in 2018 and the highest since 2004. Overall, 5691 suicides (4303 in men and boys) were registered in England and Wales in 2019, giving an age standardised rate of 11 deaths per 100 000 people. A total of 5420 were registered in 2018 (10.5 per 100 000). https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-liverpool-gyms

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“They’ve told us close immediately or face a £1,000 fine. Obviously, we still had quite a lot of members training and I said to the officers, ‘I’m not asking anyone to leave. Even if I am I’m going to let them finish their sessions first.

“So they’ve issued the fine. First one is £1,000, they can come back in three hours issue £2,000, three hours after that £4,000.”

In a previous video where Mr Whitcombe announced his refusal to close the gym, he said: “If we close our facility we won’t have one to come back to. We will not have a gym to come back to.

“There will be no business, there will be no gym, there will be no jobs.”

He explained that gyms are vital for ‘our physical and mental health’, adding: “Keep fighting the good fight. The gyms need to stay open.”

A petition with over 100,000 signatures has raised £28,800 on a Crowdfunding page to ‘save the gyms’ in the North West.

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We are so close to having this turned around, please support us, we can do this. https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-liverpool-gyms • 22,000,000 (22 million) gym visits resulted in a mere 78 Covid cases • Uk gyms showing just 0.35 cases per 100,000 visits Then we have the latest (unpublished study) since the increase in positive tests https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-54464470 • Gyms are still only showing 1.7% percent of cases, but they want to close us and keep restaurants open which have a higher rate of 9.6% cases, which is still CRAZY LOW so these should also stay open. Mental health – the gym helps so many people with their mental health daily. • Male suicide is now at an all time high – https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3431 Data published by the Office for National Statistics on 1 September showed that in 2019 the suicide rate among men and boys was 16.9 deaths per 100 000, the highest since 2000 and slightly above the 2018 rate of 16.2 per 100 000. The suicide rate among women and girls was 5.3 deaths per 100 000 in 2019, up from 5.0 per 100 000 in 2018 and the highest since 2004. Overall, 5691 suicides (4303 in men and boys) were registered in England and Wales in 2019, giving an age standardised rate of 11 deaths per 100 000 people. A total of 5420 were registered in 2018 (10.5 per 100 000). Further supported by this https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/113/10/707/5857612 which discusses suicide, mental health and COVID The Government has ignored all the above facts and evidence and even ignored the calls of the Great Barrington Declaration 7,000 scientists & medics worldwide calling for a new strategy to allow us to live our lives. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-lockdown-measures-restrictions-boris-johnson-great-barrington-b862393.html Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool has also last week, stated he does not agree with the measures the government are enforcing on Merseyside and they did not let him have a say about HIS REGION and that the government are “more interested in what they look like, rather than the evidence”

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Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Mr Whitcombe said that the police were ‘fair and polite’.

He added: “I appreciate that they’re only doing their job and we treated them with equal respect as I’m sure the sergeant will confirm.”

Chief Superintendent Claire Richards said: “We understand that people are frustrated with the current situation and for a number of local businesses, including the fitness and leisure industry, this will be particularly hard.

“It’s not that long ago that gyms reopened their doors after lockdown and they did so after making huge changes to the way they work for the safety and protection of their customers.

“But while this lockdown does present huge challenges, the focus of us all should now be on preventing the spread of the virus and getting us back to normality as safely and as quickly as possible.

“The new restrictions have been brought in to try to achieve that, and if we don’t act decisively and collaboratively, the impact could be harder and last even longer.

“We will therefore continue to encourage members of the public and businesses to adhere to the guidance, explain why they should and – as in this case – use enforcement where there are clear breaches of legislation.”

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Woolworths possibly returning to British highstreet next year

Please be true.

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A Twitter account called ‘UKWoolworths’ claims the much-loved chain will be making a comeback to the high street next year.

The account posted on Twitter to explain that three new trial stores will be opened late next year. They wrote: “Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store!

“A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we’re full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ.

“We want to get this right, so we need your help. What do you want at your UK #YourWoolworths?”

They went onto explain that they want fans to tell them exactly what they want from their local Woolies to make sure they get the reopening right.

They added: “Throughout this week, we’ll have announcements and chances to win gift cards for Woolworths and gift cards for other retailers on your high street. Welcome back to Woolworths!”

In response, one person wrote: “Apart from pick ‘n’ mix and the top 40 singles, cheap but good quality homeware like saucepans and picture frames and doormats and pillows. And sewing thread and needles. And shoe polish. And seeds and compost and plant pots. Everything Just what it was before, that’s all.”

Another said “I want pick n mix and lots of gift items”.

Another person added: “It’s got to be kid friendly. Easy access, wide aisles and full of stuff kids love. Comics, books, stationary, pic ‘n’ mix etc. Don’t try and stock a little bit of everything… Decide your market and stick to just that.”

However, not everyone is convinced the news is really true. One person wrote ‘obviously a hoax’ and another said the news is a ‘twisted and cruel PRANK’.

Another wrote ‘it’s a scam’ and a third added ‘it’s fake news’. 

Do you hope the news is true or not?! 

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Scooters are now available in Salford for public use

Let’s hope this goes better than the Mobikes…

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Salford City Council and the University of Salford are said to be thrilled to be trialling the new project.

The Department for Transport has opened the doors for cities, including Salford, to trial new schemes for renting e-scooters.

Previously banned in the UK, the introduction of e-scooters is to discourage workers from using their cars in cities.

Lime, the company behind the e-scooter trial, is a US-based company that currently already operates in London, Milton Keynes, Europe and of course the USA.

With great success in other cities, we can’t wait to see the scooters take off in Salford.

Costing £1 to unlock then an additional 15p per minute whilst you’re out and about. Each scooter is also fitted with an alarm which will activate if someone tried to move it without unlocking.

It’s important you remember to obey traffic laws, to ride safely in the bike lane or street and to wear a helmet.

Will you be trialing the new scooters? Let us know! 

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Manchester United set to deliver 5,000 free meals for local kids over half-term

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Manchester United have announced they will be delivering 5,000 free meals to children over half-term.

Food provided by charity FareShare will be processed and packaged into individual meals at Old Trafford by United staff this week.

It will then be shipped out to local Manchester United Foundation partner schools. 

The six schools involved include Waterhead Academy, Dean Trust Rose Bridge, The East Manchester Academy, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester Academy, Stretford High School. Other charities will also receive some of the meals as part of the scheme.

It comes as United Striker, Marcus Rashford, campaigned to extend free meal provision until Easter 2021. MP’s voted against the action last week but are now facing a lot of pressure to reverse their decision. 

A statement from the club reads: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more families are dealing with food poverty,”

“The impact of the virus has exacerbated an existing problem and, with unemployment rising and the economic crisis biting hard, many are struggling with reduced income.

“As a result, many families and children simply do not have enough food and are going hungry. This initiative does not solve the issue locally, but will make a significant difference to the lives of hundreds of families across Greater Manchester.”

John Shiels, the chief executive of the Manchester United Foundation, added: “We’re incredibly proud and humbled to be working with FareShare over October half-term.

“This initiative will go a long way to ensuring that pupils from our partner schools and families using local food-banks have fresh meals to eat, during what we know is a difficult time for many.

“We’ve seen first-hand how children from socially challenged backgrounds can be even more vulnerable when they’re not in school, it’s therefore imperative to be present in their lives throughout the school holidays, showing that we care and the Foundation is always here to support.”

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