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Sacha Lord calls for all pubs to reopen and 10pm curfew to be scrapped after lockdown

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@Sacha_Lord / Twitter

Sacha Lord has called on Matt Hancock to scrap the 10pm curfew and allow all pubs to reopen once the national lockdown is over.

The night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester described it as ‘an attack on our class culture’ to only allow pubs that serve food to open in Tier 3.

Mr Lord explains that it deprives lower-paid people disproportionately, taking away their opportunities to go out.

This appeal comes after Mr Lord launched a legal challenge against the decision to close pubs and introduce a 10pm curfew, questioning the science behind these decisions.

He took to Twitter to post a video message directed to Matt Hancock, ‘on behalf of pubs, restaurants and bars across the whole of the UK’.

Mr Lord said: “We’ve done everything you’ve asked of us since March. And the government has done some great things, for example furlough, help with VAT and – for some – help with business rates relief.

“But as you know we’ve seen many mass closures and huge redundancies.”

He continued: “We all now know [the curfew] does more harm than good in both spreading the virus and damage to businesses and jobs.

“I’ve put a team together of world-leading, large-scale events experts who specifically deal with egress, and they’re prepared to drop everything over the next two weeks and work with your team to show you how to safely allow people to flow – because pushing everybody out at the same time is not the right answer.”

On top of that, Mr Lord is also calling for the reopening of ‘wet-led’ pubs, I.E pubs that don’t sell food – which were forced to close in Tier 3 areas like Greater Manchester.

It’s expected England will revert back to the local tier system once the national lockdown finishes on December 2nd, and if our region goes back into Tier 3 only pubs that serve food will be able to open again.

Mr Lord said: “They are the local community pubs who, during lockdown, borrowed money from friends and family to pay for the new measures that you asked for.

“The majority of these pubs are in our most deprived areas.

“Tier 3 doesn’t affect some people – they can go for dinner, they can have a few drinks. So why is it right that they can experience social activity and enjoy themselves whilst those that are the most lowest paid and live in the most deprived areas just can’t? It’s not fair.

“Mr Hancock, this is an attack on our class culture.”

He finished by saying: “This is not about politics. This is about working together. This is about creating safe environments and saving what is left of our sector.

“Myself and my team are now offering you the help. Let’s lift the 10pm curfew. Let’s allow the lowest paid the same freedoms as everybody else. Thank you.”

 

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Police seize over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in Cheetham Hill raids

GMP are stamping down on ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’

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GMP

Police have seized over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in a series of Cheetham Hill raids conducted as part of their ‘crackdown’ on counterfeit fraud.

According to a statement issued by Greater Manchester Police last night, Officers from City of London, North West Regional and Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Border Force, Immigration and local officers yesterday executed their tenth raid on Lockett Street and Bury New Road.

There, £1million’s worth of goods including clothing, accessories, bags, perfume and jewellery were found and seized. This added to the other £2m worth of goods found across the last week. 

Six men, all aged between thirty-six and sixty-one, have all been arrested and released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to the force.

The raids come as part of GMP’s Operation’s ‘Magpie’ and ‘Cranium’, which aims to tackle ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and tackle ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’.

Inspector William Jennings-Wharton from the Cheetham Neighbourhood team said in a statement: “This is all part of our continued work to tackle organised crime taking place in Cheetham Hill and I want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and this week’s action is all part of our continued crackdown.

“Counterfeit goods and drug dealing will not be tolerated and all of these raids are a huge step in really driving a wedge in organised crime in the area.

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“Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime – though these desired items may look good and are cheap, they are funding a wider picture that involves money laundering, organised crime and cheap labour.

“The profits from such businesses can be used to fund other serious crime, and often with that comes violence which can have a devastating ripple effect on communities and nearby legitimate businesses.”

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council added: “Counterfeit crime runs far deeper than just the sale of knock-off coats and handbags [as] there are deep links to other criminal enterprises and the sale of fake goods only puts money in the hands of criminals. 

“We remain committed to tackling this practice at the source and will continue to work with our partners in the police to secure prosecution against perpetrators… And get fake goods off our streets.”

Anyone with information has been encouraged to report it online or by using the LiveChat facility at www.gmp.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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This is why some supermarkets are refusing to enforce the new face mask rules

Supermarket bosses have spoken out

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Mika Baumeister / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

A number of supermarkets have addressed the reason they won’t be enforcing the new face mask rules that are now mandatory across the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of face masks and self-isolation over the weekend in a bid to tackle the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

However, despite the mandate being backed by the government, a number of supermarket bosses announced that they would not be enforcing masks upon their customers.

Adcro / Wikimedia Commons

Iceland was the first supermarket to announce its stance on the matter, with the chain’s managing director Richard Walker saying he wouldn’t be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the ‘long-term recovery of the high street.’

Walker told The Daily Mail: “We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won’t be asking our store colleagues to police it.

“Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it’s crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.”

Supermarket giant Co-op has also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.

The British Retail Consortium has said it’s down to the police to enforce the measure, saying, as per The Sun: “Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff.”

Since then, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have all echoed this stance, with each saying they have no plans to challenge customers over the wearing of a face covering in store.

Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

Alternatively, Asda and Morrisons have announced that they will be regularly enforcing the use of face masks while also handing out free masks to those who don’t have them, while Sainsbury’s said it will have ‘greeters and security guards at the front of our supermarkets’ to remind people to wear masks. 

A statement from the Government on the rule change read: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

All hospitality is exempt from the rule change. 

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Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January

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The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order. 

Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.

Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”

The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.

This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. 

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.

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