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Stockport named best place to live in North West by Sunday Times 

Two towns from Greater Manchester made the list

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Gerald England / Geograph & @stockportcouncil & @_makersmarket / Instagram

Stockport took the crown as the best place to live in the North West, according to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2024.

As it prepares to celebrate the end of its triumphant year as Greater Manchester’s Capital of Culture, Stockport town managed to snatch another great title.

And with all the regeneration it has undergone, and continues to undergo, making it a popular choice as a place to live by young families and first-time buyers, the win will come as no surprise.

Stockport has lots to offer from a variety of independent businesses and shops, historical landmarks, great transport links, restaurants, shops, cafes and bars as well as plenty of lush green spaces.

Stockport Council

The Sunday Times judges said: “The town in Greater Manchester is in the throes of a mighty metamorphosis that’s turning it into one of the most exciting towns around. The conversion of the vast Weir Mill into a new neighbourhood is well underway.

“The new Interchange project will link buses and trains around a new park while the historic streets around the Market Hall and the Underbanks are filling up with a joyous collection of funky independent businesses. 

“It’s functional and family-friendly, too, with unbeatable rail connections, parks, sports clubs and good-value houses up and down the property ladder.” 

@stockportcouncil & @_makersmarket / Instagram

Helen Davies, editorial projects director and Best Places to Live editor, says: “This guide is a celebration of towns, cities and villages that are each a fantastic place to live in 2024, from Dunkeld to Knutsford, Falmouth to Leeds. 

“Wherever you are on the property ladder, there will be somewhere to suit you.  

“These are all places where you can feel grounded as well as upwardly mobile: they have a mature sense of community, lively, supportive high streets and an eye to the future, whether that is eco-friendly measures, transport and regeneration, or imaginative inclusion of new housing.” 

Stockport Council

The towns and villages (including two from Greater Manchester) that made The Sunday Times Best Places to Live list for the North West of England are:

Stockport, Greater Manchester 

“Stockport is in the throes of a mighty metamorphosis that’s turning it into one of the most exciting towns around. The conversion of the vast Weir Mill into a new neighbourhood is well underway.

“The new Interchange project will link buses and trains around a new park while the historic streets around the Market Hall and the Underbanks are filling up with a joyous collection of funky independent businesses.

“It’s functional and family-friendly, too, with unbeatable rail connections, parks, sports clubs and good-value houses up and down the property ladder.”

JThomas / Geograph

Christleton, Cheshire

“This best-of-both-worlds village is a premium postcode with two outstanding state schools, three roaringly good pubs, and upmarket homes in a delightfully rural setting. There is also a serious social scene and a busy calendar of community events.”

Kendal, Cumbria

“Kendal is having a resurgence. A disappointing town centre used to make the Gateway to the Lakes a dispiriting contrast to the majesty of the scenery on its doorstep. But a burst of entrepreneurial energy is breathing new life into the ‘auld grey town’, which is now home to all kinds of interesting artisan businesses.

“With the fells and wild swimming spots of the Lake District on one side and fast roads and railways on the other, Kendal is a supremely practical spot for anyone eager to enjoy the great outdoors.”

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia

Knutsford, Cheshire

“Cosy and comfortable Knutsford is in Cheshire’s sweet spot south of Manchester — avoiding both inner-city bustle and a long commute.

“Interlinked high streets, a glitzy social scene and interesting architecture make it an irresistible destination for aspirational families and upwardly mobile young professionals.” 

Prestwich, Greater Manchester

“Prestwich is where you come if you want to enjoy Manchester’s buzz and have an affordable redbrick house with a garden. There’s a lively restaurant scene, a choice of parks and plenty going on, and the tram makes getting to the city centre a doddle.”

Jazz Guy / Flickr

Ribble Valley, Lancashire

“There’s a reason this hearty corner of Lancashire has previously been named both the happiest and the healthiest place in the UK. It has glorious countryside, excellent schools, community-minded locals and a well-deserved gourmet reputation, thanks to its local produce and stellar roster of gastropubs.”

Sefton Park, Liverpool

“Choose one of the leafy streets around one of the loveliest urban parks in the country and you can guarantee that you’re in the best place to enjoy a city that’s definitely going places.

“As well as the park, you’re in pole position to enjoy the food, drink and boho atmosphere of Lark Lane, and the transport connections to both the city centre and the airport are impeccable.”

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Man arrested after mum pushing pram stabbed and killed in broad daylight

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

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West Yorkshire Police

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man wanted for the fatal stabbing of a woman while she was pushing her baby in a pram in Bradford.

Police have arrested a suspect, following the murder of Kulsuma Akter, 27. Akter was stabbed several times in the Westgate area of Bradford city centre on Saturday afternoon. 

The mother was rushed to hospital, where despite the best efforts of medics, she sadly succumbed to her injuries. Her baby was unharmed in the incident.

It has also emerged that suspect, Habibur Masum, was on bail for assaulting and threatening to kill her at the time of the attack.

West Yorkshire Police

Masum was conditionally bailed by Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November, despite prosecutors objecting to his release, it is understood.

Court documents show Masum, whose address was listed as Oldham, Greater Manchester, was charged with assaulting Ms Akter on November 23rd and threatening to kill her on November 24th.

Both incidents are alleged to have happened in Greater Manchester. Police had previously confirmed the couple were known to each other but have not confirmed their relationship. 

Masum attended a hearing on November, 27th 2023, where he pleaded not guilty to both offences and was ordered not to contact Ms Akter, it is understood.

West Yorkshire Police

His bail conditions also prevented him from contacting a second person, or visiting a particular address.

Greater Manchester Police has said it is supporting West Yorkshire Police with the ongoing murder investigation.

Both forces have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog over previous contact with Masum and Ms Akter.

Detective Superintendent Jude Holmes, from GMP Oldham district, said: “We share the shock and concern that our communities feel in the wake of this tragic incident, and our thoughts are with Kulsuma Akter’s family at this truly distressing time.

“Habibur Masum is wanted by West Yorkshire Police on suspicion of murder. Due to his links to Greater Manchester, we have our specialist officers following several lines of enquiry to locate him.

“I urge members of the public to remain vigilant, and if you have any information on his whereabouts, call 999 as a matter of urgency.

“Due to previous police contact with Habibur Masum and Kulsuma Akter, Greater Manchester Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder. A 23-year-old man was also arrested in Cheshire on suspicion of assisting an offender.

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Hunt for murder suspect after mum pushing pram killed in broad daylight

It is not clear whether is Masum is armed as police warn not to approach him

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West Yorkshire Police

Police are searching for a man from Oldham after a mum was stabbed to death in Bradford while pushing her baby in a pram.

Habibur Masum, 25, is wanted over the attack which took place in the Westgate area of Bradford at 3.21pm on Saturday (April 6th).

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken to hospital where she sadly died of her injuries, West Yorkshire Police said.

West Yorkshire Police

The force also confirmed the baby was not harmed in the attack as the public is warned not to approach Masum.

It is understood Masum was known to the victim although police have not confirmed their relationship at this time. A knife was found at the scene but it is unclear if he is armed.

Masum was pictured on CCTV wearing a grey hooded, zip-up coat with three large horizontal lines of grey, white and black on it, grey tracksuit bottoms with a black logo and burgundy trainers. 

West Yorkshire Police

A witness also reported seeing him wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up shortly after the incident on Westgate, at the junction with Drewton Road.

Masum is from Oldham and is believed to have links to Burnley and Chester. He is described as an Asian man, of slim build.

Detective Chief Inspector Stacey Atkinson said: “We have had significant resources following up a number of lines of inquiry to locate Habibur Masum but at this time his whereabouts are unknown.

“I would urge anyone who does see him not to approach him but to call 999 immediately.”

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She said the death of such a young woman in the ‘most awful circumstances’ will ‘understandably cause concern in the local community’.

Detective Chief Inspector Atkinson Added: “I would like to reassure the wider public that we are working tirelessly to investigate this horrendous crime and bring the person responsible to justice.

“To help us with this we are urging anyone who was in the area who may have dashcam footage or seen or heard something, however small it may seem, to please come forward.

“A scene remains in place which includes some road closures and I thank the public for their patience while we conduct our enquiries.”

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Man arrested in murder investigation after human torso found in Salford nature reserve

A man in his 20s is being questioned by police

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@gmpolice / X

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a human torso was found wrapped in plastic in a nature reserve in Salford.

As detectives continue to investigate the discovery of human remains found by a passerby on Thursday, April 4th, a man in his 20s from Salford was taken into custody on Saturday evening for questioning, Greater Manchester Police say.

DNA testing is being carried out to determine the identity of the victim, who is believed to be a male ‘likely to be aged older than 40’ and ‘has only been deceased for a matter of days’, officers say.

@gmpolice / X

GMP says it is conducting a thorough search of the area by utilising local officers and specialist branches including search dogs and assistance from underwater search teams, to help comb the site.

The force says although it has ‘not found anything else that is of interest to the investigation’, ‘work will not stop’ until it is certain the area has been thoroughly searched.

Chief Superintendent Tony Creely, of GMP’s Salford district, said: “The arrest we made yesterday evening is an important step for our investigation, but we must keep an open mind and a big part of this is speaking to anyone who may have crucial information.

“As we continue to work in the area, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their concern and cooperation so far, and we are mindful this is a disturbing incident for the local community, but I can assure you that since we were made aware, we’ve been pursuing every single line of enquiry to help us find out what has happened.

“I cannot stress the importance of people contacting us with information if they know anything at all. You may have information that you don’t feel is of importance, but it could be to us, please pass it on, it could be the key piece of information we need to progress this investigation.”

Anyone who thinks they may have witnessed something suspicious in the Kersal Dale area over the last few days is urged to call GMP on 101 and quoting log number 2695 of April, 4th 2024.

A dedicated portal for anyone to submit images or video footage which could help police can be found HERE.

 

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