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Thousands call on government to ‘close Blackpool’ as coronavirus cases in the area rise

Should Blackpool close?

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David Dixon / Geograph

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the government to ‘close Blackpool and protect the locals’. 

The petition comes after a hot weekend, which saw the resort’s beaches and parks packed with families enjoying the sun in one of Britain’s most infectious towns.

The medical director of Victoria Hospital has said the number of coronavirus-related admissions continues to rise at the Blackpool hospital.

The surges in the town follow the lockdown easing measures put in place by the Government, which see groups of six people being allowed to meet outside and go on day trips from today. 

The petition, launched by Brian Pery, has already received 4,773 petitions this morning. It states: “Blackpool has been invaded by people leaving our town filthy, not taking notice of spacing, [and] urinating in the streets.

“It only takes one to pass [the] virus to two more, then it escalates. Please consider, for the sake of our residents and future economy, to stop the so-called responsible people from not sticking to rules and close our town [to] them for at least four weeks to allow [the] virus here to stabilise.

“I ask [the] Government to seriously consider this ASAP.”

Official figures showed last week that Blackpool has one of the highest rates of infection in the country, with 445.8 people out of every 100,000 being diagnosed with the virus.

The national figure stands at 269.6. 

Victoria Hospital has had 185 confirmed and verified COVID-19 related deaths, plus many more at local care homes.  

A medic from the hospital, Dr Radhakrishna Shanbhag, who is also a British Medical Association North West council member, said: “Not only does this mean we’re suffering from a disproportionate amount of serious cases and deaths, but also that, as a consequence, gradual lockdown measures may be affected – prolonging the hurt caused to our local economy.”

Dr Jim Gardner, the hospital’s medical director, has said: “Looking at our numbers, what we are seeing is that, across the whole of the Fylde coast, we have had 1,117 positive diagnoses of COVID. And in our internal data – in our trust data – we are showing now 144 positive COVID patients.

“That is a higher number than last week so this is an important theme for us.”

Visit Blackpool, the tourism team for the town, rebranded as Don’t Visit Blackpool as the lockdown got underway. Due to the lockdown restrictions, it has now changed to ‘Visit Blackpool Safely’.

Many people visited the town over the weekend and left Blackpool beaches covered in litter, in response the tourism board tweeted: “If you plan to venture to the coast or any open spaces today, please don’t leave any litter behind, if a bin is full take your litter home, leave only footprints.”

The UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, told people to limit themselves to what is ‘sensible’ rather than what is ‘possible’ now that lockdown restrictions have been eased further.

She said now is a critical time and urged people to not contribute to a resurgence of the virus. 

She said: “I think it’s really important that people just try to use these measures sensibly for their own benefit, but don’t risk transmission to other people.”

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Mount Snowdon has officially changed its name following a petition

The petition got 5,000 signatures

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Raintheone / Wikimedia & George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

Mount Snowdon has officially had a name change, following a petition which garnered 5,000 signatures.

A county councillor from Gwynedd brought forward a motion which encouraged the local authority to drop the English name of both Snowdon and Snowdonia, leading to the petition.

Councillor John Pughe Roberts said the reason for implementing the motion was ‘all down to respect’ for both Wales and the Welsh language.

Caff55 / PxHere

The petition urged the National Park to formally use the Welsh names Eryri for Snowdonia and Yr Wyddfa for Snowdon.

And now, the Snowdonia National Park Authority will use both Welsh names, rather than the English versions.

Officials at the National Park voted in favour of the move earlier this month, saying it was ‘a mark of respect for our cultural heritage’.

Naomi Jones, head of cultural heritage at the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: ”Many public bodies across Wales have moved to use both the Welsh and English names, or the Welsh name only, when referring to Yr Wyddfa and Eryri, as have many of the mainstream English-language press and filming companies.

“This is very encouraging, and gives us confidence that this change in the Authority’s approach will be accepted for the benefit of the Welsh language and as a mark of respect to our cultural heritage.

“We have historic names in both languages, but we are eager to consider the message we wish to convey about place names, and the role they have to play in our current cultural heritage by promoting the Welsh language as one of the National Park’s special qualities.

“By referring to our most renowned landmarks by their Welsh names we give people from all over the world the opportunity to engage with the Welsh language and its rich culture.”

Raintheone / Wikimedia

However, the National Park will still legally have to use both the Welsh and English names in any official documentation.

Snowdon is one of the most well-known landmarks in the UK, and stands at 3,560ft – making it the highest mountain in Wales.

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Man arrested following three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

A 33-year-old was arrested.

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have arrested a man following their release of CCTV footage featuring a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle reportedly attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man ‘possibly’ tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

Now police have confirmed that a 33-year-old man was arrested by officers today, Monday November 28th, on suspicion of three counts of attempted kidnap.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Officers identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield, of GMP’s Salford CID, said: “Although we have made this arrest, we are still very much looking to speak to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage, which could help us to establish the circumstances.

“We understand that the local community will be concerned but we are doing all we can to solve this investigation.

“I’d urge anyone who knows anything at all to please get in touch as soon as possible. In particular we are interested in the movements of a Black Vauxhall Astra 08 plate with a silver driver’s wing mirror cover; the passenger side is black.”

Police are still keen to speak to anyone with dashcam footage from the following times:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm
  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am
  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

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Police believe this car was used in three attempted kidnappings of schoolgirls

Do you recognise the vehicle?

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Greater Manchester Police

Police have released CCTV footage of a car they believe was used in three attempted kidnappings around Salford.

A man driving the vehicle attempted to force a 15-year-old girl into the car at a bus stop in Monton on November 21st.

Detectives also think the same man tried to abduct another girl earlier that same day, as well as a third teenager five days previous.

According to Greater Manchester Police, the victims have been left ‘extremely shaken up’.

Detective Inspector Chris Horsfield said: “It’s very important that we get this man identified and off the streets as soon as possible.”

Police have identified the vehicle in the footage as a black Vauxhall Astra with a silver cover on the driver’s side wing mirror.

Greater Manchester Police

Anyone with dashcam footage from the following times, officers are keen to speak to you:

  • Liverpool Street, Salford, between Fitzwarren Street and Albion Way on November 16th, between 7:45-8:20pm

  • Mossfield Road and Ackworth Road, Swinton, on November 21st, between 8-9am

  • Rocky Lane, Monton Green and Monton High Street on November 21st, between 6-7pm

 

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