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Tory councillor says lots of NHS staff are ‘carrying a lot of weight’

‘I’m probably going to get shot to ribbons for saying this’

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Google Maps & Trafford Council

A Tory Councillor has said that lots of staff in the NHS are ‘carrying a bit of weight’ and that this is a clear indication of wider nutritional problems.

Conservative Councillor for Trafford, Michael Whetton, admitted to his own weight control issues when he told the borough’s health and wellbeing board what he had noticed locally, as reported in the Manchester Evening News.

Mr Whetton went on to say that the number of ‘overweight NHS staff’ is a clear indication that there is a nutritional problem among the wider population in the borough, saying: “I don’t need to declare an interest in this issue.

“But I can’t help but notice — and I’m probably going to get shot to ribbons for saying this — it’s clear that a lot of NHS staff are carrying a lot of weight. So if that’s the case, it’s clearly a problem in the general population.”

He made the comments after Trafford director of public health Eleanor Roaf had delivered her annual report to the council’s health and wellbeing board. 

Trafford Council

Chair of the board Councillor Jane Slater responded by saying NHS staff were having to resort to using food banks where nutritional quality was not high, saying: “It’s beans and bread.” 

Ms Roaf had told the board members that more than 12,000 households in Trafford are in fuel poverty this winter and are at risk of hypothermia, respiratory diseases and worsening mental health.

In her report she said that the war in Ukraine has led to shortages of both fuel and food, leading to increased costs of both, saying: “Trafford families have been very welcoming, with many people opening their homes to refugees, but finding longer-term housing for refugees, wherever they are from is a pressing issue.

“This is exacerbated by the huge divide in our housing sector, with many people in expensive, insecure and poor quality rented accommodation.” 

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Ms Roaf explained how young people are particularly affected, and those without parental support are finding it challenging to raise the money for a housing deposit, as she called for the council to address ‘long-standing health inequalities’, which were further exposed and heightened during the pandemic which are ‘leading to worse outcomes for all’. 

Ms Roaf went on to say that ‘food insecurity’ was impacting on health and wellbeing in Trafford, adding: “Healthy food is generally more expensive than highly processed food and increases in energy costs will make it more likely that families will be forced into eating cheaper, lower quality foods. 

She added: “In Trafford, people living in more disadvantaged communities were already experiencing difficulties in accessing and affording food for a balanced diet before increases in the costs of living.

“Food insecurity is linked with malnutrition and obesity, as well as poor mental and physical health and wellbeing, so if we fail to tackle food insecurity, we are going to see a huge increase in demand on health and social services.” 

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In September 2022 in Greater Manchester, 42% of people were experiencing food insecurity, with 56% of households with children and 34% without children struggling.

“Children in the most deprived communities in Trafford are already significantly more likely to be overweight or living with obesity than those better off,” Ms Roaf said. 

In Trafford, feedback from local charities highlights that the demand for food support is increasing, both from food pantries and foodbanks, with the additional challenges of energy costs for cooking.


Stagecoach hiring over 100 new bus drivers for Bee Network with £31k salaries

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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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