Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has defended the upcoming Clean Air Zone charge after a petition against the scheme reached 20,000 signatures.
From May 30th 2022, vehicles that do not meet emissions standards will be charged when driving within the Clean Air Zone, which will cover 493 square miles of Greater Manchester, making it the largest of its kind in the UK.
The scheme targets heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches – all of which will have to pay £60 a day to drive within the zone – vans, which will pay £10, and taxi and private hire vehicles which will both pay £7.50.
While private cars, motorbikes, and mopeds won’t be affected, some vehicles that do not meet emissions standards – known as ‘non-compliant vehicles’ – will still be charged.
Failure to pay the charge will also result in a £120 fine plus the daily charge.
Yet while the Clean Air Zone is said to be designed to ‘protect everyone’s health by bringing harmful nitrogen dioxide air pollution at the roadside within legal limits’, there has been widespread criticism and backlash to the scheme, with many saying it will negatively impact local businesses.
A petition has since been set up in opposition to the scheme, which has since gained 19,766 signatures at the time of writing.
Paul Delve, who launched the Change.org petition, wrote: “Can you remember being asked by him or anyone in Greater Manchester if you wanted this? We were not! What sort of democracy is that? We need to stop this in its tracks! Please help me by signing this petition.”
Andy Burnham has since responded to the controversy surrounding the scheme – which he has publicly backed and supported – saying he ‘owed everyone who signed the courtesy of a reply’.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Burnham first stressed that he never instigated the scheme nor does he have the legal power to stop it, noting that even the government would struggle to scrap it.
He explained that, as a result of the Supreme Court ruling that urgent action must be taken to protect people from polluted air back in 2015, all ten local Greater Manchester councils were given strict legal instructions to reduce air pollution by 2024.
Burnham wrote: “This is because analysis has shown all 10 GM boroughs have places where air pollution breaches legal limits. The Government’s direction sets a Category C zone as the default solution.”
He also addressed the widely criticised size of the Clean Air Zone, pointing out that the alternative of ‘a patchwork of local zones across ten boroughs would be unworkable’.
Burnham concluded by saying that local Conservative politicians branding the scheme as ‘Andy Burnham’s charge’ is a way to deflect blame away from the Government and let them off the hook for the full support needed, claiming that it suits their political interests but it won’t protect jobs and businesses across the region.
His final tweet read: “I believe the right way to go from here is for GM to fight as one for changes to the scheme to protect jobs and businesses. We will publish our proposals shortly as part of a GM campaign. We hope everyone who has signed this petition will feel able to get behind it.”
The scheme is set to come into place on May 30th 2022. Visit the Clean Air GM website for more information.
Greggs worker fired after exposing the ‘mountains of food that gets wasted every day’
The worker filmed several bin bags of food being thrown away at the end of her shift
A Greggs worker was fired after she exposed the ‘mountain’ of food the bakery chain allegedly wastes on a daily basis.
Nicole Iwalowo had been working in a Romford branch in London for a month when she became aware of the massive amount of food going to waste at the end of each day.
Feeling guilty at seeing food go in the bin every day, Nicole decided to expose the bakery by filming the leftover produce, which included freshly made sandwiches and sealed packages of bakery goods like doughnuts and yum yums, and posting it onto TikTok.
Her video, shared back in November, shows six bin bags full of food being loaded up on a metal cage, which Nicole claims was later collected by bin men.
Nicole pointed out in the video that ‘there’s people starving around the world and all of this is going to waste’, noting that ‘this happens everyday around the world with the billions of food stores’.
Her TikTok post was quick to garner thousands of views and comments, with many slamming Greggs for the blatant hypocrisy surrounding its official policy, which states that it ‘hates food waste’ and that ‘donating unsold food to those in need is our priority’.
Greggs also claims that ‘all unsold food is 100% diverted from landfill’.
One viewer commented: “What’s frustrating is there are actual Apps around now exactly for this, to take end of day food for ppl [sic] in need. Its infuriating and why we should boycott these businesses until they change. Thank you for putting your job on the line to show this.”
Another person who claims to have also worked for the bakery chain wrote: “I used to work at Greggs too and can back this up. and we aren’t allowed to give it to the homeless either.”
A spokesperson for Greggs has since addressed the video, saying in a statement: “We have a number of initiatives in place to help reduce food waste across our shops including the redistribution of unsold food to community groups and charities.
“We are continually working to increase the amount of unsold food given away to those most in need and remain committed to putting an end to food waste.”
In the days following the posting of the video, Nicole confirmed that she had been fired and was left looking for work in the run up to Christmas.
Safety alert issued over car seats as parents told to stop using them ‘immediately’
Batches of carseats reportedly have a buckle defect
A safety alert has been issued over a batch of children’s car seats containing ‘potentially defective’ parts.
Cosatto, a Bolton-born retailer specialising in pushchairs, highchairs and car seats for children, has issued the safety alert for the buckles on its ‘All in All+’ and ‘All in All Rotate’ car seats, of which there are eleven different models.
The notice from Cosatto reads: “We have identified a potential safety concern relating to the buckle used in the production of a small batch of car seats manufactured between September 2019 and June 2020.
“Unfortunately, the manufacture of some of the buckles did not reach the exacting standards set by our quality and safety protocol and contain components that can potentially become defective.
“We are truly sorry that this has happened. We are a values-driven, family business who want to do the right thing and have taken this action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children of valued customers like you.”
It has also been revealed that any customer with one of the multi-group car seats (Groups 0+/1/2/3) for children from birth up to 36kg (approximately twelve years old) should stop using them immediately and contact Cosatto.
The company added that only those with batch numbers between 37/2019 and 24/2020 are affected, noting that all other car seats from later batches are safe to use.
Parents have been encouraged to immediately check the batch numbers on their car seats – all of which can be found on a sticker on the right-hand side at the rear.
If their seat is one of the affected, Cosatto is offering a free replacement buckle, which will be dispatched on a next day delivery service.
Here’s the Which? full list of faulty models:
All in All+ car seats
- Dragon Kingdom (model number CT4262)
- Unicorn Land (model number CT4238)
- Harewood (model number CT4239)
- Mister Fox (model number CT4241)
All in All Rotate car seats
- Sea Monsters (model number CT4263)
- Fairy Garden (model number CT4242)
- Fika Forest (model number CT4243)
- Hedgerow (model number CT4486)
- Hear Us Roar (model number CT4418)
- On The Prowl (model number CT4451)
- One World (model number CT4449)
You can fill out Cosatto’s online form here to check your model and order a replacement buckle, or alternatively call 08000 149252.
Snorers can get paid £300 to test ‘anti-snore’ sleep products
We all know someone who’d be perfect for this…
If you’re a serial snorer, this could be your big moment.
For years, we’ve been batting away so-called ‘cures’ for snoring, and have simply been making do with a pair of good quality ear plugs instead.
But with 35% of the adult population being serial snorers, you’d think there would have been a solid solution by now.
Well, the answer may just be on the horizon.
UK sleep brand Silentnight is on the hunt for five serious snorers to test their new range of sleep products with a handsome cash reward of £300.
The successful applicants will be given £700 worth of sleep products, all of which claim to prevent snoring in some way or another.
This generous bundle will include a king-size rolled mattress from the award-winning Studio by Silentnight collection, a pair of innovative Anti-Snore pillows designed to encourage improved breathing, and a ‘So Snug’ 13.5 tog winter duvet.
Kat Collins, senior brand manager for Silentnight, said: “As the UK’s most trusted sleep brand, we think it’s important to celebrate all types of sleepers and so are giving back to snorers across the country with an exciting new role this year.
“But, this is official business and we’re looking for applicants who take their sleep seriously. As part of our mission to change how people sleep for the better, we know that customers’ feedback on our products is fundamental to our future launches so can’t wait to hear our new ‘employees’ thoughts.”
If your application is successful, Silentnight will contact you via email, as well as remove and recycle your old mattress, if needed, for free.