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Greater Manchester ‘utopia’ named one of the best UK towns to live in

A well-deserved win

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Anthony O'Neil / Geograph

The Sunday Times has named the best place to live in the UK, as well as the best area in each region, and a Greater Manchester town made the cut.

While Manchester made the shortlist – especially the area near Piccadilly station which was commended for its redevelopment – it didn’t take the top spot.

Altrincham was crowned the Best Place to Live in the North West of England, chosen from a shortlist of eight different locations across the region.

According to the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide, Altrincham is where ‘suburbia meets utopia’.

Judges praised the market town’s schools, and The Sunday Times Parent Power guide named the girls’ grammar ‘the North West state secondary school of the decade’, while the boys’ grammar came in second.

Anthony O’Neil / Geograph

The area’s green spaces were ranked highly, including Dunham Massey, Stamford Park and the River Bollin.

Judges were very impressed with the market and food hall, which are seen by many as being responsible for the regeneration of the town’s centre, and the tram route into central Manchester was also taken into consideration.

While Altrincham was actually honoured as the overall winner of The Sunday Times Best Place to Live in Britain guide last year, Stroud in Gloucestershire took the crown for 2021.

Seven other locations were chosen from across the region for the North West shortlist, including Manchester, Saddleworth, Knutsford, Bollington, Liverpool, Kirkby Lonsdale, Arnside and Silverdale.

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Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said: “Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience.

“It hasn’t been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead, it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected.

“Altrincham was chosen as our regional winner this year as it has everything you want in a suburb: parks, excellent transport links and top-class schools.”

She added: “The inspirational market and food hall that transformed the town centre from the worst in Britain to a favourite destination have continued to show their value, even during the pandemic.”

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Northern housing estate so rough bus drivers were forced to stop going there

The services were fully suspended over the weekend following a spate of antisocial behaviour

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Google Maps & Eddie / Flickr

A northern housing estate became so plagued with anti-social behaviour that bus drivers were told to avoid stopping there.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled earlier in the year after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and passengers with stones and rocks. 

In a social media statement, First West Yorkshire announced that the 40 and 56 services would be avoiding the estate in both directions, citing ‘attempted vandalism’. 

The tweet thread read: “SERVICE UPDATE – 40/56. Due to attempted vandalism, we are diverting away from the Swarcliffe Estate in both directions.

“So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.

“This will be in place until the end of service this evening. This is for the safety of both our drivers and passengers. I am sorry for the disruption caused.”

Read More: One of the world’s deadliest snakes found on industrial estate in Salford

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, addressed the vandalism, confirming that the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area ‘as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier’. 

Mtaylor848 / Wikimedia Commons

Residents have previously spoken about how they ‘live in fear’ on the estate, saying intimidating anti-social behaviour is becoming worse.

One local teenager told Leeds Live of the youths who vandalised the buses: “They throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here. I wasn’t surprised.

“Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere. It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram.

“If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way.”

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Her grandmother added: “Stones are always thrown at buses around here as there’s nothing for the kids to do… It’s really bad where big groups gather around the Co-Op.

“My grandson lives around the corner and he’s been attacked twice. We don’t really go out at night, and would use a taxi if we did. It’s not nice for the drivers or the passengers.”

Another resident, Keith Pettman, told the outlet that the estate was suffering major issues with antisocial behaviour, saying: “There’s some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy.

“They mess about with bikes and things like all bored teenagers do but I know they get in the way of buses and people.

“There’s definitely vandals around that will smash a few things up every so often. The field also gets ripped up and recently a load of dustbins got set on fire.”

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

Gerald England / Geograph

Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 

Hennessey
Ward
Davies
Cabango
Lockyer
Rodon
Mepham
Ampadu
Gunter
Williams
Roberts
Thomas
Allen
Smith
Levitt
Wilson
Morrell
Ramsey
Colwill
Bale
Moore
Harris
Johnson
James
Pickford
Pope
Ramsdale
Alexander-Arnold
Coady
Dier
Maguire
Shaw
Stones
Trippier
Walker
White
Bellingham
Gallagher
Henderson
Mount
Phillips
Rice
Foden
Grealish
Kane
Maddison
Rashford
Saka
Sterling
Wilson

All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Netflix

Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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