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Manchester’s hospitality industry in crisis with 3,000 job vacancies

‘By continuing to pay staff minimum wage, the industry is shooting itself in the foot and can’t expect to attract new entrants.’

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@scottishstoater / Unsplash & @shumjiajia / Unsplash

Following the reopening of pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels on July 19th, Manchester’s hospitality sector is facing a mass staff shortage with over 3,000 job vacancies across the city.

Industry bosses have been reporting thousands of job vacancies across the sector, with a range of roles in some of the city’s top hotels, bars and restaurants simply not being filled.

Research by Caterer.com found that vacancies had grown by 342% since hospitality venues were allowed to reopen as Covid restrictions were lifted last month, and that 90,000 workers have left the industry since the pandemic began.

Helena Lopes / Unsplash

As a result of these staff shortages, businesses across the city have been struggling to cope with the return of customers, with many being forced to adopt shorter hours in an attempt to adapt to a smaller team.

Greater Manchester’s night Time Economy Advisor Sacha Lord has blamed a combination of low wages, unsociable hours, the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit on the staff shortages.

He said: “Not only has the workforce been decimated by Brexit and the introduction of salary-threshold visas, but the closures enforced during Covid lockdowns have forced staff to leave the industry and retrain, or seek higher wages elsewhere.

@scottishstoater / Unsplash

“As we rebuild, we can’t now expect the youngest and hardest hit by the pandemic to be satisfied with minimum wage roles, when they can earn higher salaries elsewhere in office work or in retail.”

He added that, by continuing to pay staff minimum wage, bosses are ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ and ‘can’t expect to attract new entrants.’

In an attempt to tackle the crisis, many businesses are now offering retention payments, bonuses and work perks to incentivise people to stay in a role beyond six months, and wages across the industry are rising as staff are tempted elsewhere by pay rises.

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Yes, ANOTHER lorry has got stuck under this notorious Greater Manchester bridge

It’s happened again…

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Google Maps

Just weeks after we reported that a van got stuck under a notorious Greater Manchester railway bridge, yet another vehicle has met the same fate.

Even though there is large yellow lettering warning drivers that it is actually a low bridge, people still keep trying their luck.

Located on Prescott Street in Wigan, this time the driver of a white lorry thought their vehicle could fit under the bridge – it couldn’t.

According to reports the incident happened on the evening of Monday July 4th as the evening rush hour got underway.

Naturally, this led to traffic chaos along both the road and surrounding area.

A photo of the lorry in question was posted to social media, showing the substantial damage it had received after getting stuck.

One social media user said, as per Wigan Today: “Getting out of hand now this just put bollards up and stop it as a rat run.”

Another added: “Too many getting stuck under that bridge”, while a third joked: “Got to admit the guys who built that bridge did a good job.”

The bridge has earned itself quite the reputation among drivers in the town thanks to its deceptively low parapet.

Over the years, a number of vans and lorries have wound up wedged under the bridge – at least once a month, according to one resident – which ironically features a bold ‘LOW BRIDGE’ sign on both sides.

And so many drivers ignore the sign and get their vehicles stuck under the bridge, in fact, that there is even a Facebook page dedicated to shaming those who underestimate the size of their vehicle.

The description for the Box Vans vs Prescott St Bridge Facebook page simply reads: “A collection of photos of idiots who don’t know the height of the vehicle they’re driving”.

The page does exactly what it says on the tin; shares updates and photos whenever a van gets itself wedged under the bridge. 

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Lurpak has been spotted for £9.35 in one supermarket and shoppers are furious

‘Stop the world I want to get off’

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@Joshpeterchrist & @CharIieBennett / Twitter

As the cost of living crisis continues to hit us in our bank accounts, one rather inconspicuous, common supermarket item has become a barometer for rising prices: Lurpak.

The humble butter spread has gone viral in recent weeks as people take to social media to reveal how much its price has risen in various supermarkets.

This obsession has reached a peak this week, with a 1kg tub of Lurpak spotted for a whopping £9.35 by one social media user.

The expensive tub of Lurpak butter was shared to Twitter by Josh Christian, who said: “Stop the world I want to get off… @Lurpak come on lads this is a joke @Conservatives this is all your fault we’re all going to be eating dry toast stop taking off us and sort this mess out people are starving while your m8 are getting richer”.

And that’s not the only place raising the price of large tubs of the butter, with some shoppers spotting a 1kg pack costing £9 at Ocado online.

As well as that, Morrisons is selling 1kg packs of Lurpak for £7.50 on its website, while last week a 500g tub was seen going for £5 – just a short while ago this would have cost £3.65.

Shoppers have been questioning why the price has risen so much, with Vivien McDermott saying: “Why is it so expensive? Morrisons salted butter 250g was £1.75 last week so £7 if you buy a kilo worth. Save a few quid that way.”

Jayne Gardiner added: “That’s disgusting, I’d never pay that, just to have jam on toast would cost over a tenner, no way.”

And it seems that Lurpak is in such high demand that it’s even been spotted with security tags in at least one Asda supermarket.

​​Charlie Bennett shared a photo of the heavily protected tub, writing: “Britain in 2022… Lurpak butter is at £6 a tub in ASDA and even has a security tag on it.”

The buttery news comes as food prices continue to rocket on the whole around the country, with experts blaming soaring inflation, Brexit, the war in Ukraine and a cost of living crisis.

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B&M launches huge ‘everything £5’ sale with loads of popular items

What an offer…

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B&M Stores

B&M is launching a huge sale, with loads of different items in-store going for as little as £5.

The toy sale with ‘everything £5’ includes Peppa Pig, Barbie, teddies, tractors, pencil cases, craft sets and even best-selling toys.

The sale is on across the country but shoppers will have to be quick, as items will only be available while stock lasts at your local B&M.

Albert Bridge / Geograph

This is good news if any kids you know have a birthday coming up, or you might even want to start stocking up for Christmas – I know, it’s only July but you can never be too prepared.

A spokesman for B&M said, as per Birmingham Live: “With the summer holidays and (dare we say it) Christmas, fast approaching, you’ll be glad to hear that B&M have everything you need to keep the kids entertained in the B&M bargain toy sale launching in stores this week!

“Bag yourself a bargain with all sale toys down to £5 each.

“From teddies and tractors to Peppa Pig and pencil cases, our best-selling toys and craft sets are suitable for a variety of ages, so you’ll definitely find something to keep them busy.”

Hugh Venables / Geograph

This follows the recent news that B&M shoppers will now be able to get over 1,000 products sent directly to their doorstep, thanks to the launch of the retailer’s new delivery service.

The service – a first in B&M’s forty-four-year long history – was launched following a customer feedback survey that showed an overwhelming number of customers struggled with transporting larger and bulkier items home.

But now, customers will be able to browse through a range of over 1,000 products online and get them sent right to their homes.

While not all products are available just yet, there are multiple items from the home and furniture, garden, electrical and kids toys to browse from.

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