Passengers on trams, buses and trains across Greater Manchester could be barred from services and slapped with fines if they continuously refuse to wear a face mask.
Just one day on from face masks once again becoming mandatory in all shops and on public transport, passengers across the region are being encouraged to comply with the new rules and regulations or risk face ‘tougher action’.
Greater Manchester Police, British Transport Police and Community Support Officers can enforce punishments on those who refuse to wear a face mask, with fines starting at £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within fourteen days), rising to £400 for a second offence, up to £800 for the third, and up to a maximum of £6,400 in the case of a sixth and subsequent fixed penalty notices.
Transport operators also have the power to direct someone to wear a face mask and deny access or ask them to leave if they don’t have a legitimate excuse.
TfGM’s head of operations Alex Cropper said on the new rules: “As of part of the latest government measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK, you must, by law, now wear a face covering on all public transport.”
He added that their focus had been on education, engagement and encouraging passengers to comply which includes handing out free masks, which are available and free at all transport interchanges.
He added: “Police officers and transport staff will continue to patrol our networks, and while we will continue to adopt this approach, those refusing to comply could be prevented from using a service or issued with a fine.
“For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, we’d encourage all passengers to be considerate of one another and wear a face covering, unless exempt.”
The regulations were reintroduced yesterday as part of the government’s response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’
A statement from the Government said: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”
Shocking comparison between England Lionesses’ wages and their male counterparts
It is hoped that the success of the Women’s Euros will close the gender pay gap
Following the Lionesses Women’s Euro 2022 victory last weekend, the shocking comparison between their wages and that of their male counterparts has started coming to light.
The Lionesses’ bonus for finally bringing football home after fifty-six years of hurt was £55,000 per player, a seemingly handsome sum.
However, it is just a small fraction of the bonus the men’s team took home after coming in second during the Euro 2020 tournament last year.
The men were each awarded a bonus of £300,000, and could’ve have taken an even higher sum of £460,000 home if they had beaten Italy to the title.
A BBC study claims Women’s Super League (WSL) players earn £47,000 a year on average, while the average wage of a Premier League player is £60,000 – a week.
The only aspect of equality in the game is payment to each player for an England appearance, with both the men and women’s team being paid £2,000 for each appearance.
The significant gender pay gap can be put down to the amount of money individual clubs bring in – for example, Manchester City’s mens team reported £571m in turnover for the 2020-21 season.
According to Deloitte, the club spent 62% of that revenue on players’ wages, which works out at £354m.
Manchester City’s Women’s Super League team, however, reported a significantly lower turnover of £2.9m for 2020-21, with its wage bill reported at £3.3m.
Though it isn’t all doom and gloom for women’s football, with wages slowly on the increase.
England Captain Leah Williamson reportedly earns £200,000 a year, while right-back Lucy Bronze is also said to have been in a similar wage bracket when she was at Manchester City before her transfer to Barcelona this summer.
And things are looking up for the Lionesses as they consider brand deals, sponsorships and off-field collaborations with big names such as Pepsi, Gucci and Nike, all of which will increase the club’s revenue.
Pay could also increase as a result of the tournament’s success, which saw a record attendance for any Euro game at Wembley for the final.
Bury swimmer James Guy wins SIX medals at the Commonwealth Games
James also brought home gold at last year’s Olympic Games
A swimmer from Bury will be bringing home an astonishing six medals from the Commonwealth Games.
After winning three silvers and two bronze at the Birmingham games, James Guy concluded his week with gold as part of the England team 4 x 100 metres medley relay after beating their Australian rivals.
These medals join his Olympics 2021 success in Team GB’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay team, where he brought home gold.
Although winning gold is the dream, James says the medal he is most proud of this week is the silver he won for the 100 metres butterfly event.
He told ITV News: “I just haven’t got that race right this year just generally and tactically but this meet I wanted to swim it right and swim it how I usually do it.
“I trusted myself, believed what I was doing and believed in myself.”
He added: “It’s been a really good year this year. I think to get six medals at our home games is fantastic. I never really look at the results, I just try and see what I can do in my individual races and my team races.
“Six medals is a nice accomplishment… I didn’t realise how many I’d won until I finished racing, but to finally get a gold on the last event and to beat the Australians… Yeah, a really really good week, and a nice start for the English team in Birmingham.”
James, who was awarded an MBE for his services to swimming earlier this year, was born in Bury and grew up in Altrincham, where he took up swimming lessons when he was four.
However, swimming wasn’t his only passion, with his childhood being full of different sports and activities. He said: “When I was younger I was obsessed with Bruce Lee. I used to do kung fu twice a week, gymnastics, football and even lacrosse.
“I was just a normal kid trying everything. Eventually swimming took over and it went from there.”
James swam at the Trafford Metros swimming club and went on to win a swimming scholarship at Millfield public school in Somerset, where he now lives.
Campaign group urges Brits to stop paying their energy bills in protest of soaring costs
‘It can only work if we show the powers that be that we would not stand for being treated as cash cows’
Brits should boycott their energy bills this October in protest of the soaring costs, a campaign group has proposed this week.
As the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll, Don’t Pay UK is on a mission to get one million people to pledge to cancel their bills in a bid to force energy companies to reduce monthly costs.
The group says that if even a fraction of the million that they want on board agree to stop paying their energy bills, they will be able to bring companies to the negotiating table.
This comes after Ofgem announced the energy price cap will be updated every three months rather than every six months, as it warned that customers face a ‘very challenging winter ahead’.
Analysts at Cornwall Insight also predicted that the price cap is on track to rise to an astonishing £3,615 a year from January, adding further pressure on households.
In response to this, Don’t Pay UK has devised a three-step plan:
The group is currently setting up email lists and is on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter to spread its message. Zoom calls are also being organised, as are as in-person meet-ups. They are also printing flyers and stickers in a bid to bring people together.
A statement on the group’s website reads: “We’ll need people, organisations and community groups to do all of this too, building this up street by street, estate by estate and city by city.
“The first step is to get thousands of people like you to say you support the strike.”
Gather a million pledges.
Don’t Pay UK has stressed that the only way they can get their message across is by turning out in serious numbers to show energy companies that they have some power.
A statement reads: “One million sounds like a lot, but millions more will already be thinking about whether they’ll be able to pay come winter and afford the other things they need to survive for them and their families.
“Even more of us will be angry about paying more than double what we used to pay for the same amount we use. Let alone food, petrol and mortgages.”
Cancel direct debits if price increases go ahead.
If the government and energy companies have not reduced bills by October 1st, the group say they will take action by cancelling their direct debits. They hope that by everybody doing this on the same day, they will be able to send a strong message to energy companies.
Their website reads: “It can only work if we believe in each other and show the powers that be that we would not stand for being treated as cash cows.”
To read more about the Don’t Pay UK movement, visit the official website here.