Why Boris Johnson’s July 19th ‘freedom day’ is terrifying for thousands across Greater Manchester
Something to think about on July 19th
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the remaining Covid-19 restrictions currently in place here in Manchester and the rest of the country will be lifted later this month.
During the briefing, Johnson said that the current restrictions – such as having to wear masks in enclosed public settings and abiding by the one metre social distancing rule – will definitely be coming to an end on July 19th.
He also said that, as of the 19th, people won’t be expected to work from home and that all businesses will be allowed to reopen, including nightclubs and music venues.
While no proof of a Covid test or vaccine will be required for entry to these venues, Johnson did explain that the virus will still be monitored through the track and trace app, and those who test positive will still have to self-isolate.
Following the announcement, millions of people across the UK quickly rejoiced at the first glimpse of real normality since the start of pandemic last year – however, the news won’t have been so comforting for others.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid projected that within just weeks of the lifting of restrictions, infection rates could potentially surge to around 100,000 per day.
And, while Covid has proven to be mild for the majority of the population, this statistic can be terrifying for those who are elderly or living with existing health conditions that make them clinically vulnerable.
It’s no secret that Covid is far more serious for those over the age of sixty and those who are already managing underlying or existing health issues – health.org found that six out of ten people to die from Covid were disabled.
Here in Greater Manchester, 521,314 people are disabled or living with a debilitating illness of some sort – that’s 19% of the population, according to the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP).
So, while the lack of face masks and social distancing may sound idyllic to you, it’s worth bearing in mind that, to 19% of Greater Manchester’s population, it could bring with it devastating consequences.
Snoop Dogg loves watching Coronation Street and wants a role on it
He wants to take to the cobbles!
Snoop Dogg loves watching Coronation Street and wants to land a role in the popular Northern soap opera.
The famous rapper from the US has revealed he is a massive fan of the soap and told The Sun he is open to making an appearance ‘whenever they need’.
The Drop It Like It’s Hot and Gin and Juice singer said: “Coronation Street, I love it. If they call me I’ll do it. I’ll play whenever they need. I love the cinematography, acting, the storylines and just the reality.
“I’d like to be a part of it because they’ve been a part of my culture.”
Speaking of coronations, the 51-year-old also said he was ‘down to perform’ at the coronation of King Charles on May 6th, after acts including Adele and Ed Sheeran reportedly declined, adding: “Make it happen.”
Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., previously shared he was a fan of the soap opera back in 2010.
Reaching out to land and appearance, Snoop told the BBC at the time: “I had my agent reach out to them to see if they could try get me on and they said they were interested and so hopefully, it might happen.
“It would be perfect for me to be on the show.”
Bob Dylan also shared he was a huge fan of the show last year in a Q&A, with show producer Iain MacLeod later offering him a cameo role.
“To hear that Bob Dylan is a Coronation Street viewer blows my mind,” MacLeod told The Telegraph. “I would absolutely love the idea of him turning up in the Rovers Return one night.”
Coronation Street has featured a number of guest stars over the years, including Peter Kay, Sir Ian McKellen and Status Quo.
Three Manchester neighbourhoods named best places to live in UK for 2023
To be fair, they’re not wrong about these three!
The Sunday Times has named three Manchester neighbourhoods in its annual list of the best places to live in the UK 2023 — but it fails to name the best parts about them.
This year, Ancoats, Sale and Stockport have made it onto the prestigious list encompassing quiet market towns and up and coming neighbourhoods, deemed by The Sunday Times as the best places to make your home in the UK.
Once an industrial powerhouse, Ancoats has been regenerated into a hip and trendy neighbourhood filled with urbanites, that often lands itself on ‘coolest places to live’ lists — and rightly so!
The area is nearby the arty Northern Quarter and nestled in next to to the eye-pleasing Islington Marina. It has also been an incubator for Manchester’s best independents and its monthly pop-up markets in Cutting Room Square are a lively sun trap during the warmer months.
Ancoats’ numerous bars make it a must-visit late night destination too. Vietnamese restaurant NAM is just one of the places hosting the city’s most popular selectors in its boombox of a basement bar every weekend.
But oddly, The Sunday Times talks about Deansgate and Castlefield — situated at the opposite end of the city — when suggesting Ancoats as the place to buy. It talks about other great parts of Manchester city centre rather than Ancoats itself.
“No.1 Deansgate carries a cachet and a hefty price tag of about £1.2 million for a three-bedroom penthouse,” the article says, “Castlefield, at the other end of Deansgate, has a cool reputation and is home to the Manchester institution Dukes 92, a buzzing bar and restaurant.”
There is little mention of Ancoats’ many former mills turned trendy apartments, nor do many of its restaurants and bars get a look in. Though the article does mention the ALDI at Urban Exchange, and Michelin star restaurant Mana.
It fails to make any mention of all the places that make Ancoats a great place to live and hang out. Places such as: Erst, Elnecot, Flawd, The Jane Eyre, Sud, Hip Hop Chip Shop, Pollen, The Flat Baker, Rad’s, Blossom Street Social, Rudy’s — or just about any of the other fantastic eating and drinking spots that have people outbidding one another to live there.
The article then goes on to talk about the desirable suburb of Sale, in Trafford. Wedged between Urmston and Altrincham, it often gets overlooked by these two also sought after areas by prospective homebuyers.
Swathes of new businesses have opened up shop here including a second site for Simon Rimmer’s vegetarian restaurant, Greens, Ancoats OG Rudy’s, and Alty favourites Blanchflower and Sud (formerly Sugo).
The Times mentions Sale’s ‘surrounding acres of green space, woodland and waterways giving the town formidable lungfuls of fresh air’ — they’re not wrong about that. It continues: “This Trafford town has top-class schools, a buzzing café scene and is so well connected that you can live here car-free.”
But then it rather strangely mentions Sale Foodhall as a venue to visit, failing to acknowledge its recent closure. Announced earlier this week, the food hall shut its doors due to insurmountable rising costs, something felt deeply across many hospitality businesses operating in today’s climate.
Despite this sad loss to the town, Sale has rightfully earned its space on the list. Manchester is becoming an increasingly desirable place to live in with housing prices still lower than many other parts of the city — especially when compared to down south. Sale’s eclectic cafes, restaurants and independent retail spaces ensure its residents aren’t missing out on too much of the buzz of the city if they choose to stay local.
Many will agree that Stockport earned its place on the list. With plenty of independents and being surrounding by vast beautiful green spaces, it’s no wonder young families choose Stockport to put down roots.
There’s so much to shout about here, and The Times makes that clear, giving kudos to the likes of Rare Mags, Yellowhammer, Hillgate Cakery and Still Life Story Homewares.
It says: “Stockport has engineered a remarkable reinvention in recent years, turning itself from a standard former mill town into a funky, family-friendly alternative to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, a ten-minute train ride away.
“This is where the avocado-brunching millennials move when they have a Lejoux pushchair and are faced with the school run, but still want to live a fashionable life.”
Capital and Centric, the social impact developers who are currently working on transforming Stockport’s Weir Mill into neighbourhood apartments commented on The Times article: “Stockport is finally starting to get its flowers after years of bubbling under the surface, and for good reason.
“There’s so much going on here, whether it’s the rapidly changing skyline thanks to new town centre districts or the indie businesses flourishing despite the challenging economic climate nationally.”
Once a forgotten area of the North West with a small town mentality, Stockport has built a tight knit community of indies.
It offers everything from handmade sustainable fashion at Emiko Studios to sustainable homewares and tropical plants from Emma Nosurak, owner of Stockport’s The Plant Shop and Rare Finds. Even its traditional boozers have benefitted from recent makeovers, as often celebrated over on the Stockport Pints Instagram page, which has a loyal following of almost 10,000 fans.
Now in its 11th year, The Sunday Times’ guide includes 69 other destinations across the UK, with Wadhurst in East Sussex coming out on top this year.
Each place is judged on factors including school, transport, broadband speeds, culture, green spaces and its high streets by a panel who head to each destination on the list – they must’ve missed their train to Ancoats this year, though.
In 2022, Prestwich and Altrincham both made the list, but neither appeared this year. Other North West towns mentioned this year include Rawtenstall in Lancashire, Penrith in Cumbria and Tarporley in Cheshire, which was celebrated for its ‘elegant Georgian high street dotted with ancient coaching inns and cute shops.’
Driver in vintage Ford Sierra Cosworth caught doing 104mph in 30 zone
The driver could now face a hefty fine and lengthy ban
A driver was caught doing 104 mph through a 30 mph zone in a vintage sports car.
The speed camera flashed the white Ford Sierra Cosworth on Albert Royds Street, Rochdale, on Sunday afternoon, March 19th. GMP Traffic posted a picture on their Twitter page with the caption: “Words Fail!”
Responding to the GMP tweet, Councillor Daniel Meredith replied: “Hopefully gets the book thrown at them! Words fail! This is a residential area with children playing. Not Silverstone!”
The driver could now face a hefty fine and lengthy ban. Motorists caught doing high speeds can be hit with a ‘Band C’ offence — the most serious category of driving offence which can lead to driving bans of up to 120 days. Police also have the power to seize the vintage motor.
But the owner will be desperately hoping that doesn’t happen, as last month a rare Sierra Cosworth sold for almost £600,000 at auction.
Below the GMP post, tweeters filled the comments, with one saying: “Regular occurrence on that road. It’s a race track.” And a second typing: “Horrendous. Let’s hope courts back you up and get this clown off the road for a long scratch.”
Though some commenters, with knowledge of the car, jumped in with something less serious to say, as one put: “Probably trying to time travel back to the 1980s.” Another chimed in: “No wonder police couldn’t keep up with these years ago!”
And someone else joked: “Fire up the Quattro!”