Prime Minister’s Statement On New Coronavirus Measures

Please see below the statement to the House of Commons by the UK Prime Minister. This includes announcements on stricter measures following the recent surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths. These measures are expected to last for six months.

There will be a further televised statement by PM Johnson tonight at 20.00 that will be added to this post.

Key points:

  • Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
  • Office workers who can work at home should do so.
  • Key public service and key workers who cannot work from home should continue to attend their workplaces.
  • From Thursday 24th September 2020 all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only except for takeaways.
  • All hospitality venues must close at 10pm with doors closed, not just last orders at 10pm.
  • Takeaways must also close at 10pm although deliveries can continue after 10pm.
  • Compulsory wearing of masks extended to taxis, private hire vehicles and all staff in retail.
  • Alll staff and customers in hospitality venues (except when seated at a table to eat or drink) must wear masks.
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors government covid secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.
  • From Monday 28th September a maximum of 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions.
  • Up to 30 people can still attend a funeral.
  • “Rule of Six” will be extended to all adult indoor team sports.
  • The “Rule of Six” (when meeting friends and family you do not live with – or have formed a support bubble with – you must not meet in a group of more than six) will now therefore apply in all circumstances apart from weddings (15 people), wedding receptions (15 people), funerals (30 people) and outdoor organised team sports (30 people).
  • Business conferences, events and large sporting events will not be permitted as was planned for 1st October 2020.
  • People who were previously shielding will not be advised to do so again for the time being.
  • These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties.
  • Fine of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self isolate already exist and these fines will now be applied to businesses who break these covid rules.
  • Fine for breaking the “Rule of Six” or not wearing a mask will double to £200 for a first offence.
  • There will be a greater police presence on our streets and extra funding will be provided to police to enforce these rules.
  • Military support will be called on where required to free up the police for other matters.
  • These measures apply in England. Devolved administrations are taking “similar” measures.
  • 13 million people in England are living under further restrictions over and above these national measures [see HERE for the local lockdown measures that apply in Manchester].
  • “Fire power will be drawn upon” to deploy further measures if these measures do not work and people do not follow these rules.
  • These new restrictions should be assumed to remain in place “for perhaps SIX MONTHS”.

What are the differences between these new national rules and the extra local lockdown rules in Manchester?

Please note at the time of this announcement the rules for the Greater Manchester local lockdown have not been updated to reflect the new national rules that apply variously with immediate effect, from Thursday 24th September and from Monday 29th September 2020 as outlined above.

The rules across Greater manchester vary between different areas. This is outlined in the link above. Key differences to the new national rules that currently apply in Manchester are outlined below.

Key differences in Manchester:

  • You MUST NOT:
    • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble*. (support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.)
    • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble.
  • You are ADVISED to NOT:
    • socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks.
    • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.

This information is provided in good faith as an accurate reflection of changing circumstances and the differences between the national and local restrictions and rules. Please follow the links for more detailed guidance and rules from the government.

Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s Statement to the House of Commons, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation, 22nd September 2020

Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation, 22nd September 2020

World Car Free Day 2020

Today is World Car Free Day 2020.

Car Free Day encourages motorists to give up their cars for a day. Organised events are sometimes held but the general aim is to encourage walking and cycling and use of public transport instead of cars.

The European Union has since 2001 extended this idea to European Mobility Week culminating in the World Car Free Day. The UK has two cities participating (London and Nottingham) compared to 540 locations in Turkey, 534 in Austria and 530 in Spain.

Manchester City Council is currently developing plans for an Active Neighbourhood in Levenshulme and Burnage to encourage and make walking and cycling easier. The project was paused in the summer but revised plans and letters with information to residents and businesses are expected soon.

The first proposal of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood is to trial a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)” in the form of multiple road blocks to vehicles (referred to as “modal filters”). These would restrict routes for vehicles whilst allowing pedestrians and cyclists free access. 32 filters were initially proposed in May 2020 but the revised plans are likely to change from that. Keep an eye out for the letters and information.

The Levenshulme Community Manifesto developed by the LCA includes a section on transport.

Free NHS Health Checks

Free NHS Health Checks are available for anyone aged 40-74 who is registered with a GP in Manchester and not on a disease register for a pre-existing health condition such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

By appointment only between 09.40-15.00 at Abbey Hey FC on Wednesday 30th September 2020.

To book an appointment please call 077 028 72861

Coronavirus Update

Please see below the video from Professor Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer, England) and Sir Patrick Vallance (Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government) providing an update on the recent significant increases in infection rates across the country.

MEN Article On School Traffic “Chaos”

Levenshulme is in the news with an article in the Manchester Evening News about traffic problems around schools.

“A community campaign group [Streets For People] is urging local councillors to take action on dangerous parking and increased school traffic in south Manchester.”

Extract from MEN article

Streets For People is hosting a Zoom meeting on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 3pm. The group says:

We are organising a public meeting on the issue of what’s happening with the Low Traffic Neighbourhood proposals, and especially the council’s inaction on the dangerous situation outside schools caused by motor traffic.

We challenge the Levenshulme and Burnage councillors and council leadership to attend this meeting and explain to residents what is happening.”

Streets For People

Read the full article HERE

Levenshulme Library Opens Again

Levenshulme Library on the ground floor of the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre on Stockport Road will open again tomorrow (Monday 14 September).

Opening Times and Contact Details:

  • Monday, Wednesday 10am to 3pm
  • Saturdays 11am to 3pm
  • Library available for use by over 60s from 10am to 11am
  • Phone:  0161 227 3725

Changes to using the library

When visiting the library, you will be asked to give your name and a contact number. All libraries have been asked by Government to collect the following information, to assist with the control of the Covid-19 pandemic. This information will be shared with NHS Test and Trace where requested, to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Residents can have up to 30 minutes to browse for books, or can select and reserve up to six books for collection from their chosen library.

Computers are also available for public use. Due to limited availability, residents wishing to use a computer are encouraged to call their library in advance to book a slot.

Books which were borrowed before libraries were forced to close in March have been renewed until 22 September, so residents will not have incurred fines during this period.

To help ensure social distancing, the numbers of users allowed inside each library at one time will be limited, so it may be necessary to queue outside the library at busy times. Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent, carer or older sibling.

Library users can reserve books to be picked up, using the online libraries catalogue or using one of the following options:

  • Ring and Read – get help to find books which you might enjoy by calling one of the libraries that are opening
  • Click and Collect, using www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries

Levenshulme Station Improvements

Network Rail will start work on improvements to Levenshulme Station this month.

Work is scheduled to start on Monday 28th September and finish on Friday 13th November 2020 with work taking place between 7am and 5pm.

Flooding in the subway under the platforms has been a problem for many years. The inside of the station will be upgraded with new lighting, flooring (a new concrete and resin floor), a new ceiling, cladding and painting.

The work will involve a temporary closure of the subway tunnel so the old Albert Road entrance will be reinstated permanently. This will provide access to platform 1 only until the subway reopens. Access to platform 2 will continue from the existing entrance. Access to both platforms will be available from either side of the tracks once work is completed.

Apart from the reopening of the Albert Road station entrance no other improvements will be done as part of these improvements. Friends of Levenshulme Station continue to campaign for access improvements alongside other local groups such as the LCA, local councillors (Dzidra Noor, Basat Sheikh and Bernard Stone) and our MP (Afzal Khan).

Image courtesy of Conrad Bower / themeteor.org

Harsher Lockdown Rules From Next Week

The government has announced harsher lockdown rules that will apply to all of England from Monday 14th September 2020.

An announcement from PM Johnson is expected tomorrow (Wednesday 9th September) but the new rules will ban gatherings of more than six people with only limited exceptions.

At-a-glance: What are the new rules?

  • Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14 September
  • The new rule applies to private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as bars and cafes
  • The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports
  • A full list of exemptions is due to be published before the law changes
  • People who ignore police could be fined £100 – doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200

Further information is available from the BBC HERE

We will provide another update when more information is released by the government.

GM Road Charging Clean Air Plan

Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a ‘category C’ charging Clean Air Zone. This would cover local roads across the whole of Greater Manchester from spring 2022, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The intention is to to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible.

The proposed Clean Air Zone aims to:

  • Bring NO2 emissions within legal limits as soon as possible and by 2024 at the latest.
  • Discourage polluting commercial vehicles from travelling on local roads in Greater Manchester.
  • Encourage businesses to switch to cleaner, low- or zero-emission vehicles.

The proposed Zone would cover all local roads across Greater Manchester. It would not include motorways and some main trunk roads managed by Highways England. The exact boundary is being developed by looking in detail at the local road network and using public feedback. See the Greater Manchester boundary, and the stretches of roads which have been identified as breaching legal NO2 limits without action, on our MappingGM page.

The most polluting commercial vehicles would pay a daily charge to travel on local roads in the Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds would not be charged. The Zone would be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

The following are proposed daily charges for the non-compliant commercial vehicles:

  • Buses, coaches and Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from spring 2022)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from spring 2022)
  • Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 2023)

If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 would be issued, in addition to the unpaid daily charge.

The 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have worked together to consider a wide range of measures to tackle air pollution, alongside a Clean Air Zone. Together, these form the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.

The costs of introducing a Clean Air Zone are covered by government. 

Further information including proposed charges are available HERE.

An eight week consultation will be launched in October 2020.

The Nest At Levenshulme Old Library Is Closing

This is an announcement from The Owl and The Coconut based at The Nest at Levenshulme Old Library.

Sadly The Nest at Levenshulme won’t be reopening but all The Owl and The Coconut classes and courses will continue! They will be online for now.

We’ve absolutely loved running our wellness space The Nest from the Old Library over the past two years! From Gong Baths to Mindful Art and everything in between it’s been epic!

As the world has changed during the Covid pandemic our needs at The Owl and The Coconut have changed too. For now we’re moving all our classes and courses online, which means we need a much smaller space. So we are closing The Nest and leaving Levenshulme Old Library.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Levenshulme Old Library. And to all of you who have joined us for wellness events at The Nest over the last two years. Thank you to everyone who we have worked with, all The Nest members and partner organisations, it’s been incredible!

Our meditation and mindful art classes and courses start up again online soon! Watch this space! To be first to here about them and keep up with all things Owl and Coconut follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter or click HERE to join our mailing list.

Together let’s create pockets of peace for us all to rest in for a moment!

Big love from us all at The Owl and The Coconut xxx

“Our Future Manchester” Council Survey

Manchester City Council is half way through its ten year strategy for the city. It is now doing a survey about priorities at the half way point. You can go direct to the survey (deadline 23rd September 2020) HERE.

The questions in the survey are weighted towards prioritising issues that have already been determined but there is also opportunity to comment.

The Council’s description / introduction to the survey is below for reference or can be viewed HERE.

The current version of the “Manchester Strategy” is available HERE. The existing priorities state that the city needs to be:

  • Thriving — creating great jobs and healthy businesses that our people benefit from. 
  • Filled with talent – homegrown in all our local communities as well as the world’s best. 
  • Fair — with equal chances for all to unlock their potential, no matter where in our city they were born, or where they live. 
  • A great place to live — with loads to do, leading the way to a low-carbon future that creates new opportunities for our residents
  • Buzzing with connections — world-class transport and brilliant broadband that put all Mancunians in touch with chances to get ahead. 

The Council says:

“The challenge to now include everyone in this successful future is bigger than ever. But Manchester is determined to do it. We’ve seen, through the COVID spring of 2020, what coming together in new ways, and doing things differently, can achieve.

Help to reset Manchester’s ambition to be the place where everyone can be everything they want to be. Take the survey, tell us your priorities, share your ideas and let us know how you can play your part in moving Our Manchester on.”

Manchester City Council Strategy Survey
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