Sadly today is the last trading day for Levenshulme Market in 2023. The Market is taking a break after celebrating 10 years of trading and intends to return in 2024.
The Market has been clear that there are a variety of reasons for this unexpected pause but the main one appears to be Manchester City Council deciding to impose a new fee in addition to the site licence fee the Market already pays. A full explanation from Levenshulme Market is available HERE (June 7) with a further update HERE (July 13).
Levenshulme Community Association would like to thank everyone involved in Levenshulme Market and for making the Market such a big part of Levenshulme as well as such a success winning several awards and supporting traders, with several going on to open businesses in Levenshulme. We hope that Levenshulme Market and Manchester City Council can find a solution and that the Council fully recognises the value of the Market and the contribution it has made to Levenshulme as a Community Interest Company and social enterprise, and the value it adds to our community.
Even though the weather might be showery today go down and give Levenshulme Market a big send off at the last Market of this year. We hope to see Levenshulme Market back again as soon as possible.
Witch Kings Rum to take over 312 Slade Lane, formerly known as “The Gherkin”!
Drinks that tell a story with flavour
From humble beginnings in an early-Lockdown kitchen, Witch Kings Rumfounders Maxi & Biz have finally secured their first bar location at 312 Slade Lane, Levenshulme!
Previously known & loved as community-hub The Gherkin, the site is now under entirely new ownership & management, with an ethereal & bohemian-themed renovation currently in development for the Witch Kings bar launch this August 2023.
Who are the Witch Kings?
The Witch Kings themselves are immortal creatures from the world between worlds, conjuring up delicious creations to suit the needs of their society. While roaming the forest one day, Maxi & Biz stumbled upon their magical portal, and traded their ukulele songs for a few fresh & fruity elixir recipes. Thus began the tale, and now the duo seek to share these potions with the world!
What can we expect?
The brand has spent the last 3 years honing its fresh rum-based cocktail offerings in a range of pop-up events across Manchester, hosting over 100 local musicians and collaborating with other artisan brands to create beautiful and eclectic events.
The debut full-time Witch Kings space will continue to feed the fun-loving vibes, with cocktails, mocktails, smoothies and soft drinks all designed and produced in-house by their liquid flavour mages.
Maxi’s restaurant & menu design background will introduce an inclusive & balanced selection of light bites & social snacks, while Biz is expanding the musical offering to include DJs, making the most of the site’s soundproofing.
The existing 6 craft beer taps will be kept in operation, and extensive no-and-low ABV options (including in-house brewed live Tepache, home-made cola, and their famous hibiscus lemonades) will ensure there is something for everyone at Witch Kings!
Grounded MCR are fundraising to create a new cafe and much more in Cringle Park.
You can find out more and donate on the Aviva Community Fund page HERE.
The fundraising closes at 13.00 on 26 June 2023.
“We plan to renovate a 40-foot shipping container café, turning it into a community café and event space, with a barista training area for vulnerable adults.We want to continue to provide free, activity-focused and educational events in our local park – to benefit the diverse community.
We’ve got big plans. The new space will give us room to train additional vulnerable adults such as ex-offenders,create a mini allotment and gardening club, have space for sports/activities clubs to meet, support/peer-to-peer groups to hang out, an area for local makers to display their wares plus a small zero waste shop in the future. The café menu will consist of dishes created from rescued food, destined for landfill, which will help keep prices down and ensure inclusivity for those on low income.
Who are Grounded MCR?
Grounded MCR CIC is a social enterprise serving specialty coffee, hot and cold drinks and locally sourced treats from a bespoke trike. We employ vulnerable adults with poor mental health, training them in barista/hospitality skills. We support local bakers; buy our coffee from a local roastery who pay farmers properly, and offer local makers/crafters opportunities to grow their own businesses via our platforms.
“We have gathered a huge amount of anecdotal feedback about our multi-faith, multi-faceted community and how to understand their wants and needs.
My wife Kerry and I (founders), are experienced in hospitality, PR/marketing/advertising, charity work and have both suffered with very poor mental health, which puts us in a unique position to make our business model work. Redundancy, adopting a child and Covid gave us an opportunity to start Grounded MCR, in the hope that it would allow us to use our skills to help improve ours and our employees’ mental health. The last 18 months has proved the combo of (specialty) coffee, conversation and community can help solve anything!
We try to be as inclusive as possible when hosting events and have worked with: -Children with additional needs/SEN -Parents and babies/toddlers -Marginalised groups – LGBTQ+ -Non-English speakers -Low income families -Vulnerable adults (specifically those with long standing mental health issues
Levenshulme Old Library is currently recruiting for a Finance and HR Manager.
This is a part time role within a small team, all of whom are local Levy residents who are working to restore our historic library building, transforming it into a welcoming and affordable space for the community where they can also have some high quality artistic experiences.
Levenshulme Old Library needs a special someone to help them grow, reaching more people and bringing them more activities and opportunities. They’re looking for someone who has some experience of managing finances and HR and is keen to support what Levenshulme Old Library does. For further information and to apply click HERE.
Timeout has included Bopcap Books in its list of the Best 14 Independent Shops in Manchester.
Bopcap Books in Levenshulme sits inside the famous Levenshulme Antiques Village and sells a carefully curated collection of books and ephemera (posters, magazines etc) across art, photography, design, pop culture, children’s books and illustration, cinema, fashion, the occult and cult fiction, beat lit, crime noir, graphic novels and pulp fiction. Find books by local authors or order online.
Timeout listing of bopcap books
Absolutely well deserved praise for Bopcap Books. Congratulations to Suzy Prince and Ian Lowey.
Levenshulme Pride is happening again this year 11-13 August. Since starting in 2017 it has grown to be the largest FREE local Pride in Greater Manchester with activities and events across dozens of locations.
Everything at Levenshulme Pride is FREE to attend. This is more important than ever as the cost of living crisis affects us all.
If you have an idea for something to happen at Levenshulme Pride get in touch. Everyone is welcome as Levenshulme Pride celebrates the people, groups and businesses of our community. The event operates on a devolved model so everyone has ownership and control of their own activities.
Levenshulme Pride is also looking for volunteers to support the event. You can get involved in any aspect of Levenshulme Pride. Volunteers are particularly needed to distribute publicity material, brochures and programmes, be marshalls for the Levenshulme Pride March and help stallholders setup.
Sponsorship and Advertising
Levenshulme Pride is supported by sponsorship and advertising with low rates to ensure every group or business can contribute to make the event happen. Without this support the event simply wouldn’t be possible. Thank you to all previous sponsors for their support and to everyone who took out advertisements in our brochure.
Further information is available on the Levenshulme Pride website HERE
Levenshulme Market organisers have announced the Market will close in July for the rest of the year as they face a series of challenges. The last Market this year will now be on 15 July then the Market will close until 2024.
This is dreadful news for Levenshulme as the Market, run as a social enterprise, has been developed through the hard work and commitment of people in Levenshulme over the last 10 years. In 2020 the Market won Best Small Outdoor Market at the Great British Market Awards 2020 organised by the National Association of British Market Authorities and was a finalist in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2019.
The Market says increased costs, staffing challenges, and the cost of living crisis have all played their part as well as the impact of the pandemic. Special mention is made of Manchester City Council, though, as it seeks to increase the fees charged to the Market to operate. This comes after a “painful planning permission process” to renew the permission with the Council. The Market also states “We reached out on a number of occasions to our local Levenshulme Councillors for assistance to no avail”.
Levenshulme Community Association has contacted Levenshulme Market to show our support and ask how we can help Levenshulme Market.
Manchester City Council wants to understand how it can improve its website so that it is easier and quicker to use. The Council is seeking views about what works well on manchester.gov.uk, what doesn’t work well and what you want to use the website for.
There are two options to take part as a resident or as a business.
What will be involved
The feedback sessions will be events (in-person and online) taking place at a number of locations in Manchester between October 2022 and April 2023. Other residents will attend, and we will gather feedback from everyone in a group setting, with structured discussions facilitated by our team.
These events will be run specifically to gather feedback about manchester.gov.uk, we won’t be able to answer specific questions about council services, such as bin collections etc.
What will be involved
You will be invited to attend feedback sessions (in-person and online) taking place in Manchester between October 2022 and April 2023. Other businesses will attend and our team will facilitate structured workshop discussions.
The new Lidl supermarket on Fallowfield Retail Park has been approved by the council.
All buildings on the right side of the retail park will be demolished to make way for the new store with the exception of the Doctor’s Surgery that will remain.
The range of shops will be dramatically reduced which is unfortunate when the aim is to have people travel less and stay local. For example after losing Gay Lyfe a few years ago the area has now lost Jollye’s Pet Store.
It also seems likely this development will generate more traffic in the area at a location known for its congestion.
Further information is available on the Place North West website HERE.
The Boundary Commission for England has proposed changing the parliamentary constituency boundary that includes Levenshulme. It is also proposed that the constituency is renamed to Manchester Longsight. It is currently the Manchester Gorton constituency.
The UK Government has introduced a Bill into Parliament, seeking the power to build and operate the next section of the HS2 railway between Crewe and Manchester, with a connection to the West Coast Main Line to serve stations in Scotland and the North West.
HS2 Ltd are holding a webinar on Thursday 17 March 2022, 18.00-19.00 to discuss the Crewe to Manchester section of the new railway.
During this webinar we will give a brief presentation on the Bill and point out some of the main features of the proposed new railway in Manchester. The majority of time, however, will be set aside for questions – giving you the chance to ask the team about the Bill and what it means for Manchester.
“Hello, Jen Savaris and I are flying out to Poland on the 8th of March to bring selected items from the refugee appeal list to Medyka bordering Ukraine where over 50,000 refugees are arriving every day. We are self-funding the trip and limited with what we can bring as we are flying over, we want to give directly to those in need and see what other assistance we can offer whilst there to the amazing volunteering groups already out there and build a relationship with the organisations so we can share that with the people in the UK who want to further support them.
We have an allowance of 160kg to fly out with and the items we need the most to take with us are:
Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Miniature First aid kits
We also have a fundraising page if anyone would like to financially support our efforts whilst out there, after emptying the luggage on Day 1 we will then go and refill a further 160kg each day we are there by purchasing things needed such as food, baby goods and anything else the charities request. Where we can, we are going to try and pass some of the stuff on to those still in the Ukraine and especially those being denied entry into the bordering countries.
BACS bank transfer: Jennifer Savaris, Sort Code: 09-01-28, Account number: 64195110
All donations will be made transparent, and we will be keeping all receipts as proof of where donations are going. If you can support our efforts, we would be extremely grateful. Thank you so much. Jamie & Jen (The Gherkin & Perry’s Pantry Foodbank).
Please drop off at The Gherkin. Let staff know it’s for Ukraine not the kindness kabinet.”
The MEN also has an article about Jen and Jamie’s trip HERE
There are now three financial support schemes available to businesses through funding that was announced by the Government to help businesses in light of the Omicron variant.
COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) replaces the right to request a reduction in business rates from the Valuation Office Agency due to COVID-19 and allows us to pay successful businesses a relief of up to 100% of their 2021/22 business rates bill. The fund is limited and only available to businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are ineligible for existing COVID related business rates reliefs. Read more about CARF and how to apply.
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant (OHLG) Did you receive a Local Restriction Support Grant last year? If your business offers in-person services on the premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors you might be eligible for a one-off Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant payment of up to £6,000. Check eligibility and apply online.
The council held the first of the two video calls on the Active Neighbourhood last night (Thursday 13 January 2022). This was an opportunity for people to ask questions about the current proposals / plans.
The Project Team has responded to the request by Levenshulme Community Association and Levenshulme Traders Association for an extension to the consultation. The new deadline is Sunday 30th January 2022. The deadline was extended to 28 January on 13 January and then extended to 30 January on 14 January. Full information on how to comment is available HERE.
The Project Team has finally provided a plan for Grangethorpe Drive (available HERE), another request of the LCA. Unfortunately a summary of the Randolph Street / Balleratt Street proposals is still missing. The online Feedback Survey is still inconsistent with the proposals listed on the website or on the overview map but at least it is now possible to comment on more than two proposals. The Project Team refused to take comments or questions on any of the 14 trial blocks / filters in Levenshulme which have inexplicably been left out of the consultation.
Although the proposals were broadly welcomed by people commenting on the video call there was frustration that the proposals were disjointed and disconnected and opportunities had been missed. The Project Team said they would look at several locations where issues were raised although it seems we are unlikely to see any revised plans before the council starts implementing them if it secures funding.
Data, evidence, reports or analysis to support the proposals have still not been released and it seems unlikely that Manchester City Council or the Project Team will ever publish this information. The claim by the council from the outset that this would be an evidence based, data driven and community led flagship project ring slightly hollow if members of the community are not allowed to see any of this data or evidence.
We still think an extra four days for the consultation is insufficient to allow people to comment and engage fully when many people have still not received letters informing them the consultation is even happening, posters and hard copies of the plans have only just been made available (we don’t know where these are yet) and the online survey has been changed without informing anybody. All these corrections have been made almost three quarters of the way through the original consultation period. This means a possible six week consultation period is effectively only a consultation of two weeks at best with partially corrected information.
Wesley Evans, the Project Manager, announced the new deadline and summarised the process from this point at the end of the video call:
“Just to say I think we’ve heard loud and clear that the consultation should be extended. There were a few technical issues and what we would do is instead of closing on Monday 24th January we will try and now close it on Friday 28th January.
The reason we don’t want to extend it too much is we want to try to get this works completed really and to do so we’ve got a window of opportunity in order to obtain funding there’s a March 2023 deadline so the next step now is we’ll have the further consultation event next Thursday [20 January 2022] and we’ll close the consultation say the 28th January which give us then time to digest and there’s gonna be a lot of people with different views, different recommendations and we need to at least consider that really so there’s gonna be, er, we need to sit down and go through what people are making recommendations.
Then following on from that we’ll take what we call these outline designs and work on what’s called detailed designs so some of the designs may change but I don’t fundamentally see things changing significantly but there may be tweaks there could be some things we have missed and stuff so as I say we’ll work on what’s called detailed designs next.
Following on from that we move into procurement and then once we’ve got a contractor appointed that’s when we’ll look to start construction of the works. The only thing I would also like to highlight the trial say for Phase One was like an 18 month trial and that ceases I think, I can’t remember the exact date, right at the end of June so we may try to look to do some early work to make what we call the temporary filters permanent, erm, so it may be that we start early works on those to make them permanent and then following on from that hopefully not long after it starts to make the actual works permanent with what you’ve seen today how that evolves really so the next stage is very much we try to enter into detailed designs but like I say we will consider everything and try and do as much as we can.
Like what people say we all wish we had billions of pounds to do absolutely everything. Unfortunately we can’t but all we can do is do our best. We have tried to do our best from the word go but unfortunately we can’t do everything but like I say all I can say is we will consider everything and try and do as much as we can.”
Wesley evans, Active neighbourhood project manager, 13 January 2022
Levenshulme Community Association and Levenshulme Traders Association have jointly called for the current Active Neighbourhood consultation to be extended. There are multiple problems with the way the consultation is being run. We believe these problems must be corrected and then the consultation should be extended to allow proper community engagement.
The letter and concerns are reproduced below and have been sent on 11 January 2022 to: Levenshulme councillors (Zahid Hussain, Dzidra Noor and Basat Sheikh); Burnage councillors (Azra Ali, Ben Clay and Bev Craig who is also Manchester City Council Leader); Manchester City Council Executive member Tracey Rawlins; Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester Mayor); and local MPs Afzal Khan and Jeff Smith. Copied to the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project Team.
BT are changing all landlines to a new digital system. This is being rolled out nationally by 2025 but is currently happening in Levenshulme now.
What does this mean?
All landlines will be switched to a digital system with your phone connection provided via the internet / a broadband connection. Your phone will not work without a broadband connection. Any existing phone sockets you have will go dead after you have been switched over to the new system and you must connect your phone via your broadband router / equipment.
If you have any alarm systems, or personal care alert equipment you must check that these will be compatible with the new digital system.
The new system means that if there is a power cut your landline will not work. In a power cut you will not be able to use your landline phone to call emergency services or anyone else. BT was providing battery packs that would provide a couple of hours phone service but these have a limited supply at the moment. Check with BT about availability.
Will my existing phone still work?
Possibly. Recent phones should still work on the new digital system but older phones are not compatible. When you are switched to the new system you are entitled to a new digital compatible phone for free from BT. If you want more than one phone you will have to buy additional handsets. You can get a new free handset from BT and then check whether your existing phones will still work before buying new phones.
The Levenshulme Christmas Lights Switch On Event will be on Friday 26th November on the Village Green.
This is always a highlight of the year and a true community event open to everyone, organised by and for our community. Businesses and groups across Levenshulme come together to make this happen with funding. Thanks to Levenshulme Traders Association for organising everything.
The event starts at 16.00 with Father Christmas arriving at 16.30 and the lights switch on at 17.30. There will be entertainment and guests throughout and free presents to the first 300 children.
It is great to be able to have the Christmas Lights Switch On again this year but please bear in mind that Covid is still a factor in our lives so please be respectful of others and the ongoing advice to ensure a safe and happy event.
Levenshulme business Wire Fence supplied gabions for a garden makeover on ITV’s Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh.
The gabions were used extensively to create retaining walls, a kitchen area and a water feature. The brief was for a Mediterranean style garden that was stylish and met the needs of the family creating an oasis that they could all enjoy.
“We were excited when we got contacted by ITV with the opportunity to supply our gabion cages to the show. James and his family seem like wonderful and hard working people and we are happy that we could play a part in surprising them with this beautiful garden. Alan Titchmarsh and his team did an amazing job as always, and it was a pleasure to collaborate with them in this project.“
Station South, the new cafe and cycling business that has been evolving in the old Levenshulme South Station building for several years, has a new opening date.
Station South Directors Abigail Pound, Mark Jermyn and Pauline Johnston say:
“We’re primed for opening in the Spring of 2022. Finally! We cannot wait. Thanks for sticking by us on this long-haul journey, we’ll be in touch again soon with more progress to report.”
The next phase comes through to the end of 2021 is described as:
“This final phase of building works will deliver some of the big vision changes that the team have been working hard to secure funding for like the retention of level access throughout the building and heritage features like the ‘viewing platform’.”
“The £400K contract includes work to open up the back windows of the old train station, restoring the original wooden frame reglaze the section which is currently corrugated metal. This will let abundant light and nature pour into the unique space and allow our customers to watch the world go by on the Fallowfield Loop with a brew in their hands. The dream!”
Councillors have confirmed the Active Neighbourhood scheme will have a new public consultation and nothing is confirmed yet.
A meeting attended by over 60 residents, including Levenshulme Community Association Secretary Jeremy Hoad, was at times tense but has brought some welcome clarity to the current status of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood.
“Following the end of this trial, and reviews of feedback, all 14 filters will be made permanent.“
Manchester City Council statement, 13 September 2021
Councillors say this statement by Manchester City Council about the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme was made “out of context” and this is only a partial explanation of the current situation. The current road blocks / “modal filters” will only be made permanent if a full plan for the Active Neighbourhood is approved for implementation following a public consultation.
The next stage designs will provide a full plan for interventions well beyond the current trial of 14 road blocks / “modal filters” in Levenshulme. This is the first time our community will be provided with comprehensive proposals and and a plan for the Active Neighbourhood, three years after the project started. It is understood the plans will include measures for both Levenshulme and Burnage.
The statement went on to say that:
“This month [August 2021] the Highways Service presented the initial outline designs for the proposed next stage of the Active Travel Neighbourhood scheme to ward councillors in both areas. These were agreed in principle, with the plans also submitted to Transport for Greater Manchester for their review and comment.”
Manchester City Council statement, 13 September 2021
A New Public Consultation
The new plans will be released soon and go to a public consultation. Councillors did not provide details of the consultation but accepted that previous consultations and the scheme as a whole had been “…a complete mess from the beginning…” and that it had “…gone wrong…”. They stated they had been “…working behind the scenes…” to improve the plans and had rejected previous drafts before accepting the current proposals.
Councillor Hussain stated that so far the project had spent £800,000 and that the budget had been reduced for the whole scheme. The original budget was up to £700,000 for development work and to undertake a trial with a further £1.8m available dependent on a successful business case proposal to TfGM for full implementation.
When pressed by residents councillors clarified that if residents were not happy with all the proposals then the scheme would not go ahead and everything – including the current road blocks / “modal filters” – would be removed.
It was also stated by councillors that the road blocks / “modal filters” would not be retained or made permanent until or unless problems on all roads were addressed, something councillors had insisted on for the scheme to progress. No scheme would be approved before that. However, councillors were confident that the community would welcome the final plans when they saw the designs.
Where’s the Data?
Councillors were also asked “Where’s the data?” as the whole scheme was claimed to be evidence based and data driven as well as community led. Councillors explained that the filters had been left in place so that the project could gather more data after the trial had finished [in June 2021] as Covid19 restrictions were lifted. Monitoring, managed by Manchester Urban Observatory (based at the University of Manchester) had taken place throughout the trial. Doubts were raised by residents about how accurate, useful or comprehensive this data was as well as the placement of monitoring equipment.
What will the final plans look like?
More comprehensive, inclusive and balanced, it seems. Reference was made to traffic calming, chicanes, crossings, pavement improvements and speed tables (large raised flat areas on the road). These are the sorts of measures residents, businesses and community groups (including Levenshulme Community Association) have been calling for throughout the project.
Unfortunately the attitude previously of the Project Team (with Sustrans and Levenshulme Bee Network before they were removed from the project in 2020) was dismissive of this more balanced approach and focussed primarily on installing road blocks / “modal filters” to create a “Low Traffic Neighbourhood”.
Residents also raised concerns about a number of related issues: dangerous driving in the area which was getting worse; problems with HGVs; speeding; anti-social behaviour around the road blocks; ongoing issues with emergency services and problems for carers and other service providers needing to easily meet residents’ needs. These reflected concerns that had consistently been raised by the LCA, residents and businesses that the approach throughout the project had been limited and did not focus on solving the problems we faced as a community or prioritise the aims of the project to actually make our roads safer and encourage walking and cycling.
Councillors stressed that the scheme was “…not about cycling…” but about “…Active Travel, creating shared space and provision for walking, cycling and drivers getting around.”
What happens next?
The final Active Neighbourhood plans should be made public in the next few weeks. The council has already indicated there will be a public engagement meeting in late September / early October.
Serious concerns were raised about how the consultation would be run. Residents made clear that they were dissatisfied with previous consultation and engagement and councillors accepted this had not been done well. Residents at the meeting highlighted the exclusive, biased and insecure nature of the online Commonplace system and the limited and ineffective information available.
As yet it is unclear what changes will be made to the consultation process, when it will start or how long it will run for. It is also unclear how decisions will be made, what criteria will be used and what attempts will be made to ensure the whole community can get involved and have their voices heard effectively.
Councillors Sheikh and Hussain were thanked for their attendance at the meeting and it was made clear by residents that this ongoing discussion was very welcome. Thanks also to Mark at the Bluebell for hosting the meeting.
Levenshulme Community Association will continue to provide updates and announcements as they are available to enable residents and businesses to be fully involved in this next stage of what has so far been a frustrating and difficult experience for many people.
Levenshulme’s Cibus restaurant, run as a pop-up at Fred’s Ale House, is moving into new premises in what is currently the M19 Bar. People will also know Cibus from their stall on Levenshulme Market. Cibus Ristorante is scheduled to open on 14 October.
Cibus founder Giorgio Fontana has been working with Head Chef Marco Bracchitta to expand their menu and bring a complete Italian dining experience to their new restaurant. M19 is undergoing a full refit and will include refreshed, relaxed outside space at the rear with a “Balearic seaside shack” vibe.
Click HERE to read a report from Manchester Confidential including discussion of the history and development of Cibus and their approach to ingredients, wine and drink and their progress to their new restaurant in Levenshulme.
Levenshulme Market has secured its future for the next four years following approval of their planning application.
Planning permission has been granted for the the Market to operate for another four years. Although the market had originally hoped to extend its operation throughout the year and add Sunday markets and more Friday night markets to what it does the application has ended up with arrangements pretty much the same as are currently in place.
There is a blog post on the Levenshulme Market website by Richard Hirst, Market Manager, outlining their experience in securing the renewed operating permission. The post outlines with some frustration the bureaucracy involved, delays, and lack of support from both Manchester City Council and local councillors.
Although this experience does not appear to have been particularly positive for Levenshulme Market the main positive is that the future of the market has been secured at the heart of Levenshulme for several years to come.
“Levenshulme Market is here for another four years. Which is great news and an enormous relief. But the lesson for us is that, while Levenshulme Market may be thriving – with thousands of customers each week, awards under its belt, generating enormous high street footfall, organising financial projects to support our local area – there’s no assurance it won’t find its future at risk once again. We dearly hope we won’t have a repeat of this ordeal in future, but in four years’ time you could once again be called on to help- keep Levenshulme Market open.”
Levenshulme Market blog post, 12 july 2021
You can also read a report of Levenshulme Market’s success in securing its future in the MEN HERE
Levenshulme Market runs from March to December. Current dates are available HERE
Please check this information from the UK Government Home Office if you are an EU citizen. You MUST apply for settled status by 30 June 2021 or you will lose the right to remain in the UK following the implementation of Brexit by the UK government.
Over the past year Levenshulme Community Association has developed the Levenshulme Community Directory. This LCA project, developed and led by LCA Secretary Jeremy Hoad, is a resource for our community and promotes Levenshulme to the wider world.
The Community Directory shares information, supports community cohesion and links people together as well as supporting several key aims identified in the Levenshulme Community Manifesto.
The Directory provides listings organised into five themed sections as well as a complete A-Z page:
Unfortunately it appears this report was a little premature. The information is contained in a report to the council’s planning committee and was not the actual decision of the planning committee. Apologies for this mistake. It turns out what was reported was a planning officer’s report with a recommendation to approve the planning application. The decision was due yesterday (18/02/21) but has now been deferred to a future date to allow additional information to be submitted. We hope whatever clarifications required are secured. The current arrangements remain in place until August 2021.
(Post edited to reflect the current situation pending a final decision by the council planning committee.)
The popular and successful Levenshulme Market operating as a Community Interest Company is here to stay [has submitted an application to continue] for another four years.
Manchester City Council approved [considered] the planning application today (18 February 2021) for an operating licence for Levenshulme Market for another four years. Not just as it is, though, as the market has big ambitions and will be operating throughout the year. These operating times were approved:
Fridays (up to 12 weeks a year) 16.00-22.00
Saturdays (52 weeks a year) 10.00-16.00
Sundays (up to 12 weeks a year) 10.00-17.00
The previous operating times for the market were:
Saturdays (March to December), 10.00-16.00
Fridays (ups to 10 days per year), 17.00-21.00
The market will [has applied to] continue to operate over the same area it currently uses across the southern half of the Levenshulme Station car park taking up approximately 50% of available parking spaces and providing 50 market stalls. The provision for 10 market stalls previously permitted on Levenshulme Village Green has been [would be] removed [under the new arrangements].
There are also plans to install a mains electricity supply for use by the market that will enable the current use of a generator to be phased out.
The decision [recommendation] includes this assessment:
“The operation market would give the district a distinctive retail offer that would contribute to the continued regeneration of the district centre, which would be particularly important to local economic recovery in the post-COVID period. The market is operated as a local social enterprise and many of its traders are from the surrounding area thereby demonstrating its links with the local area. It would also provide an important outlet for the sustained operation of local businesses. The development would present continued opportunities for social interaction and engagement across a diverse community.”
A new site management plan is to be agreed formalising the existing arrangements that also includes provision of stewards to direct vehicles and pedestrians, new signs and arranging remote parking for traders who do not require access to their vehicles so that the remaining parking spaces are fully accessible to the public when the market is operating.
The new Levenshulme Pub has a fantastic new look. Colin Campbell and Chris Thompson who run the pub have been working hard during lockdown to refurbish it. On 6 February the makeover came to the front in style with a huge rainbow flag across the full width of the building closely followed by a live streaming of entertainment by Jordan William Smart.
“The new Levenshulme is an LGBT+ friendly venue where everyone is welcome. This is the place where you’re safe. This is the place where you’re entertained. We have worked hard during lockdowns to create a new business concept. We hope you all like it.”
Colin Campbell, The Levenshulme
This new look for the new Levenshulme coincides with Greater Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week (1-7 February 2021) which aims to raise awareness of hate crimes and increase reporting of incidents. This is particularly relevant following a hate incident against a gay man in Levenshulme last week. This does not reflect the wonderful, diverse and supportive community in Levenshulme but shows we must all be vigilant and stand together against hate of all kinds.
Levenshulme is also home to the largest independent local Pride in Manchester outside the city centre which was itself started after a homophobic hate incident. Levenshulme Pride will be held this year 13-15 August 2021, covid restrictions permitting.
The New Levenshulme is on Stockport Road beside the Antiques Village.
Lidl are proposing to build a new supermarket on the Fallowfield Retail Park on Birchdfields Road near the roundabouts at the top of Kingsway.
The plans would mean demolishing all buildings on the right hand side of the entrance road apart from the Hawthorne Medical Practice and replacing them with a new Lidl store which is anticipated to create around 40 jobs.
You can read the MEN article about the plans HERE. Please note the phone number given at the end of this article is incorrect.
The council is holding an online event for businesses to discuss the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood scheme Phase 1 (Levenshulme). The Project Team says:
“We felt that people attending [previous] events did not fully represent all of the business community in Levenshulme, and for this reason, we are reaching out to offer an additional event to ensure local businesses are aware of the scheme and have the chance to have their say.”
The event will take place at 18.00-19.00 on Thursday 14 January, 2021
The meeting will be attended by Levenshulme Councillors, colleagues from the Highways Service and Central Neighbourhood Team.
Please also share this information with any other businesses in the area who you think would be interested in taking part. The Active Neighbourhood project and the current trial of road blocks / “modal filters” are likely to have a significant impact on businesses. You can find a list of the locations at www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations.
[EDIT: The project email address is now working again]
Thee project email address has not been working properly recently so please feel free to email the LCA and we will pass your request on to the Project Team. If you cannot get through on the project email use this email address <email@example.com> and add “LBAN Business Meeting” in the subject line.
The formal notification of the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood has been published. You can view the announcement HERE or read the text below. The notice was dated 18 December 2020 and states it will come into force on 26 December 2020.
Phase 1 of the scheme will install 14 road blocks / “modal filters” for at least six months across Levenshulme. The council has said that a further five road blocks / “modal filters” might be added during the trial but this has not been confirmed yet.
The council had originally said the trial measures would be installed from 4-8 January 2021 but now says “early January”.
A consultation on measures for Phase 2 (covering parts of Burnage Ward) is still live. You can take part and submit comments HERE or by emailing the council directly <firstname.lastname@example.org>. This consultation closes on 21 January 2021.
Where are the road blocks / “modal filters” going?
The 14 filters which will be installed on a trial basis early in the New Year are at:
Cardus Street (North)
Delamere Road and Gordon Avenue
Manor Road (East)
Portville Road and Randolph Street
Unfortunately the council has not provided any detailed plans of where these road blocks / “modal filters” will be located or whether parking spaces will need to be removed to allow vehicles accessing these roads to turn around despite repeated requests for greater clarity and detail.
Five more proposed filters are being paused until an assessment can be made of what their impact would be on surrounding residential streets, but could still form part of the phase 1 trial, with alternative solutions to be considered as part of the wider scheme development. These are at Chapel Street (East), Crayfield Road, Dunstable Street, Manor Road (West) and Marley Road.
Public Announcement Text
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Notice is hereby given that on the 11th December 2020 Manchester City Council made the following Orders under Sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The Orders, which will be introduced on an experimental basis for a period of up to 18 months are as follows:- City of Manchester (Various Roads, Levenshulme) (Prohibition of Driving Except Cycles And Revocation) (Experimental) Order 2020
The effect of the Order will be to introduce the following:
Experimental Prohibition Of Driving (Except Cycles) on –
Buckhurst Rd – both sides from its junction with Albert Road in a northerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Cardus St – both sides from its junction with Cromwell Grove in a northerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Caremine Ave – both sides from a point 10 metres west of its junction with Lonsdale Road in a westerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Dorset Rd – both sides from its junction with Fairbourne Road in a westerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Gordon Ave – Gordon Avenue/Delamere Road junction, from the north east corner of the junction to the south west corner with a minimum width of 2 metres.
Guildford Rd – both sides from a point 2 metres south west of its junction with Norley Drive in a south westerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Henderson St – both sides from a point 32 metres north west of its junction with Nall Street in a north westerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Longden Rd – both sides from its junction with Stovell Avenue in an easterly direction for a distance of 2 metres.
Manor Rd – both sides from a point 80 metres east of its junction Audley Road in an easterly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Mayford Rd – both sides from a its junction with Stockport Road in an easterly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Molyneux Rd – both sides from its junction with Cumbrae Road in a southerly direction for a distance of 2 metres.
Osborne Rd – both sides from its junction with Slade Lane in a north easterly direction for a distance of 5 metres.
Randolph St – both sides from a point 13.5 metres south of its junction with Mayford Road in a southerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
Victoria Rd – both sides from its junction with Albert Road in a north westerly direction for a distance of 3 metres.
City of Manchester (Cardus Street, Manchester) (Experimental Revocation of One Way Traffic) Order 2020 The above Order is revoked in its entirety.
The Orders shall come into operation on 26th December 2020.
A copy of the Orders, together with the plans showing the roads to which they relate and a Statement of the Council’s Reasons for making the Orders may be inspected at Customer Service Centre Ground Floor, Town Hall Extension M60 2LA (for Sat. Nav. use M2 5DB) between the hours of 9.00am and 4.30pm on Monday to Friday inclusive for a period of 6 months until 26th June 2021. Due to Covid 19 restrictions please ensure that the Contact Centre is open before attending. If it is closed or you are unable to attend, a copy of the plan may be requested (without payment) by emailing email@example.com or writing to the address at the end of this notice.
The City Council will be considering in due course whether the provisions of the Order should be continued in force indefinitely. Within a period of six months from the coming into force of the Order or if the Order is subsequently varied or amended from the coming into force of the variation or modification (whichever is the latter) any person may object to the indefinite continuation of the provisions of the Orders.
Any person wishing to object should submit their grounds of objection in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or the address below no later than 26th June 2021 quoting reference L/GS/EVD2001/1887.
Any person who wishes to question the validity of the Orders or of any provision contained in it on the grounds that they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or on the grounds that any requirement of that Act or of any instrument made under it have not been complied with in relation to the Order may within six weeks from 11th December 2020 apply to the High Court for such purpose.
Signed: Fiona Ledden, City Solicitor PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA
Please see below a message from Cath Keane, Neighbourhood Liaison Manager at the MCC Highways Service and part of the Active Neighbourhood team, regarding an event for local businesses. This is welcome and follows up on a previous commitment for further engagement.
Please draw this to the attention of any businesses in the area so they can take part.
Manchester City Council held formal consultation around a scheme to make walking and cycling easier and safer in Levenshulme. We also held a number of face to face on line events which allowed people to have their say on the suggested measures. These events were well attended and gave around 170 people the chance to have their say, while more than 3,500 others have responded through our website.
However, we felt that people attending these on line events did not fully represent all of the business community in Levenshulme, and for this reason, we are reaching out to offer an additional event to ensure local businesses are aware of the scheme and have the chance to have their say.
Although the formal consultation end date has passed, we are still keen to receive feedback for the next six months as this will inform any final, permanent measures which could be implemented.
If you or representatives from your organisations would be interested in attending an on line event about the trial in Levenshulme, please email email@example.com.
If you would find it useful to have an interpreter at the on line event, please let us know and we can arrange it.
The event date will be confirmed in the near future and we will send details to everyone who has emailed us to request an invite. To join the meeting, you will need a laptop or smart phone . A link will be sent which you can click and join.
Suzy Prince, co-owner of Bopcap Books in the Antiques Village, has an article in the Guardian reflecting on the pandemic and a trend and determination of people to shop locally.
“In Greater Manchester, there’s… anger about recent events, and for some people, overtly buying from independent businesses has become an act of defiance, of sorts.”
“…it seems clear that people want change and are prepared to go out of their way to achieve it. A world with far fewer cafes, bars and independent shops in it would be a considerably duller place. Let’s hope the will that has emerged over the last few months to keep our high streets alive lasts far beyond the pandemic. Amid all the gloom, I think the signs are strong.”
Manchester City Council is planning three online events (via Microsoft Teams) to hear your ideas about Levenshulme & Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project plans. The project proposes a trial of 25 road blocks / “modal filters” all around Levenshulme starting on 19 December 2020 and running for six months.
There are other possible elements to the project that have not been confirmed yet but the trial will only be for the road blocks / “modal filters”.
Three dates have been arranged for the public meeting, which will take place on:
The LCA has requested all publicity material for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood Project including in different languages. All material that is currently available can be downloaded below as PDF documents. There are instructions here on how to comment on the plans online, by email and by written questionnaire including deadlines that have now changed.
Be aware that all the maps in the printed materials are different and the deadline for comment has been extended by a week because of a mistake in the printed materials that have been distributed.
As of today (16 October 2020) only the questionnaire leaflet is available in any language apart from English. That language is Romanian.
UPDATE: Urdu version of the questionnaire leaflet added on 23 October 2020
UPDATE: Bengali version of the questionnaire leaflet added on 22 October 2020
UPDATE: Arabic version of questionnaire leaflet added on 19 October 2020.
The Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood deadline for feedback and comment has been extended to Wednesday 4th November 2020.
You can find out more about what the plans are and how to give feedback HERE.
Many people in our community still haven’t received notification of these plans. The LCA had written to the Project Team requesting an extension to the deadline so an extra week is helpful although we still don’t think that is sufficient. In the meantime you can download the booklet and poster by following the link above.
We have also requested a PDF copy of the Active Neighbourhood questionnaire form to make available to people but so far this has been refused and we have been told people must go to either Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre or Burnage Library to collect a paper copy of the booklets and forms. Publicity material has also been requested in other languages for distribution but so far this has not been provided and does not seem to be available yet.
Manchester City Council has now released an information booklet and poster on the revised plans for the Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood project. You can download PDFs of both below.
You can also request paper copies of the booklet and information in other languages by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org Copies will be made available in the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre and hopefully at other locations in the area (to be confirmed).
The website for feedback is available HERE. Comments must be received by Wednesday 28 October 2020.
Letters have been sent to schools this week and should be received by all residents and businesses across the project area in Levenshulme and Burnage next week. This will allow about two weeks to comment on all four response areas and the 25 proposed individual road blocks / “modal filters”.
The MCC website currently says:
Comments on the trial (Phase 1) area will need to reach us by 28 October to be accepted, but all feedback given during the trial period (19 December 2020 to19 June 2021) will be reviewed before any final decisions are made. Feedback on problem areas and what the issues are in Cringle Park (Phase 2) are also welcomed, and can influence the trial, which is currently due to start early in 2021. These will need to be received by 21 December 2020.
MCC LBAN feedback dates
NOTE: Information on the council’s website has been changing every few days in the past two weeks probably partly due to the project losing its second Project Manager after the new plans were released on Monday 02 October. The LCA will continue to monitor whatever is released and make sense of the process.
We will also request an extension to the feedback deadline as two weeks seems unreasonably short period for people to understand the complex proposals and comment on the scheme especially as no formal notification of the engagement process and new plans has been sent to residents or businesses yet.
Active Neighbourhood online feedback deadline 28 October 2020
Road Blocks / “Modal Filters” trial will run from 19 December 2020 to 19 June 2021
UPDATE: The Manchester City Council website did not mention any dates initially, then within the last week the dates were added. It seemed the dates had been removed but actually an extra page of text was added to the MCC website on 7th October HERE that still includes the dates.
Manchester City Council still hasn’t actually informed anybody about the new plans and consultation on the proposed Active Neighbourhood but it has set a deadline for feedback.
Letters were promised to all residents, businesses, schools and community groups but so far nothing has been sent out. We were also promised a phone line to make comments and that has not yet been provided and an email address which so far doesn’t seem to exist. The new website for commenting is only available in English. No posters or information have been put up in the area informing people about the online consultation. So the only way to comment on a scheme the council hasn’t officially told anyone about yet is online HERE.
Regardless of not telling anyone about the new plans apart from a tweet from our MP, Afzal Khan, that was shared by some councillors the council has now provided a deadline when the online consultation will end on 28th October. So we won’t be able to comment on a plan the council hasn’t told anybody about after 28th October.
There are now 25 individual road blocks / “modal filters” on the new plans in Phase 1 covering Levenshulme. The Commonplace website says temporary crossings and traffic calming will be included the trial but there is no evidence of these on the new plans although part of the online consultation invites comments about these. A summary of the new plans is available HERE.
Note that the project has now been renamed “Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood”. When it was called Levenshulme Bee Network it included part of Burnage. Now it is called Levenshulme and Burnage Active Neighbourhood that part of Burnage is now excluded from the trial starting in December.
The part of Burnage included in the project is now identified as “Phase 2”. The project claims it will reduce traffic in the area but the council says the Burnage area has now been excluded from the December trial “…because of the density of schools in the Cringle Brook (Phase 2) area, and issues with traffic congestion…” which is a little confusing.
The Phase 2 area covers part of Burnage Ward and was identified previously as “Cringle Park Area”, not “Cringle Brook” as the council website says. The road blocks / “modal filters” that were in the previous plans in what is now Phase 2 have been removed from the new plans and you are invited to propose ideas for Burnage Ward. No timeline is available for Phase 2.
The project was paused in the summer to allow for further and more extensive engagement with the community. The July statement from Levenshulme councillors is below for reference. Since then a new Project Manager was appointed by the council, new plans developed that seem to be almost identical to the original plans despite them receiving considerable opposition from our community and the Burnage section of the project has been removed from the trial despite Sustrans (who developed the plans for the council) saying the whole scheme needed to be trialled or it wouldn’t work.
The whole thing is ever more confusing but further updates will be provided as things develop to try and keep people informed.
The project has now been split into two with Phase 1 covering Levenshulme and Phase 2 covering Burnage. A trial of road blocks / “modal filters” will start in December 2020 and last for a minimum of six months.
Note that a “modal filter” is the name given to something that blocks the road to vehicular traffic but still allows access through for pedestrians and cyclists (and presumably mopeds and motorbikes).
Manchester City Council says:
We now have a plan for the future direction of the project, and have decided to tackle it in two phases. We would like your feedback on some of the measures which we are going to trial (Phase 1). The trial measures will start to be put in place from December (during school holidays).This is also a great way for the scheme to be seen in action, tested and analysed, so it can be tweaked or changed where required but also allow peoples habits to change and through traffic to re-route.
Because of the density of schools in the Cringle Park (Phase 2) area, and issues with traffic congestion, we are continuing to seek opinions from local residents, businesses and schools on what measures are needed and where before they are trialled.
We hope to commence the trial in the Festive season break in December and will last a minimum of 6 months. The final designs for the Active neighbourhood will be drawn up based on the results of the consultation and implemented within 18 months should the funding application be successful.
MCC Active Neighbourhood Plans
The Phase 1 trial area excludes Burnage. No date has been suggested yet for Phase 2 in Burnage. The Phase 1 / Phase 2 split has been done based on political Wards, not the Park Area cells the Project has identified which is why the Henderson Street road block / “modal filter” is included in Phase 1.
The Levenshulme Phase 1 trial identifies 25 road blocks / “modal filters” outlined on the map below. The revised plans are not very different to the original plans. We will look at them in detail and post further information once we have worked out what differences there are.
The Phase 1 trial is still primarily for road blocks / “modal filters”. The council is also asking for feedback on where temporary crossings and traffic calming could be located as part of its Phase 1 consultation. The council says:
The trial includes a number of temporary crossing points and traffic calming measures to provide immediate benefits on routes that have been raised through previous consultation. [ * ]
We understand from previous feedback that traffic volume and speeds make certain streets hard to cross. We’d like you to tell us where you feel crossing points or traffic calming may help day to day life and make getting around safer and easier.
Further community feedback on the locations of these is welcomed, so that a final Trial Plan can be developed. The trial plan has a degree of flexibility once live, but we need to allow the trial to bed in to understand how habits change and the trial is being used.
MCC Active Neighbourhood crossings and traffic calming
[ * NOTE: there is no evidence of this on the map for the Phase 1 trial]
Give your feedback
Phase 1 feedback (Levenshulme) can only be made by responding to the 25 locations identified by the council. You can, however, drop a pin on the map for the Phase 2 feedback (Burnage) to identify a location and comment where you think an intervention could or should be located.
Phase 1 (Levenshulme)
You can comment HERE on the proposed road blocks / “modal filters”.
You can comment HERE on where you think crossings and traffic calming should go.
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.
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.”
The second stage of Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opens for applications today.
Anyone whose self-employed business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July is eligible for the scheme and will now be able to receive a second and final grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, with the money set to land in their bank accounts within six working days of making a claim.
Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE
Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme HERE
The government announced around 21.30 on Thursday 30th July that new restrictions would be introduced at midnight. The announcement was made by four tweets and one interview from the Secretary of State for Health who then did not appear on any of the main news bulletins. Nobody from the government bothered to appear.
These new restrictions are now in force. See below for the news reports from Thursday 30th July and the new government rules and press announcement released on 31st July.
The main change is nobody can visit another household either indoors or outdoors.
An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus. From 31 July 2020, if you live in these parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, you should follow these rules when meeting people who you do not live with. Separate guidance advises on the similar rules imposed in Leicester.
Affected local areas
City of Manchester
Blackburn with Darwen
If you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:
meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).
In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law:
indoor fitness and dance studios
indoor sports courts and facilities
indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks
Changes in restrictions
Does my household include close family members?
Your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they are members of your household.
What will be illegal?
It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they are in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.
Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?
Yes. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.
Can I still meet people outdoors?
In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.
I live in this area. Can I still meet with my family and friends to celebrate Eid?
Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.
Up to two households, or six people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there is a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact.
You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). We recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
Can I still go to work in this area?
Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement Covid-19 Secure guidance.
I live in this area. Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?
Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.
I live in the area. Can people from outside of the lockdown area visit me at my house?
No. This will be illegal.
Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?
Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the North West and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.
Can I visit a care home?
You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
Can I still have my wedding if it’s in the lockdown area?
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Further guidance can be found here.
Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.
Can I travel outside of the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Can I travel into the lockdown area to attend a wedding ceremony?
Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.
Can I still visit a place of worship in the lockdown area?
Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (e.g. face coverings). We recommend at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?
Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.
Can I holiday in the lockdown area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?
Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.
Can I travel in a car with someone I do not live with?
You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:
share the transport with the same people each time
keep to small groups of people at any one time
open windows for ventilation
travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow face away from each other
consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has this evening announced that new rules on social gatherings will be introduced in Northern England to stop the spread of COVID-19. These changes will also apply in Leicester city.
This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area, and data from PHE and the JBC which suggests transmission among households is a key infection pathway in the area.
The areas that these changes apply to are:
The Greater Manchester area
Blackburn with Darwen
It means people in these areas will not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.
Some exemptions will be put in place, including for the vulnerable.
The government will sign new regulations to make these changes legally enforceable.
The regulations will give local authorities and police forces the powers to enforce these restrictions and more details on these will be set out when the regulations are published.
Households may go to hospitality, for instance bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.
Meanwhile local leaders and government have today agreed a number of changes to local restrictions in other areas.
While social gathering restrictions remain in place in Leicester City, the area will benefit from the lifting of restrictions that took place on 4 July in England, and all local restrictions currently in place in the neighbouring borough of Oadby and Wigston will end.
It means from Monday 3 August restaurants, cafes, bars and hairdressers in Leicester City can get back to business but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed. In addition, cinemas and museums will open and religious ceremonies will be able to take place.
And on Saturday 1 August, Luton will be brought in line with the rest of the country after significant progress has been made in controlling the virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
We’re constantly looking at the latest data on the spread of coronavirus, and unfortunately we’ve seen an increasing rate of transmission in parts of Northern England.
We’ve been working with local leaders across the region, and today I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee. Based on the data, we decided that in Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire we need to take immediate action to keep people safe.
The spread is largely due to households meeting and not abiding to social distancing. So from midnight tonight, people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors in these areas.
We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of coronavirus across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe.
The restrictions currently in place in Blackburn, announced last Friday, which saw indoor swimming pools, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms and sports facilities remaining closed, will continue.
From Saturday, these leisure facilities will open in Luton, bringing it in line with the rest of the country.
We have been working closely with local leaders across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire and have made the decision to bring in new restrictions on social gatherings for selected areas.
For those preparing to celebrate Eid Al Adha this weekend with friends and family these restrictions will come as a blow but everyone is being urged to follow the new rules and to protect the ones they love from catching coronavirus.
Mosques and other places of worship have reopened for prayer and communal worship, but in a different socially distanced and COVID-19 Secure way. This means that while mosques can remain open, many will not able to welcome as many worshippers as before.
Anyone with any symptoms must isolate immediately and get a test for free by going online or ringing 119. Everyone must continue to socially distance and regularly their wash hands to help bring this virus down further so all areas of Leicester can return to normal as soon as possible.
The marvellous Station South project has confirmed it has secured £100,000 funding from Railway Heritage Trust for further works:
“Good news to report that Railway Heritage Trust has committed to match fund to the tune of £100,000 in the next phase of building works to bring the railway building and structure back to everyday use, one of their key aims. We’re going to get one of those cool railway heritage plaques as well when it’s all done.”
This big project continues to progress with the help and support of people across Levenshulme and beyond.
You may also have noticed the Station South Community Collage on the advertising hoarding beside the building:
“We were feeling the need to do something creative in the midst of all of the Covid-19 unknowns. We decided to ask that the talents of the neighbourhood help us out and create a little visual booster for passers by on our Advertising Board.”
See the full update on Station South on their website HERE
An article in the Manchester Evening News today (28 June 2020) raises concerns about the Levenshulme Bee Network proposals. This follows the announcement by Manchester City Council this week of a “pause” to the proposed trial that was due to start in July to allow for further consultation.
There is an extract below and you can read the full article HERE
“When plans to create a ‘fully-filtered’ neighbourhood through Levenshulme were first announced, there was enthusiasm from residents for how the area could soon become the most cycle-friendly place in Greater Manchester.
But as the impact of the plans is becoming clearer, disquiet is growing in the south Manchester suburb.
The Levenshulme Bee Network’s plans would see roads blocked to traffic by ‘modal filters’ that favour cyclists, school streets – which would restrict traffic during particular hours to make it safer for families to walk – and bus gates, stretches of road that are only open to buses, black cabs and push bikes.
The scheme would impact over 40 roads, junctions and schools.
But, following the publication of a map showing the locations of the proposed changes, some locals are concerned that traffic will be pushed into already busy roads to the benefit of quieter streets.
Others have complained that it could impact local businesses – and that the area’s elderly and non-English speaking residents have been shut out of what is supposed to be a community led project.”