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By BETH ABBIT – Fri July 15, 2022
It’s going to be hot over the next few days – very hot. Forecasters are predicting temperatures of up to 35C in south Manchester on Tuesday. That would make it the hottest July day in the region since 2019, when the mercury reached 33.9C.
With a chance some UK temperatures could hit 40C, the Met Office has issued its first red warning for extreme heat here on Monday and Tuesday, warning of a ‘potentially very serious situation’.
Meanwhile the UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – a ‘national emergency’.
A surge in demand on the NHS is expected, so if you’ve got vulnerable relatives or neighbours, remember to check in on them.
The North West Ambulance Service – itself struggling due to the heat – has warned that extreme heat can lead to tyre blowouts. While Network Rail has warned that hot weather can affect rails and overhead power lines, leading to delays.
Spare a thought too for our bin collectors, who in Stockport at least, are starting their shifts extra early so they can cope with the heat.
Of course even the most doomy among us Brits is capable of enjoying the hot weather. After all, there are plenty of places to enjoy a pint outside. Just remember to fill up that water bottle, wear sun cream and don’t stay out too long.
- Saturday: Sunny changing to cloudy by early evening. 24C.
- Pollen count: High.
- Roads closed: Delph New Road, Dobcross, in both directions for roadworks between Wall Hill Road and Oldham Road until August 5. A57 Eccles New Road westbound closed for gas main work from Canterbury Gardens to Gilda Brook Road until July 8.
- Today’s Manc trivia question: Which Manchester pub is the only surviving Tudor building in the city?
Answer at the bottom of the newsletter
North South divide
“People can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment,” says Wigan councillor, Chris Ready. In his town, inflation stood at 10.4 per cent in April, compared to 8.8 per cent in London.
Wigan workers have felt a loss of £132 to wages, with the average monthly ‘real wage’ standing at £2,264 in April 2021 and £2,132 for the same month in 2022.
A new report by the Centre for Cities says there is a clear north-south divide in the current cost of living crisis, as Sophie Halle-Richards reports. The think tank has named three Lancashire towns, Burnley, Blackpool and Blackburn, as the areas worst hit by inflation. Northern towns and cities are hit harder due to poorer quality housing and a reliance on cars as fuel prices climb to record levels, while houses in the north also tend to be the ‘leakiest’ and ‘least-insulated’, according to the report.
Coun Ready says the problems are all too obvious in Wigan. “Everyone is suffering from the cost of living but up North there really is an issue,” he says. “We deal with residents daily and they are all really struggling with it. People are really worried about fuel and food is going up on a daily basis.”
In May, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of support to help families cover the burden of rising energy bills, with all households in Britain set to receive a one-off £400 grant. But the Centre for Cities predict this package will fail to offset inflation in many Northern homes as it fails to consider the energy efficiency of housing stock, meaning many places will see bills jump even higher.
The days of listening to your London friends complain about rents while feeling like a smug Northerner are long gone. It now costs well over a grand a month on average to rent in Manchester.
Meanwhile, people living in Manchester are seeing their wages fall by an average of £133 a month, according to the latest Centre for Cities report mentioned above.
The average cost to rent in Manchester is currently £1,127 per month – the highest annual rate that Rightmove has recorded in 16 years. That compares to a £2,257 monthly average in London.
Rents in our city have risen by 23.4 per cent in the last year alone, with the average asking rent per month recorded at £913 in the second quarter of 2021. So what’s going on?
Rightmove say rising rents continue to be driven by a shortage of available rental stock. Their director of property science, Tim Bannister, says last year saw ‘exceptional’ numbers of tenants looking to move and that hasn’t changed. “The wide gap that has been created between supply and demand over the last two years will take time to narrow,” he says. “Until then, this imbalance will continue to support asking rent growth.”
While renters struggle to find affordable properties, those looking to buy a home for the first time are expanding their options. Estate agents are reporting a rise in first-time buyers flocking to M14 – which covers Rusholme and Fallowfield – as properties are more affordable than other south Manchester suburbs.
The average house price in Greater Manchester is currently £231,344, but homes in Rusholme were selling for around £182,325 in July, while those in Fallowfield went for around £210,556.
One three-bed semi-detached house, on Ellanby Close, in Rusholme, had 50 viewing requests and sold in less than seven days for more than its asking price, as Phoebe Jobling writes.
Jason Burke, of Purplebricks, says the postcode is becoming more popular as a cheaper alternative to Chorlton, Didsbury and the city centre. “I was surprised at just how crazy the market is currently and how quickly houses are selling,” he said.
Hundreds of new homes look set to be built in Ancoats – and at least some of those could be affordable. A £32.7 million package has been secured for public realm and infrastructure improvements paving the way for 1,500 new properties.
Work to create a connected network of streets and new spaces will get underway this year. Council leader Bev Craig says: “The historic layout of Ancoats, with its rigid streets bordered by old mill buildings have to some extent determined the way the area has developed. However, by putting people first and placing the needs of pedestrians at the heart of this plan, we hope that this can set a benchmark for future development.”
Counterfeit street: Another shop on Manchester’s ‘counterfeit street’ has been shut down after 11 different businesses were found trading and selling fake goods. A closure order for 57-59 Bury New Road, in Cheetham Hill, has been granted. Fake items worth thousands were found during an inspection. Eleven separate businesses were operating in seven different units within the premises.
Inquiry: Calls by opposition councillors for a government-led public inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Oldham were defeated at a town hall meeting. The Failsworth Independent Group tabled a motion asking the chief executive to write to the Home Secretary and Local Government Minister requesting a ‘fully independent and broad ranging’ public inquiry ‘as soon as is practically possible’. It also called for a cross-party steering group to be established to work alongside the inquiry. The Labour group had tabled an amendment to the motion which removed the section about a public inquiry, which was then adopted and approved. Charlotte Green was at the fiery meeting and reports here.
Not acceptable: Local leaders claim there are no plans to connect Metrolink to HS2 at Manchester Airport from day one – meaning passengers would be dropped off about a mile from the airport. According to the government’s proposal, engineers will leave behind a ‘large concrete pillar’ above the airport station so that a Metrolink station can be built ‘at a later date’. Manchester Council leader Bev Craig says: “It’s hardly the slick and seamless experience which passengers have every right to expect and we say it is not acceptable.” More here.
The Jolly Angler, one of Manchester’s oldest backstreet boozers, has been closed since Christmas 2020. But the Ducie Street pub, in Ancoats, may not have remained empty.
The inside was recently photographed by an urban explorer and pictures show signs of squatting. As Lee Grimsditch writes, among the pub memorabilia inside is an old copy of the Manchester Evening News from 1989. View the gallery here.
Worth a read
Manchester’s LGBT+ community will be celebrated in a new exhibition focusing on two iconic moments of the city-region’s history, Adam Maidment reports.
Pictures from Manchester’s Section 28 protests in 1988 will feature at The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel’s ‘Together As One – A celebration of Manchester’s LGBTQIA+’ exhibition from July 28.
Photographer Peter J Walsh, who captured the protest on February 20, 1988, said: “The LGBQTQIA+ communities civil liberties were under attack by Thatcher and we were prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and say enough is enough.”
Jon Shard’s imagery of The Haçienda’ s club night Flesh will also feature in the exhibition.
“It was one of the most important nights there – probably the biggest gay night in Europe. It was always special. I was there for every single one, it was the best night to shoot because of the carnival atmosphere.”
That’s all for today
Thanks for joining me, the next edition of the Mancunian Way will be with you around the same time on Monday. If you have any stories you would like us to feature or look into, please contact me at email@example.com
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The answer to today’s trivia question, which Manchester pub is the only surviving Tudor building in the city, is The Old Wellington, which dates back to 1552.
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