There are big changes afoot for Manchester Pride’s August celebrations this year, as the charity announces its live music event will be axed.
Manchester Pride have said that they they ‘got some things wrong last year’ and have now been working with LGBTQ+ communities to refocus.
Following a six-month review, the large-scale music concert will be dropped from the plans, though many elements of the celebrations will go ahead – including the parade, the Gay Village Party, and the candlelit vigil.
The Superbia Weekend, Youth Pride MCR, Family Pride MCR and the Human Rights Forum are all also unaffected by the altered plans.
In 2019, Ariana Grande and Years and Years headlined MCR Pride Live at Depot Mayfield, while last year Yungblud, Zara Larsson and Sigala topped the bill at First Street.
Before then, the live music portion of the Manchester Pride Festival had always been smaller, and centred around the carpark at the heart of the Gay Village.
The consultation found that LGBTQ+ communities wanted Manchester Pride to communicate with communities more on their events and grant-giving, and to ‘refocus its efforts back onto its activist roots’.
The charity is promising to ‘build a better Manchester Pride’ that’s accessible to all – that includes a commitment to low income tickets and quiet spaces at events.
Its board of trustees will also ‘be more visible and connected with communities’, it says.
This year’s celebrations will now be focused around the Gay Village Party, which sees people spilling out from the bars on Canal Street and the surrounding area.
A fixed amount or percentage from each ticket purchased will go directly to the community fund.
Paul Wheeler, chair of Manchester Pride’s board of trustees, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to the thousands of individuals who had their say on the future direction of the charity.
“Manchester Pride should be something everyone feels proud of and can see a little bit of themselves reflected back in.
“We acknowledge we got some things wrong last year and we’re sorry for the upset and frustration this caused.
“It is important that Manchester Pride reflects what Manchester’s LGBTQ+ communities tell us they want and this review has shown how we can do better.
“The communities have been clear in saying their must-have elements over the weekend specifically include The Parade, The Candlelit Vigil and the Gay Village Party, whereas MCR Pride Live was seen as less important to furthering our cause.
“First and foremost, we’re a campaigning charity fighting for equality and opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals across Greater Manchester, and the response from across our communities corroborates that position.
“We want more input into the charity’s operation, with a greater focus on campaigning, lobbying and education, whilst seeing fewer celebrity headline acts at MCR Pride Live.
“That’s why we’re going back to our roots, our Pride celebration is about protest. As a result, we’ve listened to the communities’ comments, and will address their recommendations to refocus efforts back towards activism.
“Furthermore, we will commit a fixed amount or percentage of each ticket purchase to Pride events directly to the community fund and provide clarity on where the remainder of the amounts generated from ticket sales is attributed.
The Charity says further details will be revealed on the Manchester Pride line up in the coming months.
Paul continued: “The organisation has sought to address big questions and concerns, such as the role of Pride as a protest movement as opposed to a pop concert, how Pride can be more accessible, inclusive and safer, and how we go about giving grants.
“We’ve also tried to address how we can be more transparent and connected as an organisation to Greater Manchester’s LGBTQ+ communities, surrounding the themes of communities, activism, giving and transparency.
“Ensuring the charity now reflects the needs of our communities is now our focus. We don’t see this review as the end of the conversation, rather it’s the start. This report marks the beginning of more co-creation, more transparency and more listening.”
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.