Manchester‘s first new park in the heart of the city centre for more than 100 years is officially set to open to the public this week.
It’s been a long journey to get here, but Mayfield Park is finally becoming a reality.
Over the last 18 months, the vast and mostly-derelict former industrial site next to Piccadilly Station has been transformed into what project developers are calling a “stunning, accessible, and varied” green space for everyone who visits the city centre to enjoy.
Mayfield Park has been more than six years in the planning, design, and delivery, and once it officially opens this week, local residents, visitors, and communities across the region will have access to a green oasis and beautifully-landscaped river walkways.
The realisation of the ambitious project comes after the UK government pledged £23 million of investment from its Getting Building Fund to Mayfield Park – which is one of the largest investments in any single project.
Delivered through Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), developers say this investment is part of the government’s strategy to support “shovel ready schemes” that will help to drive economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayfield Park’s main entrance on Baring Street will officially be opened to the public at 12:30pm this Thursday 22 September by Leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig.
From then on, it will be open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week.
“September 22 is a momentous day for Mayfield, and Manchester,” said Martyn Evans – the Creative Director at U+I, which is the regeneration company leading the Mayfield development on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership.
“The greatest cities in the world offer a true blend of amazing culture, great architecture and green space.
“Manchester is one such city and Mayfield Park adds a significant piece of new, family-friendly, inclusive green space to the city centre.”
Ahead of the ribbon-cutting grand opening ceremony this Thursday, Cllr Bev Craig – Leader of Manchester City Council – commented: “There are some projects that feel so momentous in the development story of our city that we look forward to them with great anticipation [and] Mayfield Park is one of those developments.
“A project that has true transformational potential for this part of our city.
“The offender then made off on foot, leaving two women and a man he was with, behind.
“Officers believe that the suspect is possibly from the Merseyside area. If you know the man or have any information relating to the crime, please contact GMP on 101, quoting reference number INC/0075491/23.
“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.”
Featured image: GMP
Salford police officer sacked for ‘depraved’ relationship with vulnerable woman
A police officer has been sacked after carrying out an ‘improper relationship’ with a crime victim.
Paul Banks, who worked as a PC in Salford, has been dismissed and barred after a Gross Misconduct Hearing on 24 and 25 January 2023.
In the hearing, a panel heard how Banks had advised a vulnerable woman to create an email account – which he then accessed to view images and videos, some of which were explicit, that she had uploaded.
He viewed the content more than 200 times and never reported them to his manager or the force’s Professional Standards Branch.
In the end, his own colleagues sensed that something was amiss and raised the alarm.
GMP has now slammed Banks’s ‘depraved behaviour’ and stressed that ‘there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him’.
A statement also said that he ‘abused his position of trust’.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong.
“By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public who he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.
“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who everyday do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.
“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.
“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the IOPC for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.
“No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him.
“He abused his position of trust and for that the Office of Constable has been rightly stripped from him.
“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”
Banks, who had been on restricted since the investigation began in December 2020, was dismissed without notice.