Councillors and government officials have issued last-call warnings to residents of Oldham that the borough may be facing full lockdown restrictions “within days” after a spike in cases.
Residents in Oldham are being urged to “work with” the council and “follow the guidance” to help prevent the borough from having to enter into a Leicester-style local lockdown.
These warnings come after confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have almost doubled in Oldham over the past week.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Oldham Council, the latest figures – released yesterday for the week ending August 8 – show that there have been 255 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oldham, which is a rate of 107.5 cases per 100,000 people.
The week prior to this there were 137 cases, which is a rate of 57.8 per 100,000.
A statement to residents on the Oldham Council website reads: “To help halt the spread of coronavirus, save lives and prevent a local lockdown, we need all Oldham residents and businesses to follow our new guidance.”
“You need to act now.”
“If everyone makes these small changes we can avoid a second lockdown, but there is no time to lose. The best way to stop the spread of the virus is to limit those who you have contact with – spend time with those in your household and work from home where possible, but do not have visitors to your home or garden.”
“If you must meet people from outside your household, do so in an outdoor location, maintain social distancing and avoid physical contact [and] when visiting shops, on public transport or in other enclosed or crowded spaces, you should wear a mask.”
This latest data comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the announcement on the evening of Thursday 30th July that people in certain areas of Northern England – crucially including all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester – would no long be permitted to congregate privately with others outside their household or support bubble due to a rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across these regions.
Legislation to legally enforce these new restrictions was published by the government five days after the announcement and came into force on Wednesday 5th August.
Katrina Stephens – Director of Public Health for Oldham Council – said officials were discussing with central government the possibility of closing bars, restaurants and gyms in the borough following a “sudden increase” in the infection rate.
She said: “This isn’t just about Oldham making a decision on its own, this is a conversation between us, colleagues in Greater Manchester but importantly with national government as well because a lot of the measures that a full lockdown would relate to need to be instigated by national government.”
“It’s a two way conversation and because we’re acting on this early we’re in a position to have that.”
“A local lockdown still isn’t inevitable, actually if people can work with us and follow that guidance then there is still that opportunity to turn round the tide of rising infections.”
Councillor Arooj Shah – Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for COVID-19 recovery – added: “We know people in Oldham have, on the whole, been behaving responsibly and abiding by the coronavirus restrictions, but coronavirus has not gone away and rates are now rising.”
“To avoid a second lockdown, there is no time to lose.”
“We need everyone to act now and make changes to the way they live, to prevent strict lockdown restrictions being implemented in the coming days or weeks. Figures are showing us that cases are rising here in Oldham in all areas, in all age groups, and in all communities.”
“We are all at risk of this terrible virus and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and wider society by obeying this tougher guidance and acting responsibly.”
You can find more information about the local restrictions via the Oldham Council website here, and the latest infection rates across Greater Manchester can be found in full here.
For further information and guidance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, do refer to official sources via gov.uk/coronavirus.
Police seize 17 dogs after 6-year-old girl is injured during attack in Carrington
17 dogs have now been seized by police after a six-year-old girl was injured during at attack in Carrington this past weekend.
Shortly before 2:40pm on Sunday 26 March, officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to an address on Ackers Lane in Carrington in Trafford after receiving reports that a child had “suffered injuries caused by dogs”.
The child, a six-year-old girl, was taken to hospital shortly after police arrived at the scene, and remains there “in a stable condition”.
GMP first confirmed that four adult dogs and nine puppies were seized by officers on Sunday, and were taken away by specialist partners.
Four more dogs were then seized yesterday, bringing the total to 17.
With investigations ongoing, GMP has confirmed that a “vehicle of interest” has been recovered and searched, as well as three people having been arrested on suspicion of owning a dangerous dog – but they have each since been released on bail.
Enquires are still continuing to locate individuals the force believes “have responsibility for the dogs”.
Detective Inspector Matthew Dixon, of GMP’s Trafford district, called it “a fluid investigation”, and added that: “So far we have recovered 17 dogs and made three arrests, as well as a vehicle of interest – however, the investigation is very much ongoing.”
Greater Manchester Police says it has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the incident.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact police quoting log 1612-26/03/23.
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Manchester United reject offers for Mason Greenwood as rep says he ‘should be allowed to move forward with his young life’
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a number of offers for Mason Greenwood as the club continues their internal investigation into his behaviour.
The club have reportedly received a number of offers for the young forward from Turkish teams in recent weeks and months while Greenwood has been suspended from playing or training. He has yet to return to the sport after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped.
The charges handed down in January 2022 were ultimately dropped last month when key witnesses withdrew, more than a year on from the incident that was widely circulated on social media.
Now, following a behind-the-scenes feature by The Athletic and ‘new material’ leading the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case for the foreseeable, it seems United are now the only party still investigating Greenwood, with his own team and figures around the club pushing for a resolution.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell as part of the piece, one of Greenwood’s representatives argued that there is “no real substance” to the allegations, them “a mix of old news, speculation, half-truths and completely untrue claims.”
He went on to say, “Mason is 21, he has been cleared and should be allowed the opportunity to rebuild and move forward with his young life.”
Another source is also said to have told the outlet that the youngster has been fundamentally changed by the experience, insisting that he “would run through a brick wall” to be back playing at United.
As for the club’s stance, it remains to be seen what their final decision on his future will be, but it was reported earlier this month that a potential return is still “firmly under consideration” and his number 11 shirt has not yet been vacated as many would have expected if he was set to move on.
On the other hand, the article goes on to detail questions surrounding Greenwood’s conduct and general attitude during his relatively short time as a senior player too, the suggestion being that he was slacking in training because “he knew he was a good player”.
His attendance at Carrington is said to have been raised as an issue on more than one occasion and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær often covered for training sessions and games he missed after failing to turn up to the team hotel for “unexplained absences”.
Another source who watched him play aged just 16 also went on to reveal that Bradford-born academy product “wasn’t shy about telling someone they were s***”, apparently even calling out Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead [finished]” when he was still at Real Madrid.
Greenwood played over 100 senior games for United and was widely considered one of the brightest young prospects in England, let alone the club, but the career trajectory he looked to be on is widely different from the problematic position he finds himself in now, regardless of any offers from abroad.