The hospitality industry is furiously calling for Rishi Sunak to ‘wake up and help’ after the public was advised to ‘de-prioritise’ social events.
It’s left pubs and restaurants facing a wave of cancellations as people heed Chris Whitty’s advice to ‘prioritise what matters’ ahead of Christmas.
In an echo of March 2020 – when Boris Johnson told people to avoid pubs, but stopped short of closing them with proper financial support – there’s currently no mention of how the Government will help hospitality businesses survive such financial losses.
The Chancellor has been markedly quiet on the matter of support, such as furlough, this time around – he’s currently in California, the Mirror has reported – sparking fury in the hospitality sector.
Well-known figures from the restaurant world have all made cries to the Chancellor like: “Stand up and help,” and: “It’s time for Rishi to say something.”
The Government has also been accused of ‘abusing hospitality’.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said on Twitter: “You can’t tell people to ‘think carefully’ before going to pubs and restaurants and then fail to provide any support for the workers/businesses affected.
“The Government needs to bring forward a support package TODAY for hospitality, events, music and other affected sectors.”
Sacha Lord, who has been busy making rallying cries on news programmes this morning, tweeted: “Colleagues across the UK are waking up broken and in fear. Staff hours are dropping off a cliff.
“@RishiSunak YOU NEED TO STAND UP. We need IMMEDIATE help and a long term strategy to save us.”
He added that someone needs to ‘urgently wake up’ the Chancellor, saying that he has ‘turned his back’ on the fifth-largest industry in the UK.
Paul Jones is the co-founder of Manchester brewery Cloudwater, and actively involved in EatWell MCR’s mission to provide tasty meals to vulnerable people in the region.
He supported the message to limit social contacts as Omicron cases rise, but said: “The government is abusing hospitality businesses by (rightly) encouraging reduced socialisation at this time of sky-rocketing Omicron cases, but wrongly and callously offering no financial support to industries directly affected by sharp downturns.”
Tom Kerridge, of Manchester’s Bull & Bear restaurant, was on Sky News this morning, saying: “You have to question as to why we have a point where Chris Whitty is saying one thing and the Government don’t appear to be backing that up or saying the same thing.
“You have to question, is that because there isn’t a support package there? Or if there is, it’s time for Rishi Sunak – wherever he’s gone – to say something and let us know what’s going on.”
Celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr said it was giving ‘Deja vu March 2020’, and First Dates host and hospitality figure Fred Sirieix described the situation as ‘a shambles’.
Elaine Wrigley, from Manchester’s Atlas Bar, said: “If targeted support was there, then @GOVUK guidance would be fine. We all want to do the right thing.
“Reality however, is that we’ve #lockdown by stealth, and a very concerning winter ahead of us, in city centres, #Manchester. Where is @RishiSunak @BorisJohnson?”
The Guardian’s Gaby Hinsliff posted: “All eyes on Rishi Sunak, then. Morally wrong for PM to host a presser unsubtly-hinting-but-not-quite-saying don’t go out on the town in the run-up to Christmas, but then deny support pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas etc. Parliament should force the issue.”
Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons
Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 FREE tickets to children
Chester Zoo is giving away tickets to local schools to help inspire a whole new generation of young conservationists.
The UK’s largest charity zoo is on a mission to help nature to “survive and thrive”.
And so, in a bid to do just that, has announced that it will once again be handing out tens of thousands of tickets to schoolchildren for completely free of charge, so that they can explore the zoo up close and learn all about the inspiring work the conservation charity does.
Chester Zoo‘s free ticket scheme has been running since 2017, and has already seen more than 100,000 children get to experience all the wonders the zoo has to offer.
With the hopes of empowering as many youngsters as possible, and sparking their passion for saving species once again, the zoo has now opened the scheme back up for the 2024/25 season – with a whopping 35,000 tickets available for schools, nurseries, and colleges to claim.
Not only that, but the zoo has also decided to open the initiative up to the education providers that haven’t benefited from the scheme within the last three years.
Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit.
“Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world,” commented Charlotte Smith, who is the Director of Conservation Education and Engagement at Chester Zoo, “But it’s the next generation of conservationists who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing.
“They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.
“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits.
“That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative, so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”
The zoo is hoping to help inspire a whole new generation of young conservationists / Credit: Chester Zoo
Applications for Chester Zoo’s Free School Visits programme are now open, with free visits able to take place between Friday 1 November 2024 – Friday 28 February 2025, and any forms that are incomplete or received after the deadline date of Friday 22 March 2024 are unable to be processed.
The scheme is open exclusively for nurseries, schools, and college groups.
Places are open to schools who haven’t taken advantage of the scheme in the last four academic years, and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so the zoo is advising that people complete and submit the application form at “your earliest opportunity” to make sure they don’t miss out.