A urgent search has been launched in North Wales after a woman vanished while on a country walk with her dog.
Ausra Plungiene took her dog out walking on Tuesday 11 April, but the 56-year-old woman and her pet haven’t been seen since.
She didn’t return home yesterday, prompting a police search of the popular national park.
Police are now urgently looking for the pair and asking the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings.
Reports suggest that a coastguard rescue helicopter was sweeping the area above Eryri this morning.
North Wales Police have shared photos of Ms Plungiene, and of her black fluffy dog.
They said: “Concerns for Ausra Plungiene, 56 yrs, who went walking with her dog in Snowdonia, 11th April and is now missing.
“Any sightings/information please ring NWP on 101 quoting incident no A052734.”
Featured image: North Wales Police
Council Tax in Manchester could be raised to support the city’s ‘poorest households’
Manchester City Council has laid out plans to potentially raise residents’ Council Tax to help support the “poorest households” in the city.
Councillors are proposing that, under the city’s current Council Tax Support scheme, the amount owed by a household is reduced by up to 100% for pension-age residents with the lowest incomes, and up to 82.5% for working-age residents with the lowest incomes from April 2024 – with the maximum reduction for working-age residents increased by 2.5% to 85%.
This means the maximum that those eligible for support would have to pay is just 15% of the bill, according to Manchester City Council.
At the same time, it’s being proposed that rules allowing reductions to be backdated, in instances where someone “has a good reason not to have claimed sooner”, are extended to allow up to a year’s back payments, rather than up to six months as is currently the case.
With the proposals all laid out, a consultation has been opened and residents living in the Manchester borough are now being asked for their views.
The Council Tax Support scheme currently provides around one fifth of Manchester households with help paying their Council Tax, but it’s estimated that these proposed changes would cost the Council around £770,000 in 2024/25.
This proposed raising of Council Tax also comes after the Council revealed earlier last month that £50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years – with thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough set to benefit.
Residents in these properties are set receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
“We are acutely aware that some residents are really struggling due to cost of living pressures,” admitted Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, who is the Executive Member for Finance at Manchester City Council on the proposals, “and this is why we’ve already introduced a range of measures to help people access food, advice and support.
“As part of this wider response, we want to go even further to help the poorest households in Manchester with their Council Tax, and that’s what these proposals are all about.
“We’re keen to hear your views on what we’re suggesting before we make a final decision.”
The online consultation on the proposals is now open and runs until Sunday 12 November, and you can have your day here.
Featured Image – gov.uk
Oldham Council is asking local kids to name its six new gritters
Oldham Council has announced the news that a handful of its hardest-working salt spreaders are retiring this year.
After gritting more than a million miles between them over several years of “super service”, it’s now the end of the icy road for six of Oldham‘s famously-named gritting fleet, and a new wintery journey is gearing up to begin for the town’s replacements machines.
But, you know that that means – the the popular ‘name a gritter’ competition is back once again.
With the nights drawing in, and the weather getting colder and colder by the day, it won’t be long before local residents will be able to see the big yellow machines traveling around the borough spreading grit and salt.
Fan-favourites Winston Chur-chill and Nicole Saltslinger will be making welcome returns this year, but they’ll also be joined by six newbies, and it’s our job to name them equally-iconic names.
Oldham Council‘s ‘name a gritter’ competition is now open, and it’s hoped that primary and junior-age children in the town will, once again, come through with “an avalanche of entries” like they have done in the past.
Brad Grit, Gritiana Grande, Snowbee One Kenobi, Nick Gritshaw, Leonardo de-ice-io, and Basil Salty are just some of the names of the gritters who’ve spread Oldham’s salt in previous years, so they should be able to serve as inspiration for what the Council’s looking for.
The winning names from this year’s competition will be added to the front of the six new cabs.
“Oldham Council was one of the first local authorities in the country to name its gritting fleet, and since then many others have followed our lead,” Councillor Chris Goodwin, who is Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said as the competition opens.
“In the past, we’ve always run the competition as a bit of fun and it’s really captured the imagination of our young people, so please urge your children to get their thinking caps on and send in some names.”
Unfortunately, Cllr Goodwin did stress that this year’s competition is only open to all children aged four to 11 who live in Oldham or attend one of the boroughs primary or junior schools, and that any “40-odd-year-old ‘comic’s who are thinking of sending in unfunny names” should thinking again, because they’ve “heard it all before”.
As social media suggestions “will not be accepted”, parents, guardians, and carers will need to help their little Oldhamers get their entries in on the Oldham Council website here, and you’ll need to make sure the child’s details are included, plus how the Council can contact you.
The closing date for entries is 11:59pm on Friday 3 November.
All naming suggestions will then be put to a panel of councillors and council officers to have the final say, and the lucky winners will be invited down to the town’s Moorhey Street depot to have their photo taken with the gritter they’ve named.