Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the cladding issue in parliament earlier this week, stating: “We’re absolutely clear that leaseholders should not have to worry about the cost of fixing historic safety defects that they didn’t cause.”
A plan to offer more support is apparently ongoing, but the delays have meant some homeowners are already thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Leanne Kilheeney of the Manchester Cladiators said: “Sadly for us the government’s fund for the Waking Watch fees came too late. We have already paid thousands of pounds each for several months of Waking Watch and new fire alarms. This will not be covered by the fund as no retrospective cases are covered.
“We are worried that this will happen with other government funding too. A huge amount of issues are not covered by the current government funds that people are getting invoiced for now. It may be the case the the government eventually release funds for this – but for many of us it will be too late.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham acknowledged that whilst the financial support package was a “step in the right direction” to resolve the cladding scandal, far more financial support from central government was required.
“The impact on leaseholders is staggering, with residents fearing a devastating and unfair choice between bankruptcy and long-term loans,” the Mayor stated.
“This is not a party-political issue and we must all work to ensure a solution is found to the building safety crisis, and I look forward to further positive engagement with the Minister.
“This issue which affects thousands is not about buildings but about people and I am keen to work with the Government to support all residents of Greater Manchester who are affected.”
Salford City Mayor and Chair of the High Rise Task Force Paul Dennett said the scale of the cladding problem in Greater Manchester was “huge”; with increasing numbers of buildings being revealed as vulnerable.
He stated: “Leaseholders in buildings with serious fire safety failings and those in non-high rise buildings are also burdened by the costs of waking watches because of fire safety issues that they are not responsible for and this is completely unacceptable.
“I urge the Government to commit to making further funding available, and to extend the eligibility requirement so that all affected buildings can apply, not just those over 18 metres or with cladding-related problems.”
Find out more about the Waking Watch Relief Fund here.
Iconic Manchester nightclub Panacea reopens as IKaro, a new grill and champagne bar
This week, an iconic Manchester venue will reopen its doors with a brand new concept.
The legendary city centre nightclub known as Panacea is about to reopen as IKaro, a new grill and champagne bar on John Dalton Street.
The move follows an application for planning permission earlier this year and sees a new team into the former popular celebrity hotspot Panacea, which has been closed since 2015.
At the restaurant, diners will find two menus focusing on two different elements, fire and ice. On the first, you’ll find Grilled Lobster Tails, Japanese A5 Wagyu Ribeye, and Australian Wagyu Tomahawk.
On the second an array of Sushi and Sashimi such as Torched Hand Dived Scallops and Bluefin Tuna Otoro.
Behind the menus are talented sushi chef, Lattawan Buchanan, who’s spent time at popular restaurants Ivy Asia and former ‘Masterchef: The Professionals’ finalist, Exose Grant.
Head Chef Exose Grant, said, “Our menu showcases the best of the land and sea. We’ll be using fresh, quality produce in the best possible way. Innovative and impeccably presented dishes that don’t compromise on flavour.”
Behind the bar, you’ll find countless varieties of Champagne including a frequently changing sommelier’s selection of rare bottles which, in keeping with the venue’s reputation as a go-to late-night haunt, will be served up until doors close at 2.30am.
Head of bars, Sean McGuirk, said: “Alongside our extensive ‘by the bottle’ offering, you can expect elevated classic cocktails, as well as some uniquely extravagant options.
“Our team will play with flavours and theatrics to deliver an experience like no other.”
IKaro will mark its launch with a VIP event on Saturday 23 September before doors open to the public on Wednesday 27 September.
The court heard how the attack took place as the youngster walked to her friend’s house.
As she walked past the address Valentine was staying at in his camper van outside, she was set upon by a pack of six dogs that were being kept both in the back garden and in the defendant’s camper van, according to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
The little girl’s older sister then bravely tried to wrestle the dogs off her as she was being attacked on the pavement.
It was only when her mother picked her up that the dogs ran off.
The little girl sadly sustained “serious injuries” to her face, scalp, hand, abdomen, arms, legs, back, and shoulder during the attack – which she has since had surgery for.
Following the traumatic incident, Valentine was arrested on Tuesday 28 March when his van was traced to Fallowfield in south Manchester, and the dogs were subsequently seized, before he was also arrested in connection with another incident back in December 2022 when a man was walking his pet Dalmatian.
Both the man and Dalmatian were injured after being set upon by the dogs, and a member of the public was said to have had to intervene.
Following his trial last week, Valentine was handed a 49-month prison sentence.
He was also banned from owning dogs for life, and has a 10-year restraining order after pleading guilty to eight charges of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, and possession of Class B drugs.
Speaking following the trial, DC Goodhand, of Trafford CID, thanked the victims for supporting the prosecution, adding: “Whilst nothing can take these experiences away from them, we hope that today’s sentence goes some way to allowing them to heal and move on.”
DC Goodhand also urged anyone with information relating to dangerous animals to report this to the police, so that “appropriate action can be taken”.