The Chancellor has made no bones about it: The UK is in for tough times.
These headlines and statements this morning are enough in themselves to set alarm bells ringing, but what does a recession actually mean? And how is this set to impact Manchester moving forwards?
What is a recession and how does it affect people?
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on nations worldwide, causing the value of goods and services – widely known as a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – to plummet.
This has led to economies shrinking.
When shrinking occurs over two consecutive quarters (basically six months in a row), it is known as a recession.
The last recession was the 2007-08 global financial crisis, when GDP in Britain fell by over 6%.
However, the latest stats from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that GDP in 2020 has fallen by a whopping 20.4%.
Many big nations have also suffered, with Germany and US suffering large declines.
But the stats show that the UK is officially one of the worst-hit countries in the continent.
What does this mean for Greater Manchester?
Manchester City Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese, has already said that “recovering from the impacts of the coronavirus period and getting the city back on a positive trajectory is the greatest challenge we have faced in our lifetimes.”
The cold hard facts are that many more people in Manchester will lose their jobs as a result of the UK being in a recession.
Finding a new job can also prove more challenging in this sort of economic climate. Companies are left facing increased costs, which may mean they are reluctant to hire.
Property values can also fall drastically.
However, this recession has long been anticipated. The council is putting a recovery plan in place – where ‘steps will be taken to support the city’s business base and help residents into employment while continuing to bring forward development and initiatives to stimulate the economy’.
Mr. Leese added: “We will be working closely with Manchester residents and businesses, as well as health services and other partner organisations including the voluntary and community sector, to keep this great city moving forwards. We want to ensure that nobody gets left behind and everybody can contribute to the recovery.”
How long will the recession last?
At this point, it is difficult to say.
The most recent UK recession more than 10 years ago lasted for over 12 months, but a lot will depend on how businesses can get back on their feet.
The expectations are that the economy will see significant improvement if a vaccine is found.
Whilst Chancellor Sunak spoke of ‘difficult choices’ having to be made over the coming months, he did offer a ray of optimism for the tricky path ahead.
“We will get through this,” he pledged.
“And I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.