A coach load of tourists from Bolton have reportedly left locals angry after travelled to Wales for an already-cancelled ‘Elvis Festival despite local lockdown restrictions.
The Porthcawl Elvis Festival – which held annually in Bridgend County, South Wales and usually attracts about 35,000 fans and 100 impersonators – was understandably cancelled this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Following a rise in confirmed cases, Bridgend County Borough was placed under local lockdown restrictions effective of yesterday (22nd September) at 6pm, with residents requiring “a reasonable excuse” to leave their county and tourists warned against travelling to the region.
This didn’t seem to stop a group of Bolton residents travelling there anyway.
The tourists arrived by coach on Monday afternoon after travelling 180 miles to the Seabank Hotel on Porthcawl’s seafront, only to then be told the county would become subject to tighter restrictions.
Instead of spending the four nights in Porthcawl, the hotel is then believed to have transferred the group’s stay elsewhere and it is alleged that the tourists have travelled to the seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire to continue their holiday.
Reporting from Porthcawl on Monday evening, BBC journalist Rhys Williams, said: “Not so long ago, a coach full of tourists turned up at one of the hotels along the seafront,
“I spoke to a couple of the travellers on there who had actually come all the way from Bolton and instead of staying the four nights they were going to they had been told it was rearranged and tomorrow they were going to Tenby instead due to the restrictions that were due to come in to place.”
The UK government guidance does however allow residents from areas under local lockdown restrictions in England to travel outside of the area for tourism purposes with members of their household or social bubble.
This discrepancy has fuelled concerns over lockdown tourism.
Andrew RT Davies – the Welsh Conservatives’ health spokesperson – told BBC Radio Wales it seemed “remarkable” that people from Bolton were on a coach holiday in Wales.
He said: “It doesn’t seem as if they have broken any rules or regulations, I think it emphasises the need to have a joined up approach between all the countries of the United Kingdom,
“If one part of the UK is allowing for such visits to be undertaken and another part of the UK is receiving those visits and testing isn’t in place to make sure those people aren’t leaving the area and might be spreading the virus, then obviously that is a gaping hole in the regulations.”
The recent reports have also provoked anger on social media, with many Welsh residents querying why visitors are allowed to travel from a town with such high levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates.
A spokesperson for Pembrokeshire Council added: “There are no restrictions to stop people leaving Bolton to go on holiday other than they should be doing so with people with whom they live (or in a ‘bubble’ with). There were no current restrictions on the bus load of persons leaving Porthcawl either at the time, and nothing to stop them from being in Tenby.”
They added the council’s enforcement team would be monitoring premises in Tenby to make sure they were complying with the current regulations.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Incredible misty drone footage shows how Manchester earned its ‘Manctopia’ nickname
Drone footage captured from way above Manchester shows just how quickly the city has grown – and proves that our hometown is well on its way to earning its ‘Manctopia’ nickname.
Cast your mind back just a few years and you’ll remember that Beetham Tower stuck out like a sore thumb, towering many storeys above the next tallest building.
In fact, until just four years ago, the next-tallest building here was City Tower, which was a good 17 storeys shorter than Beetham Tower.
Then along came Renaker with visions for an entirely new skyscraper neighbourhood – Deansgate Square.
This group of skyscrapers now completely dominate the Manchester skyline, with the tallest building a massive 65 storeys tall.
South Tower is not only the tallest building in Greater Manchester, it’s also the 10th tallest in the entire UK, and the biggest outside of London.
It’s all led to Manchester being coined ‘Manctopia’, the name of a BBC documentary that followed property developers Capital & Centric as they redevelop buildings around the region.
One local photographer has managed to capture the unbelievable scale of our new, ultra-modern city skyline, with drone footage soaring among the skyscrapers.
Known on Instagram as @lef_tsotour, they shared a video taken on a misty Manchester morning.
It captures both Deansgate Square, with sun glinting off the many windows of the towers, and the now-dwarfed Beetham Tower.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.