Local residents have been in touch with Whalley Range Labour councillors Aftab Razaq, Angeliki Stogia and Muqaddasah Bano, after the Government announced that the whole of Greater Manchester (including Whalley Range) is to be designated as an Enhanced Response Area (ERA). This has happened because COVID-19 cases are increasing locally, probably due to the Delta variant of concern which is thought to spread 40% more easily than previous strains.
You can find more information on the Council website here, and the Councillors encourage everyone in Whalley Range to follow some simple guidelines:
Take extra care and meet people outside, rather than inside, wherever possible.
Follow all the rules around social distancing, face coverings, washing hands, wiping surfaces, and keeping windows open.
Take the vaccination when offered (if you have any questions please talk to your GP, who will want to help).
Do the free twice-weekly testing sessions (these are the lateral flow kits that are for people who do not have Covid symptoms available free at pharmacies). This is because we know that 1 in 3 people can have the virus without ever showing any sign of it. Then, please record your results and if it is positive, please book a PCR test immediately to confirm the result.
Please take the help and support the Council can offer while you self-isolate. There is no stigma in catching the virus or being a contact.
However the Councillors stress that this is not another lockdown. Manchester remains open for business with shops, hotels, bars and restaurants open to visitors in line with the Government’s easing of restrictions on 17 May.
Work has now started on the next phase of the City Centre to Chorlton Cycleway, which will affect the full length of Upper Chorlton Road and is scheduled to last for approximately six months. As well as the construction of segregated cycle lanes, there will be major upgrades to road drainage, pedestrian crossings and bus stops.
The working hours for the project are 7.30am to 6pm on weekdays and 8.30am to 6pm on Saturdays. Inevitably there will be some temporary disruption to residents on Upper Chorlton Road, Moss Grange / Oakfield / Whitethorn and Sylvan Avenues, and other neighbouring streets. The contractor (Galliford Try) has undertaken to keep this to a minimum, and anyone experiencing specific problems (eg with access) or who would like more information about how the work is progressing should contact the contractor’s agent Ben Mathers on 07873 858202 (or email firstname.lastname@example.org). For more general enquiries, please contact one of the councillors.
Following the election yesterday and the count today at Manchester Convention Centre which concluded at 6.30pm, Muqaddasah Bano has been declared the new councillor for Whalley Range. The final tally of votes on a turnout of 34.8% is as follows:
Bano says “I am really honoured to have been chosen by the residents of Whalley Range to represent them on the Council. Of course I have much to learn as a new councillor, but I will work really hard to repay the faith you have put in me. And of course thanks also to Mary Watson, who has served as councillor here for fifteen years and is so well respected in the community. I will do my best to follow in her footsteps”.
The government has reconfirmed that the local election postponed from last year will take place on Thursday 6 May. While electors can be confident that voting on the day at polling stations will be completely safe, it may be less convenient than usual – for example, some polling stations may have to temporarily relocate (especially those normally in schools), and voters may have to queue outside at busier times.
So if you haven’t already, why not Go Postal this year? You can easily apply to vote early by post online – follow this link to find out more on the Manchester City Council and download the form. After completing and signing the form, you can submit it by email with either a scan or a clear, legible photo of the completed form attached.
Muqaddasah Bano, Labour candidate for Whalley Range, says “I usually vote at my local polling station, but this year is different – I’m going postal. It only took a couple of minutes to apply, it was quite a simple form.”
If you still have questions about applying for a postal vote, contact us.
As previously reported, Manchester City Council faces some very tough choices to try and address a huge shortfall in the budget for the next financial year, caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council will vote on the budget at their full meeting in March. You have an opportunity to comment on the proposals before then – to read more about the spending plans for each department and have your say, follow this link to the Council website. The consultation closes on 21 February.