Tag: Christmas

Wythenshawe MP lends his voice to National Living Rage Christmas protest song

living-rage-single-group-dan-jarvis-440x226Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane joined fellow Labour MPs this week to launch a Band Aid-type protest single to draw attention to the  pay cuts for workers this Christmas.

The MPs say the single called “National Living Rage” is aimed at highlighting how some   employers such as Tesco and John Lewis are cutting total pay for employees while increase per-hour pay since the introduction of the National Living Wage earlier this year.

It is claimed the cuts have been made by many British companies around the country, through ending old contracts, with short ‘show’ consultations, and issuing new contracts, with reduced pay packages.

The contract changes include: termination of double time on Sundays, Bank Holidays; elimination of ‘unsocial’ hours payments; ending the inclusion of  lunches in staff contracts; termination of free lunches; pension cuts; abolition of seasonal bonuses; termination of location premiums; abolition of a range of additional allowances; among many other contract changes.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that nearly 9,700 workers from Wythenshawe and Sale East could be affected by the cuts.

Mike Kane said: “We all know the backbone of these companies is their loyal hardworking staff so it is extremely disappointing that some of our most famous and most loved high street companies are choosing to cut the total pay of their older, longstanding staff.

“I am calling on companies like Tesco and John Lewis who employ many people from my constituency to reverse their decision to cut staff pay in this unscrupulous manner at their January 2017 Board Meetings.

“Our campaign song is to make sure everyone knows about the pay cuts in their shops and coffee shops. It is not a charity single, although we are glad that proceeds from any sales of the original record will go the Band Aid Trust. Shopworkers want justice and fair pay, not charity”

A Tesco spokesperson said, “Earlier this year, we announced one of the highest pay and benefits packages in retail for store colleagues, and introduced a simpler and fairer pay structure, including one approach to premium payments.

“As well as an increase in pay which puts our hourly rate well above the Government’s National Living Wage, we remain absolutely committed to rewarding our colleagues with a pay and benefits package they really value, including a pension, colleague discount and 5% turnaround bonus.”

John Lewis were approached for a comment and have not yet responded.


Youngsters spread Christmas cheer for elderly with tea and tinsel

optimized-dsc_0060-copyStudents spread the spirit of Christmas and brought seasonal smiles to pensioners’ faces when Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe extended their Christmas cheer to  elderly residents, inviting them to join in their festive celebrations.

The Tea and Tinsel event provides a valuable link with the older generation in the community The school has a culture of teaching its students respect in a happy environment and the Christmas party is the perfect way to combine those two really important elements of the school’s philosophy. The event was hosted by the high school students who greeted the guests as they arrived then kept them entertained throughout the afternoon. Continue reading “Youngsters spread Christmas cheer for elderly with tea and tinsel”

REVIEW: Aladdin @ The Opera House, Manchester


Ben Adams as Aladdin 1 Credit Phil Tragen.jpg
Pic: Phil Tragen

Panto season is well and truly upon us, and this year’s offering at Manchester Opera House – Aladdin – is a festive treat for all the family.


With fantastically lavish sets, fun-packed frolics, a smattering of stage magic and some songs to get the toes tapping and the hands clapping, this show is a hit with kids of all ages.

Right from the off, the show provides the near-perfect blend of lots of fun for the kids and a flurry of gags the adults can enjoy, although one or two were a little cringey – referring to male dancers as pansies. Maybe that should stay in the 1970s.

Bu there is plenty to enjoy from John Thomson’s nod to his Jazz Club character in the Fast Show to the sing song with some children from the audience near the end and a mention for groups across Manchester who were there on the night, including Newall Green Brownies.

Pop star Ben Adams from boy band A1 is excellent as the poor boy who makes it good after rubbing a magic lamp unleashing the all-powerful genie. And Cold Feet star John Thomson is the perfect villain, Abanazar, whose evil machinations get the kids booing.


Pic: Phil Tragen

Sherrie Hewson also shines as the Genie of the Ring and magician Neil Henry wows the audience with his skills making a birds and rabbits appear while providing a comedically sound rendition of the hapless Wishee Washy.


But the undoubted mainstay of the show is Eric Pott’s Widow Twankey. Every comic line is perfectly timed and the show is a triumph for Potts who directs as well starring in the production.

It’s great fun so bring the family to the Opera House to complete your Christmas

Runs till January 8 2017



Be a good neighbour and look in on the elderly this Christmas say health bosses

Pic: Chris Jones  (creative commons)
Pic: Chris Jones (creative commons)

Wythenshawe people are urged to be good neighbours and look in on the elderly  during the Christmas holiday period to ease pressure on hospital A&E departments.

Health bosses have warned that loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of emergency hospital admissions and people are more likely to report health problems in good time if they have someone to talk to. Continue reading “Be a good neighbour and look in on the elderly this Christmas say health bosses”

Charities call for food donations to help Wythenshawe people facing crisis Christmas

Charities are calling for donations to help provide emergency food parcels for people facing a crisis this Christmas in Wythenshawe.

The Christmas Food Campaign is accepting donations of non-perishable food this week as church leaders across the country call for more support for food  banks proving to be a lifeline for people hit by redundancy, illness, debt and benefit payment delays.

Five Wythenshawe  organisations – the Tree of Life Centre, St Luke’s Church Benchill, Royal Oak Community Centre, Wythenshawe Oasis, and Bideford Community Centre – have joined forces to appeal for donations of tinned and dried food to support emergency food referrals throughout December and into January 2015.

Donations can be taken to the Tree of Life Centre on Oatlands Road, Woodhouse Park, or arrangements can be made to pick up larger donations. Contact francess@treeoflifecentre.org.uk.

The Tree of Life Centre will also take time to listen and signpost people to access further support.