The Green Party has taken another seat from Labour in this year’s Manchester council elections.
Astrid Johnson took the council seat from Labour’s Sarah Judge who had represented Woodhouse Park for Labour since 2015.
Ms Johnson joins fellow Green, Rob Nunney who was elected to represent the ward last year.
This year’s result was close with the Greens taking the seat with 1345 votes against Labour’s 1345. The turnout in the ward was 24 per cent.
The Green victory in Woodhouse Park was the only change at Manchester City Council where Labour remain firmly in control. Elsewhere in Wythenshawe Tommy Judge, Paul Andrews, Sue Cooley and Angela Moran won for Labour in Sharston, Baguley, Brooklands and Northenden respectively.
In Trafford, Labour retained control, with the Conservative Group leader losing his seat in Timperley to the Liberal Democrats. Labour and the Greens also took a seat each from the Conservatives.
In Stockport, the council remains in no overall control with a swing to the Liberal Democrats.
Nationally, it was a bad night for the Conservatives, who lost control of nine councils with the former Tory strongholds of Westminster and Wandsworth councils falling to Labour. Labour gained five councils and Liberal Democrats two.
A full list of Manchester’s council results can be found here.
Residents in Northenden and Didsbury who had been evacuated from their homes can now return, after the Severe Flood Warning for the area was stood down.
Wythenshawe Forum remains open and around 48 people attended the rest centre there overnight
This mean that people who have been evacuated from their home can now return – but emergency services remain on alert as water levels are expected to vary today. Vulnerable people will be helped to return home during the day.
Water levels had continued to rise overnight as expected, but the Didsbury Basin did not significantly overflow and the worst-case scenario was avoided.
However, high water levels have flooded some gardens and some roads remain closed.
The emergency response saw more than 200 hundred Council staff, police officers, Red Cross and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue officers on the ground who knocked on around 1,700 Didsbury and Northenden doors and supported local residents.
Vulnerable and self-isolating residents were provided emergency accommodation overnight and care packages were provided to support people.
People are reminded to remain at home and only travel if absolutely necessary.
Cllr Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Thankfully we avoided the level of flooding that we expected overnight. A huge debt of thanks is owed to the Council staff, emergency services and volunteers who were on the ground through the night, knocking on doors and supporting residents who had been asked to evacuate. It really was the best of Manchester in action.
“Standing down the Severe Flood Warning means that people can now return to their homes, which I know will be a huge relief to residents who left their lives at home last night not knowing what they might go back to.
“Water levels will continue to be reviewed throughout the day as water levels are expected to vary, so keep an eye information from the Council and emergency services. “Our thoughts are with those people in Greater Manchester who have been badly affected.”
Wythenshawe Forum is now powered by solar electricity, with the installation of a new photovoltaic array on the building’s roof completed.
New carbon-saving features for the popular community hub are set to reduce emissions by 121 tonnes per year, while also saving more than £50,000 in energy costs annually.
To complement the solar array, 1,386 of the Forum’s light fittings are being upgraded to LED, reducing their energy consumption by 70 per cent, with a new and more efficient lighting control system also installed.
The upgrade is part of a £25m project by Manchester City Council to reduce carbon emissions across the City, which is seeing retrofitting work carried out across its buildings working towards achieving its zero-carbon goal by 2038 at the latest.
The £10m first phase of the council’s programme, to retrofit its highest emission buildings, is drawing to a close and will achieve an emissions cut of 1,600 tonnes a year. New solar installations are underway at Moss Side Leisure Centre, Hough End Leisure Centre, East Manchester Leisure Centre, Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre, the Manchester Tennis & Football Centre, Belle Vue Leisure Centre, the Space Project and the Sharp Project.
Work to enable a £15m second phase of the programme, which will reduce emissions by a further 3,000 tonnes a year, is now progressing.
Since 2009/10, the Council has already reduced its annual direct carbon emissions by more than 50 per cent. In March 2020, it agreed a landmark Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25, setting out an ambitious target to halve its emissions again in the space of just five years – from around 32,000 tonnes a year to around 16,000 tonnes a year.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This project to modernise the energy supply for Wythenshawe Forum is a great example of the work which is happening right across the city to cut carbon emissions from the Council’s buildings as quickly as possible.
“Wythenshawe Forum’s solar power installation will help to reduce the Council’s direct carbon emissions, as part of our radical proposals to rebuild a greener Manchester in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Having declared a climate emergency, we’re committed to doing everything within our power to rapidly reduce the Council’s carbon emissions, in line with science-based targets which comply with the Paris Agreement.”
Eddie Flanagan, chief executive of Wythenshawe Forum Trust said: “As one of Manchester’s largest public buildings and a busy community hub, it’s essential that we support and contribute to the city’s carbon reduction targets. This has been a complex project, affecting almost all of the Forum and has needed buy-in from all of our stakeholders. We are looking forward to the new equipment and technology coming online this year, which will bring significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy costs.”
Manchester begins the roll-out of the new Covid 19 vaccine today at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe.
Patients who are registered with a GP practice in Wythenshawe, that are aged 80 or above and are able to travel have been invited to receive the vaccine at the centre in Wythenshawe.
Wythenshawe was identified as the best initial location to roll out community-based vaccination in Manchester, with other sites to be announced in the coming weeks.
A second dose of the vaccination will be given to patients 3-4 weeks after receiving their first injection.
Health bosses have assured those invited to have the vaccine that it is safe. The city’s director of public health, Dave Regan countered claims that it can rewrite DNA. This claim has also been rejected by independent fact checkers, Full Fact.
Patients will be notified they are eligible to get a vaccine by their GP, either by phone or letter.
Arrangements will be made to get the vaccine to people in this age group who may have difficulty travelling or who are housebound.
David Regan said: “From day one our priority has been to protect as many people as possible from Covid-19. The successful development of an effective and safe vaccine will allow us to save thousands of lives over the coming months.
“This is, however, just the first step and we will not see results overnight. Until the vaccine is being widely distributed our first line of defence will still be quick and accurate testing, as well as adhering to social distancing, good hygiene and the wearing of masks.”
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said: “The launch of our first vaccination site, marks the start of the largest vaccination programme we have ever undertaken in Manchester. Our primary care staff across the city are working together to set up more sites in our communities so we can vaccinate people safely.
“I am so proud my GP colleagues, across the city, who have worked tirelessly to set these sites up – so we can protect our patients against the virus. But we can’t do this without the support of the people of Manchester; and so, I would urge all our patients to book in straight away when they are called up for the vaccine.
“We know that many of our patients are keen to get their vaccinations as soon as possible, but please don’t call your practice to book in unless you have been invited to do so, your practice will contact you as soon as you are eligible to be vaccinated.”
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing for Manchester City Council said: “The coming weeks will be crucial for Manchester as we work to get this vaccine to the people who need it most. This is the first bit of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
“The work we will begin next week is a positive start but we do face a long road ahead. Our priority will be protecting our older residents, medically vulnerable people and our NHS and care workers who have been putting themselves at risk this entire year. “Our roll out depends on the vaccine supply from government, so as the vaccine is rolled out we will still need to be vigilant and take the precautions which have become commonplace since March. Mancunians have shown just how resilient they can be and I have no doubt this resolve will continue.”