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Mystery business invests in Wythenshawe

wp-1478947269179.jpegA mystery shopping company has invested  thousands in its new head office base in Wythenshawe.

Storecheckers, which has been in business for over 25 years, has expanded its operation, signing a five-year lease for its new head office in the town and employing extra staff.

The  customer service improvement and market research experts will share their new office building with Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, who cut the ribbon at the official opening of their new base.

Mr Kane said: “I am delighted that Storecheckers have opened their new offices in Wythenshawe and are employing local people in their expansion programme.

“Wythenshawe is a great place to do business and I wish Storecheckers continued success.”

Storecheckers has an expanding team of full time head office staff supporting over 1000 researchers nationwide, many of whom are from the Greater Manchester area. Managing Director and customer service guru, Jeff Caplan, said: “It was a privilege to see our local MP formally open our new offices. He was an absolute gentleman and clearly cares a great deal about the town.

“We are really happy to have made the decision to stay in Wythenshawe and to have moved into our newly fitted out head office, which gives us more room to expand. The town is well-located and has excellent road and tram links, as well as great people and a willing workforce.

“It is a tough time for businesses with bricks and mortar which simply cannot afford to be turning away potential customers and tempting them to shop online through poor service. But this means that there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to invest in their customer experience and drive increased trade and consumer loyalty.

“This coupled with the fact that we have had long-standing relationships with northwest locations and businesses such as Timpson and Pets at Home, mean that investing in a bigger base in Wythenshawe and looking to expand our business makes perfect sense”.

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Wythenshawe Cricket Club wins CAMRA accolade

Wythenshawe Cricket & Sports ClubWythenshawe Cricket & Sports Club, in Northenden, has been named Club of The Year 2018 by Stockport and South Manchester Campaign for Real Ale.

Welcoming the accolade, Club Chairman Mike Dean, has thanked staff and officials who w promoted and worked on their annual beer festival which featured many local and speciality breweries  held at the end of September last year

Mr Dean said on club website: “Well done to Anthony Sherratt for the initial organising of the festival before his retirement and to all our members who support the club throughout the year.

“A great accolade for a great local community club that serves outstanding Cask Ales the whole year round, why not come down and sample some of our great ales which include the very popular Manchester Pale Ale (MPA) we’d love to welcome you here to join in our success and our community.”

The club has a busy year planned including a Valentine’s Day Evening with live entertainment, a Mothers’ Day Launch. More details on their website.

Wythenshawe’s tallest tower block to be fitted with sprinkler system in response to Grenfell fire tragedy

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Wythenshawe’s tallest tower block is to be fitted with a sprinkler system in the wake of the Grenfell Fire tragedy.

A spokesperson for the Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, which runs the 10 tower blocks in the town said work on the retrofit of the tallest building will start in early 2018.

And a spokesperson for the Group  told the Reporter WCHG was committed to funding all recommended safety improvements.

The WCHG statement in full:

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group remain committed to ensuring safety in high rise buildings and continue to work closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Manchester City Council and other registered providers to ensure a consistent robust approach to fire safety in tower blocks.

The Group owns and manages 10 high rise buildings in Wythenshawe and none contain ACM panels.  Village 135 did have a feature ACM detail to the projecting balconies and this was quickly removed in July 2017 shortly following the tragic Grenfell incident.  This has now been replaced with a solid metal cladding panel.

We have worked closely with our residents in all of our high rise buildings which have had annual fire risk assessments in place for many years by accredited consultants.  Since June, we have repeated and reviewed in detail our approach to fire safety with our fire safety consultants to identify any further improvements that can be made to each block.

The Group will commence an installation of sprinklers to the tallest building in early 2018 and the Board and Executive team remain committed to funding all recommended improvements including sprinklers for the safety of occupants.”

In June, Wythenshawe CHG said it had worked closely with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and was “considering all options including sprinkler systems” to maintain safety in it’s tower blocks.

WCHG’s comments come as Manchester City Council agreed to consult tenants on spending £10.5 million to fit sprinkler systems to the 36 high rise tower blocks it owns most of which are in North Manchester.

The City Council’s Executive today approved the plan in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy earlier this year and will follow the completion of high level fire risk assessments that ensures compartmentation of flats, designed to contain fire within an individual dwelling and stop any spread.

Basic fire risk assessments are already in place in all City Council-owned blocks and housing association provider high rises, and were redone immediately following the Grenfell fire. All fire assessments for Council-owned properties have been made available of the Council’s website.

Greater Manchester Fire and rescue) has visited every single high rise block in Manchester and provided the City Council with details.  Where necessary the fire officer has taken steps to address safety issues.

The City Council has also written to every owner or building manager of the 216 privately-owned high rises identified in the city to understand whether the cladding or other building materials used presented pose any potential safety issues.

216 building owners have been contacted in the first two weeks of November and, as they respond, the Council is building up a detailed database which is being shared with DCLG as part of a national picture.

The owners of 12 private buildings that feature Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding have responded positively and have actioned remedial works or commissioned fire risk assessments to reassure residents and fire officers that fire safety measures are in place.

A detailed procedure is being established within the City Council and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to deal with any owners not responding.

The Council enforcement team, Building Control service and GMFRS are working closely together to ensure that any necessary enforcement actions are correctly actioned.

However, there remains some confusion around enforcement responsibilities and how they are carried out due to a lack of clarity within the current legislation.

The City Council and GMFRS would like to see a revision in guidance for fire safety in flats to address different types of tenure and responsibilities of the building owner and tenants to clearly set out expectations of each party to ensure fire safety.

Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We need to get to a position where every person who lives in a high rise block feels safe in their homes, understands fire procedures for the building, and building owners know what their responsibilities are.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of the national inquiry following the Grenfell tragedy and we are ready to act quickly to any recommendations. However, we already know that a review into enforcement powers of Councils and the fire service is vital to ensure the legislation is in place to fully protect residents.

“We believe that we should retrofit sprinkler systems in our high rise properties, but it is important that we do this in conversation with our residents – and funding the works will need to be in conversation with Government for their support.”

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes added: “Through the work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Taskforce, we have been able to take swift action to reassure residents living in high rises across Greater Manchester and make sure that the right fire safety advice is in place. Specialist fire officers continue to work with building owners and local authorities, including Manchester City Council, to address fire safety issues and contribute to Greater Manchester’s ambition of a world-class approach to fire safety, which places the expertise of our fire and rescue service at its heart.”

Wythenshawe photographer Callum Harrison in with a shot of Image of the Year

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Callum Harrison

Wythenshawe photographer Callum Harrison has reached the final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers with overseas members. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers.

allum’s image, “Precious Metal is one of just 12 selected by the Guild for the final

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said:”One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented Callum is.”

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Precious Metal

Callum said: “Believe it or not, this image was shot in Wythenshawe in a make shift studio. I simply love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month so it helps me push myself.

“The images I see getting awards each month are inspirational, so knowing just how high those standards are, to have one of my images shortlisted for the overall Final from the many 1000’s submitted across whole year is really exciting. I couldn’t believe it when I found out.”

Callum’s image along with the others will now be printed ready for the Competition Final in December, when highly regarded Judges will be coming together from across the country and overseas to choose the overall winner. The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018.

Sharston man Junior is Stagecoach champion

Stagecoach Manchester employee Junior Grant was awarded the Silver Community Champion award at the annual Stagecoach Champions Awards.

Junior, from Sharston, has over 38 years’ service with Stagecoach Manchester, and was commended for playing an active role in the Moss Side community. In addition, Junior assists with the Message Trust, which is a Christian charity working to improve the lives of young people, as well as providing the Remembrance services at the depot’s War Memorial.

Junior received a trophy, cash prize and a two night stay in London incorporating the award ceremony.

The event was also attended by TV personality Jessica Wright, who presented winners with their awards. Earlier this year, Jessica took part in a campaign to celebrate the style of Stagecoach’s bus passengers across the UK.

Stagecoach Manchester managing director, Elisabeth Tasker, said: “I’d like to congratulate Junior for his award and specifically for the decades of hard work he has put in to serve and improve his local communities. Junior’s award is proof that the invaluable activities he undertakes, both in and out of work, do not go unnoticed and he continues to be a testament to Stagecoach Manchester.”

Bus drivers due to strike after “1p an hour pay rise” offer

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Pic: Micolo J Thanx 4 cc

Bus drivers at Arriva’s Wythenshawe depot will walk out on Monday (Nov 20) after pay talks with unions collapsed on Friday.

No Arriva buses will be running in Manchester after the company’s final pay offer, was rejected as an insult by trade unions, Unite and the GMB.

The unions, which will stage nine days of strike action in the run up to Christmas, said the pay rise offered by Arriva bosses amounts to 1p an hour for drivers. Read More…

Manchester United legend Irwin launches new pitch at Health Academy

_DSC6776Young sports stars of the future rubbed shoulders with  Manchester United legend Denis Irwin when he officially opened Manchester Health Academy’s new all-weather pitch.

The veteran former Reds defender, who won 20 major honours in his 12-year stay with United, watched students playing on the pitch before taking part in a Q&A session and officially unveiling the new facility in Wythenshawe.

He said: “Unveiling this new pitch was a pleasure for me, especially seeing so many youngsters out enjoying their football. It’s a wonderful facility and will no doubt become a magnet for people to visit and enjoy playing sport at. Read More…

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