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Corbyn: Manchester and Liverpool in danger of creating London-style housing crisis

Credit: ITV Granada

Jeremy Corbyn has said that Manchester and Liverpool are in danger of creating a London-style housing crisis.

In an interview with Granada Reports, he warns that private sector investment could price people out of buying a home in their communities.

The Labour leader made the comments during a two-day tour of the region, which ends tonight with a rally on Southport beach.

Man jailed for torching historic Tudor mansion after DNA is found on match

Jeremy Taylor Credit: Manchester Evening News Syndication

An arsonist who torched an historic Tudor mansion, causing £5 million worth of damage, has been jailed for four-and-a-half years - after being caught by a single match.

Shop worker Jeremy Taylor, 28, set fire to newspapers he stuffed around drainpipes and doors at Grade II listed Wythenshawe Hall, a 16th century timber-framed manor house.

Taylor was high on cannabis and alcohol and "feeling sorry for himself" at the time, Manchester Crown Court heard.

After setting five separate fires at the building, which had survived for five centuries, he set off for home nearby and left it to burn in the early hours of March 15 last year.

The flames spread through the entrance hall and upwards onto the first and second floors and out through the roof, destroying the bell tower.

The bill to taxpayers for repairing the damage and restoration is estimated to be up to £5.2 million.

After the flames were out two days later, fire and police investigators found three matches - and DNA on one of them matched Taylor to the crime scene.

The defendant, who lived near the hall in Wythenshawe with his family, suffered a "storm of abuse" from locals after his arrest.

The hall, dating back to 1540, was gifted to the city of Manchester in 1926 by a philanthropist "to be used solely for the public good". It was staffed by volunteers and used to teach local schoolchildren about their history and heritage.

Taylor smiled and waved to his partner in the public gallery as he was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting arson at an earlier hearing.

Watch our report on the case from Tim Scott:

Daniel Travers said Taylor, who had a job and steady girlfriend and had not been in trouble with police since a juvenile a decade ago was "deeply ashamed" of his actions.

He said the defendant had smoked cannabis since being a child and was under the influence of the drug along with drink that night.

Wythenshawe Hall was the home of the Tatton family for hundreds of years. Its history includes being besieged by parliamentary forces during the Civil War.

It and its grounds were given to Manchester City Council in 1929 and now house a museum and art gallery.

Reactions to the case

Gary Logan, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said:

“Jeremy Taylor, for reasons only known to himself, caused extensive damage to one of the oldest and most loved buildings in Manchester that will cost in the region of £4.75 million to repair.

“His actions almost destroyed the 16th Century building and put at risk the lives of fire-fighters who attended to extinguish the blaze.

“Throughout the case he denied starting the fire, but we worked closely with the police to build a strong case against him, including CCTV and telephone evidence which proved he was in the area at the time of the fire. His DNA was found on a match next to the scraps of singed newspaper which were found at the scene. However on the first day of the trial, he eventually admitted to the offence and pleaded guilty to arson.”

– Gary Logan, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

Ingrid Holden, a committee member of the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall told the court in a statement:

"I have cried over the damage caused and was totally devastated by the loss we have suffered.

"We have put our heart and soul into the hall so local people and beyond can enjoy their heritage.

"I find it hard to believe someone who lives in Wythenshawe could commit such a horrendous crime. It sickens me beyond belief."

– Ingrid Holden, a committee member of the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall

Inspector Luke Breakspear from GMP's City of Manchester Team, said:

"This was a mindless act that intended to destroy a historical building that has great significance to the people of Wythenshawe.

"People were shocked by the needless damage caused to a piece of our local and national heritage. Wythenshawe is a great place to live, work and visit and the strong community spirit is testament to this.

"Taylor's senseless actions could have taken an innocent life and I am just thankful no one was hurt.

"I would like to thank our colleagues at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for stopping the fire spreading and causing more damage as well as their support throughout this investigation.

"I hope the community feel that justice has been served today and I am satisfied that Taylor is now where he deserves to be.

"Wythenshawe Hall is a beautiful building and hopefully in the near future we will see it open its doors again to the people of Manchester."

– Inspector Luke Breakspear from GMP's City of Manchester Team


Fresh strikes planned in dispute over driver-only trains

A picket at Lime Street during a strike in July. Credit: ITV Granada

Rail workers in the north are to launch a fresh wave of strikes in long-running disputes over staffing and driver-only trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Arriva Rail North will walk out on Friday September 1 and Monday September 4.

Strikes will be held at Merseyrail on September 1, 3 and 4.

The union accused the companies and the Government of pressing ahead with controversial plans to extend driver-only operation.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash had a meeting with Arriva Rail North on Friday but accused the company of "intransigence", adding:

"The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company.

"We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to fail to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the DfT (Department for Transport) to join us in round-table talks aimed at finding a solution.

"The public, who support RMT's campaign for a guarantee of a guard on their trains, will be appalled that Arriva Rail North have failed yet again to offer any kind of progress whatsoever in the talks and have instead opted to try and bulldoze through their plans regardless.

"It is disgraceful that Merseyrail continue to refuse all reasonable attempts by the union to settle this dispute.

"Merseyrail have repeatedly kicked all conciliatory approaches by RMT negotiators back in our faces and made it crystal clear that all that they are interested in is the union signing a surrender document which gives them a free hand to rip apart the safety culture on the railway."

– RMT general secretary Mick Cash

Alan Chaplin, Northern's managing director, said:

"Following our meeting with RMT's general secretary, there is no doubt that the trade union calling two days of strikes timed to coincide with people across the North returning to school, college and work after the holidays, will damage the region's economy, significantly disrupt our customers' lives, and impact local businesses.

"Northern is prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years, until the end of our franchise. Our offers to discuss every detail on the future responsibilities and training for on-board colleagues have been rejected by RMT.

"Northern is modernising with new and updated trains, faster and more frequent services, and better stations from now until 2020. We want to make changes to the on-board colleague role to make it fit for the future, better supporting customers on trains and at stations."

– Alan Chaplin, Northern's managing director


IoM ferry crashes into pier causing long delays

Credit: Steam Packet Co.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's ferry the Manannan crashed into Douglas Harbour last night.

Passengers travelling to Liverpool were facing delays after the 07:30 sailing and the 11:15 return crossings were cancelled.

The operator said the Manannan "made contact" with the quay while attempting to berth at about 22:00.

No passengers were injured, but people have expressed their annoyance via social media.

Following last night’s incident involving fast craft Manannan, staff from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company workshop have been working on repairing the damage.

The company anticipates that this work will be completed by early this evening and, following the necessary approval by Isle of Man Ship Registry surveyors, Manannan will then operate to the following revised schedule:

Friday 18th August

Douglas to Liverpool 15.00hrs will now depart at 20.00hrs and passengers are asked to check in no later than 19.00hrs.

Liverpool to Douglas 19:15hrs will now depart at 00.30hrs Saturday 19th August and passengers are asked to check in no later than 23.00hrs Friday 18th August.

Ben-my-Chree sailings are operating as scheduled and it is anticipated that Manannan schedules will return to normal tomorrow.

In addition, freighter Clipper Ranger will be brought in to operate an extra sailing tonight, which will create space for passenger vehicles on the Ben-my-Chree’s service which departs Heysham at 02:15hrs, Saturday 19th August.

The Steam Packet Company apologises for any inconvenience caused by this rescheduling.

– Spokesperson from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

Artwork based on Tony Walsh's poem helps support victims of the Manchester attack

A painting featuring 'This is the place' was sold at auction for £7,100. Credit: ITV Granada

A painting which features the words of a poem by Manchester's Tony Walsh has been sold at auction for £7,100.

'This is the place' was read by Tony at a huge vigil the night after the tragic Manchester Arena attack which killed 22 people.

The words of the poem were a source of comfort to many at a time when the city was in mourning.

The money raised from the sale of the painting will go towards the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and Forever Manchester.

  • Tim Scott sent this report:
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