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40,000 march against cuts

Campaigners walk in support of NHS Credit: Anna Claeys

Around 40,000 people have been marching through Manchester on a union protest against austerity cuts on the opening day of the Conservative Party conference.

The protest was highlighting the impact of Government policies on jobs and spending across the health service.

Demonstrating against health service cuts Credit: Anna Claeys

Following the march a rally was being addressed by union leaders alongside appearances by musicians.

TUC North West regional secretary Lynn Collins added: "Our NHS is under attack and we want to send the strongest message to the Conservatives that we will not stand by and let them sell-off our national treasure."

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  1. Daniel Hewitt - Politics Reporter

Manchester prepares for Conservative Party Conference

A big security operation's in place ahead of the Conservative Party conference which starts in Manchester on Sunday.

Manchester Central will host 12,00 delegates, politicians and journalists as the Prime Minister David Cameron brings his party to the city for the third time in five years.

  1. National

Labour's postcard from 'the desolate North'

The postcard sent out by Labour mocking the Tories Credit: Labour Party

The Labour party is handing out postcards mocking comments about the "desolate North" to delegates attending the annual Tory party conference in Manchester this weekend.

It says: "The Tories think the North is desolate.

"The truth is that it's home to millions of hard-working families and small businesses."

It follows comments by Tory peer Lord Howell of Guildford, who said fracking should be carried out in the North of England where "there are large, desolate areas."

Tory conference - Manchester road closures

Manchester City Council announce road closures for Tory party conference Credit: PA Images

Motorists are being advised of road closures in Manchester city centre for this year’s Conservative Party Conference.

The city is hosting the conference from Sunday September 29 until Wednesday October 2 at Manchester Central, but road closures will start at 4am on Monday September 23 when Windmill Street will be shut from Southmill Street to Watson Street.

Mount Street will be closed from Windmill Street to Peter Street from 4am on Tuesday September 24.

Lower Mosley Street will be shut to traffic heading into the city centre between Bridgewater Street and Windmill Street from 9pm on Wednesday September 25, although traffic will still be able to access the Manchester Central NCP car park until 6pm on Saturday September 28.

Windmill Street will also close from Lower Mosley Street to Museum Street, Peter Street will close from St Peter’s Square to Museum Street and Mount Street will close from Peter Street to Bootle Street from 9pm on Wednesday September 25.

St Peter’s Square will close from Princess Street to Oxford Street and Dickinson Street will close from Back George Street to St Peter’s Square from 7pm on Friday September 27.

Oxford Street from Portland Street to St Peter’s Square will close from 7am on Saturday 28 September, along with St James Street from Dickinson Street to Oxford Street, Hall Street and Bale Street,

Lower Mosley Street from St Peter’s Square to Great Bridgewater Street, Bishopsgate, Peter Street from Deansgate to Museum Street, Museum Street, Southmill Street from Windmill Street to Peter Street, Marron Place, Jerusalem Place and the entire stretch of Windmill Street.

Lower Mosley Street will close completely with no access to Manchester Central NCP car park from 6pm on Saturday September 28.

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Tory conference - "£24.6M boost to North West"

David Cameron at a previous Conservative Conference at Manchester Central Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

It's claimed the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central later this month will generate £24.6m for the local economy.

The conference, which runs from Sunday, 29 September to Wednesday, 2 October, will be the Party's third in Manchester since 2009.

It is expected to attract around 12,000 delegates - many of whom will spend three nights in one of the city-region's hotels or serviced apartments.

Hotels, restaurants and bars will also benefit from the extensive programme of fringe events, which will take place across the city.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester has firmly established itself as a major conference destination and we are pleased that the Conservatives have chosen to return to our great city.

Large scale conferences such as this represent a significant boost to the city in both economic and reputational terms.

I am glad that thousands of delegates will get the chance to see what Manchester has to offer."

Andrew Stokes, chief executive of Marketing Manchester, said: "In addition to the media coverage political party conferences attract -

which helps boost the profile of the city around the world - there is also a very real, financial benefit to local businesses in terms of the money spent by delegates, exhibitors and their service partners."

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester Central, said: "We pride ourselves on hosting events that have the best possible impact on the city. 12,000 delegates will hugely benefit Manchester's hotels, bars, restaurants and shops.

All eyes will be on Manchester Central and we are looking forward to once again providing our world class service."

Business tourism generates £822m a year for the Greater Manchester economy. It supports the city's £6.6bn tourism industry, which attracts over one million international visitors a year and supports 84,000 jobs.

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