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Salford cabbie is 'local hero in our thoughts and prayers.' Message from Greater Manchester Mosques

Hostage Alan Henning called 'local hero' in statement from Mosques

Mosques throughout Greater Manchester are delivering a joint message calling for the release of the man they're calling their 'local hero' Alan Henning, the Salford taxi driver, being held by Islamic State.

Alan who's 47 was kidnapped in December while he was delivering aid in Syria.

Earlier this week more than 150 people attended a vigil in Bolton appealing for his safe return.

The message to be read at Friday prayers says Mr Henning is a local hero and appeals to those holding him to have understanding, compassion and mercy.

The joint statement is signed by a number of Mosques and groups in Greater Manchester.

‘We believe it is important to appeal for the release of a courageous humanitarian Alan Henning and for his family to know they are in our thoughts and prayers.’’

– Qadir Ahmad Chohan Welfare officer Manchester Central Mosque

‘It is important for a clear message to be sent to those holding Alan Henning that he is our local hero who as a sincere and caring humanitarian went to the region to help the Syrian people in their hour of need. We want the family to know that Alan Henning is in our thoughts and we pray for his safe and speedy return.’

– Imam Assim Manchester Central Mosque will read out statement at Friday prayers


Salford Red Devils sign Forster for 2015 season

Salford have continued their recruitment for 2015 with the signing of St Helens prop Carl Forster.

The 22-year-old made only one Super League appearance for Saints in 2014 after spending the first month of the season on loan to London Broncos.

"Pleased to announce the signing of another young, hungry rising star of the game," said Red Devils chairman Marwan Koukash on his Twitter account.

Formal bid for takeover of Salford City Football Club

Gary & Phil Neville training at AJ Bell stadium in Salford Credit: PA

Papers have been submitted to The FA today to formalise the acquisition of Salford City Football Club (SCFC).

Singaporean businessman, Peter Lim, has joined Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt as a partner in Salford City Football Club. Peter will have a 50% stake in the investment. The remaining 50% is shared equally amongst the five former Manchester United players.

“When we set upon this journey we always knew at some point we wanted external partners involved, people who would share our vision for Salford City FC. We have all known Peter for over ten years, his love of sport, above all football, is well documented. He has an incredible track record in business as well as youth and community engagement, especially at grassroots level. This will be fantastic for SCFC, Peter’s experience and knowledge is invaluable and can help take SCFC to where we believe they can be, it’s exciting times for the club”

– Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt

In Memory of Mum: MP opens dementia courtyard

Hazel Blears and her Mum Credit: MEN Syndication

MP Hazel Blears is opening a special garden at Salford Royal today. It provides a therapeutic environment for patients. The MP for Salford, lost her mother earlier this year at the hospital following a nine-year battle with the illness.

The Dementia Courtyard, which is situated in the Ladywell Buildingat Salford Royal, includes an old red telephone box and will be filled with various props to help patients reminisce and to stimulate memories.

The area is a peaceful haven for patients and their relatives and will reduce agitation and stress, which can occur as a result of boredom or being in unfamiliar surroundings.

It will also provide a safe place for gentle exercise, which in turn will promote appetite and aid sleep.

The new garden is part of an ongoing programme of developments as Salford Royal continues to improve its facilities in order to further enhance the quality of care and experience for patients with dementia.

Dementia garden to help patients at Salford Royal

“Having a safe and peaceful area for patients with a cognitive impairment will encourage social interaction and a sense of well-being. Staff can spend time with patients in the garden and will gather a more personal insight into the individual while relatives can enjoy relaxing with their loved ones in a very tranquil environment.”

– Janice McGrory Nurse for Dementia


Transport services for those with disabilities in Salford to face judicial review

The Robson case has been heard at Manchester Civil Justice Centre. Credit: PA

A judicial review will be held over the future of transportation services for people with disabilities in Salford.

It follows a legal challenge on behalf of Michael Robson, from Swinton, who requires around-the-clock care due to cerebral palsy and epilepsy and who attends day centres in the city and in Stockport.

He relies on the adapted buses to travel to the centres.

His lawyers claim Salford City Council announced in July that the wheelchair-adapted bus service used by Michael to attend the St George’s Day Centre in Salford two days a week withdrawn from the end of August.

After being instructed by Mr Robson's mother Mary, Irwin Mitchell applied for a judicial review into the decision and secured an interim transport service would remain in place while the application was considered.

Now, a judge at the High Court in Manchester has today (September 10th) confirmed that the application for a judicial review has been granted permission to proceed, with a hearing expected to take place in October.

“The confirmation that a judicial review will be held is a welcome step forward on this issue, with the proposed cuts to transport services set to leave our client and a huge number of other people with no suitable means to access the care and support they need.

“We have numerous concerns regarding the decision, from whether proper assessments were carried out into people’s needs and if a lawful consultation was undertaken, so we are determined to ensure that our client’s voice is heard on this matter.

“It is vital that this important decision which will impact on a great number of people’s lives is given the care and attention it deserves, and we are determined to ensure that our client can continue to benefit from the services he requires.”

– Mathieu Culverhouse, Irwin Mitchell

Salford Council says it will continue to provide transport to those unable to make alternative arrangements.

“The judge has reviewed all the evidence and decided in favour of a judicial review. This will take place in October and will give both sides a chance to have their say in court.

“Until then, our position remains the same as it always has. Where people can make alternative arrangements we have agreed they will do so.

"Where they have not made alternative arrangements we will continue to provide transport and continue discussions with them.”

– Salford City Council

Mother of murdered gym instructor pleas for justice

A mother is desperately appealing for information three years on from the murder of her son.

Lee Erdmann, who was 37, was drinking in a pub in Salford when a man he was speaking to suddenly pulled out a gun and shot him.

At least 30 people were in the pub at the time, but none have given any evidence to the police.

A mother's appeal to find the killer who shot her son

Lee Erdmann's killer is still at large Credit: Greater Manchester Police

The mother of a man who was shot dead in Salford has made an appeal to the community for help in finding her son's killer. Lee Erdmann, who was 37 and a gym instructor, was shot at the bar of the Wellington pub in September 2011. His mother Patricia says the family need a resolution so they can move on.

Double baby joy for Salford sisters

Sisters with their newborn babies

Sisters are celebrating after they both gave birth to baby girls on the same day in the same hospital - and just hours apart.

Inseparable siblings Kirsty and Mica Higham were delighted when they became pregnant at around the same time. And the pair joked that the ‘race was on’... but were stunned when they both went into labour on the same day.

But they never imagined that their double-deliveries would spark the ultimate family celebration with the arrival of their daughters within hours of each other at Salford Royal.

Eldest sister Kirsty, 27, from Swinton gave birth to baby Delilah, weighing in at 7lbs 1oz, at 1.58am last Tuesday.

Then new mum Mica, 19, from Pendleton, followed suit with baby Pixie, weighing 5lbs 10oz, at 7.14pm.

Read more in the Manchester Evening News.

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