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Historic England objects to Neville's tower plans

Historic England is objecting to plans backed by Gary Neville to redevelop part of the centre of Manchester.

The charity says that the two tower blocks on Jacksons Row would dominate the conservation area around them.

They also say it would involve the destruction of historic buildings.

We are deeply concerned about how this scheme would affect some of Manchester's most precious heritage. It would have an impact on people's appreciation and experience of the stunning town hall and library but it would also erase different layers of this area's history, irreparably damaging the special character of the surrounding conservation area.

A dynamic city like ours needs to fully embrace development but this scheme is not good enough to justify the damage it would cause to the streets around the site and to the setting of the city's most important buildings and spaces. It threatens Manchester with the loss of historic places that have soul and tell important stories about our city's past.

– Catherine Dewar, Historic England

Hate crime soars to record levels after Brexit vote

Record levels of hate crime were reported by most police forces in England and Wales in the aftermath of last year's EU referendum according to new analysis. Greater Manchester was one of three forces that recorded more than a thousand incidents in the three months up to September 2016. Provisional figures on hate crimes published by the Home Office in October 2016 suggested that offences in July 2016 were 41% higher than in the previous year.

GMP recorded more than a thousand hate crime incidents in the 3 months after the Brexit vote Credit: pa

A human rights organisation has said the country should prepare for the possibility of further spikes in offences once the Brexit process has begun.

It is clear a small minority of people used the Brexit vote to legitimise inexcusable racism and prejudice. We cannot allow such intolerable acts of hate to be condoned or repeated.

– David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Government promises to protect "Salford's rainforest"

Credit: pa

The government's announced a commitment to restoring peatlands in Greater Manchester. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has almost £1 million investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore "Salford's rainforest" and provide habitats for bog mosses which in turn support other species like carnivorous plants and crickets as well as vulnerable bird species like the curlew and short eared owl.

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey is making the announcement on a visit to Chat Moss in Salford, an area of peatland that makes up around 30 per cent of the city of Salford.

The exciting work here in Salford is seeing birds and wildlife returning to the area and is an important part of realising that vision.

– Environment Minister, Therese Coffey

Our peatlands are amazing places for wildlife, as places to visit, and for the carbon they store. Sadly they have been mistreated, and have become badly damaged. But here at Chat Moss we are showing that we can turn the clocks back, and re-create a thriving living landscape bursting with life. With this new funding for peatland we will be able to do more of this valuable work.

– Dr Chris Miller, Lancashire Wildlife Trust


Experts meet to discuss 'Hillsborough Law'

96 Liverpool fans died in the disaster Credit: GTV

Legal experts are due to meet today to begin discussions of how a 'Hillsborough Law' could prevent a repetition of the institutional lying and deception that followed the disaster.

96 Liverpool supporters died in the crush at at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in 1989. It took 27 years to establish the degree to which South Yorkshire Police and other public services failed supporters, with the police then involved in a calculated project to deflect blame by blaming fans.

A symposium is being held in Liverpool. Its coordinated by the Liverpool Law School, and Pete Weatherby QC, who represented many families at the Hillsborough inquests which concluded last year, is among the speakers.

It is hoped that a 'Hillsborough Law' will be drafted and tabled later this year to ensure that it can't happen in the future.

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