IS it time to spare a thought for those poor souls living in Lymm and Glazebrook?

I worry about them. Just how safe are they in these days of the coronavirus pandemic?

I mention this after the government introduced a stricter partial lockdown on the whole of Greater Manchester – including Trafford which shares a border with Warrington.

Of course, Lymm and Glazebrook are just a hard sneeze away Trafford with Warrington Borough Council advising residents to avoid the area.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, the council’s executive board member for public health, said: “In some Warrington communities, you could only be a matter of metres away from a boundary into an affected area, like Trafford for example, so please take extra care and caution if you’re planning on heading out and about.

“We cannot be complacent about the spread of this indiscriminate virus and must remain cautious.”

It just so happens that I have a family member who lives in South Manchester and who came to visit me in Warrington last week before the extended lockdown was put in place.

He was planning another visit this week so I had a quick check of the rules.

Apparently, I can’t go and meet him in the affected area as two households are no longer permitted to meet at home or in a private garden, except where they have formed a support bubble. What if he wants to visit me? The same rule applies.

And despite the fact pubs are remaining open, we’re not allowed to meet there with businesses being advised to monitor customers to make sure they are not interacting with other households.

That’s nice and clear then.


There is no restriction on travelling to and from work in the Greater Manchester lockdown area.

Regular readers of this column may recall I work in an office in central Manchester.

So does my relative.

The upshot of this staggeringly muddled logic is I can’t meet him outdoors at his home or in a pub beer garden but I could meet him, without restriction, in an enclosed office.

One of the other effects of the Manchester lockdown is that those who are considered clinically vulnerable should continue to shield.

The relaxations to shielding have been suspended for the areas within the new lockdown zones.

But despite the fact there are such serious concerns about the increase in coronavirus infections in Manchester, clinically vulnerable people from outside the area can now be asked by their bosses to return to work in the city.

Herd policy has not gone away.

  • On a different topic, I notice with increasing incredulity the decision to give Claire Fox a peerage.

Here’s a little background on Ms Fox.

She joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as a student and was one of the its core activists and organisers for 20 years.

Fox’s selection as an MEP candidate for the Brexit Party was criticised by Colin Parry, the father of Tim Parry for her past support for the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the RCP’s defence of the 1993 IRA Warrington bombings, which killed his son and three-year-old Johnathan Ball.

Now I notice that Warrington South Tory MP Andy Carter says Ms Fox’s appointment ‘rankles’ because of her refusal to acknowledge how her comments about the bombing caused such hurt to families in Warrington.

But he declined to condemn Ms Fox’s ennoblement, saying she has not been nominated as a Conservative peer and is an unaffiliated peer, appointed by the independent House of Lords Appointment Commission.

Nice try, Mr Carter, nice try.

Can I point you to the website and the section on how members are appointed to the House of Lords?

It says: “Members of the House of Lords are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister.

“Once approved by the prime minister, appointments are formalised by the Queen.”

Yes, the prime minister has the final say and in the case of Ms Fox, gave it the go-ahead.

The responsibility therefore rests with Boris Johnson.

I wonder if Mr Carter is happy with that.