Southend City

After the tragic killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess last week, PM Boris Johnson has today told the Commons that his beloved Southend-on-Sea will be awarded city status. Sir David had long campaigned for the town to be awarded city status, noting its many achievements and landmarks, including the world’s longest pier. This afternoon MPs have spent two hours paying tribute to the MP with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying the city status was a ‘fitting tribute to Sir David’s hard work’.

Postal Services

The Post Office has said that ‘due to circumstances beyond our control’, they have suspended its guaranteed next day delivery services including Special Delivery and Parcelforce24. We have asked for more details as to why this is the case.

Don’t Stamp it Out

In another twist in the saga that is Port St Mary’s Post Office today as retailer Jeff Calvert has kindly agreed to continue in the sub postmaster role so Isle of Man Post Office can fully explore a late expression of interest.

The village’s Post Office counter looked set for closure when it was announced no-one had expressed a serious interest in taking over the business from Mr Calvert but then a late bid was announced which led to IOMPO reopening the tender process.

A spokesperson said today: ‘Mr Calvert was due to cease operation of the post office having terminated his contract for service on 29th October 2021, but has agreed to continue in post while the procurement process to seek an alternative partner of services in the village is undertaken. This is in a bid to avoid/limit a potential break in service should there be a suitable alternative provider found. However, IOMPO wishes to reiterate that there remains no guarantee a workable solution can be found at this stage.

‘The RFQ exercise has more than a week left to run, with any interested parties required to submit the relevant documentation by 12 noon on 26th October 2021 in order for the IOMPO Board to consider the responses and their suitability.’

Lottery Funding

The deadline is fast approaching to apply for Manx Lottery Trust funding in 2021.

The application deadline is Friday 5th November 2021, just before the Trustees meet for the last time this year to review applications for all grant programmes. There are currently three programmes available:

  • Community Awards: help to improve communities and the lives of people most in need for amounts between £2,501 and £50,000. This programme is funded by the Manx Lottery Trust as delegated partner of National Lottery Community Fund. 
  • Smaller Grants: a ‘light touch’ programme with a simple and straightforward application process, aimed at local communities, for amounts between £300 and £2,500. This programme is funded by the Manx Lottery Trust.
  • Dormant Assets Fund: for charities, community groups, not-for-profits and social enterprises to help them adapt to future challenges, be more financially resilient and have increased skills and capacity. Organisations can apply for up to £50,000 for between one and three years. These funds are distributed by Manx Lottery Trust on behalf of Isle of Man Treasury. 

Sarah Kelly, Chairman of the Manx Lottery Trust, said: ‘With less than three weeks to go, the deadline for receiving funding applications is nearing ahead of our final Trustees meeting of the year on Friday 19th November. If anyone has any questions about the applications process, are unsure if they are eligible for funding or wondering which grant programme is most suitable – please get in touch as we’d be more than happy to help.’

Roadworks!

The DoI has appointed Paul Carey & Sons Ltd to undertake a surface water drainage scheme on the A1 Peel to Douglas Road in the vicinity of St. Trinians (Between Greeba Castle and Crosby).

Work will start on the week commencing Monday October 25 and is expected to continue until the end of the last week in November. During the course of this scheme there will be a temporary 30mph speed limit between Crosby and Greeba Castle. There will be temporary traffic lights in operation 24 hours a day throughout.

Stadium Ban

Thanks to England fans’ behaviour during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, the FA have been ordered to play one game behind closed doors as punishment by UEFA.

Impeachment

No, not Biden. It’s Clinton! Former President Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but he then went and denied it while under oath (it’s very technical what actually went on here). Ms Lewinsky said she went on to become ‘patient zero of internet shaming… branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore’. Now, two decades later, she is serving as executive producer on the latest instalment in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story franchise, which has previously grappled with the OJ Simpson trial and the assassination of fashion designer Gianni Versace. The show is on BBC2 tomorrow night at 9.15pm.

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