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<b>Friday 30 December:</b> ID cards early for Manchester, Confidential says no, Wood Street Mission re-opens and rain drops are expensive

Published on January 30th 2009.

HOME SECRETARY Jacqui Smith was in Manchester yesterday. Speaking at a Wythenshawe school she said the city was a contender to pioneer the ID card scheme in trials at the end of this year. The scheme is likely to cost almost £5bn to introduce and is likely to be implemented, barring a change of government, from 2011..

NOT EVERYBODY agrees with the introduction of the ID card scheme. As reported in the MEN, Dave Page of N02ID, said: “According to polls, for every one person who supports the scheme there are two that utterly oppose it.” Confidential also opposes the ID card scheme seeing it as intrusive and ineffective and thus unnecessary.

BEGUN IN 1869 by campaigner and philanthropist Alfred Alsop, Wood Street Mission has moved back into refurbished offices on the street where it all began. The mission was set up to feed and clothe the poorest of Manchester and Salford – Wood Street (now in Spinningfields) was then a byword for poverty and prostitution. The mission’s work continues; last year, it provided uniforms for 660 children and helped a further 10,000 people.

THE BISHOP OF MANCHESTER, Mark Davies, has launched a campaign against what church officials feel is an unfair levy on their buildings (and other clubs and societies ). This is the so-called ‘Rain Tax’ for water drained off properties. The new charge from United Utilities, would mean the Cathedral paying as much as Harvey Nichols, and Knutsford Parish Church the same as the nearby Rolls Royce dealership.

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