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<b>Friday 1 January:</b> Happy New Year, 8000 in Exchange Square and young people find work with the dead

Published on January 1st 2010.

EIGHT THOUSAND or more people celebrated in Exchange Square as 2009 bled into 2010. It was freezing and fun and a bit odd too as the countdown to the New Year was shown on the BBC's big screen . Odd because quarter of a mile away Manchester's very own big clock and bell on the Town Hall was ignored as people gazed at images of Big Ben.

UNEMPLOYED YOUNG PEOPLE are to be given jobs to benefit communities. Up to 1500 jobs will be created across Greater Manchester in the next 18 months for long term unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds. The first batch of jobs have been created 'improving' cemeteries in Chorlton and Miles Platting. Greater Manchester has been given £52m of central government money to create up to 8,000 jobs in the next few years. There will opportunities for jobs outside necropoli too with openings at the Zion Arts Centre in Moss Side and at the Royal Exchange Theatre in the new year.

A VERTICALLY CHALLENGED TRIO OF ARMED ROBBERS threatened a woman with a hammer and stole money from an amusement arcade at Winners in Henshaw Street, Oldham, on Wednesday. There were three miscreants, all under 5ft 8in, wearing balaclavas and dark clothing. Police are appealing for witnesses.

MANCHESTER CONFIDENTIAL would like to wish all its readers a Happy New Year. Sleuth, Confidential's satirist and observer of everything Mancunia, said late last night around 1am: “A hippy oo neurh to you loverly lot, now give us a kiss.”

Obvious statement of the day now that the This 'N' That wisdom has run out: It's cold. Dress warm.

On Monday we'll get the new This 'n' That curry house calendar and see what it contains. Statement rating 10/10 (impeccably obvious)

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