Business shares responsibility to get back to normal – Leese
Sir Richard Leese, leader of the council, said it was the responsibility of everyone in Manchester to ensure “terrorism doesn’t win” and urged people working in the city to return to “business as usual”.
Leese said there had been tremendous acts of generosity from hotels, restaurants, and taxi drivers offering services for free in the immediate response to the attack but “we are not asking for your acts of generosity anymore – help us by making sure the city operates as usual.”
Retailers present included several from Manchester Arndale, which was evacuated following a security alert yesterday lunchtime, who complained about the “erratic” and “confusing” way the centre staff and police gave conflicting advice about routes to take and procedures to follow.
Vaughan Allen, chief executive of CityCo, said training sessions for building managers would be held in the coming weeks and dates would follow shortly.
The police and CityCo are also arranging for escorted access to business premises inside the cordoned area, where one attendee said he had a critical server for a call centre based next to the arena.
CityCo is drawing up a campaign to promote the city as open for business and visitors, along the lines of We Love MCR and I Love MCR used widely yesterday on social media and public information displays around the city.
More than 200 people attended this morning’s briefing at Manchester Central Library arranged by CityCo, the city centre management organisation funded by businesses and the council.
Chief inspector Gareth Parkin of GM Police told attendees Manchester Arena and Victoria station remained important parts of the crime scene and will be closed along with the surrounding area for “a while longer”.
The station will probably remain closed until Friday but no firm decision has been made.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said journeys into the city centre were likely to remain disrupted.
The Great Manchester Run this weekend and Great CityGames starting on Friday evening and including half marathon, 10k run, sprints on Deansgate and field athletics events in Albert Square will go ahead under increased security.
Parkin said “significant resources” are being spent on the investigation into the attack on Monday night and it is not yet known whether suicide bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, acted alone or not. The government decision to raise the level of national security to critical would remain in place until further notice. There was no special advice for building owners or managers to prevent further attacks other than remaining vigilant.
All police officer rest days and leave have been cancelled.
Greater Manchester Police, for verified updates see https://twitter.com/gmpolice
Anti-Terrorist Hotline. Please be vigilant and if you have concerns call in confidence 0800 789321
Missing Persons Hotline. Emergency number for those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area on Monday night 0161 856 9400
Manchester Evening News Just Giving campaign. The MEN has launched a fundraising campaign for families of the victims of the attack https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester
Manchester City Council AND British Red Cross We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. www.redcross.org.uk/manchester or call 0300 456 4999. People can also donate via British Red Cross shops
Book of Condolence http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/TKKJ2/