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Jane encourages people to raise money for people with cancer and get a night of culture on the sofa

CANCER charity Maggie's is calling on people to raise funds and enjoy an exclusive night of entertainment from their own home featuring celebs, entertainers and amazing buildings. Including an exclusive performance from Rick Astley. The charity normally asks people to take part in their annual Liverpool Culture Crawl; a sponsored walk with access to hidden cultural gems across the City Centre to raise funds; but due to social distancing a different approach had to be taken this year.

Maggie's Centre visitor Jane has taken part in previous years, Jane says:- "Maggie's Merseyside had just opened as I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. I found myself unceremoniously catapulted into a world that was terrifying and alien to me. Thank goodness Maggie's were there to help me navigate my way through. As soon as I could, I started fundraising for Maggie's as I wanted others to be able to experience the tremendous support that they provide. When my cancer returned last year and developed into Metastatic breast cancer, Maggie's were there for me, once again, whilst I underwent palliative chemotherapy to slow down the cancer. Even during lockdown, they continued to be there, and I am so pleased I've recently been able to visit the centre and speak to people face to face again, albeit at a distance. 1 of the most enjoyable ways I have raised funds was being part of a fabulous team of friends and taking on the amazing Culture Crawl. This year finds the culture crawl even more of a challenge and requires some creativity. Due to my cancer progressing I was worried I wouldn't be able to take part and despite it being a great shame it can't take place as usual, having it virtually now means I don't feel left out as nobody will be taking part in the group walk. Since last year my health has taken a further hit and I'm really hoping someone can slow the clock down, it's going too fast. That said I am still determined to continue to raise funds for the new centre and be there for the opening. The best way to describe being told you've got cancer is that somebody kidnaps you, takes you away and drops you in another country. You've got no map, you don't understand the language and somehow you've got to try to find your way home. Maggie's helps you do that. So please join me in signing up for the Culture Crawl and help others living with cancer."

To find out more, register and check out some fundraising ideas please follow this link:- CultureCrawl.Maggies.Org.  Maggie's helps people with cancer, as well as family and friends. For support simply call:- 01513344301, email:- Liverpool@MaggiesCentres.Org or pop into see Maggie's professional staff in the warm, welcoming centre in the grounds of Clatterbridge Health park. Share photos of your fundraising events using the hashtag #CultureCrawl

Liverpool City Council has taken the 1st step in a bid to reduce the rising number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) across the City

Consultation - Liverpool Council is seeking a change in planning policy on converting homes into series of 1 bedroom apartments.

LIVERPOOL Liverpool City Council's Cabinet has approved the launch of a public consultation on implementing a key planning change; called an Article 4 Direction; which means abolishing permitted development rights to convert a house into a 5 bedroom HMO. Over the past decade, Liverpool has seen a significant growth in the number of HMOs with its booming student population and current housing benefit rules fuelling a demand for single person households.

Fears have now been expressed that the volume of HMOs has reached:- "a dangerous tipping point" which is threatening the housing offer in the City for families and causing parking, anti-social behaviour and waste collection issues in certain neighbourhoods. Currently, larger HMOs; 6 bedrooms and above; must seek planning permission, meaning that the Council has some ability to influence where and how larger HMOs are developed. Following a 2 month consultation, scheduled to begin by late October 2020, the Council will then take a vote on whether to implement the same rules for smaller HMOs. If implemented the decision will have no impact on existing HMOs.

This is not the 1st time the Council has adopted this change. In 2018, it implemented an Article 4 Direction in the Dales area of Greenbank Ward, in south Liverpool, and this broader City wide step follows a commitment made in Liverpool's Draft Local Plan to utilise Article 4 to control smaller HMO development elsewhere in the City. The move to establish a public consultation also follows a review in 2019 which set out to establish the intensity of HMOs in all neighbourhoods and identify evidence of environmental harm caused by that intensity, as required by law.

The review was undertaken by independent planning consultancy firm ARUP, which studied a wide range of housing and criminal data and carried out a programme of interviews and local consultations, and have recommended the City Council looks at the option of introducing Article 4 across the inner core of the City, where some streets feature more than 50% of HMOs.

This approach would include the wards covering all of Anfield, Tuebrook and Stoneycroft, Kensington and Fairfield in the north, Central, Riverside and Princes Park; around the City Centre; and Picton, Greenbank and Wavertree wards in the south. It also recommends implementation in small elements of Kirkdale and Church wards.

Arup's recommendation also considers the issue of displacement, ensuring that developers cannot simply move a few yards down the road from an existing hot spot and renew the HMO development process.

ARUP have further recommended other interventions that will help control the spread and impact of HMOs in these neighbourhoods including the reintroduction of the landlord licensing scheme, but also other measures such as resident only parking.

 Liverpool City Council is currently carrying out a 12 week consultation on the reintroduction of a scaled down landlord licensing scheme, after the Government halted a City wide approach at the start of the year. A submission for ministerial consideration is expected in December. Views are encouraged to be given online.

 At the same cabinet meeting, a report was also approved to green light the 1st major Council house building scheme in 30 years in the Yew Tree ward in North Liverpool. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has set out an ambitious programme to deliver thousands of new Council owned homes in the next 10 years to rebalance the City's rented and rent to buy sector.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said:- "Liverpool needs to offer families of all different sizes and people with a whole host of needs a variety of good quality, affordable homes. If unchecked HMOs will reduce that offer which is why we need to reset the dial whilst developing more social housing across the City. Changing the planning rules by introducing Article 4 will not just protect the wellbeing of the people who live in these communities, it will also help protect the balance of our housing offer; which, in some areas, is close to a dangerous tipping point of being dominated by one bedroom bedsits. Of course Article 4 is not the whole answer to Liverpool's housing problems. That is why we are revisiting the Landlord Licensing Scheme, to ensure good housing standards are maintained in the private rented sector and why the City Council is embarking on a house building programme for the 1st time in 30 years."

Maggy Read, Coordinator of the Dales Residents Group, said:- "We campaigned hard to get this Article 4 restriction for our area. Although it hasn't solved all the problems we have with those developers and landlords who have ruined family houses, most of whom pay no Council Tax or business rates, it's gone a long way towards making our very densely populated area much cleaner, safer and more pleasant to live in. We had great support from the Council throughout our campaign, and it's good to see that they want to extend the scheme to help many more areas in the City. We hope to get Landlord Licensing back as well: Landlord Licensing and Article 4 together make a huge difference to residents."

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