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Liverpool City Region Covid19 Updates
... and Important Emergency Notices ...

YOU can get daily major and interesting news updates for the Liverpool City Region on our free email news service, via signing up on:- Formby Reporter.  If you have any updates to send in or any views on the posts on here, please email us to:-News24@SouthportReporter.Com.


This page last updated on 18 February 2021

Congratulations to NASA Perseverance on a successful landing today on Mars!


Should the UK Government should seek to create a common travel area between Britain, Northern and Southern Ireland for Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs?

THE charity Guide Dogs UK have been forced to suspend the puppy walking scheme in Northern Ireland due to the pet travel restrictions. The new regulations will make it impossible to place a puppy until they are around 4 months of age. Change at this time could adversely affect their development and the likelihood of qualification. Furthermore it could adversely affect the lives of guide dog owners, service users, fundraising and the number of dogs being trained / qualifying annually adding to an already extensive waiting list. As a result they are asking Her Majesty's Government must immediately remove any impediment or barrier to unfettered trade within the United Kingdom. To do this the charity are asking you to sign a UK Parliament Petition, that is now online on:- Petition.Parliament.UK.
 


Regional leaders unite to reject "cheap and nasty" option for Northern Powerhouse Rail

THE political leaders from Liverpool City Region, Warrington, and Cheshire West and Chester have joined forces to reject the Government's so called option 5.1 route for the new Northern Powerhouse Rail line between Liverpool and Manchester. In a strongly worded letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, sent ahead of the Transport for the North meeting, Metro Mayor and leaders describe the 5.1 route as a:- "cheap and nasty option." that the Region will not accept. The 5.1 option would see the Fiddlers Ferry line, previously used to take coal trains to the power station, upgraded to become part of the NPR network. Today, the leaders have united to express their concerns that 5.1 has:- "become a departmental fixation that could be imposed upon us as a fait accompli." They warn that pushing ahead with ahead with:- "plans for 5.1 would short change the North West" and represent a clear:- "levelling down for our Region."

In the letter, they stress their support for the Northern Powerhouse Rail project, which they say has the potential to:- "be the single most important infrastructure project in the North West in the 21st Century."

However, they have a number of key reasons for rejecting the proposed 5.1 route:-

 Fails to deliver the promised reduction to journey times between Liverpool and Manchester.

 Limits the potential for expanding rail freight capacity.

 Fails to offer connectivity upgrades between Cheshire and North Wales.

 Creates unnecessary disruption during its construction phase.

 Lacks value for money based on an underestimation of its cost.

The full letter was signed by:- Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region; Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder; Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader, Cheshire West and Chester Council; Cllr Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, and Strategic Transport; Cllr Russ Bowden, Leader Warrington Borough Council; Cllr Hans Mundry, Cabinet Member for Transportation, Highways and Public Realm, Warrington Borough Council.


Student Loans Company asks students Liverpool to get ready to apply

THE Student Loans Company (SLC) is urging full time, undergraduate students in Liverpool to get ready to apply for student finance ahead of the application service launching in early March 2021. So far this year, SLC has funded over 1 million students and anticipates an increase in applications for academic year 21/22. To help students to get ready to apply, SLC is asking them to register their interest by inviting them to sign up to our Apply Now mailing list.

SLC will also host its annual Student Money Week event from 1 March  to 5 March 2021, to support students with their applications. Throughout the week, students and their parents and partners will be able to take part in a series of online Questions and Answer sessions and Facebook events. These will be hosted by SLC's team of expert customer advisors and will cover topics such as eligibility, how to provide supporting evidence for your application, and extra support available for disabled students and students who have an adult or child dependant.

In the run up to Student Money Week new and continuing students can access SLC's dedicated Funding Your Future web page which provides tips to help with the application process and all the latest student finance information, including a short film at:- StudentFinance.Campaign.Gov.UK.

SLC Director of Operations, Derek Ross said:- "We are anticipating a rise in application numbers this year, that's why we are encouraging new and returning students to get their applications for finance in as early as possible. This is the case even if they are not sure what course they will study or even which college or university they will attend. We hope students get ready to apply by signing up to our Apply Now mailing list and making a date with Student Money Week. By doing so, they can get on with planning for their future knowing that their student finance is taken care of."

5 student finance facts:-


You can apply for Tuition Fee Loans to cover your fees and Maintenance Loans to help with living costs. You can use the student finance calculator to find out how much you could be entitled to:- Gov.UK/Student-Finance-Calculator.

Extra support may be available if you have a disability or a child or adult dependant who relies on you financially. For more information see:- Gov.UK/Student-Finance/Extra-Help.

You do not start repaying your student loan until the April after you finish or leave your course and you are earning over the repayment threshold. Please see:- Gov.UK/Repaying-Your-Student-Loan/What-You-Pay for more information.

What you repay is based on what you earn, not what you have borrowed. More advice can be about this can be found on:- Gov.UK/Repaying-Your-Student-Loan/What-You-Pay.

You can get all the latest information about student finance by following Student Finance England on both:- Facebook and Twitter.


FSB call for:- "most ambitious Budget in modern history" as 1 in 5 overlooked by existing support

MICHAEL Sandys, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Merseyside and Cheshire Area Leader for Liverpool City Region has issued a call to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for him to deliver the:- "most ambitious Budget in modern history."

The FSB's own research shows 1,000,000 small firms left out of support measures, including those in supply chains, often saddled with rents and rising business rates.

New figures show shortcomings of sector based support, with analysis indicating majority of furloughed staff work outside of retail, leisure and hospitality. UK's largest business group recommends extension of business rates reliefs and cash grants, as well as support for suppliers, Directors and the newly self employed; calls for incentives to bring workers back from furlough before job retention scheme ends and renewed efforts to tackle a late payment crisis exacerbated by Lockdowns. The Federation of Small Businesses is encouraging the Chancellor to use next month's Spring Budget to address gaps in the business support landscape, with new research highlighting the shortcomings of a sector based approach.

Fresh FSB analysis of Government data shows that 56% of workers furloughed to date are employed outside of the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, but firms that do not neatly fit the definition of these industries; including:- suppliers to hotels, restaurants and event venues; are only entitled to around 10% of support grants.

An FSB survey of more than 1,000 small business owners shows that 22% state they have received no financial help at all from the UK Government since the start of the Covid pandemic. In other FSB research, 51% have been able to access a cash grant and a tiny proportion (5%) have received discretionary help from their Local Authority.

There are 5.9 million small firms across the UK, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The 1 in 5 figure suggests that in excess of 1,000,000 small businesses and sole traders have been left without any direct support.

The fresh research also reveals that the burden placed on small firms by business rates is growing, with 34% seeing their bill rise over the past 5 years and 1 in 10 saying their bill:- "has increased by a lot." 8% say their bill has reduced in size.

Small business owners suffering from rising rates often take the hit directly, with 52% reducing profits as bills soar. Others cut investment (17%), increase prices (14%) or reduce staff numbers (14%). A 32% of those with rising bills say they would be more likely to take on staff if their rates bill fell and 26% would be more likely to take on an apprentice. Small retailers are especially hard hit by rates, but just 15% have been granted a rent holiday by their landlord.

As a result of the findings, FSB is calling on the Chancellor to:-

 Extend cash grants and business rates reliefs to those within supply chains suffering from severe falls in revenue.

 Extend business rates exemptions introduced at the start of the Covid crisis to 2022 and permanently bring the rateable value ceiling for small business rates relief up to ₤25,000.

 Introduce a fresh retention bonus for employers who bring staff back to work from furlough and reduce Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) before the retention scheme closes whilst creating new support mechanisms for those out of work and thinking about launching an enterprise.

 Extend flagship support schemes to cover the full periods over which restrictions are in place and adopt FSB's proposals for bringing those with 2019/20 tax returns into scope of the Self -employment Income Support Scheme and launching a Directors Income Support Scheme.

 Reinvigorate efforts to end the UK's late payment crisis, strengthening corporate Audit Committees to act against poor practices made worse during COVID against a backdrop in which firms that start to trade again in the summer may not be paid until the autumn.

 Build on Pay As You Grow to move the UK's small business community out from under an unsustainable debt mountain, considering tax liability and employee ownership models.

 Provide a roadmap to reopening which encompasses measures to facilitate digital adoption, investment and up skilling within small firms.

FSB Merseyside and Cheshire Area Leader for Liverpool City Region, Michael Sandys, said:- "The Chancellor's plan for jobs will only succeed with the right plan for businesses. Firms need help to bring furloughed workers back in the near term alongside long term measures to help them manage the ongoing impact of lockdowns. While the Government rightly moved at pace last Spring to deploy business support, we can now see the shortcomings of a sector and property based approach. Small firms which sell to other businesses outnumber those which sell to consumers 3 to 1 thousands don't have commercial premises or neatly fit the definitions of retail, leisure and hospitality. Too many have been left out of support measures as a result. We urgently need to see support measures extended to the hidden heroes within our supply chains who tirelessly drive our economy forward. It's not too late to bring those left out into the fold, but the Chancellor needs to act fast. Equally, the worsening of our late payment crisis will impact small firms for many months to come; many firms taking on work now will not be paid until the summer, if at all. The Chancellor should use this Budget as an opportunity to show real leadership on this front. During 2020 we suffered the biggest GDP drop in modern history. We now need the most ambitious, pro-business Budget in modern history to reverse the damage."


Liverpool City Region Music Board is looking for new board members

LIVERPOOL City Region's Music Board are looking for new board members to join the panel of experts and influential figures from the world of music; sharing a passion for music and championing the local music scene. Those interested in acquiring 1 of the voluntary positions must complete the online application on the Board's website by Friday, 19 March 2021. Liverpool City Region Music Board set up in December 2018 as an independent, sector led Board. Together the members endeavour to cement the City Region's position as 1 of the world's music capitals and ensure music businesses and communities have a stronger voice in local and Regional decision making.

Rebecca Ayres, LCR Music Board Vice Chair and MD of Sound City, said:- "As 1 of the Board's founding members, I'm extremely proud of how we've progressed to date. Between us we have a great range of knowledge and professional experience, but we're still dedicated to moving forward and growing in terms of diversity and expertise; we hope to welcome new Board members that will bring alternative perspectives and new ideas."

Currently made up of 16 members and 8 observers, the Board brings together individuals working in the local music sector from a broad range of backgrounds. Nonetheless, the Music Board is currently underrepresented in specific areas, including:- music production/management, pre-School and pre-University music education, dance/electric music, venue ownership and the voluntary sector.

In the last 12 months board members have acted as a sounding board and provided advice and support to local individuals and businesses operating in the music sector and its supply chain. Since administering the Music Support Fund last summer, the Board has been signposting those affected to the various funding and grant opportunities available, and assisting them within bid applications; while also lobbying funders, politicians and policy makers to make them aware of the plight of the various businesses and freelancers who have missed out on funding.

The Liverpool City Region Music Board meets each month (currently virtually) and specific members also attend relevant sub-group meetings that focus on the key priorities of the Board, which are: safeguarding and protecting music venues, growing current and future music heritage and developing the Beatles' legacy, increasing access to music education, engaging and developing new talent, and equality and diversity.

To learn more about the Liverpool City Region Music Board role and to apply for 1 of the positions, visit:- LCRMusicBoard.Co.UK/Join-The-Board.


Total UK cases Covid19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 12,057 cases and the total number now stand at:- 4,083,242 that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

The total number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:-454 within 28 days of positive test, according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is:- 119,387, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with Covid19 on the death certificate:- 129,498.

The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 20,156. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 2,614 Daily number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 1,531.

In England, there are a total of:- 3,577,705 confirmed cases. North West - total of:- 562,233 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

 

Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-



Liverpool City Region
 
Nation Lockdown

National UK Restrictions

Liverpool, 46,385 confirmed cases.

119

Halton, 11,382 confirmed cases.

21

Knowsley, 16,685 confirmed cases. 38
Sefton, 22,732 confirmed cases.

53

St. Helens, 15,977 confirmed cases.

58

Wirral, 23,286 confirmed cases.

65

 
Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to 100 100 to 199 200 & over  



The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region, since start of the Pandemic, are as follows:-

 

 Blackburn with Darwen, 16,810 confirmed cases.

 Blackpool, 8,694 confirmed cases.

 Bolton, 23,500 confirmed cases.

 Bury, 15,843 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire East, 19,253 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire West and Chester, 20,130 confirmed cases.

 Lancashire, 90,591 confirmed cases.

 Manchester, 48,702 confirmed cases.

 Oldham, 21,154 confirmed cases.

 Preston, 12,497 confirmed cases.

 Rochdale, 19,326 confirmed cases.

 Salford, 21,209 confirmed cases.

 Stockport, 18,876 confirmed cases.

 Tameside, 16,430 confirmed cases.

 Trafford, 15,268 confirmed cases.

 Warrington, 16,667 confirmed cases.

 Wigan, 26,567 confirmed cases.

 

Total UK people who have received vaccination

1st Dose 2nd Dose
16,423,082 573,724
Jab Stats correct as of 17 February 2021
The vaccination programme began on 8 December 2020 with people receiving the vaccine developed by Pfizer / BioNTech, and people began receiving the Oxford University / AstraZeneca vaccine from 4 January 2021. Both vaccines are given as 2 doses, at least 21 days apart, for a full vaccination course.
 

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.   Daily and cumulative numbers of Covid19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected Covid19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.

 

The latest R number is estimated at:- 0.7 to 0.9 with a daily infection growth rate range of:- -5% to -2%, as of 12 February 2021.
 


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