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This page last updated on 26 October 2020
Free school meals and hardship
ON 26 October 2020, Cllr
Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association's
Resources Board, said:- "No young person should have
to go hungry and ensuring vulnerable pupils are provided for
is a top priority for councils. Short term hardship funding
provided by the Government this summer helped councils try
and provide much needed crisis support to all households;
including those without children; struggling to afford food,
but also fuel and other essentials. Demand for support from
households facing financial hardship as a result of Covid19
has outstripped this funding now and Councils are having to
find money from stretched budgets to top it up. This is
increasingly difficult as they continue to face rising costs
of providing services; such as:- adult social care,
protecting children and housing rough sleepers; and income
losses as a result of the Pandemic. As many households are
likely to be economically vulnerable for some time to come,
it is vital that the Government restores local welfare
funding so councils can provide preventative support to all
households who need it."
launches new forum to improve accessibility services
MERSEYRAIL has teamed up with
Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to launch a new
accessibility forum to engage with customers with accessibility needs and
organisations that represent them.
The 1st meeting of the forum took place last month with service users and
representatives from 17 organisations across the voluntary sector that support
people with accessible travel needs on the rail network.
Attendees were updated on changes made due to COVID-19 including continuing to
provide passenger assistance and guidance around face covering exemption.
They were also updated on the new Merseyrail trains, step free access across the
network and potential new stations. There was also an update from Network Rail
on the roll out of a new Passenger Assistance web application across the UK rail
The new fleet of Merseyrail trains will feature sliding step technology,
enabling passengers to use the train with step-free access and without the need
for assistance. This will make Merseyrail the most accessible, traditional
network in the country.
There was a consultation around Merseyrail’s current accessibility travel
training for front-line staff and attendees fed back on how this could be
Greg Suligowski, Head of Customer and Stakeholder at Merseyrail, said:-
"At Merseyrail we pride ourselves on being one of the most accessible rail
networks in the country. It was fantastic to bring together so many of our key
stakeholders from across the City Region in what was a successful first meeting.
The forum provides an opportunity to share ideas and gain valuable feedback from
those that use our services, including those that rely on assistance to travel.
We are always looking for more organisations or individuals to join the forum
and anyone interested should contact our Customer Relations team at email@example.com
or by calling:- 01515551111."
Wendy Booth for the charity Bradbury Fields, said:- "I am delighted to be
able to represent Bradbury Fields Services for Blind and Partially Sighted
People on this Merseyrail accessibility forum. It is a great opportunity to have
a positive input in representing the particular needs of our service users,
influencing the policies of Merseyrail and exploring the possibility of training
their staff on the issues relating to visually impaired users. It was also good
to see such a variety of organisations represented at the meeting on behalf of
their service users & members, and it is a fantastic opportunity for Merseyrail
to lead the way in providing a service which meets the needs of all."
Justine Shenton, Sefton Older Persons Forum Co-ordinator at Sefton Advocacy,
added:- "Many of our members enjoy using the train in normal circumstances
and we find Merseyrail staff are always willing to help. We are very keen to be
involved in the future on access issues and our forums work in partnership with
Sefton Council on our Age Friendly Agenda. It is a shame that so many excellent
programmes have had to come to a halt because of the current situation, but we
are very keen to work with Merseyrail on confidence building."
More information on Merseyrail’s Assisted Travel service can be found
support for cancelled events crucial, says MP
MP Bill Esterson has called on
the Government to provide more support for the events sector after Tier 3
restrictions were imposed on Merseyside.
The MP said events such as the Southport Comedy Festival were vital for the
local economy and it was essential the organisers were supported while such
events could not take place.
Southport Comedy Festival, run by comedian Bren Riley and his wife Val, should
have enjoyed its 10th year this month.
The festival brings dozens of top comics to the Town and supports:- pubs,
restaurants and hotels through an otherwise quiet period.
The comic told the MP that the future of the festival was at risk if they didn't
Mr Esterson said:- "Bren and Val have been affected by the Tier 3
restrictions as much as any hospitality or leisure venue but have not so far
been able to access any financial support for the Southport Comedy Festival.
Without it they may not have the funds they need to roll over to next year to
support hosting the event then. The events industry needs a huge amount of
support, and not just the venues, but all the freelancers, organisers and
The Southport Comedy Festival has not been eligible for any financial support so
far because all the Chancellor's schemes have been reliant on a business having
premises and either paying business rates or getting business rates relief.
Organisations such as the comedy festival hire Theatres and pubs for their
shows, but do not have their own premises as the organisers work from home.
The Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched a £40m fund
for hospitality and leisure which is being distributed via local councils, but
because it uses the same rules as the Government, businesses must have premises
or employees to claim.
On Tuesday Mr Rotheram tweeted that he has been asked whether any of the funding
that had secured from Government as Merseyside went into Tier 3 could be used to
support other businesses, and wrote:- "In short, we are working on it, so
watch this space."
Mr Esterson said:- "There has been a real inequality in the way that the various
support schemes have been distributed. Where the self employed who submit tax
returns have received up to 80% of their average income, those who pay
themselves dividends through a limited company have received nothing. Whether
someone is self employed, employed or owns a limited company, it is still
someone's household income and they still have bills to pay. The Government says
this is because self employed earnings from last year can be used to work out
what to pay people in support this year through the tax system, but that's true
of dividends as well. I want to see the Government step in and give discretion
to Local Authorities to offer support to businesses that have not been helped
otherwise, especially where they are so important to the local economy.
Supporting the comedy festival, and also events such as Southport Flower Show,
will pay for itself in the economic boost it will bring, if it can be supported
through this time and is able to come back next year. Events businesses will be
viable again, once the restrictions are lifted. The Government has imposed the
restrictions so it should be compensating the businesses, which can't trade as a
result so that their owners can survive and so that the businesses are ready to
start work again once the crisis has passed."
Bren, who lives in Formby, added:- "We tried our best to run a Covid safe
festival this year, following all of the Government guidelines. We had a
fantastic line-up with lots of shows already sold out, we had the support from
local businesses and from Southport tourism but unfortunately due to the
increasing R rate and the move into Tier 3 we had no choice but to cancel and
refund our customers. We realise that we are not alone in losing business in
these difficult times, but because of the way the festival is structured there is
no support available to help us ensure that we can continue in future years."
Total UK cases COVID19 cases in
and around Liverpool City Region
THE total number of UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory
confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 20,890 cases and the
total number now stand at 894,690, that includes tests
carried out by commercial partners which are not included in
the 4 National totals.
The total number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added
to the total, was sadly reported to be:- 102, 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:- 44,998, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with
Covid19 on the death certificate:- 58,164.
The number of COVID-19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:-
7,850. The current number of COVID-19 patients currently in
mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 743. Daily
number of COVID-19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:-
In England, there are a total of 758,145 confirmed cases.
North West - total of 189,805 confirmed cases.
The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the
Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
Area and number of confirmed cases:-
LIVERPOOL City Region
1 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 30
31 to 40
41 to 50
The number of laboratory confirmed cases within
Local Authorities around the Liverpool City
Region are as follows:-
with Darwen, 5,590 confirmed cases.
3,192 confirmed cases.
9,225 confirmed cases.
5,659 confirmed cases.
East, 5,491 confirmed cases.
West and Chester, 5,193 confirmed cases.
29,220 confirmed cases.
18,268 confirmed cases.
8,349 confirmed cases.
4,466 confirmed cases.
7,307 confirmed cases.
7,527 confirmed cases.
6,183 confirmed cases.
6,190 confirmed cases.
5,505 confirmed cases.
5,179 confirmed cases
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.
Previous 24hr Data
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