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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 139

Date:- 14 February 2004

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St Helens student wins award in top UK science fair

MANUFACTURERS across most regions of the UK reported an increase in new orders over the past three months and for the first time in over three years all regions expect output to rise over the coming months. Yet ironically job losses are to be made in the first quarter of the year.

The latest Regional Trends Survey, published by the CBI show job losses easing over the coming three months but some 29,000 manufacturing jobs are still expected to go in that time.

Business optimism improved markedly in most regions, the exception being the West Midlands, the East Midlands and East of England. Export optimism also failed to revive in these regions, reflecting a relatively weak trend in export orders showing a mixed picture of market work forces across the UK.

For the first time in six years, the balance of responses regarding capital spending on plant & machinery is positive at the national level. Eight regions expect to authorize more expenditure in 2004 than in 2003 but the West Midlands remains very depressed,
with the highest negative balance for almost three years.

Peter Gutmann, from Experian Business Strategies, said:- "Strengthening global demand is clearly beginning to turn things round for manufacturing, but the divergent regional experience is interesting. The mix is crucial. 

Regions with a high exposure to sectors where demand remains flat, such as the West Midlands with its dependence on the motor industry, have yet to benefit meaningfully. At the other extreme, global demand for chemicals has picked up strongly, and the North West has seen a rebound in orders and confidence."

Doug Godden, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said:- "There are now clear signs of a revival in manufacturing at the national level, with rising demand from overseas playing an important role. But policy makers should take note of two facts. The recovery in demand has yet to spread to all parts of the UK. The decline in manufacturing jobs, across the country, looks set to continue for a while yet."

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CARES takes the Hospital campaign to Downing Street
REPRESENTATIVES of CARES are travelling to Downing Street to present nearly 20,000 signatures collected in Southport & Formby against the closure of children’s Accident & Emergency services from Southport Hospital.

On February 19, the representatives will make their way to No. 10 and deliver the signatures with a clear message to Tony Blair and the Labour Government that states their anger at the way government policy has put the health service in Southport in disarray. 

Mark Bigley, Parliamentary Spokesman for Southport Conservatives said:- “Southport people have been ripped off by this Labour Government. The Government is not listening to the genuine concerns of local people despite what is claimed in a range of glossy brochures that are produced at great expense within the Department of Health. These closures are the result of a political fudge.”

The campaigners are sending their message on behalf of people who wish to vent their anger at recent government changes to the health service, CARES feels have left them with a raw deal due to closure of the local children’s hospital. 

Angela Weatherby and Cath Regan, Co-Chairs of the CARES Campaign said:- “3,000 people took the streets in Southport to march against these ridiculous closures. Nearly 20,000 people have signed petitions against these closures. It is now time for the Government to listen.” 

John Price, a Southport resident and Ambulance Technician said:- “Many people within the Ambulance teams are unhappy with the changes that have taken place at Southport Hospital. I believe, and many of my colleagues believe, that children’s lives are more at risk as a result of the children’s A&E closures. That is why I am supporting CARES and the campaign to reinstate services back to Southport.” 

Bill Givens, Health Spokesperson for the Southport Party said:- "This visit demonstrates we will take our cause to Government level to re-instate vital hospital services. We recall a recent speech by the Health Minister: 'If your child, or your mother was in pain and the means to relieve it quicker were available free at the point of need. Would you refuse them it? I wouldn't. And if I wouldn't refuse that relief to my family, then I'm not going to refuse it to any other family in this country." 

Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2004.