CHILDREN BILL WELCOMED BY NSPCC
THE NSPCC has today heralded the Children Bill as the biggest opportunity to improve the lives of children in the last 15 years. However, it has warned that the Government needs to be far more directive about how child protection services should be reformed, if it is to prevent children from being abused and killed.
The charity argues that the Bill gives local authorities too much flexibility in deciding how they will safeguard children from abuse. It says that the Government needs to set minimum expectations of how local Directors of Children's Services should operate and deliver results. If the Government fails to do this, the NSPCC says it will create a system of inconsistency and confusion.
Sue Woolmore, NSPCC Public Policy Adviser (North) said:- "There is a strong momentum for reform and we applaud this. But unless the Government is clear about how services should be integrated at a local level, abused children will get vastly different levels of help depending on which part of the country they live in."
The charity is also concerned that the Government is not driving through reforms at a fast enough pace and that it will be a matter of years before some local authorities get around to fully reforming their child protection systems.
It urges policy-makers and professionals to keep sight of the children and young people the reforms are designed to protect.
FRIENDS OF THE ATKINSON ART GALLERY TALK
ON Wednesday 10 March at 7:45pm, Anthony Wynne will be giving a talk about Art of the Spanish Civil War. Non-members of the Friends welcome.
£2.00 admission. Atkinson Art Gallery, Lord Street, Southport.
Tel:- 0151 934 2110
FRIENDS OF THE BOTANIC GARDENS MUSEUM TALK
ON Tuesday 16 March a 8pm,
Joanna Jones will be giving a talk about Paintings of Local Scenes
Marshside Road Methodist Church Coffee Lounge.
Drugs Seized in Southport and Ainsdale
A RAID on the 4 March by Merseyside Police on three houses in Southport and Ainsdale proved successful. Three men and one woman, all aged between 33 and 36 years of age were arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis.
The raids at addresses on Manchester Road, Southport, and Shirdley Crescent and Briar Road Ainsdale, recovered about 100 plants, which are believed to be cannabis. Also recovered were three hydroponics systems.
The men and woman are being questioned at a police station on Merseyside.
Regional Sport Boosted by £30m of Planned Investment
SPORT England, the strategic lead for sport in England today released figures showing that approved applications for developments and improvements of playing fields brought in from planned investment for sporting facilities across the North West during 2003.
This significant planned investment resulted in the approval of 55 new and improved facilities. Sustained investment in sport in which over £30 million has been invested this year, has helped secure better access and facilities can clearly be seen by the increase in planned new facilities, up by 14 from the previous year.
Sport England Regional Chair, Andy Worthington M.B.E said:- "We are 100% committed to improving access to sport and getting the nation active and these new sport investment figures show we are clearly heading in the right direction. We are continuing to safeguard playing fields as well as helping enhance sporting facilities by only giving our approval for alterations where there are increased benefits for sporting facilities."