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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 200

Date:- 09 May 2005

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CRAIG Kelly from Liverpool to join Daniel Bedingfield and The 411 raising funds for The Caudwell Charity. A local boy from Liverpool is set to join a host of celebrities to raise money for The Caudwell Charity Ball on 14 May helping sick, disabled and dying children across the UK.

Last year, the annual ball raised £1million pounds, with the help of celebrities such as The Sugababes, Lemar, Lulu and Darius who turned out to support the Charity. Because of events like this, Craig aged 10, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, can enjoy a more normal life thanks to his Invacare Spectra Plus Wheelchair, which was donated by The Caudwell Charity.

Craig has been wheelchair dependent since 2002, whilst the Liverpool Wheelchair Service provided a manual wheelchair, they were unable to provide an indoor/outdoor powered wheelchair. His new wheelchair has enhanced Craig's independence, particularly outdoors, the chair has room and adjustment for growth, but its most important feature is the tilt in space mechanism, that allows him to use his chair for a greater period of time, thus allowing him more freedom and access at school and socially.

Craig is hoping to help the Charity raise over £1 million at the Emerald Ball, held at Broughton Hall in Staffordshire. The money raised will be used to help children and families across the UK. Along with Daniel Bedingfield and The 411, celebrities including charity patron Katie Price (Jordan) will be turning out in force. Currently funds stand at £250,000 under target, so Craig is appealing to the people of Liverpool to make a donation to the Charity and give children like him a chance of a better life.

Craig's mother says:- "The donation from the Caudwell Charity really made a big difference. I just want other people to be able to get the same help, so if you can make any donation, no matter how small, it will make a big difference.

The Charity founded in 2000, raises money for desperately ill children across Britain. It is a last resort for families who have exhausted all other avenues, who have run out of money, resource or ideas about how they can pay for life-saving or life-changing treatments for their children - or tragically to cover the cost of paying for a dying wish. The Caudwell Charity also pledges major funds to the NSPCC.

This year the theme of the event is The Emerald Ball, taking inspiration from the Wizard of Oz and communicating the Charity message 'Dreams that you dare to dream really do come true."

For more information about the Charity or to make a donation please visit

Hunt ban stays, British wildlife saved

THE League Against Cruel Sports and lovers of wildlife everywhere today celebrated as the Labour Party was returned to the House of Commons. Despite the best efforts of the pro hunting lobby to turn the General Election into a referendum on hunting, as Peter Kellner, Chairman of YouGov said:- "Fox-hunting, despite the vocal protests against the ban, is not likely to be a vote-winner for any party in this election". This has been confirmed at the ballot box and British wildlife is safe from a repeal of the Hunting Act, as once again the public has endorsed government policy in favour of a ban for the 3rd time. 

Douglas Batchelor, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports welcomed the results, saying:-

 "The hunters were roused by VOTE-OK to campaign in constituencies, but were told not to speak on doorsteps about their love of the cruel blood sport of hunting. Unfortunately, once again the pro hunt lobby showed its true colours during this election by attempting to impede MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates from holding meetings and making visits. The violence, bullying and intimidation we have seen the pro hunters indulge in has not been rewarded and the hunting ban will remain in place.  I welcome the Labour Government's commitment in its Rural Manifesto to "working with the relevant bodies to ensure that country sports are protected while ensuring high standards of environmental protection, animal welfare and safety."  It is clear that the Government, having successfully enabled..." ...continued...

...continued... "... Parliament to resolve the hunting issue recognises that further progress is needed on other aspects of cruel sports, such as the intensive rearing of game birds for the commercial shooting industry. This is a wonderful day for British wildlife, and a wonderful day for those opposed to cruelty."

Sceptical bosses will view Labour's 3rd term warily

TONY Blair must prove early on in his historic 3rd term that Labour is committed to supporting small businesses, the backbone of the UK economy, a leading business pressure group said. The Forum of Private Business (FPB), which represents 25,000 small-to-medium sized firms said Labour's taxation and 'family friendly' policies had angered many bosses who are becoming increasingly sceptical about Labour.

"The next 5 years are going to be extremely tough for small businesses if Labour decides to keep increasing national insurance contributions, the minimum wage and fuel duty,' said the FPB's Chief Executive Nick Goulding. "Red tape and an extension to maternity rights are making it harder for businesses to be flexible and respond to market and consumer demand. If Labour believes in creating a business environment, as it says it does, it must reduce taxation and regulation. "

Mr Goulding said Labour must use its 3rd term to improve skills training. "The shortage of vocational skills relevant to the workplace is of critical concern, 
Business owners are telling us that too many young people are arriving in the workplace from school, college and university who cannot spell or count to a competent level. Labour is right to focus attention on improving skills, but again the proof is in the pudding. Employers will not be patient in waiting for Labour to deliver more young people with vocation skills."

Mr Goulding said the FPB has made plain, in its own election manifesto, that businesses need policies that support growth, enterprise and productivity. "The new Government needs to give control to businesses, enabling management decisions to be made quickly and easily. Furthermore, it must provide small businesses with a flexible trading structure, which can adapt relatively quickly and easily to changing business needs. These two basic principles will ensure a number of small businesses in the UK will go on to become large businesses of the future. It should not be forgotten that there are 4 million small to medium-sized businesses in the UK, providing more than 12 million jobs, employing 58% of private sector workers and contributing 52.4% of the UK's GDP." 

National Insurance Contributions:- "The New Government must look closely at the impact of increases in National Insurance Contributions and their effect on the cost of employment." 

VAT:- "the new government must consider implementing a reduced rate for labour intensive services."

Capital Gains Tax:- "Needs to be reviewed downwards. Business owners often depend on the transferring of their business for 
their pension, the current rules lead to a depleted retirement fund for owners of small business." 

Fuel Duty:- "The new Government must abandon rises in fuel duty if small business are to remain competitive." 

Business Rates:- "The current level of business rate impacts disproportionately on small businesses. Small Business Rates Relief thresholds should be raised so more businesses can qualified." 

Integrate National Insurance and PAYE:- "Administering 2 parallel sets of regulation increases the red tape burden; integrating the 2 would lead to significant savings in time and money for small businesses." 

Liability Insurance:- "Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance has increased by as much as 400% in some sectors. Given such increases, the imposition of Insurance Premium Tax should be either abolished or significantly reduced." 

The Right to Self Employment:- "Making self-certification of employment status easier would alleviate many of the concerns surrounding IR35 and 19% non-corporate contributions. This would create certainty in the minds of the tax payer and the exchequer regarding contributions."

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