North West Prepared to Take Action to Protect the Environment
indicates the attitudes of people from the North West towards the
environment, organised crime and global poverty. The survey
results released this week during the UK’s 6 month Presidency of the
European Union indicates that people in the North West are willing
to do more to protect the environment. 74% would be prepared to
recycle household waste, whilst around 63% would reduce the amount
of water and electricity they use.
The survey also indicated positive attitudes in relation to helping
tackle other EU Presidency
priorities such as global poverty and organised crime. Over half of
respondents in the North West would be prepared to buy fair trade
goods, whilst 42% would donate to a relevant charity, compared to
the national average of 39%. On the issue of organised crime, 35%
would be prepared to report the selling of counterfeit goods and 60%
would report suspicious behaviour.
The UK took over the 6 month Presidency of the European Union on
July 1, a position that enables it to progress the EU's agenda on
major issues affecting its 450 million citizens. The priorities of
the UK Presidency include tackling global poverty, the environment
and organised crime.
SCHOOL LEAVERS TO DRIVE TRUCKS
rules will allow school leavers to drive 44 tonne articulated trucks
by September 2009. The move is expected to help solve the crippling
skills shortage facing the UK transport industry. Under an EU
directive published this week, 18 year olds will be able to take
charge of the largest vehicles normally allowed on British roads. It
is technically possible for 18 year olds to train as truck drivers
now, but only under arcane and bureaucratic procedures that put off
all but a handful, and which employers find too cumbersome.
There are currently 500,000 licensed truck drivers in the UK, the
industry needs to recruit another 100,000 by 2010.
Andy Salter, Editor of Commercial Motor magazine, which broke the
story, said:- "This is positive. I
appreciate there may be concerns about an 18 year old in charge of a
large vehicle, but you can fly a plane at 18, so why not drive a
Getting it right
is a matter of good training and for the sake of our economy, we
have to do something to rectify the chronic shortage of drivers. By
the time they are 21 it is too late, youngsters are well established
in other careers, and lost to the transport industry."
THE LEADER of
Liverpool City Council is calling on Government Ministers to this
week impose a total ban on smoking in public places. Cabinet
ministers are meeting this week to review the Government's proposal
to introduce a partial smoking ban only pubs where food is served.
Councillor Mike Storey is urging Ministers to follow the example of
Liverpool's Smokefree campaign and introduce a complete smoking ban
in all public places. Liverpool is currently promoting private
legislation in parliament for Liverpool. Its Bill will ban smoking
in restaurants, pubs, shops, offices and all other workplaces to
protect the public and employees from being exposed to cigarette
Councillor Storey said:- "The Government has come under
intense pressure from its own MPs and health organisations who say a
partial smoking ban in public places will not work. I'm hopeful the
Prime Minister will heed to common sense. Only a total smoking ban
in places like shops, pubs, restaurants and workplaces will protect
people's health. The majority of public support a complete ban. I'm
hopeful the Government will change its stance this week and go for a
complete ban on smoking in public places. Liverpool has led the
campaign to make public places safer and smoke-free and I urge the
Government protect everyone who is exposed to smoking in public
places and workplaces."
Figures show that everyday 30 people in the UK die as a result of
second-hand smoke. In Liverpool, more than 1,000 people are killed
by smoking every year, and over 100 people die each year from cancer
caused by passive smoking.
Liverpool's Smokefree Bill has cleared its Second Reading and will
be scrutinised by a House of Lords committee later this month.
Gordon Brown could revive British economy by cutting tax on business
Brown could revive the British economy by cutting
tax on business, rather than raising taxes to
fill the looming gap in his public spending plans. That's the call
from national business pressure group, the Forum of Private Business
which champions the cause of more than 25,000 private businesses
across the UK.
It comes in the wake of the devastating report by the influential
Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development, which predicts a slump in the UK economy down from
2.5% to 1.7% growth in the coming year. This is less than half the
growth rate predicted by the Chancellor in the Budget, when he
forecast growth of up to 3.5%.
"With British companies paying more than twice as much in taxes as
their counterparts in US, Gordon Brown should take a leaf out of
President Bush's economic policy for America and slash taxes that
hold back business enterprise.
Lifting the heavy
hand of taxation imposed on business would unleash entrepreneurial
spirit and encourage private businesses to create new wealth and
companies should not be treated purely as
a cash cow by the Government." said
FPB national spokesman Rex Garratt.
According to a latest report from the World Bank, British companies
pay more than twice as much in
direct and indirect taxes as firms in US. British businesses pay
52.9% of their gross profits in one
form of tax or another. By comparison the tax burden on companies in
the US is only 21.5%, in Japan
34.6% and in France 42.8%.
"President Bush has come under attack for his plans to cut taxes in
America by critics who say the poor and deprived will suffer.
But we believe our Chancellor could take a leaf out of Bush's policy
and cut some of the taxes that hold back economic growth here in
Britain." said Rex Garratt.
Taxes such as PAYE, National Insurance contributions, business
rates, corporate tax, VAT, capital gains tax, dividend tax and fuel
duty are among levies the FPB is calling on the Chancellor to reduce
in order to give UK businesses the chance to grow and boost the
"Although small firms can now apply for business rate reductions,
the vast majority still pay a massive amount of business rates via
their local council, and get absolutely nothing in return."
say the FPB.
Businesses are charged extra if they want their refuse collected, or
if they want to dispose of waste or
recycle. They are also subjected to a whole range of additional
charges for inspections, licences to
trade and certifications. The World Bank highlighted the complexity
of the tax system in Britain, where
there are 22 different forms of taxation on British companies. The
bank report suggested the
introduction of 'flat taxes' to simplify the costly bureaucratic
burden imposed on firms.
The bank report also relegated the UK from 7th to 9th place in the
world for ease of doing business.
Policing, have YOUR say!!!
DO you think the
police need to do more work on fighting speeding or crime in your
area? Well this is your chance to have your say.
This week the Police and
Community Forums are holding a forum for you to have your say on
policing in Sefton. The forums are a meeting where the police
and local residents get together to discuss issues of mutual
concern. Anyone can attend and you don't need an invitation!
The night starts at
7:30pm prompt in Southport town centre, at Mornington Road Day
Centre, Mornington Road, Southport,
If you have any
requirements such as a loop system, interpreter etc, please contact
0151 285 5508.
For more information
about the night please ring Merseyside Police Authority on 0151 236
Have your say...