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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 229

Date:- 12 December 2005

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School of the stars celebrates

A LIVERPOOL school which boasts 2 top flight football managers, TV's best loved slob and an MP among its ex-pupils is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Former Everton and current Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle, and Reading FC boss Steve Coppell were both taught at Ranworth Square Primary School in Norris Green.  Also on the school roll were Geoffrey Hughes - Onslow in Keeping up Appearances and bin man Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street, and Liverpool West Derby MP Bob Wareing.

An open day for former staff and pupils is being held on Tuesday, December 6, during which Lord Mayor Alan Dean will join pupils in 1930's costume looking through archive school records - including pictures of the famous ex-students.

Head Teacher Eryl Owen said:- "We are very proud of our long history and it will be a chance for former pupils to share their memories with today's youngsters, so they can learn more about how school life used to be.  The day is about celebrating 75 years of learning at Ranworth Square, and looking at how the school has changed over the years."

Also on show will be punishment books which show that teachers didn't hesitate to hand out a short, sharp shock to unruly children!

Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services, added:- "This is a day of celebration for all pupils and staff at Ranworth Square.  The school has given a wonderful grounding to tens of thousands of youngsters, and its longevity is testament to the quality of the teaching."

The school, which has 178 pupils on roll, is 1 of 18 to be rebuilt as part of the city's £300 million PFI programme. The new building opened in September 2003.

Brown’s dividends tax u-turn damages small business

GORDON Brown’s decision to abolish the 0 rate of corporation tax on dividends paid out by small businesses on their first £10,000 of profits capped a disappointing pre-Budget report for that sector says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA Head of Taxation said:- “Many small businesses took advantage of what the government itself described just three years ago, as a gift horse and incorporated because the tax system was being skewed in favour of doing this rather than remaining self-employed or in partnership. Many are now considering if the company structure is still appropriate for them, but disincorporating would subject them to heavy capital gains tax bills on their assets. Today’s announcement, dressed up as an anti-avoidance measure, is not consistent or joined-up tax policy.   There was precious little else in the Pre-Budget report for small businesses. There seems little acknowledgement of the compliance costs they face, small businesses pay almost 60 times as much per employee in this area as multinationals. This was an opportunity wasted to take some action to help them.”


MERSEYTRAVEL is to seek a judicial review into the decision by the Department for Transport not to release £170 million towards Merseytram.  The Authority is also looking to recoup from the Government the money it has already spent on the scheme.  Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel told members of the Authority that a Judicial Review could be heard before the end of February next year and, if successful, construction could start the following month with completion in 2009.

A Letter of Intent will be sent to the Government. The Government has 7 days in which to respond before action begins. 

That the PTA..

1. notes with dismay and concern the decision of Ministers announced on 29 November 2005 to withdraw the £170m government funding pledged since December 2002;

2. notes the advice of two leading counsels (QCs) that there is a strongly arguable case that Ministers have acted unlawfully as a result;

3. reaffirms its belief in the overriding importance of Merseytram Line 1 as a public transport project and as an aid to Merseyside’s regeneration and social inclusion objectives;

4. believes that Ministers should be held to account for their action in withdrawing funding unlawfully and so preventing the Merseytram project from proceeding;

5. considers that the Authority should accordingly apply to the High Court for permission to bring an expedited action for a judicial review of Ministers’ decision on the grounds of unreasonableness and breach of legitimate expectation with the intention of reviving the project so that construction may start by 31 March 2006;

6. authorises the Chief Executive to take any steps and to incur whatever expenditure he considers necessary in connection with bringing an action for a judicial review and thereafter prosecuting it or, if this does not enable the scheme to continue, recovering all or part of Merseytravel’s scheme expenditure from the Department for Transport.

7. welcomes the total support shown by Members and officers of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to the project and their commitment to providing £6 million of any contingency requirement;

8. welcomes the total support shown by Members of Liverpool City Council in relation to the project and their commitment to providing £18 million of any contingency requirement;

9. reaffirms the Executive’s willingness to cover all and any contingency requirements over and above the first £24 million.

Councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said:- “We have a strong case and I am hopeful the scheme will go ahead

We have acted honourably and been honest with the Government all the way through.

The Government has embarked on a trail that was dishonest and we will fight this matter through the courts.”

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