people in the North denounce anti-social behaviour
A NEW poll, commissioned by the Home Office, shows that many
young people in Northern England are unhappy about anti-social
The majority (58%) of the 14 to 18 year olds from the North surveyed
are angered by anti-social behaviour as they think it gives them all
name. two thirds of them dislike being stereotyped by the clothes they
500 teenagers in England were polled as part of continuing work by
the Home Office to seek out ways to tackle anti-social behaviour and
to help create a new youth volunteering initiative which will
harness the community spirit of young people.
Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said:- "Young people in the
North and around the country are fed up with being tarnished by the
anti-social actions of a minority. It is promising to learn that the
majority of our youth agree with the importance of contributing to
their local community. In fact, our young people have strong
views for shaping their neighbourhoods in the future, and we need to
encourage and support their involvement. That's what the Respect
Action Plan is all about and why we have committed up to £100
million to implement the proposals of the Russell Commission to
create up to a million new young volunteers."
The survey also showed that those questioned are embracing
traditional values, with many insisting that young people should
respect their elders and calling for improved manners. The majority
of Northern young people think it's important to contribute to their
local community - 87% advocate getting involved in a positive way.
Many of the young people were already helping the community through
odd jobs or running errands for friends, family or neighbours, or
getting involved in their church or temple.
The survey also provided young people with an opportunity to give
their views about the future of their communities. Young people from
the North are calling for a reduction in crime, more than half want
less litter and graffiti and many demand a greater voice for young
people in what goes on in
The Home Office has recently launched the Respect Action Plan, aimed
at getting every citizen working together to build a society in
which we can all respect one another.
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Liverpool congestion charge would be commercial suicide
A LEADING business pressure group is warning Liverpool City
Council that a congestion charging scheme would be 'commercial
suicide' for the city's business community.
Len Collinson, the Merseyside-based National Chairman of the Forum
of Private Business (FPB), said he is deeply uneasy about talk of a
£40m scheme which will be discussed by the council's executive board
"I must issue a stark warning to Liverpool that a congestion
charging scheme risks seriously undermining the small business
community," he said. "Businesses will view these
proposals as more to do with creating another revenue raising cash
cow than tackling congestion. It should not be forgotten that
businesses are already being stung by the Mersey Tunnel toll, which
makes a reported £12m annual surplus for Merseytravel. Surely
traffic from Wirral could not be asked to pay the tunnel toll and a
congestion charge? And Liverpool is in the top five local
authorities outside London for issuing parking tickets. Moreover,
there is serious talk of the Runcorn-Widnes bridge being tolled.
Having a congestion charge in Liverpool on top of these existing
taxes, as well as fuel duty, would be extremely ill advised."
Mr Collinson said recent figures showed that 38% of Liverpudlians
worked for the state, compared with a national average of 25%.
"Merseyside needs to create a healthy economic environment for
small businesses to grow so they can drive the local economy,
creating jobs and wealth," he said. "But FPB research
has found small firms are badly hurt by congestion charging with
more than half - 58% - of our London members seeing a drop in
profits since the congestion charge was introduced. Virtually all
businesses would be affected by the increased costs that congestion
charging would bring. That includes additional expense for
commuters, deliveries, business meetings and a likely slump in
footfall for retailers. The key to easing Liverpool's chronic access
and congestion problems is better public transport and better roads,
not another regressive tax."
Neil Jefferies of Rowlands and Co, hauliers and scrap metal
merchants in Garston, said:- "A congestion charge could put us
out of business. It really could tip us over. It would just be
another cost on top of fuel duty. Duty is so high we can go to
Birmingham on a haulage job and only make £12 profit. We already do
minimal work in the Wirral because the tunnel toll takes a
significant chunk off our bottom line. So the tunnel is a barrier to
growth for our business and Wirral is on our doorstep. In fact when
we do go to Wirral we go via the Runcorn-Widnes bridge. The head of
transport for Liverpool City Council should come to my business and
I will explain to him how the council is stopping us operating
profitably. The roads in the city centre seem designed to slow
Fred Duenbier, Managing Director of FWD Freight Services Ltd, an
international freight forwarder in Pall Mall said:- "I don't
think congestion charging is the solution for Liverpool. It would
have a big impact on small firms. Traders in particular would be
badly affected because shoppers would be put off coming in and
paying the charge. We need to improve public transport capacity to
get people out of their cars."
David Ball, Managing Director of Classic Lifts Ltd, a lift servicing
firm in Formby, said:- "I'm not impressed by this idea.
Looking at London, it would just add to our charges and make
business more expensive and difficult. I do think it would undermine
the small business sector on Merseyside."