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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 13 March 2006

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Masters at Staying Put

A home improvement agency in Waterloo has joined the ranks of some of the most highly respected organisations in the country after being accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen.

Sefton's Anchor Staying Put agency on Melrose Road, Waterloo now features among the likes of Rolls Royce, Fortnum & Mason and Wedgwood as a member of the long-running trade association for skilled craftsmen.

The Staying Put agency offers guidance and assistance to older and disabled people in Sefton to help them carry on living in their own homes. It can provide technicians to carry out home adaptations ranging from installing a handrail or ramp to updating security fittings.

The Guild of Master Craftsmen recognises skilled craftsmen who operate to high standards. To become Guild members a selection of Staying Put technicians from across the country had to demonstrate their professional expertise, skill and integrity in addition to providing quality services at good value. After establishing the technicians' qualifications the Guild assessed examples of Staying Put workmanship from a range of Staying Put agencies nationwide and looked at customer service procedures, contacting customers to evaluate the quality of service that Staying Put provided.

Anchor Staying Put Agency Manager Chris Cho said:- "We're proud that the work our staff carries out has now been approved by a nationally recognised standard."

[Anchor Staying Put is part of Anchor Trust, England's largest not-for-profit provider of housing, support and care.]

Conserving nature for the future

AN ACTION plan to conserve Warrington's nature for the future was launched on 6 March 06. 'Nature Matters' is a biodiversity action plan for Warrington, compiled by the Council in partnership with the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum. It was formally launched on Thursday 2 March 06 at Walton Hall Gardens at a biodiversity seminar.

Speakers on the day included Cllr Paul Ross, Deputy Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Warrington Partnership, Professor David Norman, naturalist and writer, and representatives from English Nature, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Cheshire Landscape Trust, Mersey Forest, rECOrd and Groundwork.

The Council and the forum have put the action plan together and it has already been adopted by the Local Strategic Partnership.

The plan identifies what wildlife and environments warrant special protection, what the threats are and what actions are needed to safeguard the community's natural inheritance.

Cllr Terry O'Neill, Executive Board Member for Sustainable Regeneration, said:- "This action plan is very important for Warrington. It's about conserving and sustaining the natural environment for generations to come. This plan is linked with creating sustainable communities and green environments and its creation by the forum reflects the fact that members of the community want to get involved in the conservation of their environment."

'Nature Matters' can be viewed at the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum website. 

Fujitsu tells UK companies to “Green up” their act!

ON 7 March 06 Fujitsu Siemens Computers announced that it is urging UK businesses to act on the growing evidence that Britons are demanding greener standards. It follows a recent national poll which found that over half (51%) of those surveyed said they had boycotted a company because its products damage the environment. That statement was made after the release of a Guardian / ICM poll. ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,002 adults, aged 18 plus, by telephone between 17 and 19 February 06. It also found that 63% of us would be willing to pay a green tax on goods and services that are found to harm the environment.

But it’s not just pressure from customers that companies need to be mindful of. Recent research from Fujitsu Siemens Computers identified the rise of ‘Green Collar Workers’, employees who are taking their green consciences with them to work and putting pressure on their employers to clean up their acts. Again this amazing fact came from research carried out by TNS PhoneBus amongst a representative sample of 1002 GB adults aged 16+ during 9 September 06 to 11 September 2005.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ research found that 78% of British workers believe that they’re more environmentally conscious today than they were five years ago. More than a quarter of employees (27%) are actively lobbying their employer to implement more environmentally friendly policies, such as procurement of green IT systems, energy saving and recycling.

68% say that they already recycle paper at work, and almost two thirds, that’s 63%, make sure that they consciously save energy by turning off their PCs overnight. This is something that employers might well be thankful for, given that failing to turn off PCs each night costs UK industry a massive £123.2 million each year!

Garry Owen, Head of Product Marketing at Fujitsu Siemens Computers comments:- "Companies need to face up to the growing pressure from both customers and their workers. Green pressures have spread to the workplace. UK organisations need to act and demonstrate their commitment to the environment. If they don’t, they run the risk of alienating the growing group of green supporters.

Of course, rather than paying a green tax for unenvironmentally friendly products it’s far better, where possible, to look to buy a green alternative. Nowadays, green products are often of comparable price and quality. For example, the Fujitsu Siemens Computers AMILO V2030, which is the first RoHS compliant “green laptop” competes both on price and quality with laptops of a similar spec.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers has pioneered the development of green IT systems and has promoted their use both in the home and the workplace for some time now. We hope others follow us for the sake of the whole planet!"

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