VACCINE REMINDER IN COUNTDOWN TO HAJJ
MUSLIMS in the UK are being
urged by the Meningitis Trust to ensure they are immunised against
meningitis as part of their preparations for their Hajj pilgrimage
to Makkah, Saudi Arabia over 6 December 2008 to 9 December 2008.
The Meningitis Trust is reminding pilgrims from all over the UK that
the vaccine will protect them from strains of meningitis that are
not common in the UK but may be carried by pilgrims from other areas
of the world.
Alison Osborne, UK BME Co-ordinator at the Meningitis Trust, says:-
"Meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia (blood poisoning)
can affect anyone at any time and can kill within hours. Survivors
can be left with disabling after-effects, including brain damage,
deafness and, where septicaemia has occurred, loss of limbs.
"People need to be fully aware of the dangers of meningitis both in
the UK and abroad and receive appropriate protection where
available. When people are in prolonged close contact in large
gatherings, such as the Hajj, opportunities for transfer of bacteria
between people are increased. "
The Meningitis Trust is reminding all pilgrims from the UK to have
the ACWY vaccine at least three weeks before they travel, as it is a
legal requirement for entry into Saudi Arabia.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against four different groups of
meningitis - A, C W135 and Y. Everyone travelling should book an
appointment with the practice nurse at their G.P surgery now, to
allow time for the vaccine to be ordered and for it to become
Alison continues:- "Pilgrims should be aware that there is
still no vaccine to protect against all types of meningitis.
Awareness of the common signs and symptoms will protect both the
pilgrims and their families"
Anyone with concerns or wanting more information about meningitis
and available vaccines can call the Meningitis Trust's free, 24
hour, nurse-led helpline on 0800 028 18 28 or visit the Trust's
In addition to raising awareness of meningitis and meningococcal
septicaemia, the Meningitis Trust offers practical support for life
to people coping with devastating after-effects. Support services
include a free, 24 hour nurse led helpline, professional
counselling, home visiting and financial support grants.
The Meningitis Trust is a registered charity and relies entirely on
voluntary donations to carry out its vital work.
The end of incapacity
benefit for new claimants and the start of employment support
24 October marked the end of
Incapacity Benefit for new claimants and the era of writing people
off and marks the dawn of a new benefit, Employment and Support
Allowance, designed to give people the support they need to improve
their health, their skills and look for work.
The new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is tailor made for
disabled people and people with ill-health and is part of the
Government's radical welfare reforms, which aim to get 1 million
people off incapacity benefits by 2015.
From the 24th new claimants who cannot work due to ill-health or
disability will be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance
(ESA). Within weeks of making a claim, customers will have
their capability assessed by an expert health professional through
the new Work Capability Assessment. The new assessment is designed
to look at what people can do rather than what they can't - and will
ensure that those who can work are given the help and support they
need to get back to work and will make sure that no-one is written
off and consigned to a life on benefits.
People who are assessed as having the severest disabilities or
health conditions will go into the 'support group' and get more
money - the poorest of receiving a minimum of £102.10 per week.
Everyone else will go into the 'work group.'
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell said:-
"In the 1990s people were written off on Incapacity benefit with
no help to overcome their problems or support to get them into work.
It is even more important during an economic downturn that we
increase support for people not take it away.
The introduction of Employment and Support Allowance, which marks a
significant landmark for the delivery of our welfare reforms, will
offer the help and support disabled people and people with ill
health are telling us they want in order for them to get back to
Employment and Support Allowance replaces Incapacity Benefit and
Income Support on the grounds of incapacity for new claimants only.
Incapacity Benefit and Income Support continue in payment for
ESA claimants who are assessed as being able to prepare for work,
will be required to engage in a back to work programme and assigned
a personal adviser who will help them overcome any specific barriers
to work, including having a skills check and getting involved in
work experience opportunities. People identified as being in the
'support group' can engage with these back to work programmes on a
SOUTHPORT POLITICIAN NOMINATED FOR MEP OF THE YEAR AWARD
A Southport Euro-MP has been
nominated for a prestigious award by a panel of leading opinion
formers. 7 distinguished judges, including former Belgian
prime minister Wilfried Martens, have identified Chris Davies as an
MEP who has most influenced the EU’s agenda over the last year.
The panel selected the Liberal Democrat as a contender for ‘MEP of
the Year’ for blowing the whistle on abuses of MEP expenses earlier
this year. The European Voice Newspaper Awards acknowledge and
celebrate the work of politicians and EU officials within five
categories: National politicians, European Commissioners, MEP of the
Year, EU Officials, and Inspiration of the Year. Notable
nominees include the French prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy and
Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank.
Chris Davies is delighted his name has been put forward for the
award but has described progress on improving the financial
accountability of MEPs as ‘mixed’.
He said:- “For
every 2 steps forward at least 1 is taken backwards by those who
seek to obstruct improvement.”
New arrangements for the employment of MEP staff in Brussels are due
to be introduced next year and details of the expenses available to
parliamentarians are now published on the internet.
However, Mr Davies said it was deplorable that those responsible for
the finances had refused to support plans for accountants to carry
out spot checks on MEPs, had failed to require receipts to be kept
for office expenses, and still left the conditions for the
employment of other staff opaque.
He said:- “We have a very long way to go before the procedures
are as tight as one might expect of well managed public
The closing date for voting is 16 November 2008 and the winners will be
announced at a gala dinner to be held in Brussels on 2 December 2008.
CHILDREN COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS AS WORK PROGRESSES ON £6.5M SCHOOL
CHILDREN from across Sefton
helped the Bishop of Warrington to bless the site of the £6.5
million Rimrose Hope CE School, which is being built by local
construction company Morgan Ashurst.
During a moving ceremony, Rt. Rev David Jennings led prayers and
laid a foundation stone, donated by Liverpool Cathedral, to mark the
start of work on the new building; sited next to the existing school
in Thompson Road, Seaforth. The new school will accommodate children
from the former Beach Road and William Gladstone CE Primary Schools.
Representing Sefton Borough Council, which is leading the scheme,
were Rosemary Tootill from Children’s Services, councillor and chair
of governors Paul Cummins and architect Patrick Lai. Also in
attendance were Rimrose Hope headteacher, Lawrence Crilly; Cannon of
Liverpool Cathedral, Roger Driver; Gregor Cuff, Reverend of Christ
Church Waterloo and the construction team from Morgan Ashurst.
“This ceremony marks an exciting time, not only for the project but
also for hundreds of children across Liverpool.
has extensive experience of constructing public sector buildings but
it’s always particularly satisfying to work on schools which will
benefit the whole community.” said Morgan Ashurst site
manager Gordon Robinson.
Morgan Ashurst, which has offices in Highfield Street, Liverpool, is
building a new school comprising a 26-place nursery with soft play
area, 11 multi-purpose classrooms, a shared activity space, assembly
hall, kitchens, parish rooms for community use, staff rooms and two
specially-adapted classrooms for children with moderate learning
difficulties. In addition, there will be playing fields, a games
court, a 21-space car park and a bike shelter.
Morgan Ashurst is one
of the construction partners helping to deliver Liverpool City
Council’s £140 million wave two Building Schools for the Future (BSF)
The company has also completed several construction projects across
Merseyside, including a £5.3 million contract to design and build a
three-storey enterprise park in St Helens, on behalf of Langtree,
and a recent extension and refurbishment of the Islamic Cultural
Centre in Mulgrave Street, Liverpool.
Rimrose School is due to be completed in April 2009.