Southport Reporter (R) Online Nespaper for Merseyside

Read our Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy


Terms and Conditions

Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


Click on here to email our news room today!



Your free online newspaper for Merseyside
This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography.



Latest Edition



Order Photos  Help Client Admin Advert Options

Updated over every Wednesday night for every Thursday.              

Your news...   Your words...

Issue:- 28 October 2010

Strike Action

ON 5 November, London’s 5,600 fire-fighters are to strike for 47 hours, from 10am on to 9am on 7 November 2010. The FBU General Secretary, Matt Wrack has told the media that:- “We do not want to take this action, but we have no choice. The alternative is to allow London’s fire-fighters to become doormats for their employers to walk on. The long term safety of Londoners depends on a well-trained, self-confident fire fighting force. The chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, issues calculated insults and says he’s ‘relaxed’ and sacking all of them. He and the Commissioner, Ron Dobson, want to run the London Fire Brigade as though it were a Victorian mill. They want a frightened and obedient fire fighting force. We simply cannot accept that. There’s still nearly two weeks for the London Fire Brigade to get this right. Show a little respect for your fire-fighters. Meet their representatives and hammer out a compromise with us, instead of trying to get your way by bullying.” Fire Minister Bob Neill said:- “The timing of this action appears to be deliberate to cause maximum risk to Londoners. This walkout is reckless and cynical and does no credit to the fire service. The public will not think this is a responsible way of conducting industrial action.” London Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and the Chairman of the London Waste & Recycling Board (LWaRB) added in his blog on 26 October 2010 that:- “People in the private sector are worrying about possible job losses because their companies are struggling to survive the recession. Other Londoners have to absorb public spending cuts because Labour’s deficit has left us with no money. They are doing it, for the most part, with stoicism. Yet the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) has voted to strike. Not because of job losses, pay cuts or longer hours but because of a small change to their shift patterns. These changes are designed to modernise the capital’s fire service, enabling fire-fighters do more fire prevention work during the day shift, preventing deadly fires and saving lives. The change means that both day and night shifts will be 12 hours long, rather than the nine hour day and 15 hour night shift that currently exists. The sleep periods on night shifts and the opportunity for fire-fighters to have second jobs on their days off are both protected. The FBU says these changes will jeopardise public safety, even though they have been successfully introduced in fire brigades across the country. Despite all this, on the 1st and 5th of November FBU members will leave their posts. You won’t see soldiers and Green Goddesses on the streets this time, the army is a bit busy at the moment in Afghanistan. The head of London's fire authority has contracted in 27 fire engines and 700 private fire-fighters to keep the capital protected. No one is saying that this is as much cover as the full Fire Brigade would provide but the fire authority is making sure that Londoners aren't left exposed. The Union are trying to make it sound as though this is about 5,500 job losses and claim that they would call off the strike if negotiations take place, they fail to mention that these shift changes have been in negotiation for years. Fire-fighters do an essential job and are willing to put their lives at risk, they have traditionally been held in high regard by the public. But the FBU's willingness to walkout on Bonfire night over such a trivial matter reflects very poorly on its leadership and its action won't attract public sympathy.” His comments come as many look at this strike as a warning of things to come.

Even with the UK’s Office for National Statistics research showing a 0.8% rise in the UK’s economy, when predictions had been for 0.4% , during the third quarter of 2010, businesses are still worried about the future. Many businesses and analysts warn that all this “good work” could be undone by massive amounts of strikes. Many in business are now asking public sector Trade Unions to think hard about calling for strike actions that could push the UK into a new recession. For many businesses and for the general population, it has brought up fears of a recurrence of what happened in autumn of 1978 and which lead to the events, later dubbed as the “Winter of Discontent”, could repeat themselves. That scenario was also triggered as the country battled to sort out the economy. It led to widespread strikes among lorry drivers, railway workers, car workers and local government and hospital workers and caused significant disruption to everyday life. As one business commentator has said:- “It is Labour policy that has lead to the UK facing an economic problems. This time they have been worsened by international problems, but if you look at France and other countries, strikes have only lead to bigger problems. Yet in the likes of Germany who have had very little strike action, they are pulling out nicely. Unions have to ask, where is the money, and help to save cash, not create bigger problems that will in the long term damage more than save. Just look at what happened to Rover in recent years!”  Email us your views on this to

Merseyside Police Helicopter May Move

IT looks as if the familiar sight of the Merseyside Police Helicopter at RAF Woodvale based outside Formby, near Southport, will soon become a thing of the past.  Pictured above the chopper might be lost as a result of a rationalisation of police helicopter surveillance.  It has emerged that the Police plan to reduce the number of bases across the country and to serve all areas from the most appropriate place at the time of need. The Merseyside Police stress that all areas will remain covered as at present, but the new arrangement will be more efficient and cost effective. Lets hope we can save this valuable crime fighting asset! Email your views to us via:- and let us now what you think.

GMB has agreed to suspend with immediate effect its campaign of industrial action

GMB issued the statement on 27 October 2010 below regarding the dispute on pensions at AstraZeneca in Maccesfield in Cheshire.

This follows on from the seventh day of strike action against the AstraZeneca on pensions which took place last Friday, 22 October 2010. A continuous overtime ban began at 08.30 Thursday, 23 September 2010.

The strikes arose from the company’s decision to impose savage cuts to its defined benefit (final salary) pension scheme. 250 GMB member at the giant Macclesfield manufacturing site – Astra Zeneca’s second largest site in the world, voted by a more than 70% to strike for the first time in the history of the plant.

Day 1 was on 8 September 2010 - 3 strikes of 2 hours duration. Day 2 was on 15 September 2010 - 3 strikes of 4 hours duration. Day 3 was 23 September 2010- 3 x 4 hour stoppages. Day 4 - Thursday, 30 September 2010 – 3 strikes of four hour duration Day 5 Friday, 8 October and consisted of 3 x 3 hour stoppages. There was also a successful march from the plant to Macclesfield Town Hall for a rally and back to the plant. Day 6 took place Tuesday, 12 October 2010 and were also 3 strikes of 4 hours duration

Neil Holder GMB regional officer in a written statement to GMB members said:- “Following the initial progress at exploratory talks held on Monday, 25 October 2010 which you were advised of yesterday, there has been a further exchange of e-mails and telephone calls between AZ, Allan Black and Neil Holden. The outcome is as follows:-

(a) Formal talks aimed at resolving the dispute will be resumed between the Company and the GMB on Monday, 1 November 2010, on the Macclesfield site.

(b) These talks will further explore and hopefully finalise the areas covered last Monday.

(c) In order to allow these talks to proceed in a calm atmosphere, the GMB has agreed to suspend with immediate effect, its campaign of industrial action.

(d) For the avoidance of doubt this means:-

That the programme of strikes already agreed will not take place

That the overtime ban currently in force is lifted

(e) GMB has made it clear and the Company understands that the action is suspended rather than cancelled and to facilitate this in line with legal requirements the necessary documentation will be exchanged over the next few hours. The effect of this is to stop the clock on the legal time limits surrounding this current campaign of industrial action.

The industrial action (strikes and overtime ban) is however suspended with immediate effect.”

1000 Job Losses At Sefton Council

"IT is difficult to see that the council will get enough volunteers to give up their jobs as there are few alternative jobs in Sefton and the rest of Merseyside." said Britain's general trade union GMB in a press release on 27 October 2010.

GMB called on councillors in Sefton Borough Council in the press release who are meeting on Thursday, 28 October 2010, to discuss 1,000 job losses in the council’s workforce to focus on the economic and social impact of any cuts. The council says it is facing a cash shortfall of £53m in its budget by 2014 due to cuts in the grant it receives from central government as a result of last weeks Comprehensive Spending Review.

Sefton currently employ 11,200 which includes schools, but not voluntary aided schools. The Council has no overall control although the Lib-Dems is the largest party with the leader being a Liberal Democrat.

In a letter to all GMB members employed by the council the Chief Executive Margaret Carney said:- "Unfortunately, I have to tell you that, it is possible Sefton Council may have to lose around 1,000 jobs to meet the savings - a figure which will change as we get further details on the Spending Review. We will of course continue to explore all options that minimise these job losses but we must continue our preparations to reduce spending and put all our effort into minimising the impact on the communities of Sefton."

Other savings measures suggested by the council include increasing burial and cremation fees, closing public toilets and cutting arts funding.

Graham McDermott, GMB Regional Officer said:- “Sefton councillors meeting tomorrow to discuss 1,000 job losses in the councils workforce must focus on the economic and social impact of any cuts. 1,000 job losses at Sefton Borough Council due to Tory-Liberal government spending cuts announced last week will be devastating for local economy and for public services. With the majority of the savings in the first two years it is difficult to see that the council will get enough volunteers to give up their jobs as there are few alternative jobs in Sefton and the rest of Merseyside. It is also impossible to see how taking out 1,000 jobs will not have a devastating impact on the services delivered by the council. GMB will meet with our members to discuss this position. We will also be seeking urgent meetings with officers and councillors to discuss this before it goes any further. We will also want to see the council properly consulting the public before any final decisions are made on this.”

Our radio station phone in message line...   Call us now!

Sign up to our Daily Email News Service BETA Test by clicking here now...

Southport & Mersey Reporter - leading the way for local news.  We where the UK's first online only newspaper!

Highlighted events that are taking place this month:-

If you have an event and want to get it noticed, let us know by emailing us to:-

Click on the event title displayed above to find out about lots more events, as well as dates & times!

Our websites in our online series.   Group navigation, information and useful none group links...
Southport TV - Our online video archive. Liverpool Reporter - Our online music station. Mersey Reporter - OUR HUB WEBSITE.
Southport TV Liverpool Reporter Mersey Reporter Formby Reporter

Add to Google

This is what the moon is doing tonight.  Click on to find out why.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

Our live Southport Webcam.  To see click live, click on image.


Show us your location
Please sign our map and let us know where you are  from....


News Room Phone Number

(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge. 

Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint

Complaints Policy  -  Complaints Procedure  -  Whistle Blowing Policy

© PCBT Photography & PBT Media Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope