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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 24 February 2010

Red Cross seeks red dare devils!

WANT to feel on top of the world?  Well now’s your chance by taking part in the BIG RED DROP! British Red Cross are recruiting Southport thrill seekers to take part in the Big Red Drop!  the Mersey Tunnel Abseil on Sunday, 10 April 2011. Situated at the Woodside ventilation station, Birkenhead, this fantastic grade 2 listed building offers picture perfect views of the awesome city that will distract you as you prepare to scale down the 160 foot drop.  The 50m Mersey Tunnels Ventilation Shaft located in Birkenhead provides an exhilarating abseil with fantastic views across the City of Liverpool, Wirral and the River Mersey.  Senior Community Fundraiser for British Red Cross, Alexis Fairclough said:- “This is a fantastic building situated at Woodside and if you look across the Mersey from Liverpool, you will see it proudly standing on the edge of the river, almost opposite the Liver Buildings. You don’t need to have done anything like this before as full training will be provided by experienced staff. They will give you the confidence you need to step over the edge and abseil over 150 ft. We ask all participants to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship and all abseilers will receive a certificate.”  The Big Red Drop is a fantastic way to raise money for charity whilst overcoming your fears, and makes an ideal team building exercise for companies wishing to drive forward their teams! Register online or call Alexis on:- 0151 702 5061.

Southport Anti Cuts Coalition hold last pre-budget meeting

LOCAL campaigner, Gem Brannan, has told us that the group calling themselves "Southport Anti Cuts Coalition" are meeting at 3.30pm on Saturday, 26 February 2010 at Christ Church, Lord Street, Southport. The group say that:- "Sefton Council is setting their final budget for the forthcoming year on Thursday, 3 March 2011, so this meeting will be the last SACC meeting to be held before the budget meeting. This will be the last opportunity to have your say and make your feelings known about what is important to you. Sefton Council has been handed a higher than average cut. It is being asked to find £44m in savings this year alone. In addition, according to DfE, the EIG money which is intended for early intervention through Children's/Youth Centres, teen pregnancy services, the early years workforce e.t.c. has received the maximum cut of 12.9%. There are so many things at risk. Unlike the last meeting, the Councillors:- Tony Robertson, Paula Parry and Peter Dowd, are not prevented from making political comment. They are able to answer political questions. As always we expect that people are polite and respectful, specifically so that we can allow as many people as possible to put their points to the councillors. It is likely that feelings are running very high and many people are affected, but we ask please, for everyone's co-operation to help the meeting run smoothly and make sure everyone gets to speak. The meeting will begin with submitted questions and answers and there will be a period at the end for open questions from the floor. If you intend to come, please arrive in plenty of time for a prompt 8pm start. Also, please if you have Facebook you can let them know you are intending to go by using this link. If you want to submit a question in advance, then please send it to our SACC email account! This is advisable for anything which might need researching."

More information about the group can be found by going to their blog.

Staff balloted for strike action at Liverpool Hope University in jobs row

STAFF at Liverpool Hope University have begun a ballot for strike action in a row over job losses and how the institution is responding to potential cuts in funding. The University and College Union (UCU) says the university is rushing in to decisions based on funding assumptions made without the full knowledge of future circumstances.

The union says it understands the vice-chancellor’s wishes to try and keep university education affordable, but warns that trying to cut other universities on price and quality will backfire.

The university has announced that it would not be following the example of Oxford University and Cambridge University and charging the full £9,000 a year fees. However, it did not state what level of fee it would be charging or how much money it expected to generate from student fees.

Over 100 jobs are now at risk and local MP Luciana Berger on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 visited Liverpool Hope to speak to UCU members about the plans.

UCU says the university should follow the lead of the vast majority of institutions in the country, and take a less panicked approach to future challenges.

he union says axing jobs before the university knows what its teaching grant will be, what the outcome of the government’s proposals on the future of teaching training will be, or what level of income it will receive from tuition fees makes no sense and risks serious long term damage to Liverpool Hope.

Before the meeting UCU regional official, Martyn Moss, said that:- “Liverpool Hope's strategy of trying to undercut universities on both price and by cutting staff will backfire. Students want to be taught by highly-qualified, decently rewarded staff in sufficient numbers to make the educational experience worth having. A race to the bottom of the type envisaged by LHU will be a disaster for everyone. It makes absolutely no sense to be axing jobs when we are still waiting for all the facts. UCU members have asked to be balloted because they are prepared to use every tool they possess to halt the university’s destructive and ill-thought through plans. However, strike action always remains a last resort.”

MP for Liverpool Wavertree, Luciana Berger, said:- “This situation has been created by the Tory-led Government and is, as we saw from the march in Liverpool yesterday, going to affect everyone. Our higher education sector here in Liverpool is one of the worst-hit and Liverpool Hope University, a vital resource for our city, is having to make life-saving choices. I call on the university to be sensitive to the needs of their staff, and support UCU in representing their members who are rightly worried about their jobs. Ultimately we must remember that it is the Government’s actions which will handicap our young people and their futures.”

The result of that ballot is expected on Friday, 11 March 2011.

Are you affected by this?  Are you a student at the university?  Let us know your feelings and views by emailing our newsroom at

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