£9,000 “GOING RATE FOR A DEGREE” – POORER STUDENTS PRICED OUT
calling on the Government to give disadvantaged students a fair
chance at a degree. As universities across the country announce
their fees, the union is warning that many young people will be
priced out of education, with the going rate for a degree standing
UNISON’s Head of Higher Education, Jon Richards, said:- “Young
people from disadvantaged backgrounds deserve a fair shot at getting
into any university in the UK. With the going rate for a degree now
at £9,000, the danger is that many will be put off.
Even universities who have set lower fees are still pricing them way
above the Government’s recommendations.
Higher Education cannot be done on the cheap, universities need
funds to deliver high quality services. But huge fee increases and
Government cuts are leading to job losses and a lack of resources
that is leaving the service struggling.
The Government must think again about the new fees, which will
plunge thousands of young people into serious debt. We know there is
an alternative to fee hikes and service cuts.”
Any university or college that wants to charge tuition fees for
full-time home/EU undergraduates above the basic level must have an
access agreement approved by the Director of Fair Access. This sets
out its fee limits, its plans for bursaries and other financial
support and, in many cases, outreach work for under-represented
City remembers Liverpool Blitz
THE CITY is
set to remember one of the darkest times in its history as a series
of events mark the 70th anniversary of the Liverpool Blitz. Starting
this month (April) events will be taking place across the city which
reflect on the experiences of Merseysiders during the bombings and
the community spirit which shone during the horrors of May 1941. A
thought-proving photographic exhibition will go on display at the
Watson Building (next to Lewis’s) from 30 April to 11 June and
reveals the devastating damage caused by the attacks on the city.
Funded by the city council and part of the Shops Up Front
initiative, Tom Fairclough’s photographs portray scenes of
destruction and shots of rubble dumped on a beach in Sefton. One of
the most vivid reminders of the war is ‘bombed out’
St. Luke’s Church. Urban Strawberry Lunch is set to host a series of
activities around this location, including heritage visits, a sound
archive of people’s memories of the blitz and a special Son et
Lumiere experience from the 5 May to 7 May 2011 which will light up
the prominent city centre landmark. Liverpool Cathedral will
recreate the air raid siren and the ‘all clear’ followed by a bell
toll on the 3 May 2011. They will also host a special Commemoration
Service on 18 May 2011, which will recall life in Liverpool during
the Blitz, remembering those lives lost and the damage done to the
city. There will be three themes to the service – remembrance,
reconciliation and rebuilding and all are welcome to attend. Unity
Theatre will host Red Skies, a moving production which retells
stories from the Blitz, as a group share their stories of love,
tragedy and loss when huddled in an air shelter. A war-time
sing-a-long will also take place in the beautiful surroundings of
St. George’s Hall on 4 May where a 1940s band will recreate the
sounds of the era and everyone is encouraged to dress the part.
Tickets are just £4 on the door, including refreshments, and doors
open at 12.30pm. National Museums Liverpool, Merseytravel, Mersey
Ferries and The Bluecoat will also be holding events to mark the
Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan, said:- “It’s
wonderful that organisations across Merseyside are working together
to produce an inspirational, thought-provoking series of events.
Thousands of people will be involved in the activities, and
importantly schoolchildren will be taking part in workshops and
projects which will bring home to them what life was like during
World War II. The anniversary will be a time of reflection and also
one of contemplation as the city remembers the strength of character
of those who overcame unimaginable horrors and shaped the city we
know and love today.”
A leaflet highlighting some of the key events is available from the
08 Place and the tourist information centre on the Albert Dock. It
will also be available from supporter’s venues including National
Museums Liverpool, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, The Bluecoat,
Merseytravel, Mersey Ferries and the Unity Theatre.
SENTENCING OF FIVE MEN FOR BANK ROBBERIES
5 men from
Merseyside have been jailed for a total of 47 years at Liverpool
Crown Court on Wednesday, 20 April 2011, after pleading guilty to
armed bank robberies.
Officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan)
led the investigation into the organised crime group, who were
responsible for armed robberies at HSBC banks in Peterborough and
Leicester as well as a burglary at a HSBC in Wolverhampton, between
November 2008 and October 2009.
David Metcalfe, aged 28, of Railbrook Hey in Old Swan, John McTigue,
aged 29, of Gentwood Road in Huyton, Terence Shields, aged 26, of
Warwick Street in Toxteth and Elias Morgan, aged 21, of Highgate
Street in Edge Hill all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob at the
start of their trial on 20 February 2011.
Edward Metcalfe, aged 30, of Harlow Street in Toxteth pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to rob at the earliest opportunity.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Leach, head of the North West
Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan), said:- "Titan tackles
the most serious criminals, whose activity has a significant impact
on the quality of lives of residents across the North West and
beyond. By working with forces across borders, targetting criminals
who travel out of their area to commit crime, we are increasing the
capability to detect, disrupt, prevent and ultimately put a halt to
serious and organised crime."
The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Inspector
Andy Black, from the North West Regional Serious and Organised Crime
Task Force (Titan), said:- "These bank robberies were not
victimless crimes and were very upsetting experiences for the HSBC
staff involved. The five offenders were armed with weapons and
threatened violence to the workers, who although unhurt were left
badly shaken. Today's sentence is a warning to all criminals
involved in serious and organised crime that we will find you and we
will put you before the courts. I would also like to take the
opportunity to thank everyone involved in taking these offenders off
the streets and making our communities safer as a result."
Officers from Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and West Midlands
police forces also worked alongside Titan officers to bring these
five men to justice.
Chief Superintendent Paul Telford, of Leicestershire Constabulary’s
delivering justice directorate, said:- "This is an excellent
result which demonstrates the commitment of officers from the
different force areas who were involved in the investigations. It’s
a real testament to the hard work and professionalism of those
officers who have played a major part in bringing these offenders to
justice. This was a harrowing and traumatic experience for the HSBC
bank staff who witnessed the incident. Hopefully this result will go
some way to help the staff come to terms with what happened."
Detective Inspector Neil Sloan, from Cambridgeshire police force,
added:- "The robbery at the branch of HSBC in Lincoln Road,
Peterborough, in November 2008, was carried out by organised
criminals who had travelled to the county to commit crime.
Cambridgeshire Police officers responded quickly and professionally
to identify links to organised criminality and have worked closely
with Titan officers throughout the investigation. The robbery was a
terrifying experience for members of staff at the branch and we are
pleased those responsible have now been brought to justice."
Detective Chief Inspector Darren Crutchley, from West Midlands
police force, added:- "The individuals within this Organised
Crime Group were prepared to travel the country and use violence to
achieve their objectives. However, in the incident on 12th June 2009
at HSBC, Birches Barn Road, Wolverhampton the quick thinking and
courageous actions of the staff ensured they failed to obtain any
cash on this occasion. These actions caused the now identified
offenders to hastily leave the scene, leaving behind vital forensic
evidence. It is clear that these offenders have been brought to
justice following a serious and complex investigation spanning
several Force areas, for which the officers involved should be
commended for their professional and dedicated efforts."