CARD FEES CHALLENGED BY NEW EU LAW
ON Thursday, 23 June 2011,
the European Parliament is set to approve new consumer rights that
will spell the end of rip-off credit card fees. The new Consumer
Rights Directive includes specific provisions to outlaw the practice
of adding credit or debit card payment fees that bear no relation to
the actual costs incurred when processing the transaction. The issue
is so serious that consumer body Which? has taken out a "super
complaint" against the practice, with a ruling from the
Office of Fair Trading expected in the coming weeks. Thursday's
European Parliament vote will require the government to take action
to outlaw unfair charges. Speaking ahead of the vote, local Labour
Euro MP and consumer rights campaigner Arlene McCarthy said:-
"Labour has been working for years to end rip-off charging and I am
delighted this key agreement is set to become law. In most cases it
costs just a few pence to process a credit card transaction, yet
some companies are ripping their customers off. It is not uncommon
for people to pay 10 times the actual cost of processing their
credit card transaction, and in some cases people are paying far
more. This is daylight robbery. It is completely misleading for
consumers and damaging for the more respectable businesses that are
up front about their real prices." Arlene is calling on the
British government to ban the fees now rather than wait for the EU
laws to come into force in 2014. She added:- "Companies have
already started to improve their ways, having seen that the writing
is on the wall for these rip-off fees. But we need to end this
practice for good so the government shouldn't wait for the EU law to
come into force. It should act now and ban outlandish credit card
charges once and for all."
celebrate Armed Forces Day
LIVERPOOL will honour its
service men and women on Saturday, 25 June 2011, as part of British
Armed Forces Day celebrations.
The service, starting at 11am, will take place in Liverpool’s
Anglican Cathedral and aims to show support for the brave men and
women in the armed forces.
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast, will lead more
than 600 distinguished guests including the Lord Lieutenant of
Merseyside and Mayors of other Merseyside Boroughs.
Councillor Prendergast said:- “The City of Liverpool has long
standing, strong connections with all military organisations. This
has been acknowledged over the years by awarding them the highest
honour we can bestow, the Freedom of the City. This is a great time
to come together as a city to honour all our armed forces personnel
past and present, as their bravery and commitment helps to create a
safer world. The British Armed Forces are highly motivated,
determined and compassionate. I know I speak on behalf of everyone
in the city in thanking them for the difficult job they do.”
Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony which will
feature music from the Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and
there will be a procession of standards. The service will finish at
11.45am with a march past led by the Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s
Regiment and starting in the Cathedral grounds at midday.
Those marching will be made up of present serving military,
veterans, the Merchant Navy, cadets from the Merseyside Army Cadet
Force and the Merseyside Wing Air Training Corps.
The route of the march will be:-
Upper Duke Street,
Ending at the Metropolitan Cathedral
The march will be led by The Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s
WARRINGTON SOCIAL WORKER
WINS NATIONAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING WORK
LOCAL social worker, Fiona
Morris, from Warrington, has been selected for a national award for
outstanding social work. The scheme, set up by UNISON, the UK’s
largest union, is designed to celebrate the life-changing
achievements of social workers across the country.
Fiona is a specialist social worker, who undertakes protector
assessments with adults and ‘keep safe’ work with children where
there is a sex offender identified within the family. In a really
tough area of work, which often involves working with families where
significant sexual abuse has taken place, Fiona is described as
always cheerful and friendly.
On her nomination, Fiona’s manager praised her hard work and
self-motivated study, which has made her a skilled specialist in her
field. Fiona has developed resources to help social workers
communicate with children and provides training courses that she has
been instrumental in developing. She is described as being
‘uncompromising’ in her commitment to keeping children safe.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- "We are
delighted to be awarding Fiona for her outstanding work in keeping
children safe, and helping families cope with the trauma of sexual
abuse. Her achievements, including developing practice in this
field, and her huge commitment to the job, are a real inspiration.
Every day, social workers like Fiona help thousands of children and
vulnerable adults, but this work often goes unseen. It really is one
of the toughest jobs going - a daily battle dealing with heavy
caseloads, dwindling numbers of admin and early intervention support
workers, and high vacancy rates. But behind these daily struggles
are real stories of lives changing. Many social workers say they
love their jobs and couldn’t imagine doing anything else; despite
the huge challenges they face."
Award winner Fiona Morris, said:- "I have always wanted to
help people, and whilst studying a criminal justice degree, I became
aware of social work. Saving people from neglect and abuse really
appealed to me as the best way of helping people. During the second
year of my masters degree in social work I realised the area of
sexual offending was not really covered, despite how many families
it affects. Four years of frontline social work and five years in a
specialist team later, and I can honestly say that I love my job.
What keeps you going is when you see results. When you help a social
worker understand the nature of someone’s offences and the impact on
a family. Or when you complete work with a non-abusing partner and
see the light bulb effect as they realise their partner could have
abused a child. Training other professionals in this area has also
become a passion for me; I must have been a teacher in a former
Nominating Fiona, her manager Marcia Dale, said:- "Fiona
willingly takes on more responsibilities, due to the sheer
enthusiasm she has for social work, even after 9 years of hard work!
She successfully juggles this demanding job with bringing up a young
family who are a credit to her. On a personal level, we were in the
same team for five years and I found her a hugely supportive
colleague both professionally and personally."
Kath O’Dwyer, executive director of children and young people’s
services at Warrington Borough Council, said:- "I would like
to take this opportunity to congratulate Fiona on this well-deserved
award. The job she does is by no means an easy one and her dedicated
work is invaluable to both the people she works with and us as a
town. I am delighted she has been recognised in this way."
UNISON, which has more than 40,000 social work members, set up the
scheme last year. In recognition of her work, Fiona will be
presented with a Kindle e-book.