businesses in the North West not to miss out on National Insurance
TREASURY Minister, David
Gauke was in Preston reminding new businesses across the North West
not to miss out on money they could be entitled to through the
Regional Employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) holiday
for new businesses. There are currently 1,094 businesses in the
region that have taken advantage of the scheme, saving an average of
just over £2,000 each last year, but there are likely to be many
The NICs holiday scheme is designed to encourage the creation of
private sector jobs in regions reliant on public sector employment
by reducing the cost to new business of employing staff. The holiday
is available to businesses set up since 22 June 2010 and is worth up
to £5,000 for up to the first ten employees hired in the first year
of business. This means a maximum saving on national insurance
payments of up to £50,000. Eligible new businesses can apply for a
refund of NICs that they have already paid.
David Gauke is visiting Preston’s JNT Joinery, a bespoke joinery
business that has taken advantage of the NICs holiday and saved over
£15,000. He said:-"I’m delighted to be in Preston today to see
how JNT Joinery has benefited from the National Insurance holiday.
This scheme is quick and easy to apply for and can give an instant
boost to new businesses, but there are hundreds in the North West
that could be missing out on up to £50,000. I’d encourage all new
businesses and their advisers to find out more."
Jason Bramwell, Partner at JNT Joinery, said:-"When we opened
the joinery in July 2010 we found out that we were eligible for the
National Insurance holiday. Since signing up, we’ve saved money
through the scheme that we were able to put towards building the
business. I’d recommend the scheme to anyone setting up a new
business – it was simple to apply for and is helping us save money
at a time when every penny counts."
The scheme ends on 5 September 2013.
Sooty’s Back in town!
THE 75th Convention of The International
Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring No. 25 will take place at the
Southport Theatre and Convention Centre from 22 September to 25 September 2011
where over 500 magicians from many parts of the world will assemble
to see the latest illusions available and listen to eminent speakers
from many parts of the globe.
Whilst many of these activities will be behind closed doors like
access to the manufacturer’s trade fair and lectures there will be
something for the public to enjoy too. On Saturday morning 24th
September in Southport Theatre (10.30am) there is a Children’s
Magical Showtime featuring that timeless little rascal Sooty
accompanied by Sweep and Sue and of course Richard Cadell. Also on
this show will be the amazing illusions of Safire, the Magic Light
Puppets, highly popular local Children’s Entertainer Paul Joyce,
Clive and Jeani from Clowns International, not forgetting well known
magical inventor, writer and performer David Tomkins. Tickets are £8
adults and £6 children under 16. There is a family saver of 2 adults
and 2 children for £22, a saving of £6!
You may even win a Sooty Goodie Bag as several will be given away
during the show to lucky ticket holders. These bags each contain a
Sooty Puppet, CD, DVD, magic wand, Sweep and Cousin Scampi Bean
Bags, magnifying glass, ruler, stencil, balloons, Sooty postcard and
badge. There maybe up to ten of these given to lucky ticket holders.
Sooty was created by Harry Corbett over 60 years ago and when he
retired his son Matthew took over the management. For a number of
years now the brand had been owned by Cadell’s Ltd and fronted by
Richard Cadell. The new Sooty TV series is currently running on CITV
(Freeview Channel 72) twice daily on weekdays.
If though you are too old for Sooty (can you ever be too old for
Sooty?) then on Sunday evening, 25 September 2011, in the same venue there
is 'An International Gala of Magic and Variety' at 8.00pm featuring
performers from many parts of the world. 2 of the acts appeared
recently on the Penn and Teller Fool Us Saturday night TV show. Here
you will be able to see the glamorous burlesque magic of Romany
and the superb digital dexterity of Shawn Farquhar.
Other top stars include:- Compere Aonghus McAnally from Ireland,
Jeton The Gentleman Juggler from Germany, Michael Finney and Jason
Andrews from the USA, Rafael from Belgium and from our own shores
Guy Barrett. Tickets for both these shows are available from the
theatre box office or
or by telephoning:- 0844 871 3021. The latter two methods will be
subject to a booking fee. Prices ate £18 adults and children under
As part of the society’s visit to Southport some members will be
performing at various special venues without charge and these have
already been booked through the organiser. This is a service
provided in each town the society holds their event It is a way of
saying thank you for inviting The International Brotherhood of
Magicians British Ring to hold their convention in this case with
Southport on 14 occasions.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) is the largest body
representing magicians in the world with over 15,000 members. The
British Ring is a member state of this organisation and was founded
by Oswald Rae in 1928 having close to 1,500 members alone. The
current British President is Keith Cooper and First Lady his wife
Pam (left) who live in Prescot being not far away from Southport.
They will be welcoming International President Vanni Pulé with
International First Lady his wife Mary Anne from Malta to a Gala
dinner attended by the Mayor of Sefton Councillor Paul Paschal
The convention organiser is John Pye who has carried out this task
with his team over the past 8 years. He also serves as Secretary to
the society and is a past president too. In 2012 he becomes the
International President following in Vanni’s footsteps. This is
certainly likely to be a globe trotting year attending worldwide
conventions and dinners. If only he had a flying carpet!
THOUSANDS of Liverpool
residents have had their say on the future of the city’s library
service. Earlier this year the city council announced the
service needs to save £2m (about 29%) from its 2011/12 budget.
In March a public consultation was launched, and 4,286 people filled
in an online questionnaire which was designed to explore the views
of customers, find out which libraries were most popular and give
individuals the opportunity to have their say on what savings should
The results found that:-
► Most visited libraries are Central and Allerton with 995 people
selecting these as their preferred site
Great Homer Street, Croxteth and
Parklands are the least used static libraries with just 332 people
saying they visited them
1 in 4 people only use one library
51% of people visit the library at
least once a week with 11.5% of respondents visiting daily
Afternoons Monday-Saturday are the
preferred time to visit, with Monday being the most popular day,
attracting 75% of those surveyed
3,300 people wanted to keep
libraries open, but on fewer selected days
986 people wanted fewer libraries
with some open full time
After book borrowing, the internet
and computers were the most used services with 2,035 saying they
used them frequently
38% of respondents who used
computers said they would pay, and 43% would be willing to pay for
events and activities taking place in libraries
When asked whether voluntary groups should take over the running of
the libraries, 61% of people did not agree, and felt that the city
council should continue to fully manage the venues. Around 2,350
people did not agree with local libraries being run by a Charitable
Trust, Community Group or Social Business.
However, many did think that volunteers should get involved in other
ways. For example, 42% felt volunteers should organise fundraising
activities and 35% felt they should get involved with general
activities such as shelving books and helping customers. But, less
than 12% of respondents who thought it was a good idea, said they
would volunteer themselves.
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism,
Councillor Wendy Simon, said:-"The response was overwhelming
and demonstrates the high level of interest and support the
community has for our library service.
We are proud of our library service and are in the process of
redeveloping Central and Childwall libraries and will soon be
opening a new library on West Derby Road, replacing costly, older
buildings. However, we are facing huge financial challenges and
difficult decisions need to be made, and we can’t make those
decisions without hearing from those who will be directly affected.
This survey has given people the opportunity to have their say on
how we can make the library service more efficient and streamlined.
The results will now be analysed and all the comments will be taken
into consideration, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank
everyone who took the time to fill in the survey and help us develop
an affordable, workable service for the future."
As well as answering set questions, 1,500 residents also provided
personal comments and these included:-
► "Libraries are fundamental
in my daughter’s learning and development. Please keep our libraries
libraries should have to close, however in order to keep all open,
maybe stagger opening times for libraries in close proximity."
love my local library and use it often. I would be more than willing
to volunteer if it meant that libraries could stay open."
am pleased that you are considering all of this before the actual
cuts are announced. I feel that losing the library services would be
a retrograde step, and welcome the chance to get involved and stop
would prefer the council to retain overall influence over the
spending and the running of all libraries as they provide a vital
and essential service."
"Increased provision of the
online services would suit me best, as it would mean that I need not
worry about opening hours."
All survey feedback will be carefully considered and a decision on
the future of Liverpool’s library service will be made in the
forthcoming months. To see all the survey results, visit
INFLATION RISE – UNISON RESPONSE
COMMENTING on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and
Retail Price Index (RPI) rising to 4.5% and 5.2%, UNISON General
Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:- "Inflation just keeps on
rising, piling misery onto millions of families. There is more pain
on the horizon, with energy price rises predicted. The dilemma of
choosing between heating and eating will return for many households
this winter. Public sector workers facing pay freezes and cuts, many
of whom are low paid women, are being pushed into poverty. The
Government must go back to the drawing board and stop the hard and
fast cuts that are punishing hardworking families, and choking off
Do you agree with UNISON?
Email our newsroom your views on this topic and let us
know what you think.