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Issue:- 20 October  2011


ROYAL Mail are making some changes to the way it delivers mail in Southport over the next few weeks. From this week, postmen and women at Southport Delivery Office will use new delivery methods and adopt revised delivery routes as these changes are introduced on a phased basis. 

"Royal Mail provides one of the most comprehensive and best value mail services in the world. Our postmen and women play a vital role in the Southport area, as well as across the rest of the UK, where we deliver to almost 29 million addresses, 6 days a week.  However, we need to modernise the way we operate. We are therefore making changes at our Southport Delivery Office to maintain our services and to keep our prices amongst the lowest in Europe." they told us in a press release.

Why is Royal Mail are making these changes?:-

"The way in which we communicate with each other has changed dramatically. Unfortunately, fewer letters are now posted every day and Royal Mail needs to organise its delivery routes to be as efficient as possible. We also deliver more larger items and so we are investing in new equipment to carry these items to customers even more securely. The new equipment also reduces the risk of injury to our postmen and women from carrying heavier mail bags."
said Royal Mail.

What this means for Southport:-

Royal Mail will continue to deliver in the morning and for a longer period during the day. Many customers will continue to get their mail by lunchtime.

The time customers receive mail will depend on where they live on the new delivery route. This may be later or possibly earlier than current delivery times.

When mail volumes vary, we may need to adjust delivery arrangements and times.

If customers have any queries they can call the Royal Mail Customer Services Team on:- 0845 601 1399.

For deaf and hard of hearing customers can use the Textphone:- 0845 600 0606.

Local elected representatives and business groups are also being advised of these changes.  These changes will require a period of adjustment for staff. However, Royal Mail said that they will be doing everything possible to maintain a high level of service and thanks customers for their understanding.

Royal Mail’s Collections and Delivery Sector Manager, Hannah Stott, said:- "We are proud of the high regard in which our postmen and women are held in this area. The changes to delivery routes will mean that a member of our local and experienced team will still be delivering to our customers in Southport.  The local delivery team and I are fully committed to providing a high quality of service that is as reliable and friendly as customers have come to expect from Royal Mail in Southport over many years."

Co-operative Group Travel

THE management of the new Joint Venture between the Co-operative Group Travel, Midlands Co-op Travel and Thomas Cook have announced the start of consultations on 300 potential redundancies. They are proposing to consolidate various parts of their support functions into the Thomas Cook Head Office in Peterborough, resulting in redundancies at the existing Co-operative Group Travel and Midlands Co-op offices in Burslem, Manchester, Ilkeston and Lichfield. Sharon Ainsworth, Usdaw National Officer said:- "This news will not be a big surprise to our members, but that does not make it any less devastating for them and their families. We were pleased that the Co-op have maintained 120 jobs at their Burslem office, working in the Group’s membership division, but that will not fill the hole left by the relocation of their Travel head office. While there may be some jobs available in Peterborough, it is unlikely that many of our members will be able to relocate, so unfortunately it looks like a redundancy situation for many. Consultations with the joint venture are ongoing and we will continue to examine their business case in detail. We will be working closely with the management of the Joint Venture to do everything possible to help our members with their efforts in gaining new employment. Our members in Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-op have worked extremely hard in very difficult circumstances, while their future has hung in the balance for the past 12 months. Their professionalism and commitment has been exemplary."

New deal to create 1300 apprenticeships

MORE than 1300 apprenticeships are set to be created in Liverpool over the next 3 years through a new £1.1 million Community Interest Company.  The city council is pumping £800,000 into the 'Liverpool Apprenticeship Service', which is set to be approved at a Cabinet meeting on Friday 21 October following a competitive tender process.

The project will be a joint venture with Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 1700 businesses in the city. They have partnered with Liverpool Community College who are putting a further £300,000 into the scheme, and the Eldonian Group Limited.  The new Community Interest Company is part of the council’s commitment to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities, which has already seen 635 positions created since May 2010 through a range of initiatives.

Councillor Nick Small, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills, said:- "The new Liverpool Apprenticeship Service will play a significant role in creating high quality employment opportunities for people in the city.  I am pleased that we have been able to award the contract to the Chamber of Commerce who have an unrivalled relationship with hundreds of firms in the city. They will work closely with Liverpool Community College and the Eldonian Group Limited to make sure that the apprenticeships are high quality and lead to permanent employment.  A lack of skills is the main factor in preventing residents from securing employment and that is why this scheme is so important to reducing worklessness in the city."

The scheme will be particularly aimed at 16-19 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET); care leavers; teenage parents; looked after children; young offenders; residents from disadvantaged communities and black and minority ethnic groups.

The employers targeted will include sectors that do not have a high take up rate of apprenticeships, and those in areas which are a priority for the City Region such as the Low Carbon Economy.  A minimum of at least 250 apprenticeships will be created in the first year.

Tony McGann, Vice Chair of the Eldonian Group Limited - which works on social, physical and regeneration projects in the Vauxhall area of north Liverpool - said:- "The Eldonians are absolutely delighted with the news that Liverpool City Council is creating 1300 apprenticeships across the City.  We are hopeful that many of the apprenticeships will be taken up by people from the North End of Liverpool and will give young people aged between 16 and 24 an opportunity that will lead to permanent employment.  It just goes to show you that despite the enforced budget cuts and against all the odds, Liverpool City Council is still trying to make things happen in this City.  The Eldonians will be actively encouraging our community to take up this, once in a lifetime, opportunity."

The city council will have a 19.9% shareholding in the Community Interest Company, and will also be represented on the Board of Directors.

Liverpool’s Director of Regeneration and Employment, Nick Kavanagh, said:- "The new Community Interest Company will help transform the lives of many hundreds of people, giving them a leg up on to the employment ladder and the chance to develop their skills so they can compete for a job."

The apprenticeships which have already been created through a range of city council initiatives since May 2010 are:-

► 250 - in the hotel sector through the De Vere Academy

► 133 - in a range of private sector companies through a business grant scheme

► 100 - young apprentices through the Merseyside Apprenticeship Programme

► 80 – at Liverpool City Council

► 28 – at Liverpool Mutual Homes

► 24 - at Enterprise, the council’s highways, street scene and refuse partner

► 20 - at Glendale, the council’s parks maintenance partner

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