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Issue:- 27 October  2011


MORE than 5 times as many North West householders say they would bank the money saved from greening their home as would implement more energy saving measures.  That is the finding of a new study, released to mark the start of this yearís Energy Saving Week, running over 24 October to 28 October 2011, by the Energy Saving Trust, the independent body set up to help householders reduce their energy bills and combat climate change.

A survey of 2,024 householders in Great Britain carried out by ICM Research for the Energy Saving Trust asked respondents what they would do with £400 that they had saved by implementing energy saving measures at home. 

With recent reports showing that energy bills have almost doubled since 2004 as a share of household income, 50% of respondents in the North West said they would save the money.  8% North West householders said they would reinvest the money in additional energy efficiency measures, while slightly more (11%) said they would purchase new consumer appliances and gadgets such as a large flat screen TV, washing machine or smartphone.

However, if everyone in the North West put their £400 saving towards additional energy efficiency measures, they would collectively save £217m on their annual fuel bills Ė enough money to power the entire city of Manchester for more than 5 years Ė and prevent 960,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year.

The theme of this yearís Energy Saving Week is "take back control of your bills" and the Trust sees the survey findings as a warning sign that people are choosing to save money rather than cut their carbon emissions as the UK faces tough times ahead.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said:- "We are currently in austere times so itís no surprise that householders in the North West are trying to make every penny count.  But we are missing a trick by choosing to bank our cash from energy saving measures or spending the money saved on more gadgets. If we chose to reinvest the money saved in further greening our homes we could make even bigger savings in the face of rising energy costs. Thatís why weíre calling on all householders in the North West to use Energy Saving Week to take back control of your bills. Our message is that saving money and cutting your carbon emissions are not mutually exclusive. In terms of short and long-term cost savings there are a range of energy saving measures you can take in your home, and a raft of help and support out there to help you along the way."

19% of North Westerners surveyed said they are more interested in increasing their comfort levels by, for example, leaving their heating on for longer rather than maximising their fuel bill savings.  Economists call this the "rebound effect": when people implement energy saving measures in the home and then use more electricity on gadgets and the like, effectively undoing all their good work.

Sellwood added:- "A good example is getting your house insulated but then not turning your thermostat down. In these challenging economic times it is important to remember to take control of your fuel bills and maximise your fuel savings."

The survey also found that 67% of North West householders want to use gadgets and household appliances as efficiently as possible in a bid to save money on their fuel bill.  But when buying household appliances or gadgets 57% said the main factor is price with just 9% being influenced by the cost to run. And 75% of North West householders do not know how much it costs to power a 45 inch plasma TV for the year.

Sellwood added:- "The survey shows what we already know: that North Westerners have a genuine desire to use less energy and save money. With energy bills set to continue rising as a proportion of household income until at least 2015, one key way of helping your household budget is making your home more efficient and thatís what Energy Saving Week is all about."

The need for domestic electricity use to be reduced was highlighted earlier this month with the release of the Energy Saving Trustís Elephant in the Living Room report. It revealed that in 2009 the average British household contained a staggering t3 and a-half times as many gadgets and appliances as it did in 1990.

It also predicted that the UK will miss its 2020 target of a 34% reduction in domestic appliance electricity carbon emissions from 1990 levels by up to 7 million tonnes unless we change how we consume energy in the home.

Reminder About A Spooky Children's Night

IN just a few hours of us putting tickets online, we have sold our quota for what is going to be a fantastic event at a new local attraction called the ĎBridge Inn Community Farmí, on the edge of Formby. The farm is hosting a Halloween event aimed at children, aged 6 to 11. Its few remaining tickets are selling out very fast, so don't be slow, get your ticket today! The event will be an interactive night of spooky Halloween fun at the farm with a creepy tour, with surprises along the way, followed by games and with lots of prizes for the scariest costumes..! The event is designed to accommodate children with disabilities and learning issues as well. The farm is located at Moss Side, Formby, Merseyside, L37 0AF. The Spooky Tours being at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. Tickets are £6 (Advance £5). Booking is essential as spaces are limited. To book call:- 01704 830 303 or call:- 07805 439 766. Some of the spooky fun will be provided by:- Gambolling Arena Theatre Company, who are locally based. The remaining tickets are available from the Farm and a limited number available from Formby Books, in Derbyshires.

Quarterly Crime Stats for October 2011

CRIME in Merseyside has continued to fall for the 5th year in a row with 5,323 fewer victims in the latest 12 month period (July 2010 to June 2011).  Statistics released by the Home Office show an overall reduction of 5.1% in reported incidents compared to a national average of 4%.

Since 2005/06, there has been a 43% fall in overall crime and the latest official government figures show the Force has achieved significant reductions in acquisitive crime and violence while encouraging greater reporting by victims of sexual offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen King, said:- "I am pleased to report that crime has again fallen here on Merseyside which means that fewer people have been victims and our towns and city remain safe places to live in, work and visit.  For the past five years we have seen continual reductions amounting to almost 75,000 fewer offences since 2005 and we remain committed to doing all we can to provide the best possible policing service to the people of Merseyside.  Acquisitive crimes such as car crime, robbery and house burglaries are down and it is pleasing to see from the British Crime Survey that people agree that the police and partners such as councils are dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour and other local concerns.  Liverpool is an incredibly vibrant and popular city for visitors be it day-trippers or people coming for a night out and tackling theft, which has unfortunately risen slightly, remains a priority for our dedicated city centre team.  We will continue to take firm action against offenders and provide a reassuring presence in the city centre and our other towns but people can also play their part by keeping belongings such as purses, wallets, phones and cameras safe and secure. They can also register their valuables on a national online database so that the police can reunite stolen possessions with their rightful owners."

Following the formation in 2010 of a dedicated rape investigation 'Unity' team in which specialist detectives work alongside expert CPS lawyers to build cases, the number of sexual offences reported to the police has continued to rise.

ACC King said:- "Although we recognise the devastating impact a sexual offence can have on the victim we are encouraged by this continued increased as we do not want victims to suffer in silence. Sexual offences have historically been vastly under-reported in the UK but by providing a dedicated support service to victims, we are seeing more cases reach court and more offenders prosecuted.  This in turn builds confidence in other victims who see justice being done and are courageous enough to tell the police what has happened to them.  Our approach with Unity, where specialist detectives and prosecutors work together in the same team to build cases against offenders, has achieved improved conviction rates and is highly regarded by other police forces. We also work closely with agencies that support victims of sexual assault so that forensic evidence and information about offenders is shared.  All of these achievements are testament to the dedication and commitment of our officers and staff and the work we do with our partners and communities. However we are not complacent and will keep striving to provide an excellent police service to the people of Merseyside."

Chairman of Merseyside Police Authority, Cllr Bill Weightman, said:- "Crime continues to fall in Merseyside faster than the average across England and Wales, which is great news for our local communities. Itís also a major achievement for Merseyside Police, especially considering the current financial climate, and is evidence that decisions taken by the police authority have cushioned the impact on frontline services. It is recognised, however, that the financial cuts being faced now and in the future will result in difficult and challenging decisions which will have an impact on the frontline.  In relation to the number of sexual offences in Merseyside, in 2010 Merseyside Police Authority invested in the rape investigation unit, Unity, as itís vital victims feel able to report such dreadful crimes and that specialists within Merseyside Police work with others to improve conviction rates."

2 Men Arrested After Firearms Incident in Norris Green

MERSEYSIDE Police have confirm that 2 men, aged 20, have been arrested in connection with the firearms incident in Norris Green on Monday, 24 October 2011.

Officers were called to Whinhowe Road just before 12pm on Monday, 24 October 2011, after receiving reports that shots had been fired by 2 males on a scrambler bike at moving white Ford Transit van.   There have been no reports of anyone being injured during the incident.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Doherty, from Merseyside Police's Matrix team, said:- "This was an extremely reckless act that could have seen people injured or even killed. The offenders showed a dangerous disregard for not only the occupants of the van but also for members of the public who were in the area at the time. The offenders who carried out this attack need to be caught and I urge members of the community with any information that could help us with our investigation to come forward."

Both the bike and the van left the scene following the incident. 1 of the men was arrested on Monday, 24 October 2011 and the other on Tuesday, 25 October 2011.

Both had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage with intent.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Merseyside Police's Matrix team on:- 0151 777 5699, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.

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