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Issue:- 03 November  2011

Road rage causes 1 in 10 motorists to attack other road users

A new study into road rage has revealed Britain is a nation of irate motorists with 75% admitting they get angry with other motorists when theyíre behind the wheel. Even more worrying, 10% have followed another driver and a similar number have even attacked another driver as a result of road rage.

The poll of 3,000 UK motorists by insurance specialist Admiral has revealed while 72% of drivers admit they feel road rage, 76% act by shouting at other drivers and 52% make offensive gestures...  Itís not just your stereotypical aggressive male drivers who see red behind the wheel. The results reveal road rage affects both genders but although women are more likely to feel angry when driving, it is men who are the most likely to shout or gesticulate at motorists who annoy them.

Admiral managing director Sue Longthorn said:- "Sadly road rage doesnít just manifest itself in shouting and gesticulating.  13% of the drivers we questioned said they have followed a driver that has annoyed them while 9% admitted they have attacked another driver. The same number said they have been attacked by another driver themselves.  Itís bad enough letting yourself be annoyed by other road users, but following them or even worse, attacking them is crazy. You have to ask yourself is it worth getting that upset at other road users? Will getting angry achieve anything other than raising your blood pressure?"

It seems our roads have become more hostile places than they were 5 years ago.  47% of those polled said they think other drivers are more angry than they were 5 years ago. However, drivers certainly arenít as critical when looking at their own driving habits. 18% feel they are more angry when driving now than 5 years ago.

Sue added:- "Vehicles can bring out the darker side of our personalities. Many of us will know someone who is mild mannered most of the time, but who, inside the confines of their car, can become easily enraged by another driverís, often harmless, actions."

This view is backed up by Admiralís research which found 42% of drivers wouldnít consider themselves to be an angry person but do get angry and frustrated when driving.  But what actions cause road rage? Admiral found other motorists driving too close or cutting us up gets our blood boiling the most, along with the general rudeness of other road users, driving too slowly and people who get distracted and do not pay attention.

More than half of those polled also said they are much more likely to get road rage if theyíre in a rush, driving on inner city roads, in traffic jams, at roundabouts or on motorways.  However, itís not all bad news. Although a large proportion of motorists do see red when driving, 63% said they think it is wrong to show road rage and 68% said they feel guilty when they do.

City gets more Lord Mayors

LIVERPOOL is to have an extra 25 Lord Mayors for 2012!  12 Junior Lord Mayors, representing primary schools and 13 Young Lord Mayors, representing secondary schools, will be sworn in on Thursday, 3 November 2011, in a ceremony at the Town Hall.  They will shadow the Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast, when he attends events, each spending a month with him. The Young and Junior Lord Mayors are voted in by the Schools Parliament.  Councillor Prendergast said:- "It is a great idea to have young people acting as Lord Mayor and for them to be involved in the civic side of life. It is very encouraging that so many of them are showing an interest in their city and I am sure they will do a great job over 2012."

The new Junior and Young Lord Mayors are:-

November 2011 Amy Allport, St Margaretís Anfield Thomas Clarke, St Edwardís

Deccember 2011 Emmanuel Anum, New Park Sam Darby, SFX

January 2012 Emma Bailey, Holy Name Luke Hargreaves, North Liverpool

Academy:-

Febuary 2012 Sarah Dualeh, Childwall C E Isabella Henney Archbishop Blanch

March 2012 Daniel Flood,St Paschal Baylon Jessica Lunt ,St Julieís

April 2012 Lucy Fox ,Lister Juniors Kate McCormack, St Julieís

May 2012 Emily Hollinshead, New Park Jayne Massey, Holly Lodge

June 2012 Megan Howarth ,Arnot St Mary Peter Ross ,St Edwardís

July 2012 Rebecca Langley, Knotty Ash Lisa Shoko, Archbishop Beck

August 2012 Clare Sellers, Alder Hey Natasha Taylor, Belvedere Academy

Hospital Youth Forum:-

September 2012 Ellis Wright, Children in Care Georgia Tibke, Archbishop Beck

Council:-

October 2012 Lillyann Wright, Children in Care Connor Hemnel, Aigburth High

Council School and Christopher Lamb, Sandfield Park

1 year on and new study shows limited progress for LEPs

ON the anniversary of the announcement of the first 24 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the governmentís flagship policy for delivering economic growth and decentralisation, a study published by Centre for Cities shows that many of the original LEPs have made limited progress.

8 have yet to have their boards recognised by government, only 2 have produced a long-term strategic plan and 5 do not have a dedicated website. In some cases, LEPs have appointed huge boards and advisory teams; the South East LEP has 43 board members and the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP has 14 associated focus groups, with at least 160 people involved. This, the Centre argues, could add a level of bureaucracy and process that might slow decision-making.  In addition to these issues, some LEPs also face mismatches between spatial geography and the political and economic reality and pressures of partnership working across new boundaries.

Centre for Cities argues that LEPs still have potential if the government acts now to empower them to meet the rising expectation that they will be primary drivers of the governmentís growth agenda. The government needs to give capable LEPs the resources, powers and freedoms to take forward policies for local growth by devolving responsibility for transport and skills, as well as providing some financial support for the administration of the LEP.

The study also advises that local authorities have a key role to play in this process by overcoming local politics and sensitivities and working in partnership for the benefit of the wider area. They should match the money provided by national government to support the administration of the LEP and offer up some input into strategic planning.

Andrew Carter, Director of Policy and Research at Centre for Cities said:- "While a handful of LEPs are doing really well, many are struggling to come close to meeting the objectives that were set to them by government this time last year. One of our biggest concerns is the spatial geography of some LEPs does not match the economic and political geography, creating real barriers to effective influence over local economies. This means that many of the LEPs seem to be falling at the first hurdle, before boards are recognised or strategies considered. Some are too small, some are too big and several have boundaries which do not recognise important economic patterns such as travel to work areas. Some are developing large shadow boards and focus groups, likely to make it difficult to make strategic decisions for economic growth quickly and efficiently. Devolution to local level means varied progress is inevitable, but government set the LEPs up as a national policy. The LEPs that are progressing quickest, such as Leeds, should be supported to get on with the job. The government has some difficult decisions to make about some other LEPs, hamstrung by lack of funding or leverage and influence. If they want them to deliver national priorities, they should ensure they receive the help they need to get their houses in order."

Donít send your tax return on paper

IF you havenít sent in your 2010/11 Self Assessment return, you now must send it online if you want to avoid a penalty, as the 31 October 2011 deadline for paper returns has now passed.  Send in a paper tax return on or after 1 November 2011, and youíll have to pay a £100 penalty; even if there is no tax to pay or you pay the tax due on time; following the introduction of a new penalty regime this year. The longer you delay, the more you'll have to pay, as there are further late-filing penalties after 3, 6 and 12 months.  Your online tax return must reach HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by 31 January 2012. If you haven't sent an online tax return before, make sure you register for HMRC Online Services by 21 January 2012. This will allow HMRC time to send you your Activation Code. Registering for HMRC Online Services is simple, just by going to:- hmrc.gov.uk/online.  Itís important to remember that, if you do send a paper return after the 31 October 2011 deadline, you cannot avoid the £100 penalty by subsequently filing online.  For help and advice on completing a return, visit:- hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the Self Assessment helpline on:- 0845 9000 444.

UNISON WARNS AGAINST DRIVING DOWN PAY RATES - ORAL EVIDENCE TO LOW PAY COMMISSION

UNISON on 1 November 2011 say that they exposed the cuts that some businesses use to drive down social care workersí wages, in its oral evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The union was also highly critical of those employers pushing for lower youth pay rates, calling for a fair dayís pay for a fair dayís work.   The UKís largest union called for a substantial rise in the 2012 minimum wage, to fairly reflect the rising cost of living, moving to a living wage of £8 an hour after 2012.   Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- "Millions of workers deserve a substantial rise in the minimum wage to keep them above the breadline. Rising costs and Government cuts have resulted in a real struggle for the low paid. High youth unemployment is a stain on the country, but businesses are using it to call for lower minimum wage youth rates. However, young people struggling to start a career and survive on low wages will be pushed further into poverty. Over time this will increase turnover and other business costs and could be be a false economy. Social care employers have been passing funding cuts on by cutting wages for care staff. Rates for overnight sleep shifts in residential care have also been cut while others are trying to stop paying for the travelling time between clients for home care workers. The minimum wage is a vital safety net for millions of workers and a lasting legacy of the trade union and labour movement. However, it must rise substantially, to stop workers being exploited. The Government must be vigilant in enforcing the minimum wage to kick start the economy." Email us via:- news24@southportreporter.com & let us know what you think?

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