investment for city
AN extra 2000 new homes
will be built in Liverpool in the next 3 years under ambitious plans
unveiled by the city council which will see £130m invested in
housing. And there will also be a major drive to bring empty
property back into use, the potential introduction of a mortgage
scheme to help first-time buyers and the creation of a £20m housing
fund. It means that over the next 3 years the council will be
able to lever in an estimated £130m for new housing developments.
The plan aims to improve the quality and range of the housing stock
in the city by working with Registered Providers (RP); previously
known as Registered Social Landlords; and private developers. It
will involve making council-owned brownfield sites, throughout the
city, available for housing at no cost, although RPs would have to
enter into some form of clawback agreement in the case of sites
which are not ultimately developed.
Councillor Joe Anderson, City Council Leder, said:- “This is
the biggest investment of this type we have seen for decades.
When I took over as leader I made it clear that housing was one of
my top priorities and this plan will help deliver significant
improvements at a time when we are facing real economic challenges.
Not only will our housing stock be improved through this and other
building schemes which are taking place in the city, but it will
create much-needed jobs and help build sustainable communities.
We are investing in this area to save. We will be providing housing
which will encourage people to stay in the city which boosts its
economy. But this is not just about social housing, it is a
unique opportunity for regeneration and growth which will produce
thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships.
Along with our investment in eight new schools and through the
council’s Asset Backed Vehicle, which allows us to use our land and
buildings to attract long-term investment from the private sector
and so stimulate regeneration, we are looking at around half a
billion pounds of investment in the city creating growth and jobs.”
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing said:- “It
makes eminent sense to invest in housing in this way. Over time we
can recoup a good part of our investment by the increased income
from council tax and through the Government’s new homes bonus.
It is vital for the city that we provide the type of affordable
homes that people want. With the ending of the Housing Market
Renewal Initiative programme and the general lack of investment in
the housing market we have to find imaginative ways of providing the
type of good quality homes people in this city want.
By releasing sites at no cost, providing a subsidy and working with
private developers and registered providers, we will see 2000 new
homes built in this city in the next three years on top of the
hundreds which are currently being built. We have a waiting list of
18,000 and we will drastically reduce this by providing the types of
homes people desperately need.
We are also going to tackle the problem of empty homes. There has
been some success in reducing the number in recent years but a lot
more can be done and we are going to have a dedicated team to deal
We are also looking to provide help for first-time buyers to get
them on the housing ladder.”
As well as the new build proposals, the plan also includes creating
a special team to make a concerted effort to deal with empty homes
in the city. The number of empty properties has fallen from 11% of
the city’s housing stock in 1998 to 6% last year but it is felt this
can be improved by a mixture of persuasion and enforcement action on
For the mortgage scheme, £3m could be made available to initially
help 200 first time buyers, and repayments will be used to help fund
Nick Kavanagh, council’s director for regeneration and employment,
said:- “This is a prime example of the council working in
partnership with the private sector and social housing landlords to
improve the quality of housing in the city while developing
sustainable regeneration in our communities.”
It is proposed that the plan will be financed through borrowing and
by using capital receipts. The council has also bid for £10m of
funds through the Housing Market Renewal Transition Fund and could
potentially receive revenue from the New Homes Bonus.
Local children invited to a right royal
audition of King And I - Auditions now Announced!
LIVERPOOL Empire Theatre and Music
and Lyrics Ltd are seeking enthusiastic and talented young people to
take part in next April’s spectacular production of The King and I,
starring Ramon Tikaram and Josefina Gabrielle.
The King’s children
are an integral part of this all time classic story and always a
favourite with audiences.
Boys and girls aged 5 to 14 years and of all ethnicities are invited
to apply. Candidates must have dark hair and the ability to sing and
dance. No previous experience is necessary, just a great deal of
energy and enthusiasm!
Candidates must be available to attend the following audition times
(applicable to their age):-
Saturday, 19 November 2011 -
8.30am to 11am Girls and Boys aged 5 to 8 years.
11am to 1.30pm Girls and Boys aged 9 to 14
Audition Location:- The Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street,
Liverpool, L1 1JE.
Those wishing to audition MUST pre-register by completing and
returning an application form and 2 passport sized photographs no
later than 6pm, Thursday, 17 November 2011.
Application forms can be
This is a great opportunity for young performers to appear on the
famous Empire stage in a fabulous production of one of the best
loved musicals of all time.
BSL Messy Church
at Liverpool Cathedral
Photographs:- BSL Messy Church
LIVERPOOL Cathedral is to host its
next British Sign Language (BSL) Messy Church event on 19 November
Messy Church is a common expression of church in the Church of
England. It encourages whole families to come together for craft
activities, food, story-telling and celebration around a Biblical
theme. The idea is to make Church accessible and fun for the whole
family, offering something different to usual Sunday morning
The next Messy Church in the Concert Room of Liverpool Cathedral
(4pm-5.30pm) will be conducted in BSL as well as spoken English and
it will be aimed at families who use BSL because either parents,
grandparents or children are deaf. The theme for this month’s Messy
Church is the Good Samaritan and activities will include making
edible lollipop ladies, painting with marbles and bandaging people
up. All are welcome.
Rev Dr Hannah Lewis, Team Leader in the Liverpool Diocese for Work
Among Deaf People, is leading the session. Hannah said:- “Our
first BSL Messy Church in March was so successful that we couldn’t
wait to plan our next one. The idea isn’t about providing access to
a hearing project for deaf people, but rather about establishing an
entirely new group where all can participate together regardless of
whether they are deaf or hearing. Messy Church is a fantastic way
for all families to keep in touch with Church if going to the normal
Sunday services is not possible. All are welcome to come along.”
No pre-booking is required. Simply turn up to join in the fun!
More information from Rev Hannah Lewis,
or text:- 07919 411817.
Finance Fitness a step in the
right direction, says business support group
A business support group
has welcomed the Government’s new Finance Fitness campaign. But
while the Forum of Private Business supports the new initiative,
which will seek to improve small businesses cash flow issues, the
lobby group says it remains down to banks to deliver on their pledge
to increase lending, without which any assistance is pointless.
The Finance Fitness scheme, launched by Business Minister Mark Prisk,
aims to help small firms assess and improve all areas of business
finance. It will see Government offering SME’s advice on cash flow
management, and the importance of maintaining a good credit rating
for lending purposes. While the Forum says any additional
support for SMEs, particularly from Government, is a step in the
right direction, it believes banks must also play their part by
increasing lending, reducing borrowing costs, end early repayment
penalties, and return to localised decision making on lending.
The Forum’s Senior Policy Adviser, Alex Jackman, said:- “In an
economic environment characterised by continuing credit
restrictions, clear and thorough financial information is demanded
by the finance and credit industry to assess risk. Any help for
businesses to maximise their chance of getting a ‘yes’ from their
bank manager is clearly welcome news for SMEs, and sends out a
positive message that government understands enterprise is the key
to getting the economy back on track. But while it remains
unsustainable for lenders' decisions on credit worthiness to be made
centrally and using over-centralised risk aversion criteria,
business owners should be proactive in controlling their own
destinies. Reacting to the demands of lenders by providing thorough
financial projections, with up-to-date, accurate financial
information is a sound basis for that. The Forum is still calling
for greater collaboration between banks and businesses and a return
to proper relationship banking. This is would help ease the punitive
risk criteria lending we have seen in recent years, and subsequently
bring down lending costs.” The Government’s new scheme
will also see firms made aware of alternate sources of credit, as
opposed to the usual high street lenders. Advice will also be
offered to business on issues around late payment, the amount of
time small firms are waiting to get paid by their customers, the
impact this has on businesses, as well as advice on how to get paid
on time. Mr Jackman added:- “It’s high time that the
Government put the spotlight on the importance of businesses’
finances. Many small businesses only approach banks for funding when
cash flow is at its lowest, which of course is the worst time to
negotiate a good deal. Solid advice from those who represent
business, coupled with a Government drive to raise awareness, will
help small businesses to better manage their finances in tough
economic times and reap the benefits of better credit scores and
improved invoicing processes. Of course, concrete Government action
in the area of late payment would be even more helpful, and the
Forum will use the opportunity of a spotlight on financial readiness
to lobby for more to be done to tackle this issue.”
Naked ladies are
top of the bill
ACADEMIC lecture discusses
role of burlesque dancers in 19th century America. An insight into
life as a performing ‘naked lady’ is the topic of an upcoming
academic talk in Preston. Dr Theresa Saxon, from the University of
Central Lancashire (UCLan), is giving a lecture entitled
‘Naked Ladies: Burlesques, Ballets and Leg-Shows in 19th Century
American Theatre’. The talk, taking place in the Harris
Library on 5 December 2011, at 5.00pm, is an examination of women in
popular American theatre performances from the 1860s to the 1880s.
It is based on the Literature and Cultures Subject Leader’s current
research and taken from her book, American Theatre: History,
Context, Form, which is being publishing this year by Edinburgh
University Press. Dr Saxon said:- “Popular theatre is much
maligned and female actors are criticised as either stupid or
‘wayward’ or both for performing in ‘leg shows,’ which were dance
shows with scanty costuming. My research has led me to challenge
that assertion, finding examples of women on stage who benefitted
financially and were active participants in the display of their
flesh.” Tickets are free, to reserve your place contact Dr
email or call:- 01772 893031.