Centres saved from closure
LIVERPOOL City Council has
devised proposals to keep all of its Children’s Centres open.
Following a detailed consultation, the Cabinet is being recommended
to approve an alternative plan for Church and Mossley Hill,
Childwall and Woolton, Hunts Cross and West Derby Children’s Centres
which had been proposed for closure. The council is proposing
achieving the £1 million saving by streamlining staffing and
administration and reconfiguring other Children’s Centres in the
Council Leader Joe Anderson said:- "I promised last year that
we would listen hard to representations from parents, carers and
staff to see if we could bring forward some form of workable
alternative which would keep all of the centres open.
We have taken on board suggestions made during the consultation
about finding savings by getting centres to work more closely
together and sharing management to come up with a plan.
Sadly due to the severe cuts in funding from central government, we
do not have money stashed away in a drawer which we can pull out to
plug the hole in the budget. Although the buildings will remain
open, the saving still has to be made and we will be doing that by
reviewing the staffing and administration costs at all centres.
I would like to place on record my thanks to staff, parents and
carers who have articulated their case so well during the
uncertainty of the last few months."
The city council delayed the start of consultation over the
proposals by 6 months to allow time for the centres to come up with
proposals. During the consultation, which ended before
Christmas, petitions with more than 11,000 names on were handed in
and public meetings were held at each centre.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said:-
"I am delighted that we have been able to come up with an
alternative plan which means we are able to keep all of the centres
open as they are a vital lifeline for many families.
I would like to thank the campaigners for working so constructively
with us to come up with and playing such an active part in the
consultation. Their passion, enthusiasm and commitment has
shone through over the last year."
No decision has yet been made about which centre each of the 4 will
be affiliated to, and the changes will not take effect until April
2012. The Cabinet will consider the recommendation on Friday,
20 January 2012.
EU rule breakers
left with egg on their faces over battery hens
SOUTHPORT Lib Dem Euro-MP
Chris Davies has received a personal assurance from the European
Commission that countries which do not comply with new welfare rules
for laying hens will be closely investigated and, if appropriate,
taken to court.
Under intense political pressure from Liberal Democrats in the
European Parliament, the Commission confirmed its commitment to put
in place infringement procedures as of January 2012.
Davies met with EU Commissioner Dalli to push for swift actions
against any country ignoring the new EU ban on battery cages.
He has told the media that:- "It is great news that the Commission refuses to
postpone the legal deadline for a ban of battery cages for chicken
and will hold to account countries who try and cheat.
The Commission must also support those countries such as the UK who
are using every means at their disposal to try and ban illegally
produced eggs from entering their markets.
Egg farmers in Britain and other countries that have met the new
standards must not face competition from those with less concern for
Until a full ban on illegal eggs and egg products is put in place,
consumers can take care to only buy products labelled free range or
organic with regard to their egg content."
According to EU Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli,
inspection teams will start their investigations in targeted EU
countries as of January 2012 to collect evidence of non-compliance
to back up the prosecution when it goes to court.
Davies pointed out that the Commissioner will be limited in what he
can do. Davies said:- "When I met him, John Dalli pointed out
that he has no police force and no army. He only has court processes
and sometimes these take time!"
In the UK, Defra has revealed that 30 UK farms still use battery
cages for up to 500,000 laying hens. However, the Government
announced that it expected full compliance with the new hen welfare
law by February and would prosecute any farmers using battery cages
after this date.
THE issue of modern-day slavery is
brought to British classrooms in a ground-breaking new initiative.
The International Slavery Museum is launching the UK’s first
contemporary slavery teaching pack and website in partnership with
the University of Hull's Wilberforce Institute for the Study of
Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) and UNESCO.
Aimed at teachers instructing children aged between 10 and 14 (Key
Stage 2 and 3), the aim of the resource is to support teachers who
wish to explore the issues of contemporary slavery within the
Despite slavery being outlawed in every country in the world, as
many as 27 million people endure forms of treatment that merit the
term slavery just as surely as those bought and sold in the
transatlantic slave trade 200 years ago. Many victims of
contemporary slavery are young people – the same age as those taught
in schools. The website:-
Dr Richard Benjamin, head of the International Slavery Museum,
says:- "This is an invaluable resource which greatly enhances
the work of the International Slavery Museum. It is a major
extension of our educational resources.
Students learn how basic human rights, including those of people
their own age, continue to be violated. We hope they will develop
empathy with those enduring slavery today and become motivated to
contribute to their fight for freedom."
The website has been produced with particular reference to the
teaching of Citizenship within the National Curriculum of England
and Wales. It is supported by a printed 73-page teachers’ pack
filled with facts including:-
► Information on contemporary forms of slavery and initiatives to
outlaw and combat it.
Teaching resources consisting of a
set of lesson plans and supporting materials such as worksheets and
A list of campaigns and
organisations that can help with research.
A glossary with clear explanations
of key concepts to help understand, think about and discuss
The new resource follows
commemorations of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the
British slave trade in 2007 when the International Slavery Museum
Dr Benjamin adds:- "Many schools marked the anniversary with
assemblies, projects, displays and events. The resource underlines
that slavery is not confined to history - it is a contemporary issue
which through the medium of education can be challenged."
Project lead, Dr Joel Quirk from the University of Hull, says:-
"We hope that when students encounter this material, they will learn
about how basic human rights, including those of people their own
age, continue to be violated, and that they will develop empathy
with those enduring slavery today and become motivated to contribute
to their fight for freedom.” He continues:-
“This resource has been produced with particular reference to the
teaching of Citizenship within the National Curriculum of England
and Wales. We hope it will also be used beyond these borders among
students aged 10-14."
for charity founder
LIVERPOOL City Council will
be asked next week to consider awarding the Freedom of the City of
Liverpool to children’s charity founder, Stephen Yip.
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Prendergast, said:-
"I am delighted to be recommending Stephen’s name to be added to the
Freedom Roll of Association and Institutions of the City of
Stephen’s charity, KIND has spent over 35 years helping and
supporting disadvantaged children and families in and around the
North West; he is an inspiration to others and a great ambassador
for the city.
This accolade is recognition of the hard work, dedication, kindness
and generosity that Stephen has given to those less fortunate and a
great way to thank him for his contributions to the city." KIND was founded by Stephen in 1975 and has to date worked with
thousands of young people and families. It recognises that every
child, regardless of their background, has something important to
offer and believes in the importance of investing in the future;
This is done through education, by offering learning skills and
personal development and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle
where children express themselves in a positive and responsible way.
In December last year Stephen was appointed as Deputy Lord
Lieutenant of Merseyside. Stephen’s organisation (KIND) received the
LJMU Corporate Fellowship award in 2000 and Stephen has also
received the MBE for his charitable works.
If agreed a special ceremony will be held, at a date to be agreed,
at which Stephen will receive the Freedom award.