Euro MP meets
with African campaigners and pledges support for strong transparency
THE push for stronger
transparency laws for oil, gas and mining companies is gathering
pace. The European Parliament and Council are currently examining
potentially groundbreaking legislation that would require all
European listed as well as large private oil, gas, mining and
logging companies to disclose the payments they make to governments
around the world on a project by project basis.
Arlene McCarthy, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the EU
Transparency Directive met with Publish What You Pay campaigners
from Chad, Ghana and Niger yesterday. Arlene said:- "Talking to civil society representatives from Africa has confirmed
the enormous benefits country-by-country reporting for EU companies
will have on developing countries.
Especially project-level disclosure will allow local communities in
resource-rich countries to expose any corruption and hold their
governments accountable for using revenues towards development.
With more information for European investors too, and a more stable
operating environment for companies, this is a win-win situation and
I intend to push for the strongest possible measures on
In 2008, exports of oil and minerals from Africa were worth roughly
€297 billion, nearly 9 times the value of international aid to the
continent (€33 billion).
Commenting on the meeting Steve Manteaw from Ghana and Chair of the
PWYP Africa Steering Committee said:- "We welcomed the
opportunity to meet with Ms McCarthy to bring our concerns to her.
This legislation will make a real difference in our ability to
ensure the revenues generated from our natural resources benefit
everyone rather than a select few.
What we need are strong laws that are fit for purpose. This means no
exemptions being granted to companies under any circumstance and
strong project-level reporting which will enable communities and
local governments to track the payments owed to them."
The meeting came on the heels of a speech Bill Gates made this week
in the European Parliament where he reiterated his call for the G20
countries to endorse legally binding transparency requirements in
the extractive industries and voiced his support for the EU rules
currently under consideration.
Manchester says 20 is plenty
LIVERPOOL and Southport
have now added many 20mph speed limits on some roads, and now Road
safety campaigner have joined in celebration with Manchester Liberal
Democrats after a motion to reduce the default speed limit on
Manchester roads became Council policy on 1 February 2012. The
motion has received high level backing with Lib Dem Transport
Minister Norman Baker MP giving it his full approval saying:-
"I will be very happy to meet Councillors next time I am in
Manchester, and look forward to the Council taking forward the
increase in the use of 20mph limits which I have made possible."
In the end it was passed unanimously. but do readers think the
move to slow down is a good one or a bad one for us all? Do you
think the Motorway should be increased to 80mph as default the
national speed limit and the national speed on residential roads
dropped from 30mph to 20mph? Email your views to
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you
New plan for
LIVERPOOL City Council is
to launch a consultation over a new model of operating its 26
Children’s Centres. It follows a decision to approve an
alternative plan for Church and Mossley Hill, Childwall and Woolton,
Hunts Cross and West Derby Children’s Centres, which had previously
been proposed for closure.
The council will achieve the £2 million saving by streamlining
staffing and administration and reconfiguring other Children’s
Centres in the city. Under the new plans, 10 centres will
become ‘hubs’ with the 16 remaining becoming ‘satellites’ affiliated
Universal services such as stay and play sessions and rhyme time
will still be provided at all 26 centres, but some more intensive
services will be based at the hubs, with staff working on an
outreach basis either travelling to satellite centres or to the
homes of families.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for education, said:-
"This is a brand new way of thinking about how we provide services
which will mean we are able to keep all of the centres open.
It enables us to find the necessary savings by getting centres to
work more closely together and sharing management.
One of the things that came out of the consultation over the
proposal to close the four centres was that they are a vital
lifeline for families and they didn’t want to see buildings close.
This plan addresses that issue and we are hopeful that it will mean
that we won’t have to propose any closures in the next few years.
We have done our best to group the centres together logically and
take into account geography and levels of deprivation.
We are keen to hear the views of parents and carers and we will take
into account their opinions, however there is no additional money
and we have to achieve the saving to keep all 26 centres open."
Geographical location, deprivation and the number of children in the
local area has been taken into account when deciding which centres
are hubs and which are satellites.
The hubs and satellites that are being proposed are:-
► Clubmoor Ellergreen; Croxteth
► County Walton; Fazakerley
► Dingle Church and Mossley Hill
► Kensington Picton
► Granby Wavertree
► Speke Garston; Hunts Cross
► Belle Vale Childwall and Woolton
► Tuebrook Anfield; Stoneycroft
► Yew Tree Knotty Ash; West Derby
► Everton Fountains; Vauxhall
A bid for £500,000 of funding is also to be made to provide an
additional 26 support workers who will provide targeted family
A formal consultation over the proposals will start in February and
it is hoped that the changes will be implemented in September.
handcuffed himself to a goalpost at Goodison Park
MERSEYSIDE Police have
confirm that a man arrested and charged after running onto the pitch
at and handcuffed himself to a goalpost during an Everton match
between Everton and Manchester City, at Goodison Park, on Thursday,
31 January 2012. The 46 year old, John Joseph Foley of Lord Street,
Southport, was later charged with going onto the playing area during
a football match, an offence under the Football Offences Act 1991.
He has now been bailed to appear
at Liverpool City Magistrates Court on 17 February 2012. It has been
reported that he has issued an apology to Blues fans, for the 5
minutes, 1 man demonstration, that is said to have been aimed at
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, seated in the grandstand. The protest
did not affect Everton's play, as they went on to beat the league
leaders 1 to 0 thanks to a Darren Gibson goal.
Do you have any views on this? If
you do, please let us know by emailing us to:-