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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 26 April  2012

The North West is suffering most from austerity

UNEMPLOYMENT in the North West is now close to 10% of the working age population. The total number unemployed is now 325,000, up 18,000 in the quarter to February, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.  While there was a very modest fall in unemployment nationally, the North West sadly bucked the trend and suffered the biggest increase of any region in the UK. This raises concerns that the Government's austerity policies are having a particularly negative impact on less affluent regions.

UNISON, the UK's largest union is accusing the Government of being frozen into inaction by their no-hope policy of public service cuts.  Kevan Nelson, UNISON North West Regional Secretary said:-"An unemployment rate approaching 10% has very serious consequences in terms of social problems and wasted talent. There is an urgent need for the Government to re-think it's policy of austerity. Thousands of public sector jobs have been lost in the North West, with women being particularly affected. The private sector is not creating sufficient new jobs and the record number of people forced into part-time working is masking the sheer scale of unemployment.  Cuts are not the answer, we need investment in jobs and services to stimulate the economy and breathe new life into failing local economies."

New website launched for city centre pedestrians

RESIDENTS, visitors and students in and around Liverpool can now plan their routes and discover more of the city using a new website,, the urban walking route planner which generates route maps between any two points, giving journey time, calorie burn, step count and carbon saving information. The site can also generate flat level routes without any steps or obstacles for less able pedestrians - it's quick, free, healthy and green.  Working with Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Vision, Merseytravel's TravelWise campaign has supported the inclusion of Liverpool onto the Walk It website to coincide with the temporary closure of Liverpool Central Station and support those who would normally use Central Station to finish their journey on foot.  Walking is the perfect way to clear your head at the start or end of a busy day, even a 10 minute power walk can get your heart beating and the feel good hormones kicking around your body. During the station closure a shuttle bus service will operate from Moorfields and Lime Street stations, but by simply visiting you can plan an easy walking alternative, beat the crowds and step up your fitness!

Last Chance To Recognise Regional Stars Of Deaf Communication

PEOPLE wishing to honour those leading the way in deaf communication have less than 3 weeks before the search for the country's most inspirational teachers and learners draws to a close.  Organisers of the 2012 Signature Annual Awards are urging those who have a friend, relative or colleague making a real difference to the lives of the deaf community to complete their nomination before the awards' regional categories close on Wednesday, 2 May 2012.

Submissions for the regional Learner of the Year and regional Teacher of the Year awards must be made via:- before the May deadline.

Hosted by leading awarding body Signature, the annual awards aim to recognise individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to improving communications and access for deaf and deaf blind people.  Jim Edwards, Chief Executive of Signature, said:- "Since the launch of the 2012 Signature Annual Awards earlier this year we have already received some outstanding examples of how individuals up and down the country are making a significant contribution toward achieving a society in which deaf and deafblind people have full access.  However I'm certain there will be many more inspirational stories still to come, but time is running out. I'd urge anyone who knows a teacher or a learner who has made a real impact in their local community to step up and shout about their life-changing efforts before the deadline on 2 May."

The 2012 Signature Annual Awards will also mark Signature's 30th anniversary. Originally formed in 1982 as an academic research project at Durham University, Signature is now the UK's leading provider of accredited qualifications in sign language and other forms of deaf and deaf blind communication.

The awards' regional shortlists will be announced on 16 May 2012, with the regional winners unveiled on 13 June. Each regional winner will then progress to the national final later this year when the UK's Teacher of the Year and Learner of the Year will be chosen.

Nominations for the awards' remaining categories, including Community Spirit, Young Learner of the Year and Organisational Achievement, must be submitted by Wednesday, 27 June 2012.

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