Southport Reporter (R) Online Nespaper for Merseyside

Read our Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy


Terms and Conditions

Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


Click on here to email our news room today!



Your free online newspaper for Merseyside
This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography.



Latest Edition



Order Photos  Help Client Admin Advert Options

Updated news stories weekly.  Published online only, every Thursday

Your online newspaper.   Your words.

Issue:- 21 June  2012

Shock poll results show ‘screen slaving’ workers putting their health at risk

NORTH West office workers are putting their mental and physical health at risk by working more than two hours extra each night on their commute and at home, a new survey for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) reveals.  60% of officers workers polled in the region for the CSP said they continued working on smartphones and other devices after they left the office, and spent an average of 2 hours 5 minutes doing so.  These stints came on top of an average of 6 hours 13 minutes in front of a screen in the office during their regular working day.  The national averages were 2 hours 18 minutes of work at home after 6 hours 22 minutes in front of a screen in the office.  The results are being released to coincide with the CSP’s Workout at Work Day on 19 June 2012, when physiotherapy staff across the UK encourage people to be more physically active in order to combat stress and avoid musculoskeletal disorders, like back pain.  On Workout at Work Day about 350 physiotherapists will go into workplaces across the UK to demonstrate easy, low-cost ways for employers to help their staff lead healthier lives.

Dr Helena Johnson, chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said:- “The results of this survey are a huge concern to physiotherapists, who see the consequences of poor posture and bad working practices each day. While doing a bit of extra work at home may seem like a good short-term fix, if it becomes a regular part of your evening routine then it can lead to problems such as back and neck problems, as well as stress-related illness. This is especially the case if you’re using handheld devices and not thinking about your posture. Talk with your employer if you are feeling under pressure.  Workout at Work Day is designed to raise awareness of how important it is to look after your mental and physical health to ensure a good work/life balance.  It is good that so many employers are taking part in the CSP’s Workout at Work Day but as these survey results show, there is still a lot more that can be done to improve the health of the nation’s workforce.”

The survey also revealed:-

51% of office workers said their out of hours working had increased in the past 2 years, but of these people just 7% said their boss was trying to do anything about it.

The main reasons cited for doing extra work were to ‘ease the pressure of the working day’ (38%) and ‘too much work to do’ (34%).

28% of people surveyed said additional work at home helped reduce their overall stress levels.

A worrying 20% want their boss to offer counselling services for stress.

Physiotherapists are concerned that ‘over working’ is storing up both physical and mental health problems for the future; particularly since 66% of those surveyed reported suffering job-related ill health such as headaches and back pain.

The CSP warned that poor posture when using smartphones and other mobile devices; which many people do their additional work on; can lead to back and neck pain.  Fewer than 1 in 4 people told the survey that they considered their posture when looking at screens outside of work. Long hours can also contribute to stress-related illness.

The CSP hopes employers will become more aware of the need to keep their staff healthy, and will use Workout at Work Day to encourage better working habits among staff. Simple low cost measures include:

 ► Encouraging staff to report any concerns about their health at an early stage

 ► Encouraging staff to take regular breaks and be physically active during lunchtimes

 ► Displaying leaflets and posters promoting good posture, health advice and activities for staff

 ► Arranging and supporting activities that help staff to get active, like lunchtime walking clubs

 ► Creating links with local gyms and clubs

 ► Implementing a Cycle to Work scheme and taking advantage of a tax exemption enabling you to loan to staff cycles and cycling equipment as a tax-free benefit

 ► Encouraging active travel to and from work e.g. cycling, walking and running

 ► Encouraging workstation assessments to reduce and treat musculoskeletal disorders.

Access to physiotherapy, fitness classes and ergonomically-designed chairs were three services that many workers in the survey said they would like their employer to pay for.

The CSP has produced a new free leaflet in association with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development called:- ‘Under Pressure’. This looks at the link between physical activity and mental wellbeing, with advice on staying happy and healthy at work.

For more information about Workout at Work Day or to access free leaflets with advice on staying fit for work, visit:-  The Twitter hashtag for the day is #workoutatwork.

RICS welcomes new proposals to keep rogue builders from your door

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has welcomed new measures announced by the government last week to protect North West residents from incompetent "cowboy" builders.

Tradesmen who operate self-check schemes, which allow them to assess their own work, will need to be accredited to an international quality standard in order to operate, the Department for Communities and Local Government said on Wednesday 6 June. Under the system there are also 18 independent organisations that will now conduct unannounced spot-checks, rather than intermittent prearranged inspections, to make the scheme more rigorous.

The proposals will also ensure that householders have a financial safety net in place such as a guarantee or insurance to catch rogue builders if they fail to complete work to a suitable standard.

Ian Perry, RICS North West Residential spokesperson says:- “Every year the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) receives thousands of complaints relating to cowboy builders and their poor workmanship. So these new measures are extremely needed as they will further protect people from shoddy work and raise the bar for self-check tradesmen.”

To coincide with this announcement, RICS is warning residents of the problems that can arise from choosing a building contractor based on price alone, as too good to be true quotes often are and can lead to legal disputes if the work completed is not to a quality standard.

To reduce the risk of getting into a legal dispute with a contractor, RICS strongly advises using a qualified practitioner who is a member of a recognised trade association or professional body as this means that they should adhere to required codes of practice. Such organisations will also have an appropriate regulatory framework or protection scheme in place which will help resolve a dispute, should one ever arise.

Ian, a chartered surveyor at Your Housing Group adds:- “Good builders are often a little pricier, not to mention extremely busy, especially with the increasing number of homeowners making improvements to their property instead of moving. However, they are worth the wait and the additional spend as quality work will stand the test of time.”

RICS recommend using the following site:- to locate a suitable professional contractor within your specific area.


UNISON the UK’s largest public sector union representing 1.4 million members is appalled that nearly a hundred Support Staff and Teachers are to be sacked in the closure of 2 Merseyside schools while at the same time a new “Free” school is being established.

St George of England High School and St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School, both in Sefton, Merseyside were scheduled for closure in 2013 due to falling pupil numbers however this was brought forward to 2012 because of the formation of the Hawthornes Free School. The Council and the new “Free School” have been locked in a battle as to whether the staff working at both high schools have the right to be transferred to the new school under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE).

The new Free School refuses to accept the transfer of the existing Support Staff and teachers and are advertising posts nationally while at the same time nearly a hundred dedicated staff at the two existing High Schools received dismissal notices from Sefton Council but they are refusing to pay them their redundancy entitlement.

The Chair of Governors at St George of England and also ‘coincidentally’ Chair of the new Free School Trust has recently resigned. One of his last acts as Chair of Governors was to sign the letter to all of his staff informing them that they would be dismissed without their legal entitlement to redundancy on 31 August.

UNISON, the trade union representing School Support staff, has over the last few months been attempting to protect their members’ rights and are concerned that the staff are casualties of the battle between the Council and the new Free School.

Glen Williams Branch Secretary and National Service Group Executive Member said:- “The way these staff have been treated is quite appalling. The Council and New Free School need to treat these staff with some dignity and agree whether TUPE applies or whether staff should be made redundant with their entitlement to redundancy pay. Instead they have been dismissed from their posts without any redundancy payments.  UNISON will vigorously pursue claims for it’s members through the legal system if necessary and have instructed their lawyers to issue notice to the parties informing them of their legal responsibilities. We urge the Council to rescind the dismissal notices sent out to staff until agreement can be reached on whether staff are entitled to transfer to the new Free School under TUPE or be made redundant”

They went on to say:- “We are not surprised that the Chair of Governors has resigned given the chaos caused by the establishment of the Free School and yet his position was secured as Chair of Governors of the new free school”.

Click on here to go back to this week's home page!

Our radio station phone in message line...   Call us now!

Click on this section to see last weeks edition of Southport and Mersey Reporter!

Sign up today for our daily email news service!

Sign up to our Daily Email News Service by clicking here now...

Southport & Mersey Reporter - leading the way for local news.
We where the UK's first online only newspaper!

All email addresses and information is held under the UK's Data Protection Act.

Highlighted events that are taking place this month:-

If you have an event and want to get it noticed, let us know by emailing us to:-

Click on the event title displayed above to find out about lots more events, as well as dates & times!

Our websites in our online series.   Group navigation, information and useful none group links...
Southport TV - Our online video archive. Liverpool Reporter - Our online music station. Mersey Reporter - OUR HUB WEBSITE.
Southport TV Liverpool Reporter Mersey Reporter Formby Reporter

Add to Google

This is what the moon is doing tonight.  Click on to find out why.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

Our live Southport Webcam.  To see click live, click on image.


Show us your location
Please sign our map and let us know where you are  from....


News Room Phone Number

(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge. 

Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint

Complaints Policy  -  Complaints Procedure  -  Whistle Blowing Policy

© PCBT Photography & PBT Media Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope