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Issue:- 21 March 2013

On screen and online

A BRAND new website showcasing Liverpool as one of the UK's top filming locations has launched.  For the first time, the new site - will have details the hundreds of movies, television programmes, adverts and music videos, which have been filmed in Liverpool. This dates back to as far as 1896, when a film called Liverpool Scenes was shot in the City by Alexandre Promio for the Lumiere Brothers. It's the earliest recorded footage of Liverpool's Lime Street Station and the electric Overhead Railway.

The list is bang up to date and includes details of the movie Noble which is currently being filmed in the City and tells the true story of a woman who overcame her horrific childhood in the slums to help underprivileged children in Vietnam and Mongolia.

A dedicated You Tube channel which shows examples of different filming has also been set up, ranging from a McCain's pizza advert from 1994, a music video for The Coral's Dreaming of You right through to BBC drama Good Cop and Hollywood blockbuster Captain America.

Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "Year on year, we've seen an increase in the number of productions coming to the City. The feedback we get from producers is that they want to return to the City again and again; not just because of the amazing variety of locations but because of the advice and support they receive from the Film Office team. This new website allows industry experts, as well as the general public, a real insight into the work of this City Council team in attracting people to film in the City, and also the extent of the portfolio over the years which is huge. Already in 2013, a movie is being filmed in the City along with a national advert to be aired on Channel 4, so it looks set to be another bumper year making Liverpool one of the most popular filming locations in the UK."

The website is also a one stop shop for producers looking to film in the City; giving details of the variety of locations available, advice on crew and facility options, information about local casting agencies and recommendations for where units can be based.

There is also an option for businesses, community groups, schools or even residents to register their location or home as a potential filming venue.

In 2012, filming levels increased by 22% on the previous year, with 894 filming days taking place in the City. In total, 227 films, programmes and adverts were filmed; bringing in £19million to the local economy.

Find out the latest by ‘liking' the Liverpool Film Office page on Facebook or follow FilmLiverpool on Twitter.


THE popular fundraising event, National Doughnut Week returns in 2013 from Saturday, 11 May to Saturday, 18 May 2013, to raise some dough for The Children's Trust.  Now in its 22nd year, and having raised over £755,000 for children's charities, through the sale of 14 million doughnuts, it is hoped that more independent craft bakers will take part in the event and that food retailers and coffee shops across the UK will join in as well to help to make this year the most successful ever. The annual event, sponsored by CSM United Kingdom Limited, is a fun week of enjoying delicious doughnut treats. A percentage from each doughnut sale through participating bakers and businesses will be donated to The Children's Trust, a national charity that provides specialist care to some of the UK's most severely disabled children, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury.  Phil Tufnell, Vice-President of The Children's Trust, said:- "I do hope that bakers, food retailers, coffee shops and the public will get behind this year's fundraising event and help to raise as much money as possible for a very special charity."  There are lots of fun ways for the general public to raise money: taking on a doughnut-eating challenge with family, friends or work colleagues, or by holding a doughnut-themed event.

For more details on fundraising ideas and doughnut facts, includingwhat the UK's most popular doughnut is, visit:-

HMRC to replace Enquiry Centres with home visits for customers who need help

A new, flexible support service for 1.5 million customers who need extra help with their tax affairs will be piloted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from June 2013. Yet many are asking if this is wise as Enquiry Centres offer more security for some people and phone services can be very unhelpful. But the HMRC say that this new service will provide mobile, one-to-one support in a range of convenient locations, including a person's own home or business. It will also provide expert advisors on the phone, trained to deal with people who need extra support, to help a caller until the issue is resolved. HMRC will also make more funding and support available for voluntary sector organisations to help them to deal with customers who turn to them for help.

Lin Homer, HMRC's Chief Executive, said:- "HMRC is dedicated to providing help to customers who need it. This new service will enable us to tailor that help in a way that works better for customers and is more flexible and affordable than the service we currently provide. We will give a more specialised phone service for customers whose affairs can be resolved over the telephone, and face-to-face help to those who need it, visiting them at a place convenient to them, saving them both travel and time. HMRC will provide a more modern and accessible service that will target the right support to customers who need it, where and when they want it."

HMRC has calculated that the new service will:- "save customers almost £12 million a year in lost time and travel costs, and will be more than £13 million a year cheaper to run than the current service, as a result of the closure of the Enquiry Centre network in 2014. Face-to-face support will be provided to suit the customers who need it; no longer constrained by the fixed location and limited opening times of Enquiry Centres. HMRC's 281 Enquiry Centres have seen customer demand halved, from five million visitors in 2005/06 to fewer than 2.5 million in 2011/12. Some centres are now open just a day a week as a result of the sharp drop in demand. Of the customers using an Enquiry Centre in 2012, just 16% needed a face-to-face appointment. The cost of Enquiry Centre appointments is also high; with the average cost was £152 per appointment last year, and in 1 centre the cost reached £500 per appointment. In contrast, the average cost of serving a customer by phone is £3 per call, and an online transaction costs just 9p. The vast majority of customers never use an Enquiry Centre - HMRC handles more than 60 million calls a year and millions of online transactions, such as for filing self assessment and VAT returns. Recent investment and improvements in our contact centres mean that we are now answering 90 per cent of all calls, and moving our numbers from:- 0845 to cheaper:- 03 alternatives makes calling us more affordable. For those who cannot afford a call, HMRC can also arrange for a call back."

HMRC is discussing the impacts of these changes with staff in Enquiry Centres and its unions, and will do everything possible to redeploy Enquiry Centre staff within HMRC, or help them to find another role in the Civil Service. Almost 1,000 of the 1,300 staff employed in our 281 Enquiry Centres are already based in areas where HMRC has other offices. At this point the HMRC has said that a 5 month pilot is now underway to test these new services. The test is currently running in the North East of England until 31 October 2013, and HMRC has also launched a nationwide consultation on the new service.

So what do our readers think? Are you in HMRC and affected by this? Do you think it is a good move or will it result in added stress and problems for all sides? Email us your views to:- and let us know what you really think!

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