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Issue:- 26 September 2013


OVER Saturday, 28 September and Sunday, 29 September 2013, the 40th Annual Model Railway Exhibition presented by Southport Model Railway Society will be held at Brikdale High School, Windy Harbour Road, Southport, PR8 3DT.The event will be well signposted from major roads into Southport. It will have a massive free car park, located off A565 opposite Nixons Lane, for Sat Nav use PR8 3ES. The event will run on both days from 10:00 to 17:00. Prices are Adults £5, Children 4 to 15 £3, Family (of 2 adults + 2 children) £14.00. Attractions include:- 23 Layouts, Full range of 21 Trade, 15 Societies and 6 Demonstrators. Weather permitting exterior Live Steam rides. For more information visit:- or you can also email them.

UNISON working with schools to implement the Living Wage

ALL schools play an important role in their communities, and one element of this is as an employer. Many school support staff live in the area near the school where they work, and have family ties with the school. In serving their local communities, schools have a responsibility to be good employers.

UNISON has recently written to over 190 Academy schools requesting that staff are paid a Living Wage. The idea behind a Living Wage is that a person should be paid enough to live decently and to adequately provide for their family. Unlike the National Minimum Wage, the Living Wage is voluntary, but an increasing number of employers are agreeing to pay the Living Wage. Outside London, the living wage is currently £7.45 per hour.

As well as lifting families out of poverty, paying the Living Wage is proven to boost productivity and reduce staff turnover, leading to financial savings for employers. It also helps the local economy where the school is situated.

A good example of progress being made is in Salford, where the Diocese have agreed to work with UNISON to seek to implement the Living Wage in Catholic schools. This agreement follows the passing of a Living Wage resolution by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in November 2012.

Keith Bradley, Regional Lead on Schools for UNISON North West said:- "UNISON is delighted to be working with the Diocese of Salford to support individual Catholic schools to seek to implement the Living Wage. We are requesting that all Academies in the North West follow the lead of Salford in supporting low paid staff to be paid a decent wage. Other Diocese Boards are considering UNISON's request.  Our work comes at a critical time; in-work poverty is a significant problem throughout the North West. For all too many families wages do not go far enough to cover the basic essentials and it is striking that 60% of children in poverty grow up in a working household. The introduction of the Living Wage in Academies will therefore be a vital lifeline to all low-paid school staff such as those in cleaning and catering jobs.  It is our hope that the implementation of the Living Wage will set a model of good practice for other schools to follow."

Mayor's disappointed for residents

THE Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, on Tuesday, 24 September 2013, expressed his frustration that there is to be a public inquiry into the Welsh Streets regeneration scheme. The Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, made the announcement also on 24 September 2013.  The City Council's planning committee on 23 July had approved plans for a £15m regeneration scheme which would have seen 150 new high quality homes built, the refurbishment of 37 terraced properties and the demolition of 280 homes.  Mayor Anderson said:- "These proposals were drawn up after extensive consultation with residents. It is residents that have been badly let down by this decision. This is hugely frustrating and bitterly disappointing for the local community. Residents have faced more than 10 years of uncertainty and delay, and made clear in no uncertain terms that they backed what has been put forward. We've been forced into this and so it must take place as quickly as possible. The uncertainty that this community have faced for far too long shouldn't be prolonged for a moment longer than it needs to be. I am personally fed up with Government interference like this, which has now delayed local people having the good quality homes they deserve. All this community wants is certainty and the Government has slapped them in the face with this decision. I am absolutely incensed that Mr Pickles, who supposedly champions localism, has ignored the overwhelming views of local people, and called this in, particularly when his own department has allocated funds towards the project."

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