campaign launched to raise awareness of City budget challenge
LIVERPOOL City Council on
10 December 2013
launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of the
challenges it faces in balancing its budget.
The City faces its biggest budget challenge to date, with a total of
£156m in savings needed in the next 3 years. This follows £173m cuts
already made over the last 3 years. By 2016/17, the City will have
seen government funding cut by 56%, in real terms, since 2010/11.
A series of 'infographics'; detailing the challenges the
City faces, how it is allowed to spend its finances and where it
currently spends its cash; have been developed for release on
Twitter over the coming days and weeks.
The aim is to give residents a greater understanding of how the
budget is pieced together and why the City has been particularly
impacted by government spending cuts.
It follows the launch of the budget simulator last month; which has
already had nearly 6,000 visitors and more than 1,000 people
completing the budget.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson,
said:- "We are facing some tough decisions in the year ahead,
as we work hard to balance our books. That's why it is more
important than ever before our residents feel involved in and
understand the decisions we are making. We launched the budget
simulator last month to bring alive the very difficult decisions we
are faced with to balance the books. Nearly 6,000 people have
already visited the site and I would encourage everyone in the City
to visit it to understand more about the scale of what we are
facing. This is the next step we are taking to raise awareness. I
hope by delivering this information in bite sized chunks on social
media, residents will gain a greater understanding of why we are
facing some really tough decisions. One of the ways we have been
tackling the challenges is by investing in things which can generate
an income for us; like our plans to buy the Cunard Building. By
making innovative decisions like this; along with attracting new
business to the City like H2 Energy and BAC Mono, bringing jobs and
growth; we can generate additional cash which can be directly
ploughed back into much needed, essential services for the people of
Liverpool. It's important that people in the City understand how
this works, and this campaign will help us explain some very
difficult concepts around how Council finance works. People assume
that because we are building schools and have money in reserves that
we have a drawer full of cash which can use to plug the gap. The
truth is that Government imposes all sorts of restrictions on the
spending of different pots of money which prevents us from doing
To follow the progress of the campaign on Twitter, follow @lpoolCouncil.
The budget simulator can be found at:-
not to meddle
IN a blow for Eurosceptics
everywhere, an influential EU agency has decided that a popular diet
drink sweetener is safe and needs no further regulation.
Fears have been voiced that use of aspartame could be linked to
cancer or damage to the nervous system. But the expert body
set up to give definitive advice to the EU and governments about
food products and additives has dismissed the concerns.
The European Food Safety Agency says that studies confirm that the
flavouring, also known as E951, is safe for human consumption when
The agency found that many of the by products in aspartame that gave
rise to concern could be found in even higher concentrations in
fruit and vegetables.
Southport Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies welcomed the findings,
saying they would benefit consumers of diet drinks. Davies
said:- "This is a good example of where the EU makes things
easier and simpler for consumers and businesses alike.
Food manufacturing is a major UK business and EFSA advice promotes
common standards across Europe that benefits trade and jobs.
Use of sugary drinks is a significant factor in growing levels of
obesity, so it is reassuring to know that the most popular low
calorie alternative to sugar poses no risk to health."
PRESSING FOR WATERING DOWN OF EU MEASURES TO PROTECT WORKERS AGAINST
UK government hypocrisy on
EU free movement beggars belief and the public needs to know as
actions in Brussels contrasts sharply with their words to a UK
audience on migration from Romania and Bulgaria says GMB.
A majority of employment ministers from EU member states, meeting in
Brussels on Monday, 9 December 2013, agreed watered down proposals on the
Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive. This deals with terms and
conditions for workers from one member state working in other member
states. These proposals will now go to be the subject of final
negotiations between the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers.
After GMB members experience at Lindsey Oil Refinery and other sites
GMB will press MEPs to support more scope for member states to be
able to apply and enforce national control measures, on the basis of
a truly open list, that prevent social dumping of workers. GMB will
also ask MEPs to support joint and several liability to apply
throughout the subcontracting chain for contractors and
subcontractors found abusing workers and denying them their pay,
conditions and protections.
The current proposals restrict this to first level contracting and,
at the request of UK Government, only to the construction sector;
the abuse is not limited to this sector and needs to be applied more
Kathleen Walker Shaw, GMB European officer in Brussels, said:-
"UK employers are actively recruiting workers either directly or
via temporary agencies from EU countries with lower wages and social
contributions to boost their profits at the expense of exploited
workers. The UK Government at the meeting pressed for even
further watering down in the Directive. They did not want to
restrict the ability of business to abuse vulnerable posted workers
from other EU countries and to run down pay and conditions in
Britain at will. As far as GMB and the wider European trade
union movement are concerned these enforcement measures agreed by
Governments don't go far enough. Yet here is the UK Government
spurning even these weak provisions. The hypocrisy of the UK
Government on free movement is breath taking. People in
Britain need to be told about it. Their actions in Brussels
contrasts sharply with their words to a UK audience on migration
from Romania and Bulgaria. GMB will press MEPs and Ministers
of EU Governments to tighten up the directive for member states to
be able to apply and enforce national control measures and for joint
and several liability to apply throughout the subcontracting chain
for contractors and subcontractors. As the general election
approaches there needs to be more pressure on the UK Government to
support measures to stop companies undermining pay and conditions in
the UK where living standards are already under threat. The
only way to stop exploitation of UK and migrant workers is to level
up rather than calling for workers across Europe to be sold off to
the lowest bidder in a race to the bottom of pay and conditions."
E-FIT APPEAL FOLLOWING ASSAULT-
CONEY CRESCENT, THORNTON
MERSEYSIDE Police have
released an e-fit image of a man it would like to speak to following
an assault at a house in Sefton. Officers were called to an address
on Coney Crescent, Thornton, a number of times during October
following reports a woman living there had seen the same man in her
back garden. Then, at around 7.15pm on Tuesday, 29 October 2013,
patrols were again called following the woman seeing the man in her
garden. When she went out to ask him what he was doing, he grabbed
her chin and shouted at her before running off. Detective Constable
Jamie Dean from Sefton CID said:- "These incidents have,
understandably, left the woman very upset and shaken. She has now
compiled an e-fit picture of the offender and I would appeal to
anyone who may know who it is to get in touch with us. She has also
described him as having a number of tattoos on his hands."
Anyone with information which could help the Police with their
inquiries is asked to contact Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3011 or
Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.