benefits from superfast broadband for Merseyside businesses and
homes in Liverpool
HIGH speed fibre broadband
is coming to Merseyside, following a multi million pound partnership
project between Merseyside Local Authorities and BT.
Merseyside Connected; a partnership of 5 Councils led by Liverpool
City Council; builds on BT's on going commercial fibre deployment
across the Liverpool City Region, and aims to provide a high speed
broadband network to an additional 43,000 premises in the area. This
means the vast majority of Merseyside; around 98% of homes and
businesses; will have access to fibre broadband by the end of July
The Merseyside Connected project is supporting the Council
partnership's aim to focus on enabling superfast broadband to small
and medium enterprises and help boost the local economy. The 3 year
programme brings fibre broadband to more of Merseyside and to date
37 cabinets serving 4,200 customers have now been installed by BT Openreach, BT's local network business.
On Tuesday, 1 July 2014, Project Jennifer in Everton marked the
switch on of the latest cabinet to be completed, off Great Homer
The cabinet will connect superfast broadband to 91 business
premises; but this will increase as Project Jennifer is delivered,
with 500 new homes, 80,000 sqft of new retail space, 80,000 square
feet of employment units, a large supermarket, a new health centre
and a market all planned.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration at
Liverpool City Council, said:- "This substantial investment is
absolutely vital if we are to make sure the City does not get left
behind in the race to build technology infrastructure. The aim is to
make sure that businesses are able to take advantage of faster
speeds which means they have the technology to handle growing needs
and enable them to win more business and custom."
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "I want Liverpool to be the best
digitally connected City in the UK. We have a long road ahead to
achieve this, but this scheme is a major leap in taking the City's
economy to the next level. We are competing on a global stage and
investment in our digital infrastructure is a real priority for the
BT was chosen to partner with Liverpool City Council, along with
Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Councils; following a
thorough procurement process. BT is contributing £6 million towards
the overall cost of deployment in "non-commercial"
areas while European funding (ERDF) is contributing £4.4 million,
with £5.46 million coming from the Government's Broadband Delivery
UK (BDUK) fund.
Bill Murphy, BT managing director for the new generation of
communications, said:- "Fibre broadband and the speeds it
brings are crucial to people and businesses in Merseyside. BT and
Liverpool Council have worked hard this month at the International
Festival for Business to demonstrate how Liverpool people will make
the most of this fantastic technology. From finance systems in the
cloud to new ways of caring for people in hospitals like Alder Hey
and entertainment in people's homes, fibre broadband can change
people's lives for the better."
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey, said:- "This is great news
and marks the ongoing transformation of broadband on Merseyside,
which is on track to deliver access to superfast speeds to 98 per
cent of the area by July 2016. We understand how important access to
superfast broadband is; the UK already does more business online
than any other European country, and the widespread access to
superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a
tremendous boost to the local economy."
Check availability of fibre broadband by clicking on
Also for businesses within The City Centre Enterprise Zone covers
the waterfront and key parts of the Commercial BID including Old
Hall Street, Tithebarn Street, Dale Street and Leeds Street, the
Government's Super Connected Cities Voucher Scheme gives SMEs up to
£3,000 towards the capital costs of a super / ultra fast broadband
connection. This covers the capital and equipment costs of getting a
better, faster connection to businesses.
More information on the scheme is
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said:-
"This broadband scheme is a game changer for the Enterprise Zone in
Liverpool City Centre. It's going to make a huge impact to the
efficiency and productivity of businesses and make Liverpool an even
more attractive place to do business. This goes to the heart of our
plans to support our members by improving their working
environments. The voucher can be used towards the cost of making the
physical connection to business premises, but cannot pay for monthly
rental or for any IT equipment. The connection needs to give a real
change in service speed, upgrading to a minimum of 30Mbps on a
shared line or 20Mbps on a dedicated business grade line."
The City Council is working with Liverpool Commercial District
Business Improvement District (BID) on the scheme, and they will
ensure all eligible businesses in the Enterprise Zone in the City Centre have the opportunity to apply.
NWAS LAUNCHES 5
THE North West Ambulance
Service (NWAS) NHS Trust has launched its 5 Year Business Plan this
week, to staff and stakeholders and is making the document available
for the North West public.
Entitled 'Good 2 Great', the plan outlines the Trust's
strategy and vision for the next 5 years and the themes it wants to
focus on to improve quality of care to patients, and ensure the
organisation is one which people want to work for.
Staff input has been a vital component in the development of the
plan, following an engagement exercise earlier this year where staff
were asked to put forward their views on how the Service could:-
► Deliver care closer to home.
► Become a great place to work.
► Cause no harm.
Chief Executive, Bob Williams, comments:- "Our staff is our
greatest asset and as they see day to day, the impact we have on the
lives of people in the North West, we believed it was vital to
understand how they perceived the Trust and thought we could
improve. Our plan is not about just being good at what we do. It is
about aspiring to continuously improve our service and ourselves as
an employer, ensuring our patients get not only the best care, but
the right care and as the plan's title suggests, going from being a
good organisation to being a great one."
In delivering safe care closer to home, the Trust already has some
very successful initiatives in place. Not all patients who call 999
need to go to hospital and accident and emergency departments are
not necessarily the right place for them. The Trust wants to further
improve its 'See and Treat' and 'Hear and Treat' so it can safely
offer advice either over the phone or attend patients and ensure
they get the help they need in their own homes, for example by
organising a GP visit. This ensures patients get the right care, in
the right time and in the right place and also frees up ambulances
to attend to the more serious, life threatening calls.
NWAS is very proud of holding an Investors in People (IiP) Gold
Award and being an IiP Champion and low staff turnover is a good
indication that the Trust is considered a good place to work. As
part of the plan, the Trust is looking at ways in which it can
further help staff feel supported in the decisions they make as well
as improving engagement and staff health and wellbeing; this will go
some way in making NWAS a great place to work.
Like all NHS trusts, patient and staff safety must be at the heart
of what NWAS does. Thankfully a patient coming to harm is extremely
rare but the Trust cannot be complacent and must seek ways to
minimise the risk as much as possible. This will be achieved under
the 'Cause No Harm' aim.
The plan addresses how the Trust hopes to achieve these objectives
and has been sent to MPs, Healthwatch groups and Councils. NWAS is
also meeting with stakeholders to present the plan. A dedicated
website has launched where people can view the document and anyone
is free to send their comments to:-
Bob adds:- "Asking our staff for their thoughts was a very
useful exercise and likewise, we want to share our ambitions with
those we serve and the people who represent them and hear what they
have to say. The plan is a comprehensive one and sets out what we
want to achieve and showcases some of the initiatives we are
planning or have already put in place to reach our objectives."
The plan can be viewed on:-
feedback sent to:-
Firefighters to join mass
strike action on 10 July
FIREFIGHTERS in England and
Wales will join hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers
taking strike action on Thursday, 10 July 2014, the Fire Brigades
Union has announced. The long running dispute over
firefighters' pensions will see a further day of strikes at the same
time as a walk out by local government workers, teachers and civil
servants over a range of issues, including attacks on pay and
pensions and workloads. The strike will last between 10am and
7pm and will be the 15th in the FBU's campaign. The union is also
expected to announce further action later this week.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:- "The FBU has wanted
to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at
Westminster is simply not listening. We are therefore proud to take
strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on 10 July
2014. The fact that this Government has united so many workers to
take strike action against them is a testament to the failure of
their policies. They are destroying our public services and wrecking
the lives of millions. If they won't listen and won't negotiate then
this is the result; and they should face more of the same if
It is estimated that as many as 2 million workers will take strike
action. The firefighters' dispute has continued for months as
the FBU says firefighters are facing the imposition of a pension
that ignores the physical demands of the job they do. Wrack
said:- "Despite endless assurances they have done precisely
nothing to address the threat to firefighters as their fitness
declines in their 50's. Firefighting is a dangerous and physically
demanding job which requires specific fitness standards. It is
obvious to everyone that it is more and more difficult to meet those
standards in your 50's compared to your 20's. Firefighters in that
position face a stark choice of being sacked or losing half their
pension. This is outrageous and all the claims that the government
values our firefighters have been exposed as an utter lie. They need
to wake up to the fact that we are not going away and we will be
continuing our fight for pension justice."
The Government in Northen Ireland recently offered firefighters a
retirement age of 55, and the FBU says this demonstrates that the
Westminster government's position is not justified by evidence or
lack of affordability. The FBU recently launched a legal
challenge against the government's proposals, saying they have
received legal advice that reducing the pensions available to
firefighters by different amounts depending on when they retire
after 55 amounts to age discrimination. A recent academic report on
firefighter fitness by the University of Bath undermined the
government's proposals by arguing that higher fitness levels are
required for the job than those used by the government to defend the
idea of firefighters working until 60. Firefighters were
last on strike on Saturday, 21 June 2014.