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Issue:- 17 July 2014

Mayoral 100 Club

THE Mayor of Liverpool is offering businesses a unique opportunity to be part of a 'club' to grow one of the city's most popular maritime events, and boost their business in the process.  Companies across the North West region are being approached to become part of Liverpool's first Mayoral 100 Club; which would see up to 100 organisations pay £3,000 each to develop the International Mersey River Festival.  The Albert Dock is the 1st member to sign up to this innovative scheme as it has been at the heart of the festival for many years.  This year's free River Festival was hailed as a huge success, attracting crowds of around 200,000 across the weekend. From 13 Jane and 15 June 2014, fleets of vessels sailed in to the City, there was a packed programme of events at the Pier Head ranging live music, air displays, Zap Cat racing, a Brouhaha parade and a water polo tournament. Mayor Joe Anderson has made a commitment to make the event one of the biggest maritime celebrations in the UK, and recognises the need to have the support of external businesses.  The money will be used to enhance and sustain the event and will enable the City to look at unique opportunities to showcase and market the magnificent waterfront to the world.  In return for the sponsorship, members of the Mayoral 100 Club would receive core benefits including business to business networking events, a VIP hospitality experience at the festival, member newsletters, use of the club logo and branding opportunities.  There will be 3 main sponsorship opportunities including overall Event Title Sponsor, Music on Waterfront Concert Sponsor and Maritime Education Programme sponsor.

Mayor Anderson said:- "Culture and free cultural activities are hugely important to this City, and the International Mersey River Festival is certainly one of the most popular in our events calendar.  However, we need to think differently about how we fund these events as we can't achieve our ambitions with the City Council being solely responsible for the financial support. We have seen with the likes of the giants and the music festival, that there is a real appetite from external organisations to be part of events; they recognise that as a City, we excel when it comes to staging outdoor events and as a result hundreds of thousands of people come and spend time and money in Liverpool.  This positive economic impact benefits the City, creates jobs and, equally as important, generates a feel good factor in the City which is massively important during these times of austerity. Initial discussions with businesses have been extremely positive, with many sharing my ambition to have one of the leading maritime events in the UK take place on our waterfront.  We cannot stand still as a City. We are hugely ambitious and by working together with businesses we can fulfil the potential of the great iconic waterfront and in turn, promote the City and those individual businesses to the world.”

Sue Grindrod, Chairman of Albert Dock Liverpool, said:- "Liverpool's Mersey River Festival is an essential part of the city's cultural calendar and the Mayoral 100 Club, creates a public and private sector partnership and a funding vehicle which will preserve this vibrant commercial asset. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Albert Dock, to praise Mayor Anderson and his team for constructing a platform, which creates opportunity for City stakeholders and partners to come together to secure the future of the River Festival and we are delighted to be the inaugural Mayoral 100 Club member.”

More than 150 companies have already been approached, with a number already expressing an interest in becoming a member. The idea has been inspired by the success of Bristol's 100 Club which goes towards financially supporting the city's International Balloon Fiesta. The Fiesta is regarded as one of the UK's top five outdoor events and attracts around 500,000 visitors each year. Any businesses interested in discussing the Mayoral 100 Club further should contact:- or call on:- 0151 600 2909.

Ainsdale Community Care to receive a year's worth of support from Sainsbury's Southport

THE Sainsbury's in Southport have announced that Ainsdale Community Care will receive a year's worth of fundraising and awareness support. The charity who operates a senior citizens lunch club, a welcome centre and other leisure and learning activities which include weekly dancing and provide a meals delivery service for local housebound residents will be the new Local Charity for the Southport store.

The retailer's Local Charity scheme is now in its 6th year and gives customers the chance to vote for their favourite local charity to be considered to receive a year's worth of support from their Sainsbury's store. The scheme has raised over £6 million to support local charities since 2009.

The Southport store, situated in Lord Street, has had great success in supporting previous local charities and last year raised £2413for Ainsdale Community Care. The Store has decided to support the charity for a second year.

Customers had a huge say in this year's announcement and voted in store and online between 28 May and 8 June 2014. The store colleagues then decided that Ainsdale Community Care were the best charity for them to work with to make a real difference.

Deb Riozzie from Ainsdale Community Care said:- "We know the success and benefits that the Local Charity partnership bought to us last year, so when we received the news, we were thrilled. We hope the partnership will help raise awareness of our cause to the store's customers And will help us develop the important service we provide to the community."

Sainsbury's Southport Store Manager said:- "We've had a great response from our customers this year, both through in store and online votes. We're delighted to have chosen a charity which touched many of our colleagues' hearts. We will now be working closely with the charity to ensure they really benefit from being our Local Charity for the next 12 months."

 North West firms warned of multi million pound holiday pay timebomb

TIME is ticking away on what could be a multi-billion pound bomb shell to the UK ecconomy. North West firms face the prospect of a multi billion pound bill, which could send many out of business if legislation is not brought forward to limit potential liability from backdated claims, a leading business organisation has warned on Monday, 14 July 2014.  The warning was issued by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, which is pressing Ministers to introduce emergency legislation following a series of European Court of Justice rulings that open the door to potentially mass numbers of claims for holiday pay dating back to 1998. The rulings are at odds with UK law, which employers have followed, but now leaves them open to multi million pound bills through no fault of their own.  EEF estimates that, on average, an SME manufacturer with a turnover of £30m will be looking at a £2.5m bill for holiday back pay, as well as potential National Insurance and pension contributions, which could add an extra £250,000 to the bill.  Over a 4 year period SMEs could potentially face crippling costs of £4m. Complying with the ruling from now on is likely to add an extra 4% to a company payroll. The rulings are all related to the UK's interpretation of the Working Time Directive, which granted every worker 4 weeks paid leave, with UK law increasingly out of step with that of Europe. While most other European countries have been compliant with the new requirements, the UK failed to keep pace. As a result, many businesses are now exposed to huge costs.  Without urgent legislation, UK companies are now facing claims dating back over the 16 year period for cumulative lost earnings. This potential threat to the economic recovery comes at a time when business investment still remains almost a fifth below the last pre-recession peak in 2008. EEF is urgently calling for the Government to shield employers by limiting liability so that firms will not face bills dating back to 1998 through no fault of their own. Darrell Matthews, North West Region Director at EEF, says:- "This is potentially catastrophic for local companies who have been fully compliant with UK law, yet now find themselves in a position which they could not have foreseen. This is a ticking timebomb and poses a serious threat to economic recovery as funds earmarked for critical investment are diverted to pay compensation instead. There is a real fear that this will see some businesses going bust. We urgently need the Government to recognise the danger and to bring forward legislation limiting the backdated liability companies face through no fault of their own."

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