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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 14 August 2014

81 households at risk of losing their home every day in the North West

EVERY day, 81 households in the North West are at risk of losing their home, new analysis from Shelter reveals.  The research, based on data recorded by the Ministry of Justice found that in the last year more than 29,700 homes in the North West are at risk of eviction or repossession, the equivalent of 81 every day.

It also identified the latest hotspots across the region where people are most likely to face losing their home, with Salford and Halton topping the list. Other hotspots in the region's top ten included West Lancashire, Manchester and Liverpool.

The housing and homelessness charity is warning that sky high housing costs are pushing more and more families in the North West to the brink. With finances stretched to bursting point, just one thing, such as an illness or job loss, can be all it takes to leave a family facing losing their home.

Shelter is currently struggling to meet demand for its services and is calling for support so that it can help more people stay in their homes. Since 2011, across the country the charity has seen the number of callers struggling with rent arrears more than double, while those calling about mortgage arrears rose by nearly a 5th.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said:- "81 households at risk of losing their home every day is 81 too many. Each one of these will have had their lives turned upside down by this experience, as they faced seeing their home, the foundation of their life, ripped away from underneath them. Tragically we are seeing more and more people coming to us for help, people who have been struggling to make ends meet and then just one change of circumstances has pushed them spiralling towards homelessness. We urgently need people's support so we can help more people in the North West avoid the nightmare of losing their home."

Public in North West support slow speed technology first demonstrated by Living Streets over 80 years ago

OVER 75% of people in the North West are in favour of mandatory speed controlling technology on commercial and public transport vehicles, a poll commissioned by Living Streets reveals to mark 85 years since the organisation was first formed.

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) prevents a vehicle exceeding the speed limit. The YouGov survey found 75% of British adults in the north west region are in favour of it being compulsory for public transport vehicles such as buses and coaches, and 78% in favour for commercial traffic such as lorries and vans. The percentages are the highest in the Country. As more local authorities move towards 20mph speed limits, ISA could be a useful tool to regulate traffic speeds and make streets safer for vulnerable road users, says the charity.

An early version of ISA was demonstrated over 80 years ago by the secretary of Living Streets; then called the Pedestrians' Association; which held its first meeting on 13 August 1929.

Living Streets interim Chief Executive, Phillipa Hunt, said:- "Over 80 years ago one of our founder members, Mr E S Cope, demonstrated his Tell Tale Lights system which alerted drivers and other road users when vehicles exceeded the speed limit. Bear in mind that when we were founded, there was no driving test, no pedestrian crossings and little regulation.  In 1932, 40,000 children were injured on Britain's roads and 1,200 lost their lives. Over the years, our campaigns for slower speed limits, safe crossing points and other measures to make walking on our streets safer and easier have helped to reduce this shocking toll, but 80 years later there were still 17,190 children injured and 61 child fatalities on our roads. As part of a package of measures including 20 mph speed limits where we live, work, shop and go to school, this technology can help to make our original vision of streets safe for walking a reality, and this poll shows that the public subscribe to that vision."

During its 85 year history, Living Streets has successfully campaigned for compulsory speedometers on public vehicles, speed limits, pedestrian crossings, limits on alcohol consumption when driving and the introduction of the driving test.

Phillipa Hunt added:- "Many prescient inventions which seemed left field at the time have become part of our everyday reality. Slower speeds make walking safer and easier for everyone whether we're going to school, to work or to the shops."

Can you help the NCA identify this man?


THE UK's National Crime Agency's Investigators are appealing for help to identify a man wanted in connection with a £12million cocaine haul. 2 separate importations totalling over 47 kilos have been uncovered as part of the 2 year joint investigation with West Yorkshire Police. Following the discovery in Rotterdam of approximately 45 kilos of cocaine in sacks of paprika in August 2012, investigators watched as 'dummy' sacks were delivered via Tilbury Docks to a yard at the Liverpool Docks. The unidentified man, who the NCA believe could be from Merseyside, Greater Manchester or Lancashire, was spotted unloading a lorry containing the sacks. 6 other men from Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester were arrested and charged with conspiracy to import cocaine.


All 6 arrested have since appeared at Manchester City Magistrates Court this afternoon and were released on conditional bail until 29 August 2014, when they will appear at Manchester Crown Court. 4 of the men were also charged with a conspiracy, relating to a seizure in April 2013, when 2 kilos of cocaine in boxes of milk powder were sent to a virtual office in Bradford. Greg Mckenna, NCA Branch Commander, said:- "Joint working with West Yorkshire Police has prevented a huge amount of cocaine reaching the streets and causing terrible damage to our communities. Now we need the help of the public to identify and locate the man at Liverpool Docks. There will be people who may know who he is and I am asking those people to come forward and provide us with as much information as possible." Anyone with information can contact the NCA on:- 0370 496 7622 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.

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