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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 84

Date:- 24 January 2003

 VIP Tickets....  Now in Week 3

Counting down.  Who will win?

This week Firemen were out on strike again. 
Photographs by Patrick Trollope.

FIRE fighters were out again on 21 January 2003. The MOD were out again covering the UK with the Green Goddesses. 

On standby on the army out side the Southport Police Station with their Green Goddess. (Above)

The union says there are still pre-conditions being placed on talks, which effectively rules out a normal negotiating process. 

"Fire Service employers have demanded that any future talks must have preconditions including the union's full commitment to the Bain recommendations. These include proposals for 2% year on year job cuts over the next 4 years, changes to the pension scheme and fewer fire fighters at night. There still remains no offer beyond 4%. Any further pay rise the following year is still based on job cuts, which are unjustified and dangerous and will result in the closure of many fire stations. 

We have always been committed to continuously modernising the service. But we do have serious professional concerns about a number of the Bain recommendations and we cannot simply be asked to sign up to them before talks have even started."

One passer by shouted out "Keep it up! You will win in the end. The public in the know are behind you." Others came over and chatted voicing their support as I was there.

Yesterday 23rd January 2003 the FBU sent out this Press release:-

"The Fire Brigades Union has received views from ACAS on how negotiations on the current Fire Service dispute should resume. Both sides have accepted that there will be no preconditions to negotiations. 

As a result and as long as this position remains, the Fire Brigades Union will be attending ACAS on Thursday 23rd January to begin the negotiating process. 

FBU General Secretary Andy Gilchrist said:- "The FBU remains committed to a negotiated settlement on pay. 

We have only ever taken strike action as a last resort. It now seems that our employers' are willing to come to the negotiating table with no preconditions. This will be the first time since this dispute began in May last year that meaningful negotiations will be able to take place.

Our members' remain committed to their claim for Professional Pay for the Professional service they provide to their communities. We are hopeful that negotiations tomorrow will be able to start the process to resolve this dispute.""

Local Conservatives attempts to influence policy on crime.

MARK Bigley, Parliamentary Spokesman for Southport Conservative Association unveiled a new Conservative campaign across Southport to highlight the need for a fresh approach to cut rising crime. Southport's Conservatives have pledged to tackle the 'conveyor belt to crime' - with young people being drawn into ever-more serious crimes and use of dangerous drugs. 

"A crime is committed every 5 seconds and street crime has risen by 31% nationally in the last year. More crimes are going unpunished with only 6% of crimes result in a conviction. Just 1% of Police officers' time is spent on foot patrol and over half of prisoners re-offend within two years of release. This Labour Government has failed the people of Southport and the country as a whole. 

A recent survey undertaken by the Conservative Party in more that 10,000 households throughout Southport clearly highlights that crime, the fear of crime and the need for more police officers to return to our streets are the main issues that are concerning people who live in Southport. We see every week in the local Southport press, incidents of vandalism, graffiti, violent attacks and nuisance behaviour. This has got to stop and one important step in reducing these problems is to have more police officers patrolling our streets on foot, actively engaging with young people within the communities that they serve.

Over the weeks and months ahead, local Conservative campaigners from the Conservative Action Team will be contacting and encouraging local residents to support the drive to put more Police back on to the streets in Southport's neighbourhoods."
said Mark Bigley.

Report with thanks to the HSE.

has published new guidance for karting operators to make sure that driver safety briefings are effective. It has been written in consultation with the National Karting Association and the Fairgrounds Joint Advisory Committee.

Kart drivers are in control of their own safety and that of others on the track. They need to know how to control the vehicle and how to respond to the safety signals they are given while driving. It is important that the briefing they receive is effective in presenting the safety information in a way that the drivers can understand and remember. An effective driver briefing is an important part of the safety system at any karting track.

The information in "Effective safety briefings for drivers at karting circuits" is based on the findings of research carried out by the Health and Safety Laboratory and includes a briefing framework that can be used by operators when devising their own briefings."

Speaking today, Gavin Howat of HSE's Food and Entertainment Sector said, "This information sheet complements information already contained in the HSE publication 'Go-karts, guidance on safe operation and use' and will help operators to continue to run their circuits in a safe manner."
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Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.