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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 31 October 2014

£7.4 million to help disadvantaged pre-school children in North West

NEARLY 26,000 young children in the North West are expected to benefit from a government scheme aimed at helping prevent them falling behind before they have even started school. Schools, nurseries and child minders will be given up to £300 for every 3 and 4 year old from a low income family in the region, the government has set out.   The Early Years Pupil Premium, totalling £50 million, is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low income families and their peers, setting them on a path to a more successful future. Around 25,800 children in the North West will benefit from the measure, worth £7.4 million to the region. In a response to a consultation on the funding, the government has also announced that 6 areas, including Blackpool, will share £1 million to trial the new support ahead of its introduction nationwide next April.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:- "It is vital that we intervene at the earliest possible stage and do all we can to help young children develop and learn  I'm so proud that we've been able to deliver this Early Years Pupil Premium so that toddlers from the poorest families get the support they need, which will pay dividends later in life.  In my view, this will be one of the great legacies of this government, helping create a fairer society which benefits families up and down the country."

Childcare and Education Minister Sam Gyimah said:- "Ensuring parents have access to affordable, flexible and high quality early years provision is a key part of our plan for education.  We know the first few years of a child's life can be make or break in terms of how well they go on to do at school and beyond.  We want to see this money being put to the best use to ensure that all children, whatever their background, are getting the best start in life."

Nurseries will have the freedom to decide how to use the Early Years Pupil Premium to help 3 and 4 year olds learn and develop, for example more qualified staff or specialists in activities like speech and language to give an extra focus on basic skills.  The Early Years Pupil Premium builds on the Pupil Premium, established in 2011, to transform the way we educate children from low income families. Alongside this announcement, the Department for Education has asked charity 4Children to launch a call for evidence on the Early Years Pupil Premium in November 2014; asking providers to identify and share good practice around meeting the needs of disadvantaged children. The Early Years Pupil Premium is part of the government's programme of reforms to help children get ready to begin school, especially those who are from low income families. This includes:-

Expanding 15 hours of free early education to 40% of 2 year olds;

Expanding the role that schools play in the early years;

Tougher inspection and accountability through a stronger Ofsted framework;

Improving the quality of staff entering the early years workforce by introducing Early Years Teachers;

Encouraging new providers into the market including through the introduction of child minder agencies; and reducing regulation to make it easier for new providers to open and existing ones to expand through the Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Bill.


MERSEYSIDE Police are encouraging young people and their families to help keep communities safe over Bonfire Night period and is warning anyone who commits incidents of anti-social behaviour they can expect a swift response

Extra officers will be out on the streets across Merseyside over Bonfire Night period to ensure that people can enjoy the festivities in their area safely, whilst dealing with the minority who are intent on causing trouble.

Officers are asking parents to help keep communities safe by taking responsibility for their children's whereabouts and to be mindful of any neighbours who may be elderly or vulnerable and who might feel frightened or intimidated.

Young people are reminded to take personal responsibility for their actions and not to cause people undue concerns.

The force has been involved in a multi-agency operation to provide a whole range of activities across Merseyside, organise events and provide public reassurance.

Information about these events is available on the Merseyside Police and loacl Council websites.

Chief Superintendent Julie Cooke, said:- "This is a fun time of year for everyone across our communities on Merseyside and the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour during the same period last year was down on the previous year. However, our message during this period is simple; anti-social behaviour throughout this period will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly. No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time. I would like to stress that it is only a small minority of people who cause problems during this time, but there are lots of organised events and activities going on across the region for people to enjoy."

Anyone who would like to report incidents of anti-social behaviour is asked to call police on the 101 number.

...Firework Facts...

It is illegal for under 18s to buy fireworks, shops should refuse to sell to people under 18 and ask for proof of age if there is any doubt.

It is against the law to carry or use adult fireworks if you are under 18. An adult firework is any firework except a cap, cracker snap, novelty match, party popper, serpent, sparkler or throw down.

Under the Explosives Act of 1875, It is illegal to let off or throw a firework in a public place.

It is illegal to sell fireworks form unregistered/licensed premises.

Fireworks sold in the UK must conform to BS7114 and will be categorised as follows:-

Category 1 - These fireworks should not cause injury to people standing 1 metre or more away, and should not cause damage to property.

Category 2 - Fireworks are suitable for use in relatively confined areas. These fireworks should not cause injury to people standing five metres or more away. The fuse fitted to the fireworks should enable the person lighting the fireworks to retire to a distance of at least five metres.

Category 3 - Fireworks are only suitable for use in large open areas! These fireworks should not cause injury to people standing 25 metres or more away.

Category 4 - Fireworks, which are incomplete and/or are not intended for sale to the general public. Bought commercially and used in professional displays. These are highly dangerous and if you are not professional and you are offered one or sold one, report it to the Police or trading standards and do not use it!

Don't light fireworks after 11pm, or midnight on 5 November 2014 or on any night, except New Years Eve.  Then you can only let them off until 1am, but that depends on the area you live and also if you are near an airport!

Also take note if near an airport! It be hazardous to aircraft coming into land or taking off and people near an airport were setting off fireworks! In fact it is a criminal offence to setting off fireworks near an active airport as you are putting risk lives, unless you get authorisation from the airport to do so! The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also reminding people not to use them in flight paths with out contacting the airport for permission. Manchester Airport has published this PDF  file for advice and also to say when you can use fireworks with in its airspace. For information about Liverpool Airport call the General Enquiries number on:– 0871 521 8484 and RAF Woodvale on 01704 872287.

For more information visit the 'National Campaign for Firework Safety' website:-

If anyone believes they have information about the illegal sale, use or possession of fireworks, please contact Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on:- 0800 731 5958, Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.  Only in an emergency, when a crime is being committed or  life is in danger, call:- 999!

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