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Issue:- Saturday Night, 19 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 2.

Parents of children with life threatening conditions urged to apply for dream holiday to Florida

STAFFORDSHIRE based national charity, Caudwell Children, who provide practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, is urging parents to apply for a place on its annual Destination Dreams holiday, to Disney World, Florida, in December 2016.

The charity has announced that the closing date for the receipt of applications, for the fully supported holiday, is 5:00pm, on Friday, 29 January 2016. Destination Dreams gives 25 children, with life limiting or life threatening illnesses, the opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Disney World. Since 2007 the charity has created magical memories for hundreds of children, and their families, from across the UK.

Lisa Bates, Head of Application Services at Caudwell Children, said:- "For many families caring for children with terminal or life-threatening conditions the thought of leaving the protected environment of their home town fills them with dread. By providing 24 hour professional medical support for the duration of the trip, along with a team of volunteers, Destination Dreams gives families the chance to create special, happy memories. If you've always wanted to take your child on that 'Dream' holiday, but not had the confidence or the financial means to do so, then I would urge you to get your application in."

Jill Cavagan, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, experienced Destination Dreams in 2014 and she was delighted that she took the decision to apply. She said:- "We'd always dreamed of taking Sadie (8) and her sister Charlotte (5) to Disney World. However, without the medical support we just couldn't face the long journey. Sadie's condition affects her learning and her balance and she's also visually impaired. We never know what's going to happen to her, because her condition is so rare, and it's quite stressful if medical support isn't close by. So when we were accepted on the Destination Dreams trip we were delighted."

And Jill wasn't disappointed by the holiday, as she continued:- "Seeing my two children enjoying a holiday together was amazing. We actually forgot about Sadie's condition as we were having such a fantastic time. The trip allowed us to create lasting memories that we shall treasure for a lifetime."

Lisa is keen to hear from families from across the UK and says that it is a simple process. She said:- "The application is in two stages. Both must be completed in order for an application to go into the selection process. The child must be aged between 3 and 18 at the time of the trip and they must be legal residents of, and currently living within, the UK. The family must be earning less than £45,000 a year before tax, not including any benefits. Parents and siblings under the age of 18 are eligible for the trip; however, in the event of a single parent family being chosen a second adult must accompany the group on the holiday."

Parents who are unsure if their child's diagnosis meets the criteria for the trip, or who want further information and an application pack, are urged to call Caudwell Children's Applications team on:- 0345 300 1348.

Alternatively you can apply online.

Taxi fare rise agreed

AN increase in Liverpool's Hackney cab fares has been agreed. The rise, the 1st in 4 years, followed a request from Unite the trade union which represents a number of Taxi Drivers in the City.  They argued that fares in Liverpool are, on average below other major Cities. They also said that if fares were not increased now it would lead to a larger hike in fares at a later date. Objections to the proposed increase were considered, but it has been agreed that the increase should go ahead with immediate effect.

The new fares are as follows:-

Tariff One or D (Day) rate...

For journeys beginning after 06:00 hours and ending before 23:00 hours (other than when Tariffs 2 or 3 apply).   £2.40 (instead of £2.20 currently) for the 1st 330 yards (or less) Then 20p each succeeding 232 yards (or less) up to 14080 (instead of 11002 currently) yards. Then 20p each succeeding 300 (instead of 330 currently) yards (or less) And 20p each 60 seconds waiting charge or (or less).

Tariff 2 or N (Night) rate...

For journeys beginning after 23:00 hours and ending before 06:00 hours or at any times on Easter Sunday and all bank holidays (other than the Xmas and New Year periods when the Tariff 3 (or X) rate should be charged; see below).  £3.00 (instead of £2.75 currently) for the 1st 330 yards (or less). Then 25p each succeeding 232 yards (or less) up to 14080 (instead of 11002 currently) yards. Then 25p each succeeding 300 (instead of 330 currently) yards (or less). And 25p each 60 seconds waiting charge or (or less).

Tariff 3 or X (Extra) rate...

For journeys beginning (1) after 6.00pm on December 24 to 6.00am on 27 December and (2) after 6.00pm on 31 December to 6.00am on 2 January. This rate can also be charged if the journey taken is over four miles beyond the City of Liverpool boundary AND THE USE OF THIS RATE HAS BEEN AGREED IN ADVANCE.  £3.60 (instead of £3.30 currently) for the 1st 330 yards (or less). Then 30p each succeeding 232 yards (or less) up to 14080 (instead of 11002 currently) yards. Then 30p each succeeding 300 (instead of 330 currently) yards (or less). And 30p each 60 seconds waiting charge or (or less).

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said:- "We have a responsibility to be fair to both the taxi trade and to passengers. Nobody likes price increases, but this is the 1st rise in 4 years and it has been kept as low as possible. Experience has shown that if you keep the fares down too long you end up with having to impose a very big increase. In the 1980's the fares were frozen for 6 years, but this was followed by a rise of nearly 30%. There were objections from some taxi drivers and passengers and these were carefully considered, but on balance, it has been decided that an increase in fares at this time is justified."

Appeal for information about the whereabouts of Thomas Cole

MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a Liverpool man who they need to speak to as part of an investigation into an allegation of rape in the Southport area. Detectives from the force's specialist Unity team are keen to hear from anyone who can help them trace 20 year old Thomas John Cole from Tuebrook. They are investigating an allegation of rape following an incident at a property on Leyland Street in Southport, on 20 November 2013, which was reported to Merseyside Police a year later in 2014. Extensive enquiries have been made by Officers to progress the investigation and they are now asking for the public's help in tracing Mr Cole, so they can speak to him as part of their enquiries. Anyone who has seen Thomas Cole recently or knows where he is now is urged to call officers at the Unity team on:- 0151 777 1382 or alternatively leave information anonymously with Crimestoppers by calling:- 0800 555 111.

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