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Issue:- Monday, 21 March 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 4.

Blitz to fix pothole backlog

A £3 MILLION blitz to tackle a backlog of 14,000 potholes across Liverpool is set to take place between now and the summer. A report to the council's Cabinet says the condition of the road network has deteriorated at a far faster rate than envisaged, leading to a significant amount of outstanding highways defects that have not been tackled in the target time of 25 days.

As well as an increase in complaints, there has been a rise in the number of claims received and it now accounts for 90% of all legal claims, compared to 70% several years ago.

Around £1 million will be spent in each of the north, south and central/east parts of the City, with work in each area starting almost immediately and being completed within 3 months.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "I can see myself as I am travelling around the City that we need to take immediate action to deal with the potholes. That's why we've decided to prioritise tackling this issue as a matter of urgency and are also looking at how we can do more in the future. We have a £269 million backlog of road repairs built up over many years and only receive around £3 million each year from the Government which doesn't even scratch the surface. That is why I am going to be raising this problem with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin when I meet him next week to make the case for areas outside London receiving more investment funding. The fact is that we don't get enough money to keep up with the maintenance of the roads we are legally responsible for which means we can't even begin to look at the 37 miles of unadopted routes in the City, many of which are in a very bad condition."

The investment is in addition to the £80 million that the council is spending over the next 5 years improving main routes in the City and the annual resurfacing programme for local roads most in need of replacement funded by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Cabinet member for regeneration, said:- "Every councillor knows from their surgeries and emails that potholes are 1 of the biggest areas of complaints from residents. They cause inconvenience for motorists, are a danger to cyclists, give a bad impression to visitors and leave us open to increased compensation claims. Doing nothing is not an option as the situation will just get even worse, so we are going to be appointing a contractor to launch an intensive programme of repairs to eradicate the backlog and make a significant difference to the quality of the road network."

The cost of the work will be offset using contributions from developers undertaking regeneration projects and utilities companies as well as future savings in public liability claims and the reduced need for repairs.

Care rates to rise for National Living Wage

LIVERPOOL City Council is set to increase fees paid to the care sector to help them meet the cost of the new National Living Wage. The new rate of £7.20 per hour for over 25s and £6.70 for 21-24 year olds is being introduced in April 2016 and represents an increase of about 10.8% on the current National Minimum Wage.  Detailed analysis of the age profile of the workforce in residential and nursing homes and home care agencies has been carried out to estimate the financial impact on the sector. A report to the Cabinet on Friday, 19 March 2016, is proposing increasing the hourly rate for home care by £1.09 to £12.97. The weekly rates paid for residential and nursing care will rise by between £17.53 and £24.53 per week. The total cost of the increase to the City Council will be £3.7 million over the next financial year (2016/2017).

Councillor Roz Gladden, Cabinet member for adult social care, said:- "It's really important that we increase our rates to make sure that the care sector in Liverpool is not adversely affected by the introduction of the new National Living Wage. Their staff do an amazing job and we would love to be able to pay higher rates but, as everyone knows, we have very limited financial resources in the context of a 58% cut in our budget since 2010. Although the wage rise is to be welcomed, it increases pressure on our budget and more than wipes out the additional £2.8 million the Government has allowed us to raise for adult social care by increasing council tax by two percent.  It demonstrates the huge challenges we face in dealing with a growing older population at a time when council funds are being cut dramatically by Whitehall."

Consultation will now start with care providers in Liverpool over the proposed new rates, with the aim of introducing them from May 2016, backdated to the start of the financial year.

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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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