New school building
contracts to be awarded
CONTRACTS worth almost £9 million
are set to be awarded for construction work on 2 schools in Liverpool.
It will see Kier Construction building a new £7 million home for Palmerston
School on the site of the current Aigburth High on Minehead Road. Aigburth
High is moving to a brand new building on Childwall Abbey Road in Childwall
in April 2016.
The current Palmerston School, located on Beaconsfield Road in Woolton, is
reaching the end of its life and does not have any suitable external
The new single storey building will accommodate boys and girls aged 11-19
years with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple needs, and
will be completed by April 2017.
It will include a sports and dining hall plus a new hydrotherapy and splash
pool together with sensory learning spaces.
Meanwhile, St Margaret's Church of England Academy in Aigburth is to get a
new £2 million teaching block which will house a food technology lab and
drama hall/theatre opening in time for the start of the new academic year in
The two schemes are part of the Mayor's Liverpool School Investment
Programme, in which £169 million is being spent on 17 new and refurbished
schools right across the City.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, Councillor Nick Small,
said:- "The current Palmerston School is past its sell by date and
although the teaching is excellent the staff and pupils are hampered by the
lack of outdoor space and modern learning facilities.
The work at St Margaret's will enable them to extend their range of academic
and vocational courses, giving students more choice in the subjects they can
study. We will be working closely with the construction firm to make sure
that as much of the sub contracting work as possible is spent locally to
benefit firms in the City Region."
Kier estimate that 85% of the spend will be in Liverpool with another
10%across Merseyside. They will also be creating 9 apprenticeships as part
of the scheme.
Palmerston School Principal Lis Burbidge said:- "The staff and pupils
are delighted about the prospect of the new school and are already planning
how we will use the exciting new rooms and outdoor space."
Principal at St Margaret's Academy, Stephen Brierley, said:- "We are
thrilled and deeply grateful for the investment that will be taking place in
our buildings over the next few months.
In its many years of existence, St Margaret's has never had any facilities
to teach practical food lessons, but thanks to the generosity of the
Mayor's fund, future generations of students will be able to learn these
vital skills practically, and on site.
Our new drama space will provide an excellent opportunity for budding actors
and actresses to learn their craft too.
The entire school community is very much looking forward to the new
facilities that are so generously being provided for us".
John O'Callaghan, managing director of Kier Construction's northern
operations, commented:- "We are delighted to have been chosen for this
important project to improve Palmerston and St Margaret's schools.
This will be the fourth scheme we've delivered through the Liverpool School
Improvement Programme and we look forward to continuing our collaborative
relationship with Liverpool City Council. In addition to providing high
quality, fit for purpose educational facilities for both pupils and staff,
the project will also benefit the City more widely, as we will be looking to
keep approximately 85 percent of our budget spend here in Liverpool, and
create valuable employment and training opportunities in our local supply
Blitz to fix pothole
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
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.