Faster, easier Tax
Repayments are at the heart of the Personal Tax Account
TAXPAYERS can now opt to get their
money back direct from HM Revenue and Customs; via their digital Personal Tax
Account; without the need for a cheque or trip to the bank, HMRC have confirmed.
The online Tax Refund Service is available to customers who use their Personal
Tax Account. Tax that they have overpaid will be returned directly to their bank
account within 3 to 5 days.
Ruth Owen, Director General of Customer service, HMRC said:- "This new
service puts customers in control of their Tax affairs allowing them to claim
any money owing to them immediately. They can claim at a time that suits them,
from a device of their choice, securely, and without needing to wait for a
cheque in the post.
Now customers will have access to funds cleared in their account within 3 to 5
days, rather than the 2 weeks it would typically take for a cheque to be issued,
banked and cleared."
The online refund is just 1 of many services customers can access through
their Personal Tax Account. With over 34 quick and easy services which would
have previously meant a letter or phone call to HMRC, the Personal Tax Account
makes Tax less formal and time consuming.
With the Personal Tax Account customers can:-
► View and update personal details.
► See how their Tax is calculated.
► See the progress of forms they've sent us.
► Check the expected level of their state pension.
► Find out about Marriage Allowance entitlement, and make a claim online.
► See Tax Credits payments and report changes in circumstances.
Webchat is available to support customers who need help while accessing their
Online Tax account.
Pin prick meningitis test could be available within 5 years
A test has been developed that could help to diagnose
bacterial infections, including meningitis in minutes. If made available through
the NHS, this test would significantly reduce the time taken to diagnose the
disease and minimise the risk of misdiagnosis.
The new test, developed by a team at Imperial College London, is a major
breakthrough in the rapid diagnosis of meningitis and sepsis in children. If
made available through the NHS, it could allow treatment to begin much earlier,
saving hundreds of lives and reducing the risk of life changing after effects.
The signs and symptoms of meningitis are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and
can be dismissed as a cold or flu. Many young children presenting the early
symptoms of the disease are initially sent home, before being rushed back to
hospital a few hours later as their condition rapidly deteriorates. Currently,
doctors grow bacteria in a sample of blood, in a process which can take up to 48
Responding to the news, Liz Brown, CEO at Meningitis Now said:- "A delay
in life saving treatment for bacterial meningitis can be a matter of life or
death. We welcome this significant progress in the development of a rapid test
for meningitis and sepsis.
We would however, continue to advise people to know the signs and symptoms of
meningitis and to seek immediate medical attention if they have any concerns."
The study led by Professor Michael Levin has shown that a bacterial infection
can be distinguished from other causes of fever, such as a viral infection,
using a pattern of genes that are switched on or off in response to an
A larger project will now begin to develop these findings into a pin prick
diagnostic test, which Professor Levin believes could be available through the
NHS within 5 years.
For support and advice on meningitis call the Meningitis Now Helpline on:- 0808 80
10 388. For more information or to donate visit the
Grants to make the City
LIVERPOOL will be cleaner and greener
thanks to a new fund to help community groups make improvements in their
The Environmental Initiatives Fund was set up by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe
Anderson, following a recommendation in the Interim Report for the Strategic
Green and Open Spaces Review.
This called for community groups, schools and small businesses to be helped to
play more active roles in improving their local environment.
A funding pot of £20,000 was set up and groups were invited to bid for grants of
up to £500.
23 groups have been awarded a total of £10,430 in the first round of
applications. Among the successful were those to improve community gardens, to
engage children in gardening projects and community clean-ups
A 2nd round of applications will be considered in late 2016.
Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said:- "While
the grant to each group may not be a large amount of money they will still have
an impact on making neighbourhoods greener and cleaner.
But, just as importantly, they will help to get communities working together to
improve their neighbourhoods.
I have been encouraged that we had a wide range of organisations from across the
City coming forward with ideas on how they can improve their local environment
and we were able to support several bids."
The successful applications are:-
► Bronte Youth and Community Centre to improve Bronte Garden (£500)
► Norris Green Youth Centre to create a safe green space for young people
► Grandison Road Allotments Society - to provide compost bins (£500)
► Afro Caribbean and Lunch Club to provide tools for the Green Growers
► River Oaks Residents' Association to repair and maintain furniture
around community pond (£500)
► Amadudu Women and Children's Refuge to support gardening for health
► Active Community Enterprise A.C.E. to provide a disabled toilet at
community garden (£500)
► Rotary Club of Liverpool, St Vincent's - to purchase a poly tunnel to
nurture tree saplings which will be gifted to schools (£500)
► Lee Valley Pensioners Club to support the Incredible Edible Valley
► The Sound Agents to support the Growing Up in Chinatown project with
hanging baskets and planters (£500)
► Fazakerley Health and Wellebing Forum - to fund a community clean-up of
Hawksmoor Park ecology park (£500)
► Anfield Neighbourhood Forum - to fund tools and equipment for the Green
Shoots project (£450)
► Netherley Youth and Community Initiative to fund equipment for a
project to grow fruit and vegetables for families accessing a foodbank (£500)
► Deysbrook Village Centre - to supply furniture and equipment for the
Growing Deysbrook Project (£500)
► Triple C (Liverpool) - to provide gardening resources and equipment for
the Norris Green Harvest! Scheme (£200)
► Childwall in Bloom - for plants and other material to enhance Childwall
► Green Harmony Garden Project to support a plant propagation project
► Florence Institute Trust to support the maintenance of the Florrie
Pocket Park (£500)
► St Cyril's Children and Youth Project to help provide a safe garden
area for children and young people (£150)
► Tree House Liverpool CIC to provide equipment, plants and seeds for the
Veg Bed in the Rose Garden at Newsham Park. (£500)
► Alt Valley Community Trust - to support the Ellergreen Community Centre
Garden Project (£500)
► ARCH Under the Bridge Ltd to provide equipment for the Little Dibbers
environmental growing scheme. (£500)
► Merseyside Police to provide litter pickers for Operation Clean Sweep