RMT urges Labour mayoral
hopeful to back guards' campaign
LABOUR'S candidate in the Liverpool Region's Mayoral Race
has been urged to declare his support for the campaign to retain guards on
Merseyrail's new fleet of trains. Rail union RMT has called on Steve Rotheram to
pledge that he will do all in his power to ensure that there will be a second
safety critical crew member aboard every Merseyrail train if he wins the May 4
election and takes over responsibility for transport. RMT General Secretary Mick
Cash said:- "Steve's positive and energetic campaign emphasises that he is
'1 of us’, and asks the people of Liverpool City Region to wrest the region from
the malign grip of the Tories. Steve has the opportunity to do just that by
showing that he is on the side of Merseyside's travelling public, and not on the
side of Merseyrail's Dutch owned private operator or the Tory ministers in the
Department for Transport who see profit as more important than people. We have
kept Steve fully informed about the situation in meetings and detailed
briefings, and Steve now has a golden opportunity to influence the outcome of 1
of the key transport issues facing the Liverpool Region. Steve knows that
Merseyrail is Britain's most profitable train operating company, yet is paying
absolutely nothing towards the new fleet, and that it could easily afford to
retain guards and still make a substantial and growing profit. He also knows
that Merseyrail has a contractual clause that forces local taxpayers to foot the
bill for the dispute, when that money could be used to finance a solution to it.
The travelling public are overwhelmingly behind our campaign, and a Labour
pledge to maintain safety, service standards and local jobs will be enormously
popular. What is at stake is maintaining the safest possible operation of the
Merseyrail network for the next 30 years, and whether it remains attractive and
secure or becomes a haven for anti social and criminal behaviour. Now is the
ideal moment for Steve to say he is with the disabled passengers, the women
travelling alone, the elderly, the young; in fact all sections of the community
that use the rail network, who overwhelmingly want a guard on every train."
Merseyside Police have welcomed the sentencing
of Robert Nickson for sexual offences
ROBERT Nickson, 55, from Crosby, has been found guilty of 21
counts of indecent assault on a girl under 16 years following a trial. The
offences were committed against three victims in the 1970's. On Monday, 10
April 2017, he was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison at Liverpool Crown
Court. Detective Constable Justin Harrison said:- "Nickson's victims
have shown incredible bravery to come forward. Specially trained officers in
Merseyside Police's Unity team have supported them throughout the investigation.
Time should never be a barrier to obtaining justice and I hope today's sentence
gives his victims some sense of closure. Merseyside Police takes every report of
sexual offences extremely seriously, whether or not they are recent, and has
dedicated officers within the force's Unity team who are specially trained to
both thoroughly investigate allegations and make sure that those reporting them
are properly supported. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure anyone
who has suffered a sexual offence that if you can find the courage to come
forward and speak to us, we will deal with you sensitively."
In a victim impact statement read to the court, one of his victims wrote:-
"As a child I had no conception of what was happening was wrong. There was no
understanding by me that what he was doing was wrong at that time. I had no idea
that what he had done to me was wrong until I was a teenager and becoming more
aware of the difference between right and wrong. As a teenager we started to
have sex education in science classes; that was when it really dawned on me I
had been abused by Nickson. I was only a child, an innocent child who having
been abused now as an adult suffers. I can't sleep, I can't think straight
sometimes, my moods are up and down, I fight with me own conscience, but I did
not want to be abused nor consent to be abused. I have nightmares now of what
happened to me, I relive the abuse in my dreams. Can I go back to normal? Will
this abuse stick with me forever? I don't know the answer."
People can call Officers in the force's specialist Protecting Vulnerable People
Unit, on:- 0151 777 1382. Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers,
anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.
No Easter break for carers,
finds local charity
AS nation heads off for Easter holidays, Revitalise study
highlights massive strain on unpaid carers
As families look forward to well deserved holidays this Easter, research by the
national disabled people's charity Revitalise has revealed that for unpaid
carers, the luxury of any kind of break may just be a distant dream.
The charity; which provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers from
across the region at the Sandpipers Centre, in Southport and 2 other accessible
UK centres, is highlighting the huge mental and physical toll that caring is
taking on the estimated 6.8 million unpaid carers across the UK, as well as
their fears for the future.
Revitalise's study revealed that 52% did not know how they would be able to cope
if things continued the way they were and 4 out of 10 were fearful they would
end up ill, in chronic pain or disabled themselves; not surprising since 55% of
carers had been caring for 10 years or more and 30% were aged 70 or over.
An astonishing 26% of respondents revealed they had a
pre-existing illness or injury even before they took on the role of carer.
To make matters worse and despite the known therapeutic value of respite, the
majority of carers found themselves unable to take any time off from caring. In
a separate study, Revitalise found that 34% of carers had never had any
significant time away since they started caring.
In order to provide further support for carers, Revitalise has embedded a
dedicated online carers' forum, the Simplyhealth Care Community, within its
website. The forum was developed by long term partner Simplyhealth; with whom
Revitalise has enjoyed a productive partnership since 2013; and is powered by
the social network HealthUnlocked. The Simplyhealth Care Community enables
unpaid carers to be part of an online support community, a place where they can
talk about their concerns, experiences and ask questions from others in a
In addition, Revitalise is once again calling for more funding to give unpaid
carers all the support they need and renewing its call for sufficient funding
for respite breaks to be a fundamental element of all social care provision.
Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds commented:- "As Easter approaches most of us
are looking forward to long weekends, City breaks or holidays with the family,
but for the majority of carers, Easter will be no different to any other time of
year. While we acknowledge that most carers do what they do out of love, there
is no denying that providing care for a loved one is physically and emotionally
draining. That's why we are proud to add Simplyhealth Care Community to our
website. It is the latest of a raft of measures we are able to offer the UK's
carers thanks to our partnership with Simplyhealth. Revitalise has been
providing respite for disabled people and carers for over 50 years, so we know
there is no substitute for time off, but forums such as Simplyhealth Care
Community have a key part to play in relieving isolation and enabling carers to
draw strength from others in a similar position."
Simplyhealth Chief Commercial Officer, Raman Sankaran, added:- "At a time
when most people are celebrating their time off, we understand that the UK's
carers are still hard at work, as they have been every other day, selflessly
providing care for a loved 1. They may consider the role of carer to be their
duty; but that doesn't mean they don't need support. Sometimes caring for a
loved 1 can feel isolating. The Simplyhealth Care Community provides carers with
a space to talk to other carers. To be able to openly share their concerns with
a community who are listening and willing to provide their support and advice.
We should never underestimate the power of talking to others who are in a
similar situation. Like Revitalise we want to help people make the most of
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people
and carers. Revitalise provides short breaks, with 24 hour nurse led care, on
call and personal support, at Sandpipers and 2 other accessible centres in
Chigwell and Southampton. Each centre offers a wide range of accessible
activities and excursions in a holiday environment.