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Publication date:- 2017-15-07

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

Liverpool Council Tax exemption for care leavers...

YOUNG people leaving care in Liverpool are set to be granted an exemption from paying Council Tax.  The Council's Cabinet is being recommended to approve the proposal which would benefit young people up to the age of 21, who are leaving the care system and starting to lead independent lives.

It follows a request from Liverpool's Children in Care Council; a group that represents young people in care in the City, and the move is also backed by the Children's Society.

Evidence shows that care leavers often move into their own house or flat earlier than their peers, and they are a particularly vulnerable group for getting into debt.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "Young people leaving care face a difficult transition into adulthood and managing money for the first time leaves them at real risk. We all want the best for our children, and as their corporate parent it is right and proper that we do all we can to support them as much as we can, to help get their independence off to a good start."

Councillor Barry Kushner, the Cabinet member for Children's Services, said:- "There are only 20 Councils that offer care leavers Council Tax exemption, and I am proud that Liverpool is joining this list. We help give care leavers a good start to their adult life and this decision will add to the support we offer in funding a tenancy with a social landlord as well as access to training and paid work placements."

Caitlin Ruddy from the Children in Care Council said:- "This exemption is going to help us transition from care to independence so much. Many of us give up on a property because we get into debt with Council Tax. It will also be a big incentive for our care leavers to gain employment and stay in work and we thank the Council for its help and support."

Currently, 87 of Liverpool's 393 care leavers are in independent accommodation and would be eligible for the exemption, which would be worth at least ₤875 a year (based on a young person living on their own in a Band A property).

Those who live outside of the City boundary will receive a payment equivalent to the amount of Council Tax they have to pay.

People that foster 1 or more child for the City Council already get free Council Tax, as part of a package of measures to support those helping look after the City's vulnerable young people.

The Cabinet meets on Friday, 21 July 2017, to consider the recommendation.


₤1.1 million Junction improvements scheme welcomed by Chester Cycling Campaign

DRIVERS, cyclists and pedestrians are set to benefit from a ₤1.1 million scheme to improve safety at a busy Junction, near Ellesmere Port, Wirral, Merseyside.

The Highways England project at 2 Mills, where the A550 meets the A540, is due to start, on Monday, 17 July 2017. A new 320 metre cycle path will be created through the Junction, with traffic lights and toucan crossings making it easier to cross the A550.

The right turn lanes onto the A540 from the A550 will also be improved and a new high friction road surface will be laid to reduce the risk of collisions, at the Junction.

The A540, which runs between Chester and Hoylake, is popular with cyclists and group rides set off from a cyclists' cafe near the 2 Mills Junction during most weekends throughout the year.

Phil Tyrrell, the Project Manager at Highways England, said:- "We're committed to significantly improving safety across our road network, and the new cycle path, as well as the wider and longer right turn lanes, will make it much easier and safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Junction. We will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum while the work is taking place, and look forward to seeing the new cycle path open in time for the spring."

The new cycle path, which will be shared by cyclists and pedestrians, will run along the Southbound A540. The route will cross 2 new islands on the A550 at the 2 Mills Junction before continuing along the A540.

2 crossings will also be created at either end of the cycle path for people travelling in the opposite direction. The bus stop on the A540 will be moved to the opposite side of the Junction to allow space for the new cycle path.

Peter Williams from Neston is a member of the Chester Cycling Campaign, which campaigns for new and improved cycle routes. He said:- "We're really pleased to see this scheme taking place as the Junction is used by lots of cyclists every week; either commuting to work or for leisure. I tend to meet up with members of the Chester and North Wales Cyclists' Touring Club twice a week at the Eureka cyclists' café near the Junction before we set off on a ride. You have to be really careful when you cross the Junction at the moment and a few people I know have had their bikes clipped by drivers who haven't seen them, so the new cycle path will definitely make it safer."

Most of the work will be carried out overnight, between 8pm and 5am, with some work also taking place at weekends. A series of overnight lane or road closures will be in place on most nights, with clearly signed diversions. The scheme is due to be completed by spring 2018.

The cycling project at the 2 Mills Junction is 1 of 200 cycling schemes taking place across England up until 2021 paid for by a ₤100 million government fund for cycling. The schemes are designed to make it easier for cyclists to cross Motorway Junctions and use major A roads.


Merseyside man charged with drug offences following extradition from Spain

MERSEYSIDE Police are investigating the escape from custody of Shaun Walmsley have extradited a man who was arrested in Spain on suspicion of drug offences. 30 year old Mark Forster from Briar Street, Kirkdale, was arrested by Spanish Police, on Thursday, 22 June 2017. Forster had been wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in connection with a Merseyside Police drug supply operation. Forster was extradited back to England, on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 and has been charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. He has been remanded in custody to next appear at Liverpool Crown Court, on Thursday, 10 August 2017.

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