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Publication date:- 2017-29-07

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 2.

Letter to the Editor:- "Fracking update - Government Policy"

"EARLIER this month I wrote the Secretary of State to establish what the Governments policy was on Fracking as there was no mention of it in the Queens Speech. I have subsequently received a reply form the Minister for Energy and Industry where he confirms that the UK Government supports shale gas exploration to determine the potential of the industry. He further states that:- ''shale gas is natural gas found deep underground and requires hydraulic fracturing.'' It is clear that his government believe shale gas could create a new British industry and provide more jobs. However he did also state that shale gas operations would only take place in a manner which is safe for the environment and local communities. He added that:- ''any company looking to develop shale will need all the necessary permission, including planning and environmental permits.'' Clearly we will have to hold them to account on this and that public feeling must also be taken into account. Labour opposes fracking and will continue to support local residents who also express concern." Regards, Bill Esterson MP. What are our readers thoughts on this issue? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

1 in 5 professionals in Liverpool have experienced discrimination in an interview

THE latest study from CV Library, the UK's leading independent job board, has found that 18.2% professionals in Liverpool have experienced discrimination during an interview, and for the majority (50%) it was because of their age.  The survey of 1,200 workers, sought to reveal how many professionals have been affected by interview discrimination, and the reasons for this. The data found that aside from age, the other most common reasons were because of their race (13%) and the school or university that they went to (12%). Worse still, nearly two thirds of workers in Liverpool (61.4%) don't know their rights when it comes to interview discrimination. Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments:- "It's concerning to see that interview discrimination is so rife in Liverpool, with one in five being affected. More worryingly, over half of professionals in the City don't know their rights should they be affected. If you experience prejudice during an interview, be sure to get in touch with the business and request comprehensive feedback as to their decision not to hire you. Alternatively, get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau for more information."

Furthermore, 81.8% of workers in Liverpool believe that interview discrimination happens often and that the best way to solve this is creating more awareness of the issue (43.2%). Further suggestions include: better training of interviewers (31.8%), and interviewers following a set list of questions for all candidates (6.8%). Biggins concludes:- "It's certainly worrying that so many professionals in Liverpool believe discrimination is a common occurrence during interviews. That said, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of this happening and raising awareness around the situation is the 1st hurdle to tackle. If you believe you've been discriminated against it's important to speak out; this is a subject that needs to be discussed so that we can begin to find a permanent solution!"

Do you feel that you were ill advised in the purchase of your leasehold property?

THE Government has announced new plans to ban leasehold houses and restrict onerous ground rent clauses for homeowners. The proposals come following months of concern over unfair leasehold practices from homeowners, lenders and campaigners.  Leasehold contracts have traditionally been limited to properties with shared spaces such as flats. However, there has been an increasing trend of housing developers, particularly in the North West, selling new build houses as leasehold rather than freehold. This has led to thousands of homebuyers finding themselves embroiled in a 'leasehold trap', characterised by spiralling ground rents and onerous contract clauses.  Many homeowners who have attempted to buy their property's freehold have been quoted extortionate amounts of money with some even finding that it has been sold on by the developer to investors, who are reaping the rewards of doubling ground rent clauses. As a result, some people have found that their properties are now unsalable. In most cases, owners have just 6 years from the date of purchase to start legal proceedings. It's therefore essential that you take action sooner rather than later.  The new plans, announced by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, aim to ban homebuilders from selling houses as leasehold and will also restrict ground rents on flats to zero. In his announcement, Mr Javid said there are currently 1.2 million cases of houses on leasehold and it is hoped that these measures will help to make the system fairer and more transparent for consumers. The proposals are under an 8 week consultation and apply only to England.  Michael Jefferies of Jefferies Solicitors, comments on the proposals:- "For too long, homeowners have suffered at the hands of developers. At Jefferies, we are pleased to hear that the Government has decided to take action and we welcome its plans to tackle the unfair leasehold system. Unfortunately, the changes are unlikely to help those who have already bought their home on these terms. Many homebuyers were not adequately advised by their lawyers about these onerous clauses or the effects they can have. Any individual who received negligent advice may be able to seek redress against the lawyer involved in their house purchase."

Did you receive negligent advice when purchasing your leasehold property?  We would love to know. Please email our newsroom via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know your views and thoughts on this issue.

Children living in workless households falls in the North West

THE number of children living in a household with no working adults is at a record low in the UK. Figures released by the ONS show that the percentage of children in the North West living in a household with no working adults has fallen from 18% in 2010, to just 13%.  A Government report released earlier this year found that children living in workless families are significantly more disadvantaged, and achieve poorer educational outcomes than other children including those living in lower income working families. In comparison, ¾ of children from workless families moved out of poverty when their parents found full time work. Employment Minister, Damian Hinds said:- "These latest figures are further proof that the strength of the economy is benefitting the North West. Our welfare reforms are encouraging more people into work, improving families' security and children's life chances. There's more still to do and we will build further on this progress with the roll out of Universal Credit, ensuring it always pays to be in work."

In May, the ONS confirmed that the number of workless households in the UK has fallen to a record low. Those figures showed that the number of children in workless households had fallen by 6% in just a year; equivalent to 90,000 children across the UK.  The latest employment figures show that there are a record 31.01 million people in work, and the unemployment rate (4.5%) is the lowest level since 1975.  Since 2010 income inequality has fallen and the proportion of people living in relative poverty is near its lowest level since the 1980s. In recent years the Government has doubled free childcare, introduced Universal Credit and increased the National Living Wage and tax free Personal Allowance.  Under Universal Credit people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system. Universal Credit is designed to mirror the way many people in work are paid, with budgeting advice and benefit advances available for anyone who needs extra help.

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