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News Report Page 25 of 30
Publication Date:- 2018-02-10
News reports located on this page = 5.

₤3m boost for clean buses in Liverpool City Region

A successful bid by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has secured ₤3m to reduce emissions on nearly 150 buses.  The ₤3m from Central Government's Clean Bus Technology Fund will be used on buses operated by Arriva, Stagecoach, Cumfybus and Halton Transport, across the City Region.

Retrofitting the emissions reducing equipment will reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen dioxide and bring 149 buses up to Euro 6 specifications, the most rigorous European standard for emissions.

Speaking about the funding, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:- "I am very pleased that we have been able to work together with bus operators to secure this funding, which will help to improve air quality across Merseyside and our City Region. Fitting this emission reducing technology to such a large number of buses will help us to deliver a safer, healthier environment for the people of the City Region, building on our strong track record in this area. We already work with and support bus operators to reduce carbon emissions, noise and air pollution from buses, and benefit from sustainable biodiesel buses, and full electric and hybrid buses running on the commercial and subsidised network. As part of our aim to become a zero carbon City Region by 2040 we are leading the way in developing sustainable green energy in order to make that a reality. As we work towards that goal we need to use all available tools to make sure our existing technologies are as clean and green as possible."

Cllr Liam Robinson Chair of the Transport Committee that oversees the work of Merseytravel, said:- "1 of our priorities is to get more people on the bus and this helps to reduce car miles and carbon footprints. We are investing in bus fleets to improve the offer and benefits to customers and it's crucial that we maximise the opportunities and new technologies available to make our buses as green and environmentally friendly as possible."

Work begins on improvements to Southport Hospital A&E

BUILDING work on expanding the accident and emergency department is under way at Southport Hospital. The ₤1.25m project aims to further improve the experience of care for patients and the environment in which staff treat them.  The centrepiece of the improvements is an 80 square metre, 9 bay extension constructed from 4 ready built modules. They will be each lowered by crane into an internal courtyard, connected together and linked to the A&E department by a short corridor. The work is expected to be completed by the middle of April 2018.  During the spring and summer, improvements to the existing A&E will create a more spacious, modern environment with an improved Ambulance handover area and better access for disabled people.

Therese Patten, Chief Operating Officer, said:- "This is wonderful news. Our local population is older than average with many very poorly, frailer patients, meaning these improvements are very much needed. Over the past 3 years, there's been an almost 10% rise in patients coming to A&E. The team regularly sees at least 150 patients a day and last summer saw the highest level of attendances on record. I'm proud to say, however, that despite these challenges staff working together across the Trust still manage to deliver a service that scores well when compared with neighbouring Hospitals.  The work will reduce overcrowding at the busiest times, improve the experience of care for patients and provide a better environment for our staff."

Arriving at Hospital in an Ambulance does not get you seen any quicker

ARRIVING at Hospital in an Ambulance does not get you seen any quicker; that's the message from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) crews who want people to think twice before calling:- 999 if they can get to Hospital by other means.

Ambulance crews are now issuing flyers to patients which contain health information such as where and when to get help when feeling unwell and a reminder that going to Hospital by Ambulance does is not mean they will jump the queue.

The flyers also encourage the over 65's, pregnant women, people with long term health conditions and children aged 2 and 3 years old to get a free flu vaccination.

The advice comes after an increase in reports by crews to Ambulance bosses that people are openly admitting to using 999, as a taxi service, because they think they will be seen quicker in A&E.

In one recent case, a lady who had just been taken to Hospital by Ambulance called:- 999 to complain that she had been asked to sit with other people in the waiting room. She asked for another Ambulance to be sent out to her so she could be seen straight away.

Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service said:- "No matter how you get to A&E, whether it's by Ambulance or not, you will be assessed and then seen in order of priority. Being asked to wait is actually a good thing; it's when you're rushed through that you're having a really bad day and you've got a serious health concern. Across the 5 counties of the North West there are, on average, around 250 Ambulances and 50 rapid response vehicles on duty at any one time. That's not a lot when you consider that we're helping 130 people each and every hour of the day. We need the public to help us by making sure they only call 999 when someone has a serious illness or injury and their life could be at risk. When it's not an emergency, people can go to the NHS website, a pharmacy, GP or call NHS:- 111. And, if it's safe to get to Hospital by other means please do, so that Ambulances are free for those who need them most."

In January 2018, North West Ambulance Service dealt with 96,141 patients and 61.75% were taken to A&E by Ambulance.

Call for unifier to help Government departments meet Taylor goals

THE Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has highlighted the huge amount of work to be done in order to implement the recommendations and deliver the plan set out by the Government in its response to the Matthew Taylor review:- 'Good Work.' This will require Government departments to work together and LITRG has called for a person or body to be appointed to co-ordinate and oversee the implementation of the plan.

LITRG Chair Anne Fairpo said:- "The 'Good Work' plan requires a lot of elements to come together. Government will obviously be delegating to various departments to achieve the objectives here, including, BEIS, HMRC, DWP, Courts Service, GDS, the list goes on. However, in our experience, the more Government departments are involved, the greater the effort required to put together a coherent policy or plan and ensure delivery is effective. There must be absolute alignment between the various departments in their approaches to taking this forward. Ideally, we would like to see the appointment of someone to oversee the implementation of the plan, keep the various departments focused and to produce an annual report on how things are progressing; so that the various action points don't get lost."

The Government has acted on all but 1 of Matthew Taylor's 53 recommendations. It rejected his proposals to reduce the difference between the National Insurance contributions (NICs) of employees and the self employed following Budget 2016 and confirmed today that there are no plans to revisit the issue.

Anne Fairpo further comments:- "Taking action against engagers of low paid workers who use exploitative practises and clarifying what workers should be entitled to expect is good; better still would be to remove the incentives for such exploitation. For that reason, it is unfortunate that the Government has decided that changes to the Tax and NIC's regime is out of scope, whether for employees or the self employed, when it often seems to be the desire to save Tax, and employers' NIC's, that leads to false categorisation of workers and much of the labour market abuses that the Taylor Review attempted to deal with. The Government has, however, accepted recommendations introducing a right to request a more stable contract for all workers including those on zero hours and help for workers to enforce sick and holiday rights, and asking the Low Pay Commission to consider introducing a higher rate of the national minimum wage for workers on zero hour contracts. In terms of the key issue; employment status, there are no firm proposals, but a consultation has been launched."

Call for unifier to help Government departments meet Taylor goals

MERSEYSIDE Police have confirmed that an investigation is underway following reports of a firearms discharge, in Bootle, on Friday, 9 February 2018. Police Officers were called to Pope Street, Bootle, at 8.45pm, following reports that a male in his teens had suffered an injury which was consistent with a firearm being discharged. A silver Mercedes car was seen in the area around the time of the incident. Officers from the Sefton area were also called to another location in Norton Street following the discovery of blood at the scene. The 19 year old male was taken to Hospital where his injuries were described as non life threatening.

Detective Inspector Simon Vaughan said:- "An investigation into the full circumstances surrounding this incident is underway. I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in and around Pope Street or Norton Street shortly before or after the incident to contact us, as any information they have could be vital to our investigation. Likewise if you saw a silver Mercedes car in the area at that time, or have any home CCTV or dashcam footage, let us know. I can assure you that all information will be acted upon. To use a firearm in a residential street is clearly reckless and we are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We need communities to stand together to get these cowardly individuals off our streets and take firearms out of circulation. We have acted and will continue to act on all information about such incidents, but we need you to help us build up the evidence against these offenders who are prepared to put our communities at risk so that we can make the streets safer for you and your families."

Anyone with information can call:- 101 quoting reference number:- '0946,' or contact Officers on the Matrix Serious and Organised Crime's Gun Crime Hotline on:- 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111. Information can also be provided via their to Crimestoppers via an online form.

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