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News Report Page 10 of 20
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

GMB Members to strike at Cammell Laird Shipyard in Birkenhead over job cuts

IF the decision to slash hundreds of jobs is not reversed it will lead to untold hardship for workers and their families, says GMB Union. GMB members at Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead, are set to begin industrial action to oppose redundancies and defend their jobs and the future of skilled workers and support staff, within the shipyard. The Cammell Laird action started at 4.00 pm, on 23 November 2018, with an overtime ban and from 7.00 am, on Monday, 26 November 2018, a 3 week period of strike action will start. In October 2018, the company it was slashing 291 jobs; nearly 40% of the workforce, by March 2019.

The joint trade unions have presented a credible and very reasonable alternative to the company to avert the redundancies, however this proposal has been rejected, therefore we could see notice of dismissal issued to the workforce from the 3rd December onwards.

Earlier this month GMB members a voted to defend their jobs and the future of skilled workers and support staff within the shipyard.

This industrial action mandate will lead to a total overtime ban and sustained strike action.

Albie McGuigan, GMB Regional Organiser, said:- "This wave of redundancies is completely unbearable. It would lead to untold hardship on workers and their families. For workers to make a decision to take strike action especially at this time of year demonstrates how angry and frustrated they are at the lack of support from Cammell Laird. Our members believed their future was secure after recent announcements of contract awards and agreeing a long term pay agreement. They feel badly let down, and they are determined that the threat of redundancy hanging over their heads should be removed immediately."

Do these cuts affect you or someone you know? Please email us with your views and thoughts on this issue to:- News24@MerseyReporter.Com.

Parents in the North West to spend ₤123.05 on presents per child this Christmas

GENEROUS residents of the North West are set to embark on a festive spending bonanza over the next 6 weeks, according to figures released. The findings released by, the leading savings site, show that Brits are set to spend ₤203.98m more on children's Christmas presents than their parents did a generation ago, considering inflation. The survey of over 2,000 people across the country discovered that the average parent in the North West will spend ₤123.05 per child on Christmas presents this year, an increase of ₤50.25 on what their own parents spent on them; meaning the cost of Christmas in the UK has increased by ₤2.68bn (73%) in a generation!

40% of parents in the North West believe that their children ask for more presents than they did at their age and the research has revealed just how the expense of Christmas has increased for the average modern family as a result of meeting these greater expectations.

With 25% of parents in the North West spending over ₤200 on Christmas presents per child, compared to just 7% a generation ago, the research has highlighted the financial pressures that families are now under to provide a special Christmas for their kids. This is particularly true for parents under the age of 35, with 59% admitting they're saving money for Christmas by mid-November in contrast to just 33% at the same time a decade ago.

With so much money being spent, it's important that parents are invested in what they're purchasing. Despite this, 34% of people in the North West admit they buy Christmas gifts without knowing if their children would actually want them and 26% confess they've been guilty of buying rubbish presents because they left it too late to go shopping.

This is perhaps best explained in the huge shift in priorities between what children are looking for now compared to when parents were anxiously looking under the Christmas tree. Indeed, 38% children now want to find a games console in their stocking, while 35% also ask for a mobile phone and an iPad or iPod (32%).

Most popular presents for children now...

Toys - 45%

Games consoles - 38%

Mobile phone - 35%

iPad/iPod - 32%

Lego - 29%

The research has revealed the different demands that children had a generation ago, leading 26% parents in the North West to admit their children can be ungrateful at Christmas time. Indeed, it was simple board games (35%) and books (30%) that topped their own wish lists alongside toys rather than a games console (10%) or mobile phone (8%).

It must not be forgotten that Christmas is also a time for children to treat their parents with gifts too. The average child under 10 years old will "spend" a total of ₤26.71 on Mum and Dad for Christmas, with chocolates (44%), perfume/aftershave (28%) and clothing (25%) being the most popular presents. In contrast, once we reach 18 years old, the average adult spends ₤56.40 on Christmas presents for their parents.

While Dads are eyeing clothes (30%) and entertainment in the form of music or films (25%) this Christmas, the research has found it is the thought that counts for Mums. 4 out of 5 (81%) would rather receive less expensive, more thoughtful presents. Although the majority (54%) of Mums would prefer handmade gifts from their kids than those bought from a store, only a (31%) of children under the age of 10 choose handmade gifts. Overall,¾ (75%) of people in North West say they would rather receive a less expensive but more thoughtful gift.

Most popular presents from children for their parents...

Chocolates - 44%

Handmade gift - 31%

Perfume/aftershave - 28%

Clothing - 25%

Jewellery - 20%

With Mums far more likely to receive handmade gifts, the research has revealed that, overall, the nation spends an average of 12% more on gifts bought for Dads (₤21.75) than presents for Mums (₤19.43). Overall, this is the equivalent of ₤27.4m more being spent on presents for Dads across the nation than Mums.

Embracing the festive spirit

The full blown festive season is on the horizon and fast approaching.  Indeed, the research has indicated 38% of people in the North West are already feeling in the Christmas spirit now that the lights have started to be switched on across the country. Meanwhile, 17% of people in the North West have been embracing Christmas since the moment Halloween and Bonfire Night were over. Conversely, 16% confess they never start to feel in the Christmas spirit!

The enthusiasm of children can make even the most festive adult look like a Grinch at Christmas. The research has found that 63% of children under the age of 10 believe in Santa, with the majority looking forward to leaving mince pies and milk for him (56%) and a carrot for Rudolph (55%). 54% will be writing a letter to Santa, detailing why they've been good this year and what they'd like to find under the tree this Christmas, while 9% will instead be contacting Santa on social media.

Children celebrating Christmas...

Believe in Santa - 63%

Leave mince pies and milk for Santa - 56%

Leave carrots for Rudolph - 55%

Write a letter for Santa - 54%

Visit Santa's grotto - 51%

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at, said:- "It is heart warming that the spirit of goodwill is still alive and well and Brits intend to be so generous this Christmas. The massive increase in spending on Christmas presents in a single generation does however place people, particularly young families, under financial pressure.  We would encourage people to shop around for the best deal before buying the 'must have' gift they're after for that special someone. Whilst celebrating the festive season, be mindful of spending; try to stick to a budget and to focus on quality rather than quantity to prevent both the number of presents and the cost snowballing out of control each year! Compare prices across different stores online before you shop, and always check for a discount code before you hit the checkout."

People urged to get themselves tested for HIV

WITH National HIV testing week underway, people in Liverpool are being encouraged to get themselves tested. It is recommended that you test at least once a year, but more often if you have sex without a condom, or sex with more than 1 partner. HIV is a virus most commonly caught by having sex without a condom. Currently there are 650 people in the City living with HIV infection. Approximately 50 Liverpool residents are newly diagnosed each year. It is estimated that up to 115 people living locally have the virus, but aren't aware. If left untreated, HIV attacks the immune system and affects the body's ability to fight infection which becomes weakened and vulnerable to serious illness. This stage of infection is known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), and at this point, there is an increased risk of life threatening illnesses such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and some cancers.

Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for adult health, said:- "Testing and early diagnosis is extremely important. There are very effective drug treatments available which means if someone with HIV tests early and starts treatment, they can expect to live a full and healthy life. This also reduces the risk of passing on the virus to others. We'd advise anyone who doesn't know their status and has had unprotected sex to get tested."

This year's 'National HIV Testing Week' started on Saturday, 17 November and runs until 23 November 2018. The national campaign to support this has been produced by the Terrance Higgins Trust on behalf of HIV Prevention England.  The campaign leads with the message:- 'a finger prick test is all it takes' and people can find out more information at:- StartsWithMe.Org.UK, on where they can be tested.

Local campaign activity, supported by Public Health Liverpool, will continue throughout December and January, on social media and dating apps. It will aim to raise awareness about HIV testing amongst all Liverpool residents aged 16 and over, with a particular focus on key high risk groups. Testing is available locally through sexual health services and GPs. For further details visit:- SexualHealthLiverpool.Co.UK

In addition, free postal kits for home testing are available for those at higher-risk of HIV at:- Test.Hiv. For further information about our local HIV testing campaign and how you can get involved visit the HIV Support Centre, Sahir House at:- Sahir.Org.UK or follow them on Twitter @sahirhouse

Key HIV statistics related to Liverpool:-

► 650 people in Liverpool are known to be living with HIV infection.

► Twice as many men than women are diagnosed with HIV.

► The probable route for infection for ½ of people living with HIV was through heterosexual sex, whilst 40% contracted the disease through men who have sex with men.

► The 35 to 49 age group has the highest numbers of people living with the disease.

► Over ½ the adults diagnosed with HIV in Liverpool are diagnosed late.

► HIV testing uptake rates are lower in Liverpool than nationally.

Birtenshaw opens the door

IT'S been hailed as 1 of the best Schools in the country for children with special educational needs…  It has a range of state of the art facilities for both students and the local community to enjoy… And it's the latest School to open as part of Liverpool City Council's ₤180m School investment programme.  Birtenshaw School, Fazakerley, has been officially opened by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, on Friday, 23 November 2018. The ₤5m School, on the site of the former Dyson Hall School, was completed earlier in 2018. Funded and built by Liverpool City Council, the School is run by the Birtenshaw Charitable Group and caters for a up to 50 children aged between 3 and 19 with a range of special educational needs and disabilities. Birtenshaw has a host of impressive facilities including:- a 25 metre hydrotherapy pool with multi sensory surround sound and lighting system, a therapy room and a number of multi sensory spaces with cutting edge immersive technology.

Julie Barnes, who is the deputy chief executive of the Birtenshaw Group, said:- "It's been a privilege to work with the Council. They have understood what we are able to provide for the children of the City and what the needs are. We have already begun to make great progress with pupils who joined the School in September and we are beginning to forge strong links with the local community. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council to provide the very best education for the children in our care."

Birtenshaw is 1 of 22 Schools across Liverpool that have either been built from scratch or completely transformed as part of the Liverpool School Investment Programme. The ₤180m project was Liverpool City Council's response to the scrapping of the national Building Schools for the Future programme in 2010. The government's decision to call time on the programme meant thousands of Liverpool children faced the prospect of completing their education in tired old buildings that were no longer fit for purpose. You can watch a video all about Liverpool's Birtenshaw School on YouTube now.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "Our School building programme was born out of a commitment to give our children and young people the modern learning environments they deserve. Birtenshaw is 1 of the jewels in the crown of our building programme and it is a real honour to officially opening this fantastic School.  Not only does it provide the students with world class facilities, but it will help to reduce costs. Until now we have had to send pupils with certain special educational needs to expensive placements out of the City, but now they can be educated right here in Liverpool."

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