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News Report Page 8 of 48
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Cammell Laird Industrial Action Update...

FOLLOWING constructive discussions between the trade unions and Cammell Laird, facilitated by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, an agreement has been reached to suspend both current industrial action and the notice of redundancy, due to be issued on 10 December 2018, to 291 workers, within the Birkenhead shipyard.

This agreement provides for a 4 week breathing space and paves the way for the establishment of a joint taskforce by the Mayor to involve; Unite and the GMB trade unions, Cammell Laird, Merseyside Local Authorities and Central Government departments alongside Cammell Laird customers. The agreement recognises the need for the yard to remain competitive in bidding for new and future work and all parties agree to work together to ensure this remains the case. The task force will meet for the 1st time on Friday, 7 December 2018, in an effort to formulate an action plan that secures the future for the yard and its workforce.

All parties agree that Cammell Laird has a positive future and that short term measures are required to address immediate problems of work flow into the yard. The task force will examine every opportunity to bring forward work that is scheduled for later in 2019, while seeking new work orders and financial assistance for a major up skilling programme, to ensure the skills necessary to compete in a highly competitive market are available from within the local community.

All parties commit to working constructively and positively during this period to bring about a long term solution to the current difficulties experienced and remain committed to working together to secure a positive future for a world class shipyard employing a highly skilled workforce from within the local community.

This is a copy of a statement that has been issued by Leaders/Mayors and the Cammell Laird Taskforce...  It reads:- "Leaders and Mayors from Wirral, Liverpool, and the Liverpool City Region have welcome the agreement between Cammell Laird shipyard and trade unions to suspend the current industrial action, and the issuance of redundancy notices, to allow a Government endorsed Cammell Laird Taskforce to build on existing efforts and carry out further work. The Taskforce recognizes Cammell Laird's proud history and its role in the Liverpool City Region's maritime and manufacturing sectors. The staff and workforce are also recognized for their skills and dedication towards the company which is a household name across Liverpool City Region. This is an important company locally, but we should not forget that this is also a strategically important industry for the whole of the UK. The Taskforce recognizes the complexity of the situation and that all parties are acting in good faith. The Taskforce also wishes to thank both sides for their determination to work on solutions to benefit all in the City Region. The Cammell Laird Taskforce has been established after a meeting with Government Ministers as a partnership effort between Local Councils, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Government, Cammell Laird and trades unions to explore options to assist the shipyard with its place in a global competitive marketplace, and in anticipation of existing planned work from the Ministry of Defence, which will secure the shipyard with increased future employment levels. The Taskforce will include representatives of all partners to develop proposals for consideration by Cammell Laird and its staff." Signed:-  Joe Anderson, Liverpool; Phil Davies, Wirral; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor;  Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Cabinet Member for Skillsn.

Liverpool City Council suspends most highway works for Christmas 2018

LIVERPOOL City Council has suspended all non-urgent highways works to support businesses and shoppers in the run up to the festive season.  With the retail, leisure and Hospitality sectors gearing up for their busiest time of year; many firms make a 3rd of their profits over the Christmas and New Year period; the City Council has moved to minimise the number of roadworks to reduce the impact on deliveries and journeys.  The announcement follows the recent introduction of a new utilities scheme which requires:- water, gas, electric and telecommunications firms, as well as building contractors, wanting to excavate roads and pavements to secure a permit before starting work.

In 2017, there were 11,800 roadworks scheduled by utilities across the City, but contractors were only required to inform the City Council of the work that they were carrying out, giving the local authority limited powers to control activity. The permit scheme and Christmas suspension is part of a wider strategy to ensure work is better co-ordinated, planned and managed, reducing disruption and delays for drivers and other road users, as the Council undertakes a ₤500m investment drive to improve Liverpool's highways infrastructure under its Better Roads programme.

For this year's Christmas period only 4 essential schemes to the City's network will remain on site. They are:-

Parliament Street / junction of Grafton and Jamaica Street... New pedestrian crossing from Cains Brewery as part of Parliament Street upgrade, to support development of Baltic Triangle. ₤2.5m programme includes new dropped kerbs, signal improvements and road resurfacing. Lane restrictions and temporary traffic lights until Friday, 14 December 2018. Works will restart in 2019.

B5171 - Horrocks Avenue... ₤4m of highway improvement works have resulted in 5 way temporary signals and night time (8pm ro 6am) road closures. The will be in effect until Sunday, 16 December 2018.

A580 - Walton Hall Avenue... ₤3.5m of highway improvement works between Queens Drive and Stopgate Lane includes lane restrictions and temporary signals in run up to East Lancs Road. This scheme, which is financed by the Department of Transport's National Productivity Investment Fund, ends in early 2019.

A565 - Waterloo Road and Regent Road / Great Howard Street... For installation of underground utility and drainage works for the ₤7.6m Waterfront Link Road to the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal. Works include road widening, junction re-engineering and resurfacing as part of ₤32m package of works, on the North Liverpool Corridor. Regent Road is scheduled to re-open on Thursday, 13 December 2018. Overall scheme is to end in Autumn 2019.

Churchill Way Flyovers, which connect Lime Street to Dale Street in the City Centre, will remain closed whilst the Council awaits an initial report on a series of engineering surveys into the safety of the structure.

Councillor James Noakes, Liverpool Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, said:- "Christmas is the busiest time for most businesses, their employees and customers and every year we try to minimise disruption on our highways to ensure the smooth running of deliveries and journeys at this critical period. It's important the Council can support businesses in this way as well as all those making important drives to visit friends and families over the festive season. Of course, some works are too critical to our network to be stalled, but every effort is being made on those to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. A huge amount of money is being invested in our highways because we need to ensure the City's infrastructure is fit for the future. When this festive suspension is lifted there will be a significant amount of activity on our roads, which we are currently planning, that will shape this City's growth for the next 25 years and this new permit scheme will be of immense value to our highways engineers."

The Parliament Street and Horrocks Avenue schemes are part of a ₤200m boost to Liverpool City Council's Better Roads programme, which is being invested over the next 5years across 3 main elements:-

₤160 million in road reconstruction.

₤25 million in resurfacing and patching work.

₤15 million specifically earmarked for addressing potholes.

To assist residents, commuters and businesses an online map has been created which highlights current and planned road repairs over the next 12 months and can be found online now.

Please also note the Lime Street improvement works... Following a review of some design elements to this proposed scheme and the impact of the closure of the Churchill Way Flyovers, a 'Follow Up Consultation Day' will be held at Liverpool's Central Library, on Wednesday, 12 December 2018. The Lime Street Scheme is part of the ₤45m 'Liverpool City Centre Connectivity Programme,' the 1st phase of which will begin in January 2019.

Strike Action on Northern Rail

THE RMT have stated on a press release that they are calling for Transport for the North to intervene to help keep guards on trains and oppose the Government using tax payers cash to bail out Arriva Rail North. In advance of a meeting of the Transport for the North Board meeting on 6 December 2018, and with further strike action in the run up to Christmas, the RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has written an open letter to all Transport for the North Board members calling on them to issue a clear statement supporting keeping guards on Northern Rail Trains. The RMT has also called on Transport for the North Board members to oppose Government plans to use tax payers money to bailout Arriva Rail North for revenues lost as a result of industrial action.

In the letter to TfN board members General Secretary Mick Cash warns that:- "Arriva Rail North has little regard for the views of Transport for the North members and the company are were instead doing the bidding of their paymasters in Whitehall. It is clear Government's intervention in the dispute last week was nothing more than a deliberate and cynical attempt to mislead the travelling public. It is also obvious that Arriva Rail North have no incentive to resolve the dispute because the Government will reimburse the company for revenues lost as a result of the industrial action. Parliamentary questions have shown that the Government is considering a request from Arriva Rail North to be reimbursed. The Rail Minister has said the terms of this bailout is:- 'commercially confidential,' although we do believe that the company will have already been issued a:- 'letter of comfort' from the Government. I would now urge all Transport for the North members to show some independence from Whitehall, and issue a clear unequivocal statement that you expect Arriva Rail North to keep a safety critical guard on all trains and that the government should refuse to bailout Arriva Rail North for revenues they have lost as a result of industrial action. All RMT is asking for is that Northern passengers keep a safety critical guard on every train and that passengers will continue to benefit from the safety and operational competencies guards currently provide. All we are asking for is for arrangements similar to those that have already been agreed for the introduction of new trains under the auspices of other devolved transport authorities such as Transport for Scotland and Transport for Wales."

What are your views on this topic? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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