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News Report Page 11 of 34
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

New money must be provided to cover public sector pay rise

MERSEYSIDE Police Commissioner has welcomed the news that Police Officers will receive a:- 'long over due' pay rise, but has urged the new Prime Minister to ensure funding is provided to cover the increase; or risk leaving Merseyside Police's Budget short by more than ₤2m, in 2020.  An estimated ₤2bn public sector pay rise has been confirmed by the Treasury, on Monday, 22 July 2019, which will see 2 million public sector workers including Police Officers, Soldiers, Teachers and School staff receiving increases of between 2% and 2.9% to their salaries. It is understood that Police Forces, and other public sector organisations, will be Forced to make cuts to fund the rise from their existing Budgets. The confirmed 2.5% increase for Police Officers would leave Merseyside Police needing to find approximately ₤2.2m from its own Budget over the next year. The announcement comes following a recommendation from the independent pay review bodies, which advise on pay for many public sector workers. Public sector pay was frozen for 2 years in 2010, except for those earning less than ₤21,000 a year, and after that rises were capped at 1%; below the rate of inflation. The Region's Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, has warned of the consequences of forcing this bill on to the shoulders of struggling public sector organisations. Jane said:- "All of Merseyside's 3,467 Police Officers deserve a proper pay rise after almost a decade of real terms pay cuts. This increase is long overdue and our over stretched Police Officers are worth more than an increase which is only just over inflation. However, I am concerned that no detail has been provided as to where the funding for this pay rise will come from and it seems very likely that the Treasury is expecting it to come out of our existing Budget. This pay rise must be properly funded. If new funding is not provided then this will cause a ₤2.2m hole in Merseyside Police's Budget for next year. The Government says they are rewarding our hard working public servants, but if they make Police Forces, Schools and Hospitals fund this pay increase from existing Budgets it means those employees will be even more stretched and under resourced in their daily working lives as the Force struggles to cope with this new Budgetary demand. Savings will have to be made elsewhere in order for us to cover this bill and the Government will effectively be giving with 1 hand, only to take away with the other. As we await an announcement on who the new Prime Minister will be, I am inviting the successful candidate to make a pledge to fund this increase centrally. Our new Prime Minister needs to show they genuinely care about public servants and the vital services they provide to our communities by giving Officers and staff the pay they deserve, without further cutting the organisations they work for. I would urge the New Prime Minister to make this a priority."

Liverpool FC legend and Match of the Day pundit to star in celebrity golf classic

MARK Lawrenson, the former Liverpool FC legend and now Match of the Day pundit, is to star in a charity golf tournament that will raise vital funds for disabled children. Lawrenson, who won 5 1st Division Championships, 1 European Cup, 1 FA Cup and 3 League Cups during his spell at Anfield, will take to the fairways at the La Manga Club, in Spain, as part of the prestigious Caudwell Children Celebrity Golf Classic. Caudwell Children is a national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families. The event, the charity's flagship sports fundraiser, will take place, on Thursday, 26 September and Friday, 27 September 2019. Launched in 2011, the annual tournament boasts an array of stars from the worlds of television, film, sport and music and Lawrenson is delighted to be adding his name to the list of celebrities who will be supporting the charity.

"Amongst other things Caudwell Children provides disabled children with funding support for specialist sports equipment. Every child deserves the opportunity to play sport as it's vital for their physical health and mental wellbeing. By participating in this event I'll be helping to raise funds that will enable disabled children to participate in sport, which is wonderful." Lawrenson enthused.

Despite a shoulder injury Lawrenson, who plays off 18, says he will enjoy the competition. As he explained:- "Look, professional sportsmen and women are competitive by their nature so I'll be going out to perform to my best. At least I won't have to be secretive about playing the game! Back in my Liverpool days Bob Paisley, the Manager at the time, didn't like any of the players getting together for a round. He'd let you do almost anything else, but not golf, as he believed that it was really easy to pull a muscle taking a swing at the ball. So if we wanted to get together for a game we'd have to do it in secret and we'd sneak off to courses around Liverpool, like Southport and Ainsdale, West Derby, Huyton or Prescott."

The La Manga Club, arguably the world's best sports resort, is an exclusive holiday, sports and leisure facility located in a beautiful setting, bordered by natural parks and unspoilt beaches, in the Murcia Region of Spain. The Clubs 1st class sports facilities, and superior accommodation, has attracted professional athletes, clubs, sporting associations and celebrities since it opened in 1972, including David Beckham, actors Matt Damon and Sean Connery and Real Madrid.

Kerrie Davies, Associate Director of Event at Caudwell children, is delighted that Mark will be playing. She said:- "Mark is such a well respected footballer and pundit so to have him on board is brilliant, and I'm sure that he will regale his teammates with wonderful stories about the all conquering Liverpool team that he played in between 1981 and 1988. He's just 1 of a number of participating celebrates that we'll be announcing in the forthcoming weeks, and with limited places available I'd urge interested individuals or teams to sign up now to avoid disappointment."

Participants can choose to enter as a team of 4 or as team of 3, with a celebrity guest player. Prices include 2 night's accommodation with breakfast in Luigi's restaurant, 2 rounds of golf on the South Course, picnic lunch each day, transfers from the hotel to the course, 1st night BBQ dinner including house beverage package, last night Gala Dinner including house beverage package.  To find out more and book your tickets visit:- CaudwellChildren.Com.

New parents are missing out on vital health visits

1 in 4 families across England are missing out on vital health visits as their baby reaches their 1st birthday, increasing the risk of mental health issues with the parents going undetected. Data from Public Health England for 2017/18 has also revealed that these 12 month visits drop to around 1 in 2 for families living in London.  In the North West, the number of families who receive a visit at this point is far higher (84.2%), than the England average (75.7%), but varies across the Region. Areas with the highest rates include Blackburn with Darwen (96.4%), Bolton (94.8%) and Lancashire (95.1%), while areas with lower rates include Manchester (64.7%), Cheshire East (65.2%) and Cumbria (68.1%).  The transfer of Budgetary responsibility for health visiting services from the NHS to local authority public health in 2015 has coincided with a significant reduction in the public health Budget and workforce numbers. There has been a 26% fall in health visitors employed by the NHS operating nationwide between 2015 and 2019, with almost half of those still in the service working with caseloads of more than 400 children each. The Institute of Health Visiting recommends a maximum of 1 health visitor to every 250 children to ensure a safe service is delivered. In response the NSPCC is launching a national campaign:- 'Fight for a Fair Start,' and is calling on the Government to ensure all parents receive a minimum of 5 face to face visits, undertaken by a consistent health visitor. Perinatal mental health problems affect up to 1 in 5 mothers and up to 1 in 10 dads, making it vitally important that all local areas can provide families with a consistent, high-quality service that helps to quickly identify any issues. Mental health problems for parents during pregnancy and the 1st year of their child's life can make it difficult for them to look after and bond with their baby, potentially affecting the child's overall development. In England all families should receive 5 home visits from qualified health professionals via the Healthy Child Programme, starting during pregnancy and continuing at regular intervals until their child reaches 2½.  At present England offers a limited service in comparison to Scotland who offer 11 visits, Wales who offer 9 and Northern Ireland who offer 7.  The Health and Social Care committee has recently recommended that as part of a refresh of the Healthy Child Programme, the Government sets out proposals for increasing the number of routine visits. Once a problem is identified it is vitally important that parents receive the care they need. The 'Fight for a Fair Start' campaign is also calling for appropriate investment from the NHS to ensure all specialist community care teams are supported to deliver the gold standard in care, so families get the support they need no matter where they live.

NSPCC Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Almudena Lara, said:- "Health visitors are uniquely well placed to recognise early signs and symptoms of mental health difficulties, but with a decline in staff numbers and rising family caseloads they are working under significant pressure. It's vitally important that all families receive a minimum of 5 face to face visits undertaken by a consistent health visitor to ensure any mental health problems they might be experiencing are picked up on as early as possible so they can be signposted for more specialist support."

Mum Kirsty Harvey from York said:- "I was terrified when I 1st became pregnant. I learnt to manage my mental well being as an adult, with the help of medication but when I found out I was pregnant my anxiety kind of ramped up a gear. It is crucial that you don't have to have that awful scenario of having to explain your case again, each time you see a health visitor. It is really difficult to ask for help in the 1st instance, but especially if you have to repeat that over and over again."

The campaign has been supported by Jo Malone London which also fund direct services to new and prospective parents, focussing on supporting parents with their mental health problems to help them develop secure and healthy relationships with their children. The NSPCC is inviting people to join the campaign by raising their voice and signing the:- 'Fight for a Fair Start Petition' and to learn more about the campaign, please click on here.

* Further NSPCC research highlights that antenatal visits are particularly inconsistent, with an estimated 38% of families not receiving a health visit before the mother gives birth.

Liverpool curator and cultural activist receives Honorary Doctorate from Edge Hill

A freelance curator and cultural activist whose work has had a huge positive impact on the profile of lesbian, gay, bi and trans artists has received an Honorary Doctor of Arts award from Edge Hill University.  Gary Everett has spent the last 20 years programming, commissioning and producing work by an extensive range of LGBT artists for Regional, national and international audiences. In his speech to Performing Arts, Biology and Graduate School students he said:- "In 2019 there are still over 70 countries where it is illegal to be LGBT, 34 of these countries are members of the British Commonwealth, a staggering statistic that is getting worse and not better. Can you imagine what it is like to survive in such hostile conditions in a country where the predominant religions say you are a sinner, the law of the land says you are a criminal, the social norms say you are not welcome in your homeland? Imagine for a moment what it is like to live in fear of being arrested for who you are and living your life without the constant daily threat of being found out. In some states the punishment is so severe it includes capital punishment. In countries where the whole concept of sex and sexuality is taboo we are learning to navigate our universal ways for highlighting love as the centre for all, as a human right that can't be denied, hoping for better. Throughout my career I have kept this at the forefront of my thinking and used art and culture to make society a much more tolerant and accepting place."

In 2003 Gary founded the international arts and heritage organisation Homotopia and for 15 years worked as its chief executive and artistic director. The organisation was a highlight of Liverpool's European Capital of Culture 2008, described at the time by Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council as:- "a sign of Liverpool's growing maturity as a European City."  Gary has worked with Edge Hill's Department of Performing Arts on a number of occasions. In 2012 he programmed and co-funded Council House Movie Star, a film and installation by Dr Mark Edward, filmmakers Rosa Fong and Mark Fremaux and designer Olivia de Monceau. The multimedia piece, investigating how society views drag artists by exploring social issues around class and age, opened and closed that year's Homotopia and set a new benchmark for ambitious and complex work in the festival. In 2013 Gary produced and curated April Ashley, Portrait of a Lady, at the Museum of Liverpool. This exhibition explored the life and legacy of the former Vogue model and actress who was 1 of the 1st people in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery. As well as celebrating the inspiring story of a famous transgender individual and a tireless campaigner for trans equality, the exhibition included remarkable life stories of members of the trans and gender diverse communities. The exhibition was the biggest ever project at the museum, eventually attracting record audiences of close to 1 million people.

Speaking to Edge Hill Graduands, at the ceremony, that took place, on Tuesday, 23 July 2019, he said:- "Reflect on what you have achieved, be proud. As future theatre makers, artists, choreographers, producers or managers you have an invaluable role to play in ensuring that true cultural diversity remains in the heart of your thinking. You have a unique role in shaping cultural policy in the future and can make huge inroads in creating an even more thriving and liberal cultural and arts scene. Art has the untapped potential to cross boundaries, change and influence opinions and create conditions that foster greater global cultural acceptance and indeed champion the wider diversity of our shared experiences."

As a curator, producer and developer, Gary has taken the risks that are necessary to create impactful cultural events. The results of Gary's boldness and vision can be seen in the brands he has created, the projects he has led, and the network of local, national and international partnership and connections build around him. He added:- "Take what you've learned at Edge Hill into the world, making a contribution to helping society change for the better. The Arts are a vital and integral part of our world. Think of the huge possibilities of how art can change lives. Think of art as social change and how you can be at the forefront of creating art that goes some way to making positive change, celebrates who we are, asks difficult questions and isn't afraid of making noise and protest where it is most needed."

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