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News Report Page 7 of 18
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

Hospital donation from the League of Friends

A donation of ₤500 from the charity League of Friends has allowed the play specialists at Ormskirk Hospital to invest in a much needed update to the toy box. The charity works to raise money for the purchase of equipment for patients and improve the Hospital environment. It volunteers run the tea bar in the Hospital reception.

Dave Halsall, general office manager at Ormskirk Hospital and a charity trustee, said:- "We have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years. Hopefully, during this time, we have brought comfort to patients passing through the Hospital. Our goal is to help buy anything that is needed, but cannot be purchased by the Trust.  We are always on the lookout for new volunteers to work in the tea bar for a couple of hours, so please feel free to contact us at the Hospital."

Jacci Bullen, a play specialist in the children's department, added:- "On behalf of everyone here, I would like to offer our heartfelt thanks. This has enabled an overdue refresh for our distraction box, which is vital for getting nervous little ones through procedures such as blood tests. The activity centre will be fantastic for any babies that need to be admitted, hopefully making their stay with us as much like home as possible."

Anyone wishing to donate to the children's department can do so online via Just Giving. Toy donations are always welcome, but must be box fresh.

University of Liverpool changes student debt penalty policy

FOLLOWING CMA action, the University of Liverpool has formally committed to drop academic sanctions for non-tuition fee debts. The University's policies had stopped students from graduating, receiving certificates or re-enrolling and accessing the University library and computing services, if they had non-tuition fee debts like outstanding accommodation fees. The University told the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that more than 2000 students had been affected by these policies between academic years ending 2016 and 2018. It had already begun to take steps to stop the practice but has now signed formal commitments or 'undertakings' to address the CMA's consumer protection law concerns. These will ensure the University of Liverpool changes its contract terms so that students will no longer be penalised in their academic studies for non-tuition fee debt. The announcement comes as part of wider CMA work in the higher education sector which it initially reviewed in 2015, including action against the University of Buckingham, University College London and Glasgow University for similar policies. The changes will apply to both current and former students at the University of Liverpool. George Lusty, the CMA's Senior Director for Consumer Protection, said:- "This is great news for students at the University of Liverpool. We appreciate that legitimate debts from students should be recovered, but to stop them from progressing in their studies or graduating for unrelated debts is unfair. We welcome the commitment to removing academic sanctions for non-tuition fee debt and expect all universities to bring an end to similar policies and treat students fairly."

Baby Garden restored for Hospital Open Day

A restored and replanted baby garden will be rededicated in a ceremony at next month's Ormskirk Hospital Open Day. The garden is a quiet place near the Hospital reception for all visitors, but particularly those who have experienced a loss in pregnancy.  The Rev Martin Abrams, chaplain at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, will conduct a service and the garden, that will be officially opened by Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire. During the ceremony there will be an opportunity for anyone who has lost a baby to plant:- "bulbs of hope".  There will also be a forget me not area created for:- "Our Never Forgotten Babies". This will be particularly for parents who have never been able to discover where their babies were laid to rest. A significant amount of the funds for the restoration have been raised by a local family who experienced their own baby loss. The Open Day, on Saturday, 7 September 2019, will be held across Ormskirk Hospital and run from 11am to 3pm. The rededication service will be at 1pm. The free event will include a jobs fair, a menopause café, a casualty clinic for cuddly toys in the plaster room, departmental tours, face painting and the opportunity to try basic 1st aid and resuscitation. The Trust Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place, from 11am. Check the Trust website for further information.

Unlicensed landlord fined nearly ₤12,500

AN unlicensed landlord has been fined ₤12,422 for renting out properties that posed a risk to the health of his tenants. Barry Matthews, from Moss Nook, in Burscough, pleaded guilty to operating 7 unlicensed properties.

As part of an investigation by the Landlord Licensing Team, 1 of the properties, located in Orrell Park, was found to be in a poor state of repair. The tenant and her children were having to live with a leaking boiler, mould throughout the property and a rear door which didn't close properly and was allowing water inside.

This was not the 1st time Mr Matthews had been investigated, and in May 2018 he was contacted by the Landlord Licensing Team and was prompted to license 4 of his properties, which he did. However he neglected to license the remaining 7, which led to the successful prosecution. He was fined ₤1,500 for each property and ordered to pay the Council costs of ₤1,772.80 along with ₤150 compensation.

Liverpool's Landlord Licensing Scheme came into force in 2015, with the aim of driving up standards in the private rented sector, and action is now being taken against those who are still refusing to sign up. Landlords have to meet a variety of conditions around:- fire, electric and gas safety, rectifying disrepair issues, tackling pest infestations, keeping the exterior in a good state of repair and dealing with complaints about anti social behaviour caused by tenants.

During the sentencing, District Judge Andrew Shaw, said:- "This isn't a case of a rogue landlord, but a landlord who is not up to speed."

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan said:- "The failure of Mr Matthews to work with us has now cost him nearly 5 times the amount he would have paid for the licenses in the 1st place. It's now been 4 years since the Landlord Licensing scheme was introduced in Liverpool and it is disappointing that the team still needs to investigate unlicensed properties. A large proportion of landlords have willingly signed up for the scheme and are working positively with us, which is why it is not fair on them that some are wilfully ignoring the law.  This case shows that the Council will continue to take robust enforcement against those landlords who think they do not need to comply."

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