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News Report Page 11 of 18
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 4.

Letter to the Editor:- "Ormskirk Parking"

"WHY do we charge so much money for parking in Sefton?  I see people banging on about this for years now, but I have never really thought about it until recently.  Following a family event in Ormskirk, I had the pleasure of taking some time in order to take a look round the historic market Town.  I have not been to this place for years and it might not be a destination Tourists, but I have found that it has a massive student population, thanks to the proximity of Edge Hill.  As a result, I'm told that parking can be extremely problematic at times, so I was shocked to see just how low the parking is. For example, the long stay Car Park, situated in the very heart of the Town, is just £1 for 3 hours, plus some car parks are free for an hour, within the Town Centre.  In Southport, parking in the Town Centre is extremely difficult, plus costs normally starts from around £1.50 for just 1 hour, at the Southport Promenade car park, then you Southport's equivalent, within the Town Centre at around £4.00 for an hour!  Not only that, but I have also recently visited Skelmersdale, only to find that most parking is free, including parking at the Concourse Shopping Centre. As Ormskirk is now seeing a revival of fortune, from loosing lots of its high streets shops and small businesses, it's now really taking off.  Why can we not replicate this and lower parking charges within Southport and other parts of Sefton?  I was also shocked to hear from a local resident that West Lancashire Council are also installing electric charging points, on the street car parking bays, within Ormskirk's Town Center.  Not only that, but I was also told that West Lancashire Council is starting to add electric points the local car parks as well. Sefton please do take note.  You have already killed Bootle, Formby and Crosby, with parking and other silly ideas, like pedestrianisation, so please learn from your neighbouring Council and lower or remove the car parking fees..."  Jillian Humphries.

Editors note:- “The Southport BID has been asking Sefton about reducing or removing parking charges for some time, as have many small businesses in the Town Centre.  We fully agree that the parking arrangements within Sefton really do need to be looked at again, especially with electric cars coming more common place.”

Firefighter numbers in crisis after chronic underfunding

FIREFIGHTER posts have increased by just 318 this year, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has learned. This year's 1% increase means that there are still nearly 11,500 fewer UK Firefighters than in 2010. The FBU is urgently calling for the Government to fund Firefighter recruitment and reverse a decade of severe cuts to Fire and Rescue Services.

Nationally, there has been a 19% cut in frontline Firefighters since the Tories took office, cutting Firefighter numbers in every Brigade in the UK. Overall spending, on UK Fire and Rescue Services, has fallen by 38% since 2005. In England, Firefighter numbers have been cut by 21% since 2010, despite a 1% increase in 2019, with recruitment concentrated in London and the North West. Central Government funding for English Fire and Rescue Services has been cut by 30% in cash terms between 2013 and 2020. Northern Ireland and Wales have seen Firefighter numbers fall by 4% and 1% respectively, while Scotland has seen a slight increase of 3%.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:- "This shameless Government is doing nothing to ease the pressure on overstretched and underpaid Firefighters, all while making dubious claims of spending elsewhere. Fire and Rescue Services are in crisis after years of brutal cuts; and this year's measly increase in posts is wholly insufficient to plug the gaps. We cannot allow Firefighters' life saving work to go unrecognised. The Chancellor must fund Firefighter recruitment and end the years of real term pay cuts for Firefighters. Our communities need more Firefighters, and the Government needs to reflect the work they do in their paycheques."

The news comes as fires are increasing, with a 10% spike in England and an 8% spike in Northern Ireland over the last year, after wildfires tore across the country. The latest data for Wales saw a 3% increase in fires, while Scotland saw a 4% decline in fires. 41,771 of the 45,653 people rescued by UK Firefighters last year were from non-fire incidents, such as flooding, road traffic collisions, height rescues, lift rescues, and hazardous chemical spillages.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, continued:- "The Whaley Bridge dam collapse saw Fire and Rescue Services stretched to the limit. Firefighters were pulled from every Brigade in the Region, and from as far as Chichester and London. If this Government is serious about tackling the climate emergency, it needs to invest in our frontline defences; and it is Firefighters who are tackling wildfires and rescuing people stranded in flooding. Whaley Bridge will not be the last extreme weather event to stretch fire and rescue resources."

This year is the only net increase in UK Firefighter numbers in a decade. Around 8,000 of the jobs cut since 2010 are full time Firefighters, while 3,000 retained (on call) Firefighters have also been cut. Around a quarter of fire control staff, who take the emergency calls and mobilise fire crews, have been lost.

National Youth Theatre to perform:- 'The Lost Boys' in Waterloo

THE National Youth Theatre have chosen host a play, by Luke Barnes, called:- 'The Lost Boys' at Old Christ Church, Waterloo. the show will be preformed on Friday, 20 September 2019. The Friends of Old Christ Church told us that:- "Audience members are welcome to see the show for free but can also make a small donation of ₤5 or what they think is appropriate. Tickets will be available at the door." The performance starts at:- 7.30pm with doors open at:- 7pm. For more information please visit:-

Mayor calls for benefits rise to help vulnerable with no deal Brexit

MAYOR of Liverpool Joe Anderson is calling on the Government to increase welfare payments by 20% to help people in poverty continue to afford to buy food in the event of a no deal Brexit. His comments come after Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister responsible for preparing for Brexit, conceded food prices may rise. Increases predicted at 5% to 10% have previously been made by the Governor of the Bank of England and the Cabinet Secretary.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "We are hurtling towards a no deal Brexit and a real risk of a crisis facing the availability and cost of food for the most vulnerable in our City. We know that foodbanks which rely on donations are likely to see a reduction in those donations either from manufacturers, retailers and the public. Schools, Hospitals, Care Homes, Homeless Shelters, along with meals on wheels, are all likely to suffer as a result of price increases and supply chain disruption. There are people who we know are on benefits, in low paid jobs, have disabilities or rely on the state pension. Many of these use our school breakfast clubs, holiday hunger schemes and our food banks on a regular basis because they are on the edge of crisis. Food banks can't pick up the pieces; they are already struggling to cope with the demand and have made it clear to Government they can't respond in the event of food donations drying up. They don't have the capacity to stockpile. The government needs to recognise the impacts on residents who are at risk of food insecurity. What I'm saying loudly and clearly to Government and to politicians within Westminster is that the poorest people in the country need your help. You need to understand and recognise that a no deal Brexit is going to increase the cost of living to the poorest within this country. The Government is spending ₤100 million on a publicity campaign telling people to get ready for Brexit when it should be spending money helping those who will be worst affected by it. So I am calling on Government to agree to uplift benefits and pensions by 20%, so that vulnerable people know they will be able to live in security and afford the increase in prices which could just be weeks away."

Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, which represents organisations who feed people in need such as:- Fareshare and the Trussell Trust; fears that 8.4 million people across the country could be pushed into crisis due to rising food prices, increasingly precarious jobs, and possible shortages of food; especially staples like fresh fruit and vegetables.  1 in 4 households in Liverpool receive welfare benefits, and Mayor Anderson has today announced that the City Council will be setting aside another ₤250,000 to support people in poverty; in addition to the millions of pounds the local authority already allocates for hardship schemes to help vulnerable people. Sustain wants the Government to guarantee a hardship fund so that people on a low income can feel confident that they would be able to buy the food they need for themselves and their children, and that frontline charities would be able to continue to serve meals to vulnerable people most in need.

Chief Executive of Sustain, Kath Dalmeny, said:- "The Government must acknowledge that millions of people could go hungry unless a national hardship fund is set aside, with clear contingency plans for how this could be distributed effectively to reach those most in need. We can all do our best to respond locally, but large-scale national action and communication is also required. We believe that the UK public must be made aware of the threats to food supply, not least to ensure informed public and professional decision making and to prevent panic buying, and we support this call from Mayor Anderson for help to be provided to the most vulnerable."

FACT FILE:- Did you know that their are more than 50,000 households are on welfare benefits in Liverpool?

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