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News Report Page 8 of 18
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News reports located on this page = 3.

Property firm fined for not licensing rented houses

1 of the 9 properties that was unlicensed... This 1 is on Snaefell Avenue, in Tuebrook, Liverpool...

A Property management company is facing a bill of ₤9,500 after admitting failing to license 9 properties under Liverpool City Council's Landlord Licensing scheme. HLC Property Management Limited of 169 Rose Lane, Liverpool, was in breach of Section 95(1) of the Housing Act 2004. During the sentencing hearing on Thursday, 28 November 2019, at Liverpool Magistrates Court, District Judge Andrew Shaw heard how the properties, located across the City, had remained unlicensed for substantial periods of time, meaning the Council's role as a regulator, in ensuring minimum standards in terms of gas, fire and electrical safety was undermined and had potentially put the tenants at risk.

Judge Shaw said the company had:- "failed" in its duty and fined them ₤8,000, plus costs of ₤1,361.48 and a victim surcharge of ₤170. The conviction is the latest in a string of successful prosecutions brought by the Landlord Licensing department, with 4 so far in November 2019 alone. The Landlord Licensing scheme began in 2015 with the aim of improving standards in the private rented sector, and so far 49,000 licences have been issued. Around 20,000 compliance actions have been carried out, with 70% of inspected properties found to be in breach of their licence conditions, more than 2,000 legal and fixed penalty notices have been issued and over 150 landlords prosecuted.

Liverpool City Council's Assistant Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Sam Gorst, said:- "The landlord licensing scheme has been hugely important in improving conditions for tenants in privately rented properties and making sure they are not at risk from things such as:- dangerous electrics, faulty gas appliances or a lack of fire doors. 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. Where we find evidence that landlords are blatantly ignoring the rules we will take them to Court and, as in this case, they risk a hefty fine."

Tenants and members of the public can check if a property has the required Landlord Licence online, and report unlicensed properties to:- Unlicensed.Landlord@Liverpool.Gov.UK. A bid to renew the scheme for another 5 years, from April 2020, has been submitted to the Government.

David Duckenfield has been found:- "not guilty"

ON 28 November 2019, Liverpool was in shock as the verdict came in, at the conclusion to a retrial of David Duckenfield, who was the Police Match Commander, at the Hillsborough tragedy. This follows on from the previous case ending, that ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict, also at Preston Crown Court.

This time, the retired Chief Superintendent, Mr Duckenfield, now 75, was found:- "not guilty" of gross negligence manslaughter leaving cries from families in the Courtroom, while others were seen in tears. The jury returned its verdict after hearing 6 weeks of evidence in the case and 13 hours of deliberation.

Ian Lewis, partner at JMW Solicitors LLP, solicitor for Mr Duckenfield, told the media that:- "David is of course relieved that the jury has found him not guilty, however his thoughts and sympathies remain with the families of those who lost their loved ones. He understands the public interest in this case, but would ask that his privacy and that of his family is respected, and will not be commenting further."

Hillsborough Survivors Support Alliance in a press release, issued after the verdict said:- "It is a testament to the resolve and fortitude of the families of the victims, and of the survivors, of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster of April 1989 that they have campaigned for so long to see some justice delivered for the loss of their loved ones and fellow supporters. It is of further credit to them that they have searched for and found such deep reserves of belief and hope that have enabled them to continue to fight for truth, accountability and justice, despite the set-backs and obstacles placed in their way at almost every step. Despite that hope, it is of no great surprise to the HSA that we awoke today to face another day seemingly blighted by a continuing deep sense of injustice, of an affront to decency of our fellow supporters and their families and of sadness that justice is still clearly being denied to them. Justice has not been served to those responsible for the unlawful killing of 96 men, women and children. Nobody, but a Safety Officer fined ₤6,500, has been legally held to account for 96 unlawful killings at a British Football Stadium. Those responsible have, to date, escaped through the passage of time and though the selective and considered breaking up of a clear picture of truth that was present 30 years ago and which was presented in the HIP report. It has broken up such that, in a legal sense, there are now apparently sufficient missing pieces to deny clear and logical justice. The attempt, in the Court Room and beyond, to construct an alternative truth, replacing missing parts with spurious lies, may secure success in a Court Room, but it will bring, we believe, only opprobrium in life. The British Justice System, and those who have allowed it let the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster and their families down, should be ashamed. There are further troubling issues arising from this most recent trials and we feel obliged to comment strongly on it, in support of members of our community who have suffered severe damage to their mental heath as a result of the Hillsborough Disaster. Not a single prosecution witness hid behind a mental health condition, be it PTSD or otherwise, to avoid ginging their account in front of a jury. The HSA is keenly aware of the distress reliving experiences can bring and we are extremely proud of the family members and supporters who stood up and gave evidence, despite the consequences for their well being. We would like to make it clear that HSA and all supportive organisations continue their work to support those who need it as a result of that terrible day. And we feel compelled to remain people that:- 'There is a higher Court than our Courts of Justice, and that Court of conscience. It supersedes all other Courts.' As so many made clear yesterday amidst so much distress, anger and sadness, the consciences of the families and of the survivors are clear. The HSA raises funds and organises therapy for all those directly affected by the events of the Hillsborough Disaster. It is also involved in the provision of Hillsborough related educational modules and presentations for Schools. It can be reached at:- HSA-US.Co.UK and donations can be made via:- GoFundMe.Com."

The City will always remember the 95 Liverpool Football Club fans who lost their lives, at the 1989 FA Cup Semi Final, now over 30 years ago. it will also learn from what happened and continue to support the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough.

Councils in the North West spending ₤1.4bn a year less on key services than in 2010

WITHIN the North West of England, Council spending down by a 5th since the start of the decade. The TUC is now calling on the next Government to start large scale investments within local services after finding out Councils in the Region are spending ₤1.4bn a year less on key local services than in 2010. The TUC has also looked at the impact of cuts on Local Government funding across England and has found some shocking statistics. In 2010 / 2011, Councils in the North West were spending a total of ₤6.8bn on key services such as:- social care, waste management, libraries, and transport. But over 2018 / 2019, the TUC has found that funding cuts from Westminster, since then has seen spending fall by 21% (1.4bn) to ₤5.4bn. This works out to 23% (₤180) less being spent on services per person across the Region. Only the North East has seen a bigger drop in Council spending since 2010 / 2011 than the North West.

The top 5 Councils who have seen with the biggest spending drops on vital services, within the North West, since 2010 / 2011, are as follows:-

1. Rossendale:- Who are spending 57% (₤9 million) a year less on key Council services

2. Copeland:- spending 51% (₤8.7 million) a year less on key Council services

3. Halton:- spending 51% (₤76 million) a year less on key Council services

4. Preston:- spending 46% (₤18 million) a year less on key Council services

5. Burnley:- spending 44% (₤11 million) a year less on key Council services.

Councils in England as a whole are spending ₤7.8 billion a year; ₤150 million a week; less on key services than they were in 2010 before the spending cuts were introduced. As a result of the Local Government Grant Funding cuts to Local Authorities since 2010, the 'Local Government Association' estimates that Councils will have lost 60p out of every ₤1 the Government had provided to spend on local services in the last 8 years alone. By targeting cuts on Locall Government Grants, Government Ministers have disproportionately impacted Councils within more deprived areas of Britain and making communities significantly Poorer, says the TUC. This has meant Local Councils today are increasingly more reliant on raising income through Council Tax, their share of business rates and other charges and fees. But this is much harder for Councils in more deprived areas of the country, as they are less able to raise significant funding this way.

TUC Regional Secretary Jay McKenna said:- "Ministers have slashed funding for local services across the North West Region. These are services our communities really depend upon, like youth services, libraries and local transport. We need a plan for healing the pain a decade of Conservative cuts have caused. That means new investment to restore Council budgets back to where they were at the start of the decade."

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