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Events are back for 2022!

AFTER more than 2 years of disruption, Liverpool's events calendar is back with a new lease of life. Culture Liverpool, the award winning Liverpool City Council team responsible for staging some of the City's biggest events, is deep in planning mode to bring back some of the most loved events as well as some brand new projects which are set to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and bring in millions to the local economy.

Liverpool's Director of Culture, Claire McColgan, said:- "As a City we have remained committed to investing in culture and the arts. The launch of the Culture Collective campaign highlights how passionately we value the sector and we know that when we bring major events to Liverpool, this has a knock on, positive impact on our arts organisations and our leisure and retail sector. The millions of pounds pumped back into our local economy by visitors spending time and money in the City is invaluable; and we appreciate this more than ever after the past couple of years. Our 2022 programme shows confidence and ambition; once again setting us apart from other Cities and helping us use culture to attract visitors, investment and create and maintain jobs."

2022's highlights for your diary should include the following:-

Liverpool Against Racism - This brand new festival will feature specially commissioned music and cultural events that celebrate diversity and the deep cultural heritage of Liverpool. With a focus on community cohesion, it will be a place in which people and organisations from across the City can respond creatively to the challenges, hate and discrimination which some people in Liverpool still face. The festival runs from Saturday, 23 April to Sunday, 30 April 2022.

Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux - Another new addition to the calendar, this foodie festival will celebrate Liverpool's incredible food and drink offer as well as transforming some key City Centre streets into stages to showcase the City's UNESCO City of Music status. It will take place across the jubilee bank holiday weekend (2 June to 5 June), and more details will be announced imminently.

Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) - This is 1 of Liverpool's most popular music festivals returns with a new look, new location and new feel from 29 July to 31 July 2022. Expect an inspiring programme of unique musical performance and collaboration which will pay homage to Liverpool's UNESCO City Of Music status.

River of Light - After its latest instalment in October 2021 to November 2021 attracted around 150,000 people, a stunning trail of installations will return to the City Centre, from 21 October 2022 to 6 November 2022. The theme of:- 'Unexpected Twist' will be a nod to the World Gymnastics Championships 2022, which will be taking place in the City at the same time.

More details about all these events, along with other activities which are being kept under wraps for now, that will be released in the coming weeks and months. The events will be a mixture of free and ticketed experiences. And that's not all residents and visitors have to look forward to. The City's much loved cultural sector is back with renewed rigor, from Africa Oyé heading back to Sefton Park and Tate Liverpool hosting the prestigious Turner Prize right through to National Museums Liverpool staging a world 1st Doctor Who exhibition.

Liverpool's Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:- "It feels amazing to be talking about staging actual events once again! As a City renowned for its enviable programme of events it's great that we're now in a position to bring something to our City streets which gives people genuine joy and some much needed escapism from what we're shared over the past couple of years. It's great to see some old favourites on the list, but it's exciting that there are new additions as well as a new look LIMF which we're hoping will appeal to the old and new audience. We can't reveal the full programme, or indeed give away a huge amount of detail at this stage, but it's all about giving people a little taste of what's to come and getting the message out there that culture is back!"

The 2022 programme announcement comes hot on the heels of the Culture Collective campaign which sees Liverpool's arts organisations come together to show off the City's impressive cultural credentials. To find out more and to watch the official music video soundtrack head to:- VisitLiverpool.Com.

Government announces leads for 2 separate independent reviews to tackle health disparities

IT has been announced that Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead to lead review into ethnic inequalities for medical devices and Javed Khan OBE to lead review into tobacco control Findings will form part of wider plans to level up the country and reduce existing inequalities through the Health Disparities White Paper. Plans to enable people across the country to live longer, healthier lives are moving forward with the Government's announcement of leads for two significant independent reviews to tackle health disparities. A review into potential ethnic bias in the design and use of medical devices will be led by Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, Professor of Public Health at the University of Liverpool. The way medical devices and technologies are designed and used has raised concerns about the impact of ethnic background on a patient's diagnosis and treatment, exacerbating existing inequalities in healthcare.

Separately, Javed Khan OBE, former CEO of children's charity Barnardo's, will lead an independent review of the Government's bold ambition to make England smoke free by 2030. Whilst the Government has made good long term progress in reducing smoking rates to their lowest ever level, there are an estimated 6 million smokers in England and smoking is still one of the largest drivers of health disparities.  Both independent reviews will form part of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities' agenda to tackle inequalities in health and care, which will include the publication of a Health Disparities White Paper in spring and a Tobacco Control Plan later in the year.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:- "The Pandemic has shown the resilience of the British public and brought communities together to look after each other in the most challenging times. But it has also exposed chasms in our society; particularly in health. Where someone is born, their background, their gender, or the colour of their skin should not impact their health outcomes. Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead and Javed Khan OBE both have vast experience in tackling health inequalities, and I look forward to the outcome of their reviews so we can continue to level up across society and make sure everyone; no matter where they live or come from, can live a long, healthy life."

The far reaching Independent Review into potential ethnic bias in the design and use of medical devices in the UK will:-

Identify systematic inequalities in registered medical devices.

Make recommendations on how these inequalities should be tackled.

Consider what systems need to be in place to ensure emerging technologies are developed without ethnic inequalities.

Improve global standards to better healthcare and tackle disparities.

The NHS is an expert in providing the best possible care with the devices currently available, and this review will improve the quality and availability of devices to diverse communities.  The independent review into smoking will provide independent, evidence based advice that will inform the Government's approach to tackling the stark health disparities associated with tobacco use. It will also help the Government decide on the most impactful interventions to reduce the uptake of smoking and to support smoking cessation. It will assess the options to be taken forward in the new Tobacco Control Plan, which will be published later this year. This comes as the Health and Social Care Secretary today set out his vision to make England a world leader in cancer care as we learn to live Covid19, with renewed attention paid to innovative treatment and early diagnosis to radically improve outcomes for cancer patients. Tobacco is still the single largest cause of preventable mortality and 64,000 smokers died from smoking in 2019.

Smoking causes a disproportionate burden on the most disadvantaged families and communities; rates vary dramatically across the country and remain very high in areas such as:- Manchester (20.8%) and Blackpool (19.8%), compared to Wokingham (5.5%) and Richmond upon Thames (6%). Rates are also persistently high amongst certain groups, including routine and manual workers (21.4%), and people with long term mental health problems (25.8%). And although maternal smoking rates have recently fallen from 10.4% in 2019/20 to 9.6% in 2020/21, there is still work to do as nearly 1 in 10 women are smoking at the time of delivery.

Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead said:- "There are growing concerns about the potential for racial bias in the design and use of some medical devices commonly used in the NHS, and that the treatment of patients from some ethnic groups may be less effective as a result. It is important that this review establishes the extent and impact of such potential racial bias and what can be done to remedy it."

Javed Khan OBE said:- "I am very pleased to be leading this review into such an important area of public health. My independent findings will help highlight key interventions which can help the Government achieve its ambitions to be smoke free by 2030 and tackle health disparities."

Dame Margaret brings with her extensive experience in tackling inequalities in health, and for many years has led the work of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Policy Research on the Determinants of Health Equity.  As a leading figure in the UK public and voluntary sectors, Javed Khan has led Barnardo's for the past 7 years. He is currently chair designate of the:- Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board. Javed was also a key member of the Independent Grenfell Recovery Taskforce and specialist adviser to the Justice Select Committee's Inquiry into prison reform.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said:- "Tackling issues such as smoking and ethnic inequalities is a priority for OHID and a key part of the Government's levelling up agenda. These reviews will help determine what more can be done to reduce any ethnic bias in health diagnosis and treatment and drive down smoking rates, particularly in deprived areas, to support our bold ambition to be smoke free by 2030. I look forward to working with both Dame Margaret and Javed to ultimately help people live longer, healthier and happier lives."

The Pandemic has shone a light on the inequalities that exist across the country. As part of breaking the link between people's background and their prospect for a healthy life, the Health Disparities White Paper will look at the factors affecting people's health across the country, including risk factors, service access and experience and the biggest preventable killers such as cancer and heart disease, as well as the wider causes of ill health.

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