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News Report Page 8 of 14
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Alex Greenwood Launches AG5 Academy for Girls in Liverpool

AG5 Academy, by England and Manchester City defender Alex Greenwood, is set to launch on:- Friday, 5 April 2024, at Goals Liverpool North in Netherton. The Academy, already in its second year, aims to provide weekly coaching sessions for girls who want to improve their football skills and learn from high quality coaching staff.

Alex Greenwood, who has won multiple trophies with Manchester City and represented England at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, said:- "I am very excited to bring the AG5 Academy to the Liverpool area and share my passion and experience with the next generation of female footballers. I want to inspire and empower girls to pursue their dreams and enjoy the game. The Academy will offer a fun and supportive environment where girls can develop their skills, confidence and teamwork."

The AG5 Academy will run every Friday from:- 5.30pm to 6.30pm, at:- Goals Liverpool North, a state of the art facility, with 5G pitches. The sessions will be led by qualified UEFA badge coaches, who will follow a specially designed curriculum tailored to the needs and abilities of each group. Open to girls of all levels.

Spaces are limited. To register, visit:-

Letter to the Editor:- 'Calling for Safer Streets for Our Children'

"I'M writing in support of national charity Living Streets' call to see 60% of children walking to School by 2029. Fewer than half of Primary School aged children walk to School in England, this is a drop from 70% a generation ago. When we design streets for children, we create places that work better for everyone. Increased walking rates will reduce road casualties, improve health and air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and boost our economy.  A combination of ambitious yet realistic targets, at least 10% of transport budgets spent on active travel, improved road safety in our neighbourhoods and empowering local authorities to make the right transport decisions, would go a long way to creating safer streets for children to walk and play. I urge all political parties to ensure the walk to School is at the heart of their transport policy this election year. The impact of this investment will also help tackle the current climate, economic and health crises." Elizabeth Cummings, Liverpool.

New licensing regime needed to tackle rogue shisha bars

TOUGHER new powers are needed to crack down on shisha bars that breach smoking laws and are linked to anti social behaviour, Councils urge.

The Local Government Association is calling on the Government to introduce a new licensing regime for shisha premises, which would strengthen the powers available to Councils.

While the number of shisha premises has increased significantly in recent years, Councils currently lack the tools with which to regulate them and take enforcement action where necessary.

A new licensing regime would enable Councils to grant or refuse licences for new shisha premises, revoke or suspend licences, and add conditions to licences to improve safety.

This follows incidents involving shisha premises allowing smoking indoors, flouting fire safety and selling illicit shisha.

There are also concerns over the health risks associated with shisha smoking, as well as issues such as noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour, which Councils have limited powers to address under current legislation.

Shisha bars do not require a licence or registration unless they serve alcohol, have other regulated entertainment or serve food between:- 11pm and 5am.

Although tobacco is not licensed, there aren't any smoking lounges for other types of tobacco. Therefore, Councils argue shisha premises should be licensed given they are venues specifically designed for its consumption, which can be detrimental to people's health.

The LGA is also calling for:-

  • An increase in the level of fines for indoor shisha-smoking and for these to be levied against businesses and not just customers.

  • Current levels are not sufficient as a deterrent.

  • A ban on flavoured shisha tobacco, as is currently the case with regular tobacco products.

  • Mandatory labelling of health warnings on shisha products, including smoking paraphernalia

  • Mandatory warning signs that tobacco must not be sold to under 18s on every shisha bar table.

Cllr Heather Kidd, Chair of the Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:- "Currently shisha premises generally fall outside existing licensing laws. It is not right that a venue requires a licence to serve a hot drink after 11pm but not for smoking shisha. Licensing shisha would also send a stronger and clearer health message around the potential dangers of shisha smoking, as there is a common misconception it is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. Shisha also needs to be brought within scope of existing tobacco control strategies to ensure consistency. A new regulatory regime would enable Councils to work with shisha businesses to ensure they operate safely and lawfully."

Case studies:-

  • A premises in Newham was found to routinely breach smoke-free legislation. Despite regular inspections by the Council, it was limited in what action it could take, with fines being too low to be a deterrent.

  • Operation Falcon in Leicester found shisha tobacco being sold without UK duty paid in 9 of 13 premises visited, equating to approximately £21,250 of duty not being paid.

  • Subsequent visits by Oxfordshire County Council's trading standards department to shisha bars in Oxfordshire that had previously flouted laws were once again discovered to be in some form of non-compliance, in relation to selling illicit shisha and allowing smoking in enclosed areas.

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