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News Report Page 11 of 15
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Council helps Alder Hey patient's wheelie bin dream come true

LIVERPOOL City Council's refuse team has been on a very special mission to bring joy to a 10 year old Alder Hey patient by handing him his very own purple bins.  Young David Geelan hails from Middlesbrough but he and his family have been frequent visitors to the City because he's under the care of Alder Hey.  At birth, David had the condition Craniosynostosis, meaning his skull had joined together too early. He's been making the 100 mile trip to the Hospital for reconstruction surgery and regular check ups ever since.  David's dad Andrew says the family has fallen in love with Liverpool and return as often as they can. The family has also become fundraising ambassadors for Alder Hey  And on each journey they make, the family know they have arrived in Liverpool when they see the City's iconic purple wheelie bins.  So when Officers at Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd (LSSL) received a request from Andrew who wanted to know if he could buy a purple bin for David and the family, the big hearted LSSL team jumped at the chance to make a dream come true for brave David. They then loaded up a couple of the famous purple bins and headed for the North East. The plan was to surprise David on the doorstep by presenting him with his own little piece of Liverpool. LSSL gave him a full sized wheelie for the garden and a smaller 1 so David can store his toys in it. And it's fair to say that David and the whole family were 'wheelie' delighted when their brand new bins arrived.  David instantly took possession of the new bins and promptly named them Bella and Bertie; after Liverpool's famous Liver Birds!

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "David is an amazing young man and we are really thrilled that he and his family love our City so much. It is clear that the family have done a tremendous amount of great work for Alder Hey, so it really was the least we could do to present them with their very own purple bins. We're proud to call David and his family honorary Scousers. I have asked them to come and see me next time they're in Liverpool and we'll make their stay a really memorable 1."

Andrew Geelan said:- "Liverpool is our 2nd home and we try and get back there as often as we can. We always know we are in Liverpool when we see the purple bins, so I thought I would email to see if we could get 1. I never dreamt the Council would bring 2 up for me. David is thrilled and it just goes to show the kindness and generosity of the people of Liverpool, they are willing to go the extra mile for anyone."

Irene Axom from Alder Hey Children's Charity added:- "We know how much David loves the City of Liverpool and it's wonderful that the Council has been able to gift him 2 wheelie bins. The Geelan family are great ambassadors for our Hospital and we'd like to thank them for all their continued support. We'll see you when you're next in Liverpool."

NHS at risk from future trade deals, says MP

THE MP for Sefton Central and Shadow International Trade Minister, Bill Esterson MP said that  the UK Government had also failed to protect the UK's high food standards in the Trade Bill, which passed through its final stage in the House of Commons, on Monday, 20 July 2020. Mr Esterson told the House of Commons during a debate on the bill that the Government:- "do not want to put protections for our NHS, farmers and consumers in law or take the action needed on the climate crisis, because they have no intention of keeping their promises."

The MP also attracted attention on social media after he referenced the comedian Michael Spicer's room next door parody sketches. The controversial Trade Bill sets out how the UK will roll over the trade deals it currently has with 40 countries via its membership of the EU. After the Brexit transition period ends in December, the UK will no longer benefit from trade deals it enjoys as a member of the EU. The Trade Bill also sets the framework for how future trade deals will be negotiated, including with the US.  Mr Esterson said the lack of scrutiny involved in trade negotiations meant that the NHS and food standards could be on the table in future trade deals, and Parliament would be powerless to stop it.  During the debate, he told the House of Commons:- "International trade has rarely been more important. It is critical as we forge a new place in the world outside the European Union. It is also critical to how we recover from the pandemic, as it has the power to deliver prosperity at home and abroad, especially in the developing world as we aim towards the sustainable development goals. We will support the Government where they are right and challenge where they are wrong. The Bill has profound implications for workers' rights, human rights, public services and the economy. On the environment, international trade agreements have a massive impact on our ability to tackle the climate and environment emergency. Meanwhile, food production and animal welfare standards are matters of enormous concern to farmers and consumers alike. The complete absence of scrutiny runs like the San Andreas fault through the Bill."

Labour proposed amendments to the Bill that would have protected the NHS and food standards, but they were voted down a majority of MPs. Conservative MPs were whipped to vote against. Mr Esterson said:- "The Bill gives Ministers powers to make changes to retained EU law upstairs in a Committee of 17 MPs after a maximum debate of 90 minutes. These powers are retained for up to 10 years. That is quite some grab by the Executive. The Government should be holding the debate and a vote in both Houses as a matter of course. The Bill will put in place the framework for a new generation of new agreements, including those with the United States and Australia, and the controversial so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership: CPTPP. There is widespread recognition across society that parliamentary scrutiny is essential in international trade agreements. What possible reason can the Government have for wanting to avoid scrutiny, and why on such important areas? Perhaps there are some clues in the topics covered by the various amendments. The threat to our NHS is right at the top of the list. Investor-state dispute settlement was a scandal that came to prominence during the TTIP negotiations. Let us look at some examples of the threat posed by ISDS. The Portuguese Government were sued using ISDS when the Lisbon metro was returned to public ownership. ISDS clauses in bilateral investment treaties are being used now to prepare a series of cases against the UK Government for pausing construction contracts during the pandemic. ISDS is not the only issue. Standstill clauses prevent Governments from returning privatised public services to the public sector. Ratchet clauses require further services to be privatised. Then there are negative lists, which require Governments to specify exactly which services are to be exempt from privatisation, with everything else up for grabs. The Prime Minister told us he favours a social insurance system in his Daily Telegraph article, so when Ministers tell us not to worry about the NHS, it simply will not wash. Statements alone are worthless. It is very simple: the detailed text of all agreements must include cast-iron commitments, because it is not just the Prime Minister who wants to hand over our NHS to the healthcare corporations; it is his friend the US President, and it is in the US negotiating objectives, which refer to 'full market access for US products'. They want access to NHS medicines and more, and they are not shy about saying so. Scrutiny matters, nowhere more so than in the protection of our NHS in international trade agreements."

The Government had described how they would set up a:- "room next door" system where trade experts would analyse deals and offer advice during discussions. Mr Esterson said:- "The chaotic way in which the Government plan to create their room-next-door system sounds more like a sketch by Mr Michael Spicer than how a responsible Government might engage with scrutiny."

The comedian later tweeted a clip of Mr Esterson's speech with the comment:- "whut," which was viewed more than 600,000 times. Mr Esterson later warned of the threat to public health from a reduction in animal welfare and food production standards. He said:- "Public health, animal welfare and food production are inextricably connected. Hormones in animal feed may cause cancer in people. Industrial farming techniques affect the environment and global warming. In the middle of a global pandemic, minds should be concentrated. The use of antibiotics in farming is linked to the ability of diseases to jump between species. A coalition of businesses, unions, consumers, environmentalists and civil society is warning of a democratic deficit. The coalition is headed by the International Chamber of Commerce, which states: 'We no longer live in a world where trade can be treated separately from our international commitments on issues such as climate action, digitisation or building a more resilient health system. The public need to feel confident that trade decisions and processes are working for them and the Bill is a good opportunity to embed a more transparent, consensus based, democratic approach that clearly demonstrates a net benefit to all. It's an opportunity to set a new gold standard.'"

The MP said the Government's promises on these issues were not enough, and they needed to embed protections in legislation:- "I said at the start that the Bill is really about social responsibility, environmental protection and democracy. The lack of scrutiny threatens to leave the NHS wide open to pharmaceutical giants and to undermine farmers and consumers. Chemical washes of chicken, hormones in beef, ractopamine in pork and GM crops are banned in the UK. What is wrong with keeping it that way? If the Government are saying, 'We are going to do it anyway', what is the objection to putting it all in primary legislation? The trouble is that we all know what is really going on here: they do not want to put protections for our NHS farmers and consumers in law or take the action needed on the climate crisis, because they have no intention of keeping their promises."

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