Monday, 28 November 2011

Getting young people into work

Lib Dems in Government making sure every young person has a fair chance

The Lib Dems in Government are taking real action to tackle youth unemployment.  Every young person who wants it will be guaranteed a job, training or work placement.

The Youth Contract will create over 400,000 new jobs and 250,000 new work experience placements to help young people across Britain to get into work.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP said, If people are out of work when theyre young they bear the scars for decades. If they have a false start, they might not ever fully catch up.
"This £1 billion investment will make sure our young people are earning and learning again, before long-term damage is done.

The Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle youth unemployment - an issue that has been ignored for too long. 

During Labours 13 years in power, youth unemployment rose by nearly 40%. There was a shocking 86% increase in the number of 18-24 year olds claiming Job Seekers Allowance.

Local Lib Dem Cllr John Gibson added, Our new plans will make sure every young person has a fair chance. Thanks to the Lib Dems in Government, 830 local learners took on an apprenticeship in the past year to gain key skills, and now the 69% of young people in our area on Job Seekers Allowance will get extra support to help them into work too.

The £1 billion new investment to tackle youth unemployment includes:
       Over 400,000 new work places for 18 24 year olds over the next three years
       250,000 extra work experience places for every 18 24 year old who wants one (after 3 months on Job Seekers Allowance) and 160,000 wage subsidies
       All 18 24 year olds to receive extra careers support from Job Seekers Plus (after 3 months on Job Seekers Allowance)
       More funding to support apprenticeships, including 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices
       A new programme to help the most disengaged 16 17 year olds get learning again or into a job with training

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Save Money, Stay Warm, Go Green

Soaring world energy prices and the failures of successive UK governments mean that many people across Britain are facing a tough winter.
That’s why we need Liberal Democrat activists across Britain to join our campaign to help people in local communities save money, stay warm and go green.

Taking Britain forward

The Liberal Democrats in Government are fighting to tackle the dreadful legacy of failures on housing and fuel poverty.

Millions of British homes are cold, draughty and expensive to heat – hitting everyone in the pocket and putting the vulnerable at risk. Every year, tens of thousands of people in Britain die because they couldn’t keep warm in winter. Many more become ill, placing a major strain on their families and the NHS.

The Liberal Democrats are also driving forward real action on renewable energy generation to ensure Britain becomes less reliant on dirty, expensive fossil fuels.

Free and discount insulation available

We’ve forced energy companies to spend more on insulating some of Britain’s draughtiest and coldest homes - helping 3 million householders by the end of 2012. In October 2012, the Lib Dem Green Deal will start - creating over 100,000 jobs and helping millions of people insulate their homes at NO COST to themselves.

Help for pensioners

The new Lib Dem Warm Homes Discount will give an extra £120 each year to the least well off pensioners to keep warm this winter. That’s on top of the £4.50 a week pension rise that all pensioners received in April.

The Save Money, Stay Warm and Go Green Campaign

Please spread the word on the actions the Lib Dems are taking in government to help people save money, stay warm and go green.

The first stage of the campaign has 3 goals:
  1. To help increase awareness and take up of energy saving insulation schemes
  2. To make sure older people are getting the help they need to keep warm this winter
  3. To give everyone practical advice to save money, stay warm and go green

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

John Pugh's Speech On Hillsborough

John Pugh (Southport, Liberal Democrat)
I begin by congratulating, on behalf of, I think, all of us here today, Steve Rotheram. None of us can hope to match his eloquence, passion, persistence and, frankly, the raw emotion he has displayed today. I first knew him as a very effective mayor of Liverpool city council, and he has today proved to be a very effective champion of his area and of Merseyside as a whole. I want to thank him for associating me with his efforts in making the all-party applications; this has been an all-party endeavour. I also want to mention the hon. Gentleman’s predecessor, Peter Kilfoyle. Even though he was a lifelong Evertonian, he did a lot of work for this cause in the House.
I should declare an interest. I am a Liverpool FC supporter. My entire family came from Liverpool, and I grew up there, although I had the misfortune originally, as a child in a city that was oozing football success, to be taken every Saturday to Knotty Ash to watch our one and only rugby league team get beaten repeatedly week after week—thereby amply preparing me for life as a Liberal.
I think I understand the Liverpool character as well as most. A history that has often been quite brutal has endowed that character with two marked traits. The first is a profound emphasis on social solidarity. People have learned to depend on each other—on family and neighbourhood. That was beautifully summed up by Bill Shankly in the following quote, of which I have a copy in my office:
“the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day.”
The second major trait has also been forged by a hard history. It is a lack of reverence—a suspicion and questioning of authority and all the pomposity and cant that often underpins it. That is the reason why Liverpool produces so many comedians. It is a feeling that the world is not necessarily on our side—and, indeed, often it is not, especially for those who spend their time questioning authority, and the pomposity and the cant underpinning it.
Hillsborough was a terrible tragedy for Liverpool. At the time I was a councillor in Sefton, and we outside the immediate Liverpool area lost many people. Afterwards, there was an opportunity to show that things could be different, but what happened? As expected, there was a massive, deeply impressive show of solidarity, and it continues, confirming that this is the city where the way forward is not “walking alone” and where social solidarity is important. The people were, however, let down by the powers that be: the national media, including The Sun, about which much has been said today; those in the legal system, about which we have not said as much as we ought to have done; and the police—we have mentioned Duckenfield—who tried to shift blame. Some—but not all—of them perpetuated, relied on or were diverted by prejudices, not just about football supporters but specifically about Liverpool football supporters. That was the case both knowingly and, sometimes, unknowingly, and explicitly and implicitly. Unsurprisingly therefore, there has been no closure. The narrative not only of what happened but of how different people told—or tried to tell in order to fix—that narrative has never been fully before us.
I genuinely believe that we get better inquiries and inquests if the people running them are prepared to look at their limitations and flaws. We get better reporting if the media at least acknowledge their failings. We also get better policing if the police openly account for their wrongdoing and the error in their own ranks. Truthfulness at all levels is the path to improvement.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

£3.3 Million Extra For Schools in Sefton

Today the Government released the final Pupil Premium figures for every English local authority, constituency and school. Every school this year will receive an extra £488 for each child on free school meals they have on their roll.

Schools in Sefton are getting an extra £3.3 million from the Pupil Premium to improve the education of the most disadvantaged children. You can find out what each school in your council area is getting by clicking here.

The pupil premium was a key Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment which will improve the education of those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The idea would almost certainly not have been introduced had the Liberal Democrats not formed part of the government.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Nick Clegg’s speech to Liberal Democrat Conference 2011

Deputy Prime Minister addresses the Party Conference in Birmingham. You can read the full text of the speech here.

Manor Lib Dem Team now on Twitter...

Your local team are now on Twitter: . Providing news and views from Crosby, Thornton and Hightown in Sefton.

Don't forget, all the contact details are listed on the right hand side of the Manor e-Focus Blog.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

HMS Sefton Tories: Another one jumps overboard!

"When will Sefton Conservatives stop hemorrhaging councillors?" asks colleague Tony Robertson. This time well respected Harrington Ward (Formby) Cllr. Gill Cuthbertson has resigned the Tory Whip.

She follows a long line of Conservatives who have either left of their own volition or been suspended/deselected. It all started with Wendy Jones of Crosby who was deselected a few years ago and Les Byrom who jumped ship to Labour. Now there are 4 Independent Tories (3 of them suspended from the Tory Group), another who went to UKIP (also Harrington Ward) and Anne Ibbs who was deselected in Ravenmeols ward.

What an unhappy ship HMS Sefton Tories must be!

The news comes from colleague Cllr Tony Robertson

Martin Lewis speaking about the changes to the student tution fee system.

There is a vast amount of confusion surrounding the changes to student tuition fees from 2012. There will have been a large number of Sefton students who collected their AS Level results last Thursday and who are still confused about options that face them over the coming 12 months. There are numerous questions that parents and students have not, in my opinion, been fully and fairly informed about or had answered.

I have seen some detailed explanations that actually complicate the system further. However, Martin Lewis, made famous for his consumer campaigns on morning television, outlines the system in the most simplistic way I have seen - from a completely non-political view point. This is really good stuff, explaining exactly who pays what and when - it's time people started to understand the truth about the structure of the system.

Politics of the system aside - because, in truth, that it is what's clouding this very important issue for those 16/17 year old individuals and their families - I would recommend anyone in Sefton thinking about university in the future to view this clip.

Martin Lewis, journalist and consumer campaigner who created, the UK's biggest money website, speaks about the changes to the student tution fee system.

In the unlikely event of the clip not working please use the link above.

Higher Education Access

Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes has led a review of access to higher education. He spent six months traveling around the country to speak with thousands of young people about the changes to university financing and all other concerns they have about access to higher education.

Last week he published his final report. It contains over 30 recommendations directed towards schools and colleges, universities, government and regulators on what they can do to encourage participation in higher education. You can download a copy of the report from the Cabinet Office website here: Hughes Report.

With thanks to ALDC.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Stop Press: The Cheque is Saved!!

councillor John gibson WELCOMES Saving the cheque As a victory for common sense

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Crosby, Thornton and Hightown, John Gibson, has welcomed the news this week that the UK Payments Council has officially announced that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them, and the target for possible closure of the cheque clearing in 2018 has been cancelled.

The ‘Save Our Cheque’ campaign was originally launched through an Early Day Motion in Parliament in November 2009 by Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle, Mark Hunter, seconded by Lib Dem colleague and MP for Southport, Dr. John Pugh. Figures show that last year alone there were over one billion cheque transactions highlighting just how widely used this form of payment still is. In November last year Crosby Area Liberal Democrats began delivering over 6000 petitions to homes across the Crosby area, to great success. Eventually forwarding thousands onto Number 10 Downing Street and the Prime Minister.

The Payments Council’s decision was influenced by the campaign nationally and continued public pressure. After a consultation period, listening to customers, to over 600 stakeholder groups, working with the banks and following an appearance before the Treasury Select Committee, the Payments Council concluded the cheque is staying.

Commenting on the news, Councillor John Gibson, said:

“Today’s announcement means that those who rely on cheque payments can now be sure of their future.

“For small businesses and sole traders cheques are a crucial form of payment and many were concerned that their removal would drive up their costs. For customers, especially the elderly, cheques are reliable, safe and easy to use. Many residents in Manor Ward whom I have spoken to have told me of their gratitude at highlighting the campaign at such an early stage.

“This is a great victory for people power and common sense, and proves that the banks cannot afford to ignore the views of their customers.”

Thursday, 12 May 2011

"...local residents do not want a local councillor."

It is no secret that your local Lib Dem FOCUS team have coined the Labour Party in our area as "Bootle Labour". It went out on many of our FOCUS leaflets across the Ward. Indeed, this was the view shared by fellow local resident and former Manor Conservative Councillor, Martyn Barber.

Interestingly, this is clearly something that the majority of local Manor residents do not seem too worried about. For the past two local elections here in the Crosby, Thornton and Hightown areas there have been two successive Bootle Labour candidates elected to serve locally. I fully accept that, after all the Liberal Democrats have always stood on a platform of democracy - particularly at the most local level. Although it does raise questions about why local residents do not want a local councillor.

Even more interestingly perhaps, similar circumstances seem to be happening in the Maghull area also. Tony Robertson blogs:

In Maghull the Town Council (a large Parish Council) is now 13 Labour seats and 3 Lib Dem but most of the Labour members don’t even live in Maghull! The question is why do many electors in Maghull seemingly want their Parish Councillors to live elsewhere? They could have voted for Maghull residents but chose to pick councillors from other communities such as Bootle, Crosby and Aintree to run Maghull’s affairs. Bearing in mind that the taxes raised by Maghull Town Council will not be paid by those councillors who live outside of Maghull, is this not a odd state of affairs?

Crime-busting Car in Crosby and Thornton

A CRIME-busting vehicle has been out on the streets of Crosby warning people about thieves.
The crime prevention car has been used by Crosby Neighbourhood Police to teach people not to leave valuables on display in their vehicles.

It is part of a Merseyside-wide initiative aimed at stopping theft from cars.

The car, which was accompanied by signs with the slogan “If it’s on show it will go” was at Burbo Bank, Crosby Village and Crosby Leisure Centre on Tuesday.

PCSOs were giving people demonstrations and offering advice on how to thwart thieves.
It will also be out and about in the village, at Aldi in Thornton and on the beach today (Thursday).

To report a crime call Crosby Police Station on 0151 777 3634 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Keep Our Beach Tidy!

Sefton Council chief tells people to pick up their litter when they visit Crosby beach

SEFTON’S council chief is calling on everyone to keep Crosby beach clean.

Tonnes of rubbish are left behind on Sefton’s beaches each year
Despite there being 250 litter bins on the coastal sites, 33,000 bin bags of rubbish were emptied and 160 large skips of waste were taken to landfill last year.

Margaret Carney, Sefton Council’s chief executive is calling on residents to pick up their litter.

People are leaving cans, bottles, clothing, deck chairs and BBQ packs on the beach.

The Crosby Herald has the full story here.

With the summer about to come upon us it is vitally important that Crosby beech remains a destination that will bring in tourists from around the North West and further-a-field. Especially now with the introduction of the new Another Place road signage across the Crosby Area.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Thank You... and What Next.

May I belatedly thank all those electors of Sefton MBC Manor Ward (Crosby, Thornton and Hightown) who voted Liberal Democrat in this year's election. Unfortunately the result was not the one that we had hoped for.

What is next is best summed up by colleague and elected Lib Dem candidate for Park Ward, Tony Robertson:

"Today in Sefton we Lib Dems seemed to do better than in many other parts of the UK. We lost 5 seats, Labour gained 5 seats and the Tories stayed the same. This makes Labour the largest party on the balanced Council despite them behaving quite irresponsibly before the election over the Council’s finances. ... thanks to all who fought under the Lib Dem flag; times are tough for the only national political party that really does believe in gaining power only to give it away to the communities that we represent. Clearly, 2011 has been a step backwards for the Lib Dems and the community based politics that we stand for but Liberals have been through tough times before and come through. Tories and Labour will always stand for vested interests as they always have done; we will continue to fight against vested interests."

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Postal Voting in Sefton's Local Elections, 2011.

A question over whether or not Postal Votes can be taken to Polling Stations on Thursday was raised with me recently on the door-step.

The answer is simple: Yes. 
Postal Votes can be submitted at the Polling Stations across Sefton - however - make sure they are completed before entering just to speed the process up.

If you have problems with your Postal Vote forms in Manor Ward, or additionally would like a lift to the Polling Station on Thursday 5th May, please contact the FOCUS Team on the details to the right of this site.

On Thursday 5th May, vote Lib Dem and vote "YES!" in the Referendum on Fairer Votes.