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Train staff to strike over pay deal

Workers at a train maintenance company, based in Crewe, are to stage a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Arriva TrainCare will walk out later. The RMT said the company was not prepared to negotiate pay because it was not the recognised union for its employees.

The company should wake up and take notice of the anger amongst their workforce over the pay issue.

Instead they have ignored their staff and offered an insulting increase that systematically undermines our members' standard of living.

– RMT general secretary, Mick Cash

Work ramps up to build new tram line to Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre Credit: Eamonn and James Clarke/Eamonn and James Clarke/PA Images

Work to build a new six-stop Metrolink line to the busy Trafford Park industrial estate and intu Trafford Centre will ramp up this month.

The road closures will be introduced in three phases and will remain in force for approximately three years.

  • From today Mosley Road will be closed south at its junction with Village Way, which will also include a footway closure on the south side of Village Way
  • The second phase will include a closure of Wharf End and Victoria Place, a footway closure of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and a 30mph speed limit on Park Way. This will come into effect on Monday 22 May.
  • From Monday 19 June, Trafford Wharf Road and Village Way will become one way eastbound. Further closures of adjoining roads will also be necessary at times.

Diversion routes will be clearly signposted and local bus services will be re-routed.

Road users are encouraged to allow more time for their journeys.

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Film and TV "centre of excellence" for Liverpool

There are plans to make a multi million pound Film and TV hub in Liverpool. Part of the proposal includes the acquisition of the former Littlewoods building on Edge Lane, one of the most famous structures in the city.

The Littlewoods Credit: Liverpool Film Office

Sir John Moores, and his brother Cecil were the owners of Littlewoods which was the country’s wealthiest family owned business empire, covering department chain stores, catalogue shopping, and football pools. The building was constructed during 1938 in an art deco style, it was used to used to process the betting slips from the Football Pools.

Liverpool City council is hoping the new media hub will contribute to regeneration, job creation and promote further investment.

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Essar Oil UK fined over a million pounds for explosion at Stanlow Refinery

Stanlow oil refinery, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire Credit: PA

Essar Oil UK has been fined #1.65 million after an explosion at its Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port.

There were no injuries at the incident in Cheshire, but the blast in the early hours of November 14 2013 caused internal structures to collapse, causing damage worth more than £20 million, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Problems started at the site during the start-up of its main distillation unit, when extremely flammable hydrocarbons were allowed to enter an unignited furnace.

The heat from another furnace nearby triggered the explosion which destroyed the furnace, starting a number of fires that the fire service had to bring under control.

The incident was reported to the European Union as a major accident under schedule 7 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Essar Oil UK Ltd failed to take all measures necessary to prevent or mitigate a major accident.

Some of the failings it identified were that a safety critical valve was ordered and installed incorrectly and Essar failed to correctly validate its operation.

The company was also found to have failed to adequately assess the installation of a new safety critical trip as they failed to recognise the system had a by-pass line which defeated the trip's operation.

The HSE found that Essar's policy was to isolate main fuel lines to the furnace however, the hydrocarbons entered the furnace via a secondary fuel line which had not been isolated when shut down.

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd of the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, Ellesmere Port, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Major Hazards Regulations 1999 and was fined £1,650,000 with costs of £57,644.80.

"We made clear to the courts from the outset that we accepted responsibility for the incident.

"We take this matter very seriously. Following the incident in November 2013, measures were put in place to ensure it could not happen again.

"No one at Stanlow was hurt and there were no effects on the general public off-site."

– Essar spokesman
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