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Govt: Strike 'will achieve nothing and benefit no one'

This Thursday's strike action "will achieve nothing and benefit no one" and has been carried out on a flimsy mandate, the Government has said.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said:

The vast majority of dedicated public sector workers have not voted for this week’s strike action, so it is disappointing the leadership of the unions are pushing for a strike that will achieve nothing and benefit no one.

Union leaders are relying on mandates for action that lack authority – the National Union of Teachers is relying on a ballot run nearly two years ago. As part of our long-term economic plan, this Government has been taking tough decisions to address the deficit we inherited in 2010.

One was to introduce pay restraint in the public sector, while protecting the lowest paid.

– A Cabinet Office spokesperson

Crack down on Post Office crime

Crack down on Post Office crime Credit: PA

A campaign is being launched in Liverpool to stop post office robberies.

Charity Crimestoppers and the Post Office Limited are partnering to tackle crimes committed in the city against post office branches. Liverpool and Manchester were named hot spot areas.

The ‘Stamping Out Crime’ campaign will use posters and tools such as social media to encourage members of the public to share crucial information that could see those who have committed offences against Post Office brought to justice.

Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction for an offence committed against Post Office (in branch) that is passed through the charity’s 0800 555 111 number.

Inspector Joanne Preston, Merseyside Police, said:

"Business robberies are not victimless crimes. Post Offices provide a vital service to their community and are often run by local people themselves. Being targeted by armed robberies can be an incredibly harrowing experience for staff and customers alike.

So it is in everyone's interests to do all we can to make life as tough as possible for these criminals."

National

Public sector pay increases since 2010

In a wide-ranging report into public sector pay increases under the Coalition, the TUC found:

  • A refuse collector on the top of his pay scale would have been earning £16,440 in 2010 and is now on £16,770, an actual increase of just £330. If pay rises were kept in line with inflation, bin men would have an extra £2,950.
  • Nursery assistants earning the maximum they are entitled to would be on £18,824 in 2010, and would have seen a pay rise of £371 under the Coalition. In real terms they should now be earning £22,134.
  • A residential warden in sheltered accommodation, who has also reached the top of her pay scale would be on £27,052, back in 2010. They now earn £27,596, an increase of £544 over the last four years.

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Baroness Newlove reviews treatment of crime victims

The Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove has announced a series of in depth reviews into how police and the courts treat victims of people affected by crime.

She has campaigned since her husband was killed by drunken teenagers outside their Warrington home.

The review will highlight any failings in the criminal justice.

She spoke to Tony Morris on Granada Reports from Westminster:-

Baroness Newlove: 'Victims deserve better'

Baroness Helen Newlove Credit: PA

The victim's Commissioner Baroness Newlove is calling for victims of crime to be treated better. The Baroness will highlight any failings of the criminal justice system with a series of in-depth reviews of agencies. The review will also seek out examples of best practice.

The Commissioner as campaigned against violence since her husband Garry was beaten and killed by drunken teenagers outside their Warrington home in 2007. She will be scrutinising how agencies are complying with the Victims’ Code, dealing with complaints and using Restorative Justice.

Releasing her annual report today Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove said: Victims deserve the very best possible support to get them through the haunting aftermath of crime. If they are not getting this - their concerns need to be taken seriously and improvements need to be made as a result.

I will be looking at good and bad practice to ensure all those who suffer loss and trauma are listened to and treated with dignity and respect. With the findings, I will be challenging the Government and other agencies to take action and make a real difference to victims and their families.”

The report sets out her achievements during her first year in office. It also includes her priorities for 2014-15 which include:

  • Monitoring compliance with the Victims’ Code – ensuring that all criminal justice agencies are compliant with the Code in the support they deliver to victims
  • Complaints and redress for victims – improving victims’ satisfaction with how complaints are dealt with and used to influence change

  • Restorative Justice – ensuring that this is a victim-led approach and is delivered by highly trained staff

  • Giving victims, including vulnerable victims a voice - to ensure feedback is used to inform policy

  • Putting victims first when cases are dealt with out of court – increase understanding of how out of court disposals operate and to ensure that victims are clear about their entitlements.

Battle to tackle loneliness in the North West

A summit to tackle the problem of loneliness is being held in Manchester today. It's after research by the Campaign to End Loneliness found almost 125 thousand people in the North West describe themselves as feeling lonely all or most of the time.

  • 73% of doctors in the region say they see between 1 and 5 lonely patients a day
  • 53% say they don't know how to help them

The Campaign, is led by a coalition of organisations including national charities Independent Age, Royal Voluntary Service and Sense, along with local champions Manchester City Council. In the North West there are 23 separate health and wellbeing boards who've been rated on their support:

  • Gold rating - Blackburn with Darwen, Manchester, and Sefton.
  • Silver: Lancashire, Liverpool, Stockport, Tameside, Warrington, Wirral, and Knowsley.
  • Bronze: Oldham, St Helens, Trafford, and Halton.
  • Unplaced: Bolton, Bury, Cumbria, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Rochdale, Wigan, Salford.
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