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Sefton Talking Newspapers are a dedicated team of volunteers who provide a valuable service to those visually impaired members of our community, specifically with the aim of enabling those people with access to the news through audio, recorded by the volunteers at STN, a valuable form of information many of us take for granted on a day to day basis.

Bill Esterson MP met with many of those involved on Friday 13th May to celebrate their 25th Anniversary with an afternoon tea event. Speaking to chair of the group, John O’Hanlon, the Labour MP was given the history of the group, which initially started thanks in part to a dedicated council funding for thirteen volunteers. Twenty five years later the organisation is still going strong, with a dedicated volunteer base.

 

John O’Hanlon said “There are lots of people to thank for our ongoing success. The legacy inherited from our former volunteers, visually impaired groups from across the north Merseyside region and our current seven teams who put in thirty plus man hours a week to produce a 90 minute talking newspaper – this does not include the hours spent by individual members researching suitable articles. We were pleased to welcome Bill Esterson to the event, it was good to see our local MP give such support.”

 

Bill Esterson MP spoke at the special event saying “I greatly admire the work done by STN. My political colleagues and I, can at times, find it very hard to make speeches that capture the interest of an audience. What these volunteers do is actually incredibly skilful and time consuming work, and something I hold with great appreciation. I am hugely proud of those in my constituency who selflessly dedicate their abilities to helping those with impairments”. 

MP Bill Esterson attends the 25th Anniversary of Sefton Talking Newspapers

Sefton Talking Newspapers are a dedicated team of volunteers who provide a valuable service to those visually impaired members of our community, specifically with the aim of enabling those people...

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 Bill Esterson MP is backing a campaign opposing Government proposals to cut pharmacies in Thornton. The Labour MP met with the owner of Thornton Pharmacy Graeme Batten in response to a wide number of constituents expressing concern for their pharmacies in the locality.

Graeme said “Government cuts are harmful and Bill has taken an active interest in supporting the campaign. We understand that cuts are necessary in turbulent economic times. However, it cannot be disputed that these particular cuts are short-sighted and will ultimately cause more damage to the local community in the long-run. We urge the government to seriously consider the counter proposals put forward by the PSNC, which will not only mitigate the threat to local pharmacies, but will also save the government money.”

The current proposals include a plan to introduce an online ‘click and collect’ system for the collection of medication which will potentially alienate a great deal of vulnerable people, many of whom do not have access to the internet.

Bill said on the issue "Government proposals are short-sighted, I think the PSNC have been proactive in their response - offering suggestions which save money but do not have the disastrous side effects of the current Government proposals. Our local pharmacies are a crucial part of our lives and to let Government cuts dismantle such an important support service would cause great long-term damage to the community.”

Bill Esterson MP visits local Pharmacy to dispute damaging Government proposals

 Bill Esterson MP is backing a campaign opposing Government proposals to cut pharmacies in Thornton. The Labour MP met with the owner of Thornton Pharmacy Graeme Batten in response to...

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MP, Bill Esterson has expressed concern at the news that the government has granted a Petroleum Exploration and Development licence for land in Formby and Lydiate. The licence was granted by Conservative ministers at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and Mr Esterson pointed out that he was notified by Aurora Energy, the holder of the licence, not by the government.

Concerns have been voiced in Formby and in Lydiate about the safety of fracking and Bill Esterson MP and his Labour colleagues have previously called for more evidence to be presented before licences are granted.
Labour MP Bill Esterson said, “Many residents are concerned at the potential impact of fracking. That is why Labour has said we oppose it until the science shows it can be carried out safely. There are also concerns about the impact on the environment. So I was frankly gob smacked to receive a letter out of the blue from Aurora Energy informing me they were about to carry out a survey of the area, and more to the point that the Conservatives had given them a Petroleum Exploration and Development licence for parts of Formby parish."

"We know that the Conservatives want fracking to go ahead in our area because government ministers, including Chancellor George Osborne’s father in law, have said so. There are clear financial links between some energy companies and the Conservatives."
The Conservative Councillors in Sefton, the Lib-Dems who supported them in government and continue to support them in Sefton, and the independents who vote with the Conservatives on Sefton Council, really should take a long hard look at what their party is doing to Formby. Allowing Petroleum Licences, along with letting developers run riot in the countryside, ignores the wishes of the local community.

Yet this is exactly what the Conservatives and their allies in Formby are doing. And I am afraid that the Conservatives, Lib-Dems and Independents on Sefton Council who all vote together need to recognise that they are backing a party in government that is taking some very serious risks with our environment; both with their support for fracking and also through the way they are just letting developers do what they want where they want.”
“I shall be asking ministers for an explanation about how the Petroleum Licences were given and also asking Aurora to discuss their plans with me.”

Bill Esterson, MP shocked at possible fracking in Formby.

MP, Bill Esterson has expressed concern at the news that the government has granted a Petroleum Exploration and Development licence for land in Formby and Lydiate. The licence was granted...

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