Artistic Aintree schoolgirl named Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson’s Christmas card competition winner
A six-year old Aintree Davenhill pupil's artistic flare is set to brighten up thousands of people's Christmas this year as she was named this year's winner of Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson's Christmas card competition.
Year 1 pupil Lexie Carney beat hundreds of other school pupils from throughout Sefton Central to be named the winner of the MP's Christmas card competition.
MP Bill Esterson said he was extremely impressed by all of the high quality entries, but Lexie's Christmas robins design stood out.
Bill said: "I had hundreds of really amazing designs from young people throughout Sefton Central, which made judging the winners really very difficult.
"But after much deliberation, it was decided that Lexie's robins design would be the winner.
"People throughout Sefton will be receiving this fantastic design as part of my Christmas cards and it will also be the card that I send on to my Parliamentary colleagues, including Labour leader Ed Miliband.
"I am delighted to be able to show off the artistic talent of the young people in my constituency."
Lexie told Bill that she was thrilled to have won the competition.
She said: "I am really proud to have won. It's great to think that so many people will be receiving my design, including lots of people throughout the country."
Lexie was joined by dad Martyn and mum Melissa as she received her certificate and prize from Bill.
Melissa said: "We are delighted that Lexie has won and we are so proud at what she has designed.
"She has always been very artistic. She loves art, but she loves every lesson here at Aintree Davenhill. It is a great school."
Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson's parliamentary call for Tory-Lib Dem Government to cut small business rates to help local businesses throughout Sefton
Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson called on the Tory-Lib Dem Government to cut business rates for small businesses as he quizzed a Local Government Minister in Parliament this week.
Speaking during the debate on Business Rates for Small and Medium Enterprises, Bill called on the government to follow Labour's lead and cut the rates which local businesses throughout Sefton have to pay.
Bill asked the Minister, Brandon Lewis: "Labour Members welcome the fact that the Government followed our lead on payday loans, but will they follow us on another policy and give 1.5 million small businesses a cut in business rates?"
Speaking afterwards, Bill said it was the single biggest issue that most small businesses face in Sefton Central.
Bill said: "I have spoken to small businesses in Formby, Maghull, Lydiate, Crosby, Thornton and everywhere in between. They all tell me that it is a real struggle to stay afloat at the moment and the single element they struggle with the most is business rates.
"One in 10 businesses now pay as much in business rates as they do in rent. There are nearly five-million businesses in country. And that figure is growing. This means that many of the jobs that people rely on here in Sefton Central are provided by small businesses.
"Small businesses need to be helped to survive to ensure that the jobs that they provide are saved, to ensure that our high streets are saved and to ensure that our local economy is healthy.
"That is why Labour has pledged to cut business rates for small businesses if we win the next election.
"But I want the Tories and Lib Dems in Government to take action now. This week they have followed Labour's lead by capping the interest rates of the payday lenders, now we want them to follow our lead on small business rates.
"In Parliament this week, I called on Brandon Lewis and his government to take immediate action to help our local small businesses and help save thousands of jobs here in Sefton Central."
Labour announces they will scrap the Bedroom Tax as MP Bill Esterson says it is an attack on poor and vulnerable
Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said Labour was the only party who would bring to an end the Tory-Lib Dem Bedroom Tax which he said was "the biggest attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities since the Poll Tax".
Introduced at the start of this year, the Bedroom Tax targets social housing tenants of working age who receive housing support.
Those who are identified as having one spare room lose 14% of their housing benefits. Those with more than one, lose 25%.
Since the Bedroom Tax was introduced, Bill has been contacted by scores of people from throughout Sefton Central concerned that they can no longer afford to live in their family home. The majority of the people affected are disabled according to the government’s own figures.
This week, Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged that once in Government, Labour would scrap the Bedroom Tax.
Bill Esterson said: "The Tory-Lib Dem Bedroom Tax is the biggest attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities since the Poll Tax.
"It is heartbreaking just what people are going through. Very often these are the very people who can least afford it. They are the most vulnerable. Or they are the people who have raised their families in a home, who have real roots in a community, who are being forced out of their homes.
"If is for this reason that Ed Miliband announced this week that Labour would repeal the Bedroom Tax once we get back into Government.
"One of the many people from Sefton Central I have met who have been hurt by the Bedroom Tax is a Crosby man. He worked hard and paid into the system until he developed a back problem which meant he was registered disabled. One of his three children had grown up and moved out and because of the bedroom tax and cuts to council tax benefit, he was faced with paying hundreds of extra pounds each month. The Bedroom Tax is the last straw for him. Because of these extra charges, he is struggling to make ends meet and seriously fears losing his home.
"His case is being echoed across Sefton Central and up and down the country.
"And in the same day my constituent had to start paying the bedroom tax, the wealthiest people in the country were handed a tax cut worth £2,000 a month for those earning £1million a year. So the poorest disabled people faced a cut in their living standards to pay for a massive rise in the money going to the wealthiest."
Bill said he would continue to push the Tory-Lib Dem Government to reverse the Bedroom Tax.
Bill said: "People here are hurting right now. People right here in Sefton Central.
"The policy is flawed. There aren't the homes for people to move to even if they wanted to.
"That is why I am continuing to urge the Tories and Lib Dems to repeal the Bedroom Tax now.
"The Tories and Lib Dems in government are aware of the damage they are doing. If they have an ounce of compassion, they must repeal the Bedroom Tax right now."
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