News Police accused of blaming Hillsborough on drunken fans Georgia Unsworth
In a letter made public by BBC Radio 4’s The World at One show, it has been revealed that Margaret Thatcher was informed by an unnamed senior Merseyside police officer that: “Drunken Liverpool fans,” were to blame for the 1989 FA cup semi-final disaster that claimed 96 lives. The official enquiry into the disaster ruled the tragedy was caused by a failure in crowd control by South Yorkshire police. According to the letter, sent to the former prime minster four days after the disaster, the chief constable of Merseyside police, the late Sir Kenneth Oxford, told officials: “ A key factor in causing the disaster was the fact that large numbers of
Liverpool fans had turned up without tickets. “This was getting lost in sight of attempts to blame the police, the football authorities, etc.” The documents also note the chief constable’s unease at the manner in which Anfield was being turned into
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a shrine by grief-stricken fans, and notes that “One officer, born and bred in Liverpool, said he was deeply ashamed to say that it was drunken Liverpool fans who had caused this disaster, just as they had caused the deaths at Heysel.” Sheila Coleman, from the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, told the BBC: “We are really concerned that the emphasis is totally on Merseyside Police here and not on South Yorkshire Police, and that makes us very suspicious of how the information was leaked.” There have also been calls for an official inquiry into the leak from Steve Rotheram, MP for Liverpool Wa l t o n , w h o h a s d e e m e d i t “malicious”. Other such government and police documents are currently under review by the Hillsborough Independent panel, convened in 2009 and chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool. A spokesman for the panel refused to comment on the leak but noted that the discovery of new documents was the reason behind the delay in the release of their official report. The report, which was initially due in Spring, will now be released in Autumn, accompanied by other confidential documents regarding the disaster. The report will be available firstly to the families of those involved before later being made accessible to the wider public.
UOL Swimming pool now open after £2.5m refurbishment Millie Kidson
Millie Kidson Continued from page 1... The mystery blogger had been tweeting on two accounts, @LGoSsipgirl2012 and @LGoSsipGirlsBak, intermittently during the election period, but had not written a blog post since February 20th. LSFilm exclusively revealed that Alistair Clark and Catherine Fahy, of LUDScribble, had in fact been @LGoSsipGirlsBak. The pair admitted that they had made up most of the tweets, and said that they would not reveal the identity of the
original LGoSsipgirl, which remains a mystery. Bobby Bland, a spoof candidate, also issued a statement including mock slogans that backed up his poster campaign including “I had a dream, that white students and black students could come together in the Saro for a drink that was slightly cheaper than the year previously.” The elections evidently generated much debate, particularly surrounding issues such as tuition fees and whether the Guild should be political or “non-partisan”. How the future SROs will respond to these issues will become clear when they take up their posts.
Swimming pool reopens after £2.5m refurbishment The University of Liverpool swimming pool has reopened after a £2.5million refurbishment. The 33-lane pool was closed earlier this year to allow developments to take place that will enhance the environmental sustainability of the facilities. The glazed panelling previously seen on Oxford Street has been replaced with an insulating cladding system that reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the pool in winter, and keeps it cool in the summer. A new false ceiling and the installation of an energy efficient mechanical plant will also contribute to the carbon savings. The pool is situated in the Sports Centre on Guild walk, which will see further developments in September 2012.
Liverpool ranked 5th in National poverty index
Liverpool has been ranked 5th for overall risk of poverty in data from credit ratings agency Experian, which provides services for credit card companies, banks and the public sector, has been published in the Guardian. Liverpool is also ranked 5th for greatest likelihood to contain those in current poverty and households whose income is less than 60% of the median for England. It is also ranked third in the country for likelihood to contain households at risk of financial exclusion (i.e. be denied credit). Knowsley is ranked 3rd for overall risk of poverty, and is the most likely place in the country to contain those who may fall into poverty in the short and medium term. The rankings are based on hundreds of variables, some from the companies “Mosaic Public Sector” database, with some input from publicly available data sets from HMRC and the Office for National Statistics. They are the latest in a procession of negative statistics for the city over the past few years. In October it was revealed that 55,759 people are claiming job seekers allowance (JSA) in the Liverpool city region, showing a year-on-year rise of
10.4%. Overall Liverpool’s workless rate is one and a half times the national average, while in Princes Park ward the JSA claimant rate is three and a half times higher. In Everton ward only 28.7% of pupils gain 5+ GCSE grades A* - C in 2010. Last year Liverpool was declared the most deprived local authority in England by the Department of Communities and Local Government. The council has responded by setting up a “fairness commission”, which claims to be an “independent” body looking into “ways of reducing social and economic inequality for those that live in Liverpool.” Its members include the Chief Executive of Liverpool Hope University, Dr Martin Carey, and the Principle of Liverpool Community College Elaine Bowker. Meanwhile, local councillors are currently in the process of shrinking their budget by a fifth. In the coming financial year Liverpool City Council will cut £50m from its budget, and will have to find £21.6m and £39.3m of cuts in 2003-14 and 2014-15 respectively. In the three years after a further £45.6m of cuts are planned. Cllr Paul Brant, the deputy council leader, told the chamber in January “it gives me no pleasure to be standing before the council as an individual or on behalf of my party to move these budget proposals” and branded the cuts a “savage attack” on the city.