Liverpool Is Now In the Top 10 Cities with the Highest Growth in Jobs Originally published for Downtown in Business

Merseyside’s economy has seen a significant boost in recent years and Liverpool is now in the Top 10 cities with the highest growth in jobs.

According to a recent think-tank report, the city was ranked number five in the UK, ahead of Nottingham and Leeds, and only just behind Manchester, which came fourth. Between 2010 and 2012, almost 13,000 private sector jobs were created across Liverpool.

One local company reaping the benefits of this is Downtown’s JCS Cleaning (NW) Ltd. The Liverpool based commercial cleaning company, who work with the likes of the NHS, Living Ventures and San Carlo, saw 2014 prove to be one of their most successful years yet; all thanks to the rejuvenation and development happening across the city.

“It’s non-stop – every day you can spot a new building site, or a venue getting a revamp,” said Zoe, the company’s Business Development Manager. “Obviously this is fantastic for us, as we’re able to go out and get the post construction Builders’ Cleans after the work is completed. These last few months alone we’ve worked with Morgan Lovell (on behalf of The Amey Group), Beech Construction (On behalf of Greystar) and Gleeson Homes.”

The North West Cleaners are now officially in the top 4% of all UK cleaning companies which is quite a turnaround from the darkest days of the recession where development across the country came to a halt.

“I only come into the company just over a year ago and I’ve been lucky to start work as everything seems to be getting back on track,” Zoe reveals. “We’ve got so many big hospitality venues on our books; Panoramic 34, Gusto, The Bierkeller, Hannah’s Bar, San Carlo – there are just too many to list. Bars and clubs are spending thousands on their interiors and have realised that they need to hire specialists in order to maintain their investments – that’s where we step in!”

“We’re also expanding alongside our clients – take Fazenda, for example; we started working with them from day one, with a builders’ clean on their Liverpool site, and now we’ve gone with them on their new Manchester site too. This has happened with a few of our clients – it seems to be a logical trend for restaurants to expand over to Manchester, and vice versa, and that’s what we’re doing too – we’re moving with the potential clients. The North West is a great place to be at the moment – both professionally and socially.”

By the sounds of things, 2015 looks set to be another successful year for JCS Cleaning (NW) Ltd.

Other press releases related to my role as Business Development Manager for JCS Cleaning (NW) Ltd:

JCS Cleaning (NW) Ltd in the top 4% of UK cleaning firms.

North West cleaning firm secure Merseyside bars contract & talk Manchester expansion.

Liverpool Echo Small Business of the Week (Interview)

Breathalysers In Ropewalks – Wise Move?

Originally published for Drink In Liverpool.

This weekend, around 25 venues across the Ropewalks area are taking part in a pilot scheme that will see some bar-goers breathalysed as part of the Citysafe campaign called ‘Say No To Drunks’.

While it sounds like a fantastic idea, in theory, I can see this scheme ending up like pissing in the wind a bit. At the risk of sounding like a middle aged UKIP voter, do we really need to be helping create a nanny state?

Don’t get me wrong, those who can’t handle their ale are the absolute worst – they’re up there with people who request read receipts on their emails & those who genuinely believe that 50 Shades of Grey is a kinky book. Yes, no one likes the dickhead who can’t even hold their pint without spilling it on you, let alone hold it figuratively, but I can see this system punishing the classy binge drinkers amongst us – the ones, that at the end of a night, just want a chicken wrap, not a scrap. (I spent far too long on that little rhyme – please someone appreciate it!)

The cause for concern, for me, is the fact that the breathalysers will be used selectively. While safety procedures like ID scan checks don’t discriminate, these alcohol level tests will be at the discretion of bouncers. Ah bouncers. Now, all you FTMers reading, don’t get all excited thinking I’m going to slag off security – I’m sure that you’re always completely innocent when you’re escorted out of a club, time after time.

Bouncers get a bad rep because, let’s face it, people can be utter pricks when bevvied and need someone to blame, other than themselves. Of course one or two of them will embrace a bit of extra power and abuse it slightly, but I’m more concerned about the fact the real pissheads will slip through the net. Breathalysers can’t predict the future. I’m certainly guilty of one second looking, and acting, sober as a judge, then 5 minutes after walking into a venue, on the floor with my legs akimbo (soz aba me).

Everyone handles, and reacts, to booze differently and there’s no way a breathalyser can foresee situations, at times. Take my good self for example, I can sometimes make quite the dent in a bottle of vodka before even leaving my flat and yet be an upstanding citizen all night as I trawl around the bars, but sometimes, just a couple of wines when I’ve planned to just go out for a ‘quiet one’ (ahh, still so naive) and I’m carried home, vomiting everywhere (again, soz aba me).

From this weekend, bar staff will be trained to refuse service to those who appear drunk and reminded that they can be issued with a £90 fixed penalty if they do so. Oh piss off. As a former barmaid, this riled me. Will they be receiving anything extra in their pay packet to compensate the fact they can now add ‘unpaid babysitter’ to their list of duties as a minimum wage paid member of staff? Sure, I never served anyone in a visibly bad way, but how the hell, on a busy Friday night, are you meant to know who’s drunk and who’s actually just confident and chatty? All while some tosser is yelling “I was actually next, love”.

It’s our own responsibility, not a bartenders, to refrain from getting so bladdered that we become a hindrance on society – if you know that after a few pints, you turn into a violent prick then maybe binge drinking isn’t for you, take up knitting or something instead.

Finally, let’s get economical for second – is anyone else a bit worried about the future of Concert Square? I mean, if the absolutely bladdered aren’t going to be allowed in, then just who exactly is going to be going out and drinking in those bars? #pray4walkabout

See also: 5 Reasons You Should Always Tip

Interview: Kerry Katona

Kerry Katona is holding-out for a massive pay-out from the News of the World, she has disclosed.

Lawyers for Mother-of-four Kerry, 32, are fighting a legal battle with News International after she discovered that she was a victim of phone hacking.

She is blaming the newspaper for STOPPING her getting clean and causing her to fall out with friends and family.

The former Atomic Kitten star Kerry is currently promoting her second autobiography I’m Still Standing, she said: “The News of The World play a big part in my book.

“A lot of people call me a publicity whore but I have been the victim of phone hacking and I am currently in a big legal battle with them right now.

“Every time I wanted to get myself clean or start a new chapter the News Of The World would leak a story that had come from hacking my phone

“I was falling out with friends and family who I thought had sold stories on me.”

“I’m honestly convinced to this day the the News of The World had a front page ready to be printed upon my death – I was on the cover of that newspaper every weekend.”

Kerry has spent over 12 years in the media spotlight, going through battles with drugs and alcohol and very public break-ups and divorces.

Speaking at a book signing in Liverpool, she called the writing process of her new book “dreadful” and “one of the hardest things to do in life”.

She added: “I found it dreadful to write if I’m honest.

Kerry was in Liverpool to sign copies of her latest book.

Kerry was in Liverpool to sign copies of her latest book.

“I think one of the hardest things to do in life is to look at your flaws and come to terms to the fact it’s no ones fault but your own.”

“The book goes through divorce, bankruptcy, mental health issues, custody battles – just one of those issues alone in life is so draining so to go through several all at once is hard.

“I’ve put all that to rest by doing this book and hopefully when people do read it they can maybe take something away, perhaps not what to do whilst growing up!”

Kerry is set to reunite with Liverpool-based girl band Atomic Kitten and said she feels like she has come “full circle”.

The Warrington-born mum looked slim and healthy as she signed copies of her book, and gushed about the reunion.

She said: “It’s great to be in Merseyside, Liverpool’s the home of the Kittens and I used to live here so it’s always good be back.

“I’m excited to reform with the girls, I feel like I’ve done full circle. At the moment we’ve done a photo shoot and we start filming in January – that’s all I know.”

Queen of the Jungle Kerry also talked with fondness over her time on I’m A Celebrity… and her desire to return to the show.

“I would absolutely love to go back in, I really think they should a ‘Best of..’ version where all the Kings and Queens go back in”, she said.

Buy Kerry Katona: Still Standing here.