Barrie Grunewald - A legend we won’t forget

It was great to see so many Saints fans on Friday night - taking time out to join club and council officials as the footbridge over Linkway East was named in Steve Prescott’s honour.

And thanks to the presence of cameras from both the BBC and ITV, thousands of TV viewers across the North West were able to appreciate just how much we thought of Steve during a brief ceremony before the Saints v Hull game at Langtree Park.

It was an emotional evening and, as I’ve said before, a fitting tribute to a great ambassador for both town and club.

g Steve’s memory lives on of course through the Steve Prescott Foundation, and I was delighted to see this wonderful organisation – which has raised over half a million pounds for charity – give its backing to our call for more people in the 40 to 74 age bracket to take advantage of their free NHS health checks.

The programme helps to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and helps to identify problems early and start treatments for people aged 40-74. Everyone in this age group will be invited for a check by their GP every five years.

Early detection of risks can make a huge difference to a person’s overall health – helping them to take preventative action to avert potentially serious health conditions.

Prevention has a massive role to play in improving the health of our residents and the sooner GPs can start alerting people to the dangers of smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, blood pressure, blood fats and alcohol – the better.

The health checks are easy and straightforward – and consist of questions about your general health, lifestyle and family history. Simple measurements such as height, weight, blood pressure and pulse will be taken to look for signs, symptoms and risk factors for a number of diseases.

Once the health check is completed, everyone will be provided with health advice and support based on the results. If necessary, they will be referred to other specialists for treatment or other interventions.

So don’t forget – if your GP invites you in for a health check, book your appointment and go along and listen to what they have to say. It could turn out to be the most important date in your diary.

g With all our households bills seemingly rising all the time, anything that can help save some money here and there has got to be a good thing.

So I’d urge everyone to have a closer look at a new energy-switching scheme that could help.

Along with the other Merseyside local authorities, we’re promoting the Switch Together, Save Together scheme - organised by local charity Energy Projects Plus.

The scheme aims to reduce people’s energy bills by using collective buying power to negotiate cheaper tariffs from energy suppliers.

Last year 4,600 Merseyside residents saved a total of £76,435 on their energy bills. This year over 1500 people have already registered.

But you need to get your skates on. Householders need to register their interest before 10 March 2014.

By registering your details, you’ll add weight to the scheme by increasing our bulk buying power.

It’s free to join and householders will be able to see how much they would save before they decide if they want to switch suppliers. At the end of the day there’s no obligation to switch.

Anyone interested can join the collective switch by registering online at or by calling the local Save Energy Advice Line on freephone 0800 043 0151.