November 25, 2015

Town’s Christmas tree gets the needle

Is Ormskirk's town centre showpiece Christmas tree ready to expire?

That's the concern of at least one QLocal reader who contacted reporter Roger Blaxall yesterday after noting how it is already shedding needles just a week after being put up.

Steve Kirton wonders if the tree has been put up prematurely - a view shared by local fruit and veg shop owner Gary of Barn Owl who said that it might be a case of cutting down the tree too early in preparation for the festive season.

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November 25, 2015

Winners of the Educate Awards announced!

Schools in Sefton have been honoured at the Educate Awards ceremony held at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

The awards, sponsored by Connex Education, is now in its fourth year and celebrate the inspiring work that goes on inside and outside the school gates.

Netherton Moss Primary School won in the Outstanding Arts category for its dramatic reconstruction of World War 1. The judges said that the project was outstanding and very moving and was an inclusive project which involved every child and several art forms, bringing to life the horrors of 100 years ago.

Netherton Moss was also a runner up in the coveted Wow Recognition category.

Bishop David Sheppard Church of England School in Southport was presented the Leadership Team of the Year award for its remarkable transformation across the spectrum under its current leadership.

The school also won the Science Project of the Year award on the evening for its extensive use of science as a learning module and spreading a love of science throughout the school. It received a runners up award in the Community Partnership category.

Birkdale High School in Southport, placed runner ups in the Spirit of Enterprise category.

Liverpool actor Neil Fitzmaurice hosted the ceremony, while guests were treated to special performances by schools shortlisted for the outstanding arts awards.

The Belvedere Academy Chamber Choir opened proceedings, while pupils from Holly Lodge Girls College performed a scene from its production of Blowin a Gale. Next, the talented Darci Shaw from The Belvedere Academy sang Where is Love from its 2014/15 production of Oliver.

Lastly, Andrew Woolcock from Archbishop Temple School entertained guests on the marimba, playing Land by Takatsuga Maramatsu.

On the night, 19 awards were handed out to schools in the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire and Cheshire. A great variety of projects and skills were represented, from entrepreneurial awareness, dazzling stage performances, creative literacy initiatives to inspiring community partnerships.

Kim OBrien, founder of the Educate Awards, says: Every year the judges and I are blown away by the schools entries and this year was no exception. Its fantastic to award so many hard working schools and teachers who create such an engaging learning environment.

Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted schools, and thank you to each and every school that submitted an entry this year.

The winners are chosen by a panel of judges which this year includes football icon Robbie Fowler; Radio City breakfast host Leanne Campbell; Olympian and managing director of Raise The Bar, Steve Smith; Councillor Gary Millar, Liverpools cabinet member for business, enterprise and investment; Chris Walker, regional managing editor of Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales; Lesley Martin-Wright, chief executive of Knowsley Chamber; Mark Beedles, managing director of Connex Education; Fiona Barnet, director of The Foundry Agency; Andrew Pimbley of Claremont Farm and Wirrals Farm Feast; and the education team at the respected Everyman and Playhouse Theatres.

Associate sponsors at the awards include Adlib Solutions, Carillion plc, The Foundry Agency, Paul Crowley & Co, Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation, Liverpool Hope University, Vivark, Schools 4 Health, eCadets, The City of Liverpool College, MerseySTEM, National Citizen Service (NCS) and Liverpool John Moores University, Progress to Excellence, The Merseyside Network for Colloborative Outreach (MNCO), the Jamie Carragher Sports and Learning Academy, Myerscough College and E-voked workshops.

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November 25, 2015

Giant Poppy Still Displayed On Southport Town Hall

The Christmas Tree is up and the lights are on but someone has forgot to remove the Remembrance Poppy from Southport Town Hall.

Some two weeks after the Remembrance events the Poppy has not been taken down and looks out of place now that the festive season is approaching.

Nobody was available for comment when asked.

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November 25, 2015

And there’s more – work starts on new student flats behind The Plough

Yet more student flats in the town centre are underway behind the former Plough.

Keith Park Estates is behind the scheme to convert the old fashion exchange shop owned by the wife of the late Andrew Gore.

The building is being considerably extended and will be completed by spring 2016.

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November 25, 2015

Police still based at Southport

Merseyside Police have tweeted the following information following reports in local papers and other websites that the neighbourhood team had moved to Bootle.

Contrary to local news reporting Southport Police neighbourhood team are still based at Southport Police Station.

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November 25, 2015

Council hope to drive voter registration with new campaign

Sefton Council has teamed up with digital advertiser, Open Messenger, in a bid to get local residents registered to vote.

Thousands of people across Sefton are missing out on the chance to have their voice heard come the next set of local elections and it is hoped that the latest advertising campaign will help remind residents to re-register.

The campaign, a first of its kind for local authorities across the city region, will see targeted adverts displayed on full HD screens that are mounted on the top of hackney cabs.

Open Messenger then uses smart geo-targeting technology to ensure that the message is displayed when the taxi enters a specific area or postcode of the borough, such as Netherton or Bootle.

Along with targeted postcodes, the adverts will also be displayed in key areas of the city, including Liverpool City Centre.

Cllr. Paulette Lapin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: "There is a number of areas of the borough were voter registration numbers are low and we hope that this latest campaign will act as remainder for residents.

"Not only are you unable to vote if youre name is not on the electoral register but it can also have a massive impact on your credit rating.

Mike Smith, Director of Open Messenger, said: We are really pleased to have Sefton Council advertising with Open Messenger and that they saw the potential of our new digital platform.

"We believe the 'register to vote' campaign will be a great success and with our ability to geo target key areas in Sefton with this message we hope to help with a return on investment which is so necessary for local authorities."

Registration take just minutes from a smart phone or computer, just visit where your date of birth and National Insurance Number are required.

For anyone who does not have access to the internet, they should call 0845 140 1049 and register.

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November 25, 2015

Blackpool’s brilliant food bank leads the war on waste!

Blackpools brilliant food bank partnerships found the recipe for success after winning a coveted community award.
And with the scale of avoidable waste increasingly in the public consciousness, its been championed for making a positive impact in the resort.
The food bank ensures surplus food is passed on to local disadvantaged people instead.

As members of the Lancashire Community Recycling Network, the food bank and over 40 others like it embody a community response to tackling poverty across our region by redirecting items that would otherwise be thrown away.
And at Lancashire CRNs eighth annual awards ceremony - the Red Rose Resource Awards - it was one of three Network members recognised for making the biggest impacts in Lancashire over the past year - and suitably rewarded with private sector cash investment.
The event was opened by LCCs Lead Member for Waste Management, County Councillor Clare Pritchard, who praised Lancashire CRNs member organisations for their innovation, longevity and the enduring social, economic and environmental impacts of their work.
She added: We're very fortunate to have so many excellent groups dedicated to repurposing items that would otherwise become waste to help others in our communities.
"Many of them are now long-established, which is testament to their original thinking and determination in overcoming the obstacles that confront any organisation during its early development, and growing their capacity over the years to make a bigger and bigger impact.
"They make a huge contribution, not just in the field of waste and recycling, but in helping vulnerable people and supporting our economy, whether through their daily work in repairing and reselling items or by creating opportunities for disadvantaged people."
Commented Lancashire CRNs Coordinator Dawn Welham: The three awards were won by very diverse organisations based in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen respectively.
This shows how diverse the community waste management sector in our region is, and its something we are very proud of as a Network.
On behalf of the Network I want to thank our three; representatives of the waste and recycling industry for their commitment to the work of our members. Its great to have the private sector recognizing the impact that the community sector is having across Lancashire, making sure anything from furniture to food to bicycles is made available to people on low incomes instead of being disposed of.

The food bank won the Best Partnership - if you have been watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls new BBC One series Hughs War on Waste you will have seen some of the staggering scale of waste in the UK while at the same time a staggering 13 million people in this country are struggling to afford to eat, with one third of food in the UK is unnecessarily wasted.
But the Blackpool Food Partnership is leading a localised fight against food waste, making sure surplus edible food from a number of local sources is provided to disadvantaged people across the Authority; and they has now been recognised with the award and a cash investment of 500.

Its a group of 38 organisations that have been working together since October 2013 with the aim of relieving poverty and hardship in Blackpool, aiming to ensure that no individual or family goes without food. The partnership has gone from strength to strength, and during 2014 they scaled up from distributing 5,000 worth of food to 54,670.
Food banks are a service of last resort for people living in poverty. UK food prices have increased by 43.5 per cent in the eight years to July 2013 and food expenditure as a proportion of total household expenditure has continued to rise.
In response, the partnership has an increasing emphasis on providing additional support to help people in crisis escape a cycle of deprivation. In partnership with Blackpools Discretionary Support Team, the Blackpool Food Partnership have supported over 4000 people to address underlying issues behind their current crisis, by providing advice and referrals to appropriate services, such as welfare, benefit and debt advice, or accessing support through job clubs or training opportunities.
Coordinator Nikki Hart said: By coordinating the access, storage, processing and distribution, we have circulated surplus food valued at almost 55,000 to people in need rather than it being wasted. We are absolutely delighted to have won the Best Partnership award and our cash prize will help us purchase freezers to help us manage fresh food. Our partners could be batch cooking and serving up soup over the winter with perfect vegetables otherwise destined for the bin!
We would like to thank our sponsors for their kind support and all of our partners who have worked so hard to help Blackpools most disadvantaged residents.
Jon Russell from category sponsor Recresco said The passion and the dedication of all of the partners represented is wonderful. We are proud to support the Blackpool Food Partnerships work, firstly by helping people out in hard times with food that would be unnecessarily thrown away, and secondly for playing a role in helping people to regain independence.
Recresco: Extreme Recycling is a materials recycling company are the reprocessor for all glass bottles sorted and recovered through Lancashires two waste recovery facilities.
Other award winners were Cycle Roots of Blackburn thats recycled almost 400 bikes and Burnleys Open Door that for the last 16 years has been collecting, checking, storing and redistributing donated furniture, appliances and household goods in Burnley and Pendle.

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