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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 141

Date:- 28 February 2004

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Post Office Closures Plan Under Fire

PROPOSALS to close 18 Post Offices in Liverpool have been criticised by a select committee. 

The Regeneration and Environment Select Committee also called on the Post Office to ensure that branches are between half a mile and three quarter of a mile from each other.

The committee heard a presentation and questioned post office officials about the current review of post offices in which the closures are proposed.

This review follows the recent closure of three other post offices in the city. 

The Committee approved a motion which said they "were totally disillusioned with the threat to many local urban community post offices.

We would appeal to the Post Office to consider carefully the points raised by the select committee and our overriding view is that any closure program must ensure that all Post Offices are between half a mile and three quarters of a mule from each other."

Councillor Eddie Clein, committee chairman, said:- "The proposal to close or to have closed - 21 Post Offices in a relatively small area spanning five constituencies is Draconian and is a sad day for Post Office users throughout Liverpool."


MERSEYSIDE is to host the first pilot scheme to assist vulnerable witnesses giving evidence to make court procedure smoother and witnesses feeling at ease with the legal process. 

A register of 45 intermediaries, drawn from communication, speech and language experts has so far been compiled. These experts will help a witness with communication difficulties, to better understand the questions put to them by police, judges, jurors and other legal representatives. This also applies to their own replies to those questions, making the justice system easier for the young or disadvantaged to interact with. The exact functions of the intermediaries are defined in the 1999 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act.

John Holt, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Merseyside said:- “I am pleased that Merseyside was chosen as the first pilot site for the intermediary scheme. This will allow us to build on the good practice that we have developed in partnership with other agencies to help vulnerable witnesses have their say in court.”

Once the scheme has run for a time in Merseyside, it will be further tested in another five areas, where the procedures and structures will be tested to see if they are robust enough to finally be used all over the country. 

Chris Leslie, Courts Minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs said:- “We recognise that courts can be daunting places at the best of times and witnesses can feel uneasy and vulnerable when giving evidence. We aim to give them the confidence and support they need during their court appearances to ensure that vital evidence is not lost due to communication difficulties. The intermediary scheme will help us meet the needs of the most vulnerable victims and witnesses.”

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For the week Saturday 28 February to Friday 5 March

1. The Divine Michelangelo BBC1, Sunday 7pm, NEW SERIES,, Marking the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo's creation of the statue of David, this two-part profile of the celebrated artist dramatises his life and allows modern painters and sculptors to recreate his work. 

2. In Denial of Murder BBC1, Sunday 9pm, NEW SERIES, Stephen Tompkinson stars in this drama based on the real-life story of the journalist who fought for the release of Stephen Downing, who spent 27 years in prison for the so-called 'Bakewell Tart' murder. The Vice's Caroline 
Catz co-stars. Concludes next week. 

3. Live from the Red Carpet:- The 2004 Academy Awards E! Sunday 11pm, The 76th Annual Academy Awards BBC1, Sunday 00.50am LIVE The 76th Annual Academy Awards Highlights BBC1, Monday 10.35pm, Despite the rash of awards ceremonies recently, the Oscars are still the ones to win. So who will be leaving with a little gold man under their arm and more importantly, who will make the most embarrassing acceptance speech? Billy Crystal plays host. 

4. No Angels Channel 4, Tuesday 10pm, / E4, Friday 9pm, NEW SERIES, This new comedy drama from the makers of Cops and This Life focuses 
on four sassy nurses in a Leeds hospital whose antics would make Florence Nightingale turn in her grave. Kaye Wragg stars. 

5. Footballers’ Wives ITV1, 9pm, Wednesday 
Tabloid Tales: Jordan BBC1, 10.35pm, Wednesday
Following her jungle antics, Jordan continues her attempt at world domination with a guest appearance at Harley and Shannon's wedding and a chat with Piers Morgan about her love/hate relationship with the press. 

6. Bob and Margaret FTN, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30pm, NEW SERIES, The pessimistic animated dentist and his chiropodist wife return for a fourth series which gets off to a cheery start when the couple have a near-death experience. 

7. Blue Murder Granada Plus, Wednesday-Friday 10pm, NEW SERIES, Dubbed the Canadian Law and Order, this new drama follows an elite police 
team in Toronto who are called on to investigate sensitive crimes which need to be kept under wraps.

8. Newlyweds MTV, Wednesday 10.30pm, NEW SERIES, Catch up with popstar Jessica Simpson as she celebrates her first wedding anniversary with former boyband member Nick Lachey and marvel at how a celebrity marriage has lasted even that long. 

9. Pulling Moves BBC3, Friday 9pm, NEW SERIES,
This cheeky drama follows the fortunes of four young Belfast men as they try to earn a living by pulling off as many scams as they can get away with. 

VARIATIONS:- The 76th Annual Academy Awards Highlights BBC1, Northern Ireland 11.15pm, Monday
Tabloid Tales: Jordan BBC1, Scotland 11.05pm, Wednesday Tabloid Tales: Jordan BBC1, Northern Ireland 11.05pm, WednesdayTabloid Tales: Jordan BBC1, Wales 11.15pm, Wednesday