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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 151

Date:- 15 May 2004

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Book Review:-
The Defender 
By Alan Gibbons

Review by E G Lyon-Taylor.

THIS book aimed at mid teenagers is well written and fast paced. The story revolves around a 14-year-old boy named Ian Moore. He is confronted one day by two men and from that point on he is running scared and finds that his secure life is not as secure as he thought. 

Containing elements from the Troubles in Northern Ireland Ian discovers his father's involvement in those times and some of the things he did, and why this has caused them to move from home to home, school to school for the last 11 years. Just when he thought he had finally found his place in the world all this happens. 

The story is as already stated fast paced, well told from both Ian's and the father's point of views. Even though the book is aimed at teenagers I found the book to be thoroughly enjoyable and found the message to be loud and clear. Violence begets violence, and in the end whatever religion or cause we follow, we are all someone's father, son, mother or daughter and all human. 

I will give this book 4 out of 5, good plot, pacing was excellent and thoroughly enjoyable.

Available from 3 June 04 RRP:- £4.99


THE British Heart Foundation is challenging the nation to step up and help raise a mountain of cash for 'The Big Red Fightback', Heart Week (5-13 June).

The top heart charity hopes that its sponsored step up challenge will not only raise vital funds to help fight back against heart disease, the UK's single biggest killer, but will also help to improve the nation's heart health.

To help reach its target of 100 million steps - the equivalent of climbing the world's 100 highest mountains, 21 times, the BHF is encouraging people to shun lifts and escalators for the week and using the stairs instead. If just 1p is raised for each step taken, the charity will reach its £1 million target.

Supporting the campaign, actor, Martin Kemp said:- "We only have one crack at life and one heart to do it with so fighting back against heart disease is a challenge we should all be rising to!"

While the statistics show that death rates from coronary heart disease are falling, the number of people living with the condition is increasing. Around 1.2 million women and over 1.5 million men are now living with heart disease and this figure is rising1. 

The BHF hopes the campaign will increase awareness of the condition and encourage everyone to take greater responsibility for their own heart health.

To take on a Step Up Challenge call 0800 028 2091, or visit for a free fundraising pack with all the details of how to get involved.


LIVERPOOL City Council's Chief Executive has been named Public Servant of the Year.

David Henshaw was given the accolade 'Inspiring Success' for his vision and work in transforming the city council.

The awards, organised by Public Finance magazine, honour the exceptional teams and individuals working in the UK's public services. 

The glittering ceremony was hosted by Dermot Murnaghan of BBC Breakfast and ITN newsreader Mary Nightingale at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Mr Henshaw was appointed as Chief Executive at the end of 1999, when Liverpool City Council levied the highest council tax in England and services were the third worst in the country. 

Just four years later, the city council has been officially ranked as 'good' by the Audit Commission following a radical overhaul of the delivery of services. At the same time, Liverpool has dropped out of the Top 100 of most taxed council's, and reduced costs by £105 million.

David Henshaw said:- "Winning this team award is testament to the rapid progress that Liverpool city council has made over the last few years."


A SERVICE helping to provide furniture to families striving to live independently under difficult circumstances will soon be extended to three times the number of households thanks to a grant of £277,034 from the National Lottery funded Community Recycling and Economic Development.

Sefton Helping Hand Services Furniture Reuse Project, aims to access greater volumes of donated household items thus reducing landfill and increasing the numbers of people using the scheme.

So far over £2 million has been awarded to community recycling, reuse and composting projects in the northwest. 

Tessa Wiley, North West Regional Manager for the New Opportunities Fund, said:- "The reuse of household waste and promoting sustainable communities are key priorities for the Fund and we are delighted to be supporting the Sefton Helping Hand Furniture Reuse project".

If you would like to donate furniture to the Sefton Helping Hand Services Furniture Reuse Project, please contact Pat Farquharson direct on Tel: (0151) 4744924.


TWO weeks ago, at the Regents College London, Network Rail held its second annual staff recognition 'First Awards', to celebrate outstanding achievements in customer service at its 17 managed stations - and Liverpool Lime Street was high on the list of honours.

A further six awards acknowledged the achievements of Network Rail employees
and business partners, all having demonstrated exceptional levels of customer service.

First Champion was awarded to Phil Harrison, Duty Station Manager at Liverpool Lime Street. Network Rail only took over theday to day management of the station in November 2003 and the judges commended Mr Harrison for 'his tenacious hard work in raising the quality of customer service delivery.

The First Awards form part of a larger initiative to ensure customers consistently receive high quality service when using stations. 

Deborah Richards, Director Railway Estates, said:- "These awards recognise the dedication and hard work of our people. Excellence in customer service is a key objective for Network Rail and congratulations deservedly go out to all winners and nominees."

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