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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 179

Date:- 11 December 2004

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Cathedral's stunning Faith celebration

THOUSANDS of Liverpool people will unite for a rousing finale to Capital of Culture's year of Faith in One City. 

The grand setting of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral will host an inspirational closing ceremony, on Monday 13 December 2004. It is believed to be the biggest multi-faith celebration ever seen in the UK with more than 2,000 people of all faiths, ages and cultures taking part in the event. The event is a massive showcase for the city's £2m Creative Communities programme. It has involved the creative talents of more than 70,000 people, with 1,500 artists from 22 countries taking part in projects ranging from films to plays, and from mosaics to music.

Liverpool has assembled its largest ever multi-faith choir to lead the celebrations. The 'Faith in One City Choir' is made up of 600 people from schools and community groups across the city. The singers, aged six to 86, will perform three newly commissioned songs, 'Reach Out', 'You Can Fly' and 'Come Together'

During the ceremony, the audience will be treated to the premiere screening of a special Faith in One City film, which tells the story of the year, and highlights some of the city's Creative Communities projects. Also Liverpool poet Curtis Watt will also perform his own poem 'Message in A Bottle' and the young people of the city will share their recollections about the year, and what it has meant to them. 
During the ceremony, a special Creative Communities and Hall of Faith exhibition will be launched at the Cathedral. It will remain open to the public for a month.

The evening will end with a spectacular light show. Faith images will be beamed onto the walls inside the Cathedral, and children representing each of the city's faiths will open a giant chest to release a beam of light. 

Liverpool City Council Leader Mike Storey, said:- "Faith in One City has been a wonderful year for Liverpool. Our communities have taken centre stage in a year of joy, diversity and variety. Through the Creative Communities programme, people have celebrated and displayed their faith.

There have been so many magnificent projects, so many wonderful pieces of art and such beautiful performances. We have engaged thousands of people, and set an example of how people of all faiths can come together as one.

As Faith in One City draws to a close, to make way for our next themed year, Sea Liverpool 2005, we are already building a strong legacy of community involvement. This closing event will look back on all that has been achieved, look to the future, and thank all those who have made this year so memorable. It's going to be a fantastic night."

The Liverpool Culture Company's Head of Operations, Jason Harborow, said:- "Faith in One City has reflected what Capital of Culture is all about. It is breathing new creative life into our communities, and encouraging everyone to get actively involved.

This special event will be a symbol of the success of our Creative Communities projects. It will celebrate the creativity, passion and togetherness that have been at the core of Faith in One City."

Golden future for Warrington ALMO

ACCORDING to an independent report released on Thursday 9 November by the Audit Commission, HOUSING management services provided by Golden Gates Housing are 'good' and have 'promising prospects to improve'. Golden Gates Housing (GGH) is the arms length management organisation (ALMO), which manages the housing service on behalf of Warrington Borough Council. The Audit Commission inspection team gave GGH two stars out of a possible three. 

The rating means Warrington Borough Council will receive a massive £18.3 million to improve the quality of its housing in Warrington, to the end of March 2006. In addition a further £12.1 million can be sought if the ALMO progresses well.

The inspection team, including consultation, good access to facilities and information, clear and comprehensive service standards and improving service levels praised a number of areas of GGH's work.

They also highlighted areas to be tackled, such as improving disabled access so that all housing offices are Disability Discrimination Act compliant, providing new tenants with a copy of their gas certificate and further work to improve standards of cleanliness in some areas.

Gill Stead, the Audit Commission's lead housing inspector for the North West, said:- "Golden Gates Housing has worked hand in hand with their tenants to ensure good access to housing and to ensure they provide and continue to provide a comprehensive service to its residents. Having gained two stars which entitles them to access additional funding over the next two years, Golden Gates can now concentrate on making the much needed improvements to tenant's homes"

'YOU CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE'

THE national charity Deafblind UK is calling for a mobile phone amnesty across the country this Christmas. They've teamed up with The Link and Fonebak to ask everyone to think about deafblind people at Christmas and donate all their old mobile phones especially if they've put a new one down on their Christmas list!

All the phones will be recycled and the money raised from the amnesty will support Deafblind UK's helpline service. The helpline supports thousands of deafblind people and their carers throughout the UK. Deafblind people can contact the helpline whenever they need someone to talk to, particularly if they feel isolated or vulnerable, and when there is a serious problem the helpline will call the relevant services in the person's area to help them out. Its open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (even Christmas day) and is an absolutely invaluable lifeline.

Jo Johnson, PR Co-ordinator at Deafblind UK said:- "The scheme is a really easy and simple way to support a charity whilst helping the environment. Deafblind UK's helpline is a vital form of communication for deafblind people and they regard it in much the same way that many people regard their mobile phones these days. I think lots of people would be lost without them! We would really like to encourage people to recycle all their old phones in support of this scheme."

Contact Hannah Barham at Deafblind UK on 01733 358 100 or hannah.barham@deafblind.org.uk for recycling envelopes and more information on the scheme.

Game shooting under attack from Labour MPs

THE Labour dominated Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an attack on the rearing of game birds and suggested:- "limiting the numbers of game birds that are able to be reared"

The committee also rejected the Game Farmers' Association's comprehensive code of practice and, bizarrely, was concerned that: "of the game birds being reared, only 40% end up being shot".

Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said:- "Anyone who still believes that shooting is not now under serious threat should read this report. The agenda of animal rights organisations and Labour MPs is one and the same and shooting is now the top item.

Even if DEFRA Ministers do not collude with MPs, as they have in the past, they will again be powerless to control the vast majority of their colleagues"
.

TRADING STANDARDS WARNING

MERSEYSIDE residents are being warned to be on their guard against traders who offer to install drop kerbs. 

People across Warrington have been persuaded to enter into contracts with people who knock on their doors offering to drop the kerb outside their houses to make it easier to drive cars across the pavement. 

Although this work does not have to be completed by the Council, there are a number of requirements, which consumers must comply with before the work can be legally completed. 

Trading standards say that "If the person you employ does not have the required permit or does not do the work in accordance with the relevant standard it may be necessary to re-build the footpath. In effect, the consumer will be paying to have poor illegal work done, which may ultimately have to be put back to its original construction, this would be done at the Council's expense but the resident would end up without a vehicle access."

Warrington Trading Standards is warning residents to beware of people who call at their homes without being invited and persuade them to have any type of work carried out on either their property or gardens. 

Edwina Greenwood, Principal Trading Standards Officer, said:- "We are warning residents to beware of people who call at their homes without being invited and persuade them to have any type of work carried out on either their property of garden. 

We continue to receive complaints from residents who have contracted with these salesmen and have no way of contacting them when things go wrong! The best advice we can offer is to stay away from buying services from doorstepping salesman." 

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