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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 187

Date:- 12 February 2005

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PLEASURELAND is launching its competitive eating contest, 'Chowmania'. The event will be held in the Casablanca Entertainment Centre on Monday 28 February. So if you have an extra-large appetite or hollow legs then don't miss it. 

The competition is free to enter, and competitors will be able to compete in 4 different disciplines - hot dogs, pizza, candyfloss and ice cream. Last year's triumphant team was from Yates's, and all local businesses and organisations are invited to submit a team of their 4 top troughers eating machines to see if they can munch their way to success.

In countries like Japan and the USA, competitive eating is a serious business, competitors on the circuit are known as 'gurgitators', and can achieve cult celebrity status, and some major events are even televised. In the early 90's the International Federation of Competitive Eating was founded to promote the sport across the globe. There are now over 150 events worldwide, encompassing such varied foodstuffs as oysters, chicken wings, pelemeni (Russian meat dumplings) and chilli.

As with any competitive event preparation is key, so for any budding gurgitators here's the full list of events so you can plan your training!

Hot dogs, how many in 5 minutes
Candy floss, quickest time to eat 2 bags
Ice cream, how much can you eat in 12 minutes (with a teaspoon)
Pizza fastest to eat a single pizza (Margherita - no other toppings)


THE Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has added its weight to the growing clamour for a smoking ban to protect workers in England from the harmful toxins in second-hand smoke.

The Foundation has also expressed its disappointment that Scottish-born Health Secretary Dr John Reid is reluctant to offer workers in England the same protection which the Scottish Executive is proposing for its workforce.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill seeks to ban smoking in enclosed public places and to introduce provisions for smoke-free workplaces by 2006.

As the Health Committee's investigation into the Scottish Bill drew to a close this week, Chris Owens, who gave evidence to the investigation in her role as the Foundation's Head of Tobacco Control, said:- "Smoking is not only a threat to smokers; second-hand smoking has been established beyond doubt as a cause of serious disease, including, in particular, lung cancer in non-smokers".

Mike Unger, the Foundation's Chief Executive, added:- "This is not about a person's right to smoke. It is about where, and possibly when, they smoke. No one should be exposed to harmful substances just to earn a living and this is what is happening in any workplace where smoking is unrestricted. No-one can argue that a worker's right to clean air should be eroded to accommodate a smoker."

The Foundation also gave evidence to the House of Commons Health Select Committee inquiry in Westminster into the government's Public Health White Paper. In its submission, the Foundation urged the government to commit to legislation prohibiting smoking in all UK workplaces. 
When Dr Reid appears before the select committee on February 23, the Foundation hopes the committee will succeed in persuading him to reconsider his plans - and to fall into line with the provisions in the Private Bills being brought by Liverpool and London. 

These Bills, which call for greater protection for workers against second-hand smoke, are due to have their Second Reading in the House of Lords on March 11, before being referred for full scrutiny in committee.

In view of the lack of UK-wide smoke-free provision, the Foundation also welcomes Julie Morgan MP's Smoking in Public Places (Wales) Bill - due for Second Reading in the House of Commons on March 18. This Bill aims to enable the National Assembly for Wales to prohibit or restrict the smoking of tobacco products in a public place in Wales. 

Mr Unger concluded:- "The time has come for action on second-hand smoke which is responsible for the deaths of at least 1000 people in the UK every year. We know that exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer in a non-smoker by between 20% and 30%. It is more than 10 years since Roy Castle, a life long non-smoker, died from lung cancer which was almost certainly caused by his workplace exposure to second-hand smoke."


RESIDENTS in Wirral are being urged to go green for Lent this year after a survey revealed there was the will, if good intentions weren't waylaid! Up to 40% of Britons pledge to give something up for Lent, but are much less effective when it comes to seeing through their pledge. Popular things to renounce include chocolate, alcohol and cigarettes, while swearing can also be a common choice among the more religiously minded.

But this year Wirral Council and their paper recycling partners UPM Shotton are suggesting residents give up something a lot easier for Lent, your rubbish.
Recycling manager from Wirral Council, Allen Barker, explains:- "Lent is all about cutting down on excess and concentrating your energies on what's important. Everyone has a vice which requires a huge amount of will power to stop.

A really simple thing that everyone can do that doesn't involve will power is to give up rubbish and start to recycle their waste instead.

We want to ensure that local residents are thinking about the environment and stop throwing things in the bin, when two thirds of the rubbish in our bins can be recycled."

All of the recycled paper collected from Wirral goes to recycling giant, UPM Shotton's Paper Mill to be turned into newsprint for tomorrow's papers.

Craig Robinson from UPM Shotton, adds:- "Every hour, UK homes produce enough rubbish to fill the Albert Hall - that's a lot of rubbish. Most gets dumped in landfill sites - but a lot could be recycled, so if people are thinking about changing bad habits at this time of year, recycling is one of the easiest ways to start.

Most of the people now have access to some form of recycling, whether its kerbside boxes and bags, bottle banks or paper banks at their local supermarket. Recycling paper is simple as it is dry and easy to store."

A pledge to recycle can be made at any time of year, but the sooner you start recycling, less material will be buried in landfill, helping to reduce the impact of waste on the environment.

Any residents who would like more information about Council recycling services in Wirral can call the Streetscene contact centre on 0151 606 2004.


AROUND 15 million mobile phones are replaced each year in the UK, stacked top to bottom, they would reach over 200 times higher than Mount Everest! That's just one reason why individuals, companies and schools are being urged to recycle old mobile phones and printer cartridges, in order to help raise money for Motability, the national disability charity.

Motability has teamed up with the Recycling Appeal in an enterprising fundraising scheme. Every time someone donates an old mobile phone or printer cartridge, they can nominate Motability to receive a cash donation, which will be used to help disabled people to become more mobile. Wherever possible, the Recycling Appeal will refill printer cartridges for reuse, and send mobile phones to developing countries which have no landline infrastructure - so they are vital for communication. Items unsuitable for recycling will be disposed of safely, without harm to the environment. 

Carolyn Heather, Motability's Fundraising Projects Co-ordinator, says:- "Throwing away old mobile phones or cartridges is not environmentally-friendly. Phones contain hazardous materials, which once dumped can leak into surrounding soil and cause serious pollution. The money raised for Motability from donated items will go towards helping disabled people acquire a suitable car, any necessary adaptations or even assist with the cost of driving lessons."

Readers are asked to collect unwanted mobile phones, chargers, phone batteries and toner and printer cartridges from friends, relatives, neighbours and from their workplace. If over 10 items are gathered together the Recycling Appeal will arrange for them to be collected. For fewer items, a freepost bag can be requested which is then sent directly to the Recycling Appeal. 

For more information or to obtain a recycling bag please contact Carolyn Heather at Motability on 01279 632258 or call Cheryl Lawson at the Recycling Appeal on 08451 302010, quoting Motability's charity reference appeal number 705081. It should be noted that toner bottles, printer and fax ribbons, and Epson inkjet cartridges cannot be recycled.

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