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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 188

Date:- 19 February 2005

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The Kyoto Treaty and climate change in the Northwest

ON WEDNESDAY, February 16 one of the most eagerly awaited treaties in decades becomes part of international law. From this date, the UK and 33 other countries will be legally bound to the global fight against climate change by reducing dangerous man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the question that England's Northwest is asking is what this will mean for the region? 

The UK has agreed to a reduction of 12.5% of emissions by the year 2012. The government has invested in renewable energy to achieve this target, setting itself the target to produce 10% of electricity from green energy sources by 2010. Renewable energy is a massive industry in both the UK and in England's Northwest and The World Energy Council predicts that it will be worth £400bn by 2010 with a UK market share worth £650m per year. 

England's Northwest is home to at least a 150 companies, employing more than 5,000 people as specialists or suppliers to the green energy market. With a wealth of Northwest-based entrepreneurs, SMEs, inventors and companies boosting their profit margins by diversifying into the renewable energy industries, the region's economy will continue to benefit. The treaty aims to reduce the emission of six gases of which carbon dioxide, produced from the burning of fossil fuels, is the largest contributor to the greenhouse effect. 

From a regional perspective this accounts for 70% of the Northwest's emissions, equating to 11.2% of the UK's total emissions of CO2.

Burning energy sources, such as coal, oil and gas, produces carbon dioxide. As such, we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative methods to power our homes, schools, vehicles and business premises. 

The region needs to switch from burning energy sources such as coal, oil and gas to renewable energy, greater resource efficiency and more emphasis on energy efficiency. Renewable energy options include wind, wave, solar and biomass. The Northwest also needs to review its thinking on the disposal of biodegradable rubbish as when the waste is sent to landfill, it produces methane, a far more potent green house gas than CO2.

Trust has places for grabs in the Great North Run

THE MENINGITIS TRUST is appealing for motivated individuals to take up the challenge of the world's biggest and best half marathon, the BUPA Great North Run which takes place on Sunday 18 September.

The BUPA Great North Run, which is now in its 25th year, attracts runners from as far a field as Australia and Ethiopia. In 2004 a massive 47,000 runners took part in the event, which starts in Newcastle and ends 13.1 miles away at the coastal town of South Shields.

Event organiser Kate Baines explained:- "We have a limited number of guaranteed places for the Great North Run so if you want a place you must act now! Runners need to pay a £50 registration fee and pledge to raise a minimum of £300. In return we offer training and dietary advice, fundraising support, a personalised running vest, and a post race reception on the day.

We are looking for as many people as possible to run for our charity. The more people wearing the Trust's running vests on the day, the more lives we can save. So whether you are after one of our guaranteed places or you already have a place and are looking for a charity to run for, we need you!"

Last year the team raised more than £35,000 for the Meningitis Trust. Kate concluded, "The money raised enables us to fund vital research into vaccines and provide support for life to people affected by meningitis."

If you would like to find out more about joining the Meningitis Trust's BUPA Great North Team 2005 call Kate on: 01453 769023 or email 

Talk trees' and win a woodland for your local school

THERE is now an extra reason to take part in "Talking Trees" - the North West's tree and woodlands consultation, with the opportunity to 'win a woodland' for your local school or youth group by logging onto

Talking Trees is a region-wide consultation that is collating local people's opinions about trees and woodlands in the North West. The consultation has already attracted more than a 150 individuals to log on and register on site. As an added incentive to 'Talk Trees', it was announced today (DATE) that everyone who makes a contribution to the consultation will be entered into a prize draw, which is to be drawn on the official closing date - 28 February 2005.

The winner of the draw can then nominate a school or youth group, who will have a hazel copse pack delivered for the children to plant in their grounds this Spring, entirely free of charge (courtesy of The Woodland Trust and the Northwest Regional Forestry Framework).

The planting of a new woodland will be a fitting end to the Talking Trees consultation, which marks a regional commitment to highlight tree-related issues and help to secure their protection and development in the coming years. 

Talking Trees has been created to appeal to a wide-ranging audience, and comments from local people, schools, environmental groups, companies in the region are extremely welcome. 

Responses to Talking Trees' "big six" questions (covering people's perceptions of the benefits of trees and woodlands, and their contributions to the region's image, health and business sector, climate change and sustainability) will contribute to the creation of a Forestry Framework strategy for the region. The 20-year strategy will be pivotal for the future development of woodland across the whole of the North West.

The strategy (to be released in Spring 2005) will help to deliver against the Regional Economic Strategy and the Regional Sustainable Development Framework, Action for Sustainability; it will also help shape the new Regional Spatial Strategy.

The Forestry Commission, the Northwest Regional Development Agency, The Mersey Forest and the Countryside Agency have funded talking Trees


AN INFLUENTIAL forum to promote successful partnership working was announced this week by Minister for Community Stephen Ladyman. The National Strategic Partnership Forum (NSPF) will be responsible for reviewing how the Strategic Agreement between the Department of Health, the NHS and Voluntary and Community Sector is working and will report on progress to Ministers.

Former Chair of the Long-term Medical Conditions Alliance Melinda Letts, who has a wealth of experience across the voluntary and health sectors, has been named as the new Chairwoman of the Forum.

Stephen Ladyman said:- "The contribution that the voluntary and community sector can make to the work of health and social care services cannot be underestimated and the NSPF will provide members with the opportunity to influence Departmental policy on the delivery of services and identify how we can develop even more effective partnership working.

I welcome the expertise and experience that Melinda Letts and the member organisations will bring the Forum and wish them every success in taking the work of the Forum forward."

The 25 members of the forum were chosen from over 100 applicants following advertisements in the national and specialist press and are representative of both large and small organisations, covering a wide range of client groups. As well as supporting local partnerships by lowering barriers between the NHS and the Voluntary and Community Sector, the forum will also pull together best practice and innovation from across England and help to disseminate it throughout the health and social services.

Newly appointed Chair Melinda Letts, said:- "The Forum has the chance to make a real difference to the delivery of health and social care services, and there's a hugely impressive range of experience represented in the membership that is announced today. I'm looking forward to working with all of them as we get to grips with the challenge of helping the voluntary and community sector and the NHS collaborate to deliver the best services for patients and carers."

The work of the Forum will be underpinned by the need to identify ways in which partnership working can:-

1. Give better value for public resources

2. Raise awareness on workforce issues

3. Create a stronger synergy between providers,

4. Offer greater choice for users, and

5. Create meaningful involvement between service users and service providers.

The NSPF will address the issues and barriers to partnership raised in the response to the Making Partnership Work consultation through a clear programme of work, which will complement the wider work of the Home Office Active Communities Unit and Compact Working Group.

6 May 2005 to 8 May 2005

Photograph by Patrick Trollope

To be held at Pontins Holinday Centre near Southport.

IT was only seventeen years ago, in a small Scottish town of Berwick upon Tweed 600 people descended upon a caravan park to dance to modern soul music and witnessed the beginnings of what would later become the worldwide phenomenon that is Southport Weekender. Moving to Pontins at Southport back in 1989, Newcastle born, founder and hedonist Alex Lowes and his team have staged a staggering 35 weekender events showcasing the cream of soulful music in its many forms from all over the globe. Event no. 36 is taking place MAY 6/7/8 with 5 purpose built state of the art indoor arenas featuring the worlds top dj's and live acts.

DJ'S CONFIRMED INCLUDE:- Little Louie Vega, Dimitri from Paris, Gilles Peterson, Osunlade, Joey Negro, Jazzie B and the Funki Dreds,
Norman Jay, Steve Sutherland, Terry Hunter, DJ Deep, Quentin Harris, Bobby & Steve, Snowboy, ?uestlove (The Roots), Phil Asher, Asha, Bugz in the Attic, Ronnie Herel, Shortee Blitz, King Britt , Richard Searling, Bob Jones, DJ Diggz, Bigger, Andy Davies, Terry Jones, Gary Dennis, Simon Dunmore, Scott Bradford, Steve Wren, DJ Swerve, The Starlight Crew, Kev Beadle, Mike Stephens, Bob Jeffries, Colin Curtis, Simon Mansel, Steve Butler, Billy Davidson, Colin Patterson, Max Rees and Jonathan.. + more TBC

TICKETS:- Advance tickets are £110 PER PERSON and that includes self catering accomidation for 2 nights and 3 days. Tickets are available from the Southport Weekender office by phoning 0870 990 1987 or online at 

www. Mersey Reporter .com

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