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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 188

Date:- 19 February 2005

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Doddy gives pensioner a One Stop shock!

FAMILIES in Birkenhead on the Wirral who cause nuisance and misery to KNOTTY ASH'S most famous resident is about to give a local pensioner a One Stop shock! Sarah Horabin, 71, from Knotty Ash, has become the 1 MILLIONTH person to pass through the doors of Liverpool's One Stop Shops and comedy king Ken Dodd is springing a huge surprise on her.

Doddy will arrive at Knotty Ash One Stop Shop armed with his tickle stick, a bottle of bubbly and a huge bunch of flowers to present to Mrs Horabin. Mrs Horabin, who uses a wheelchair and walking stick to get around, became the millionth One Stop Shop visitor in just four years, when she popped into the Knotty Ash branch to pick up her blue badge.

Ken Dodd said:- "I'm tickled pink to be invited to my local One Stop Shop for this celebration. And I'm looking forward to giving Sarah a big surprise!" 

Since the first One Stop Shop opened in Kirkdale in January 2001, they have been a huge hit with Liverpool residents. There are currently 10 One Stop Shops in Liverpool, bringing council services to the heart of communities. The hi-tech buildings have revolutionised customer services in the city. Highly trained staff deal with all council services under one roof, from council tax to refuse collection and from housing benefits to street lighting.

The Shops use the latest technology to dramatically reduce waiting times, and nine times out of 10, customer enquiries are resolved straight away, without it having to be passed on to another department.

And they are providing a focal point for the community, telling residents about local issues and events. 

Liverpool City Council Leader Mike Storey said:- "It's fantastic news that Ken Dodd has agreed to help us celebrate what is a very special landmark for our One Stop Shops. To have received a million visits in only four years is testament to the important role the buildings are playing in our communities.

Customers like Mrs Horabin sum up why we developed our One Stop Shops in the first place - to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with us, talk to us, and get all the advice they need, without having to leave their neighbourhood."

There are plans to build two more One Stop Shops by 2006, as part of the council's drive to have a Shop serving every area of the city.

Head of the council's One Stop Shops, Lousie Gray said:- "We're very proud of the difference our One Stop Shops are making to people's lives. They are bringing the council closer to the people who matter... our customers. 

And we'll keep striving to improve the service even when our 10 millionth customer has walked through our doors." 

Merseyside Designer Teens net web voice

YOUNG people will command a worldwide audience as they log on to Liverpool's culture. 10 budding website designers will team up with The Mando Group to create a special youth site on the Liverpool Culture Company's website.

The youngsters, from Liverpool Young People's Culture Action Group, will be able to express their views about what culture is and what events they want to see in Liverpool, as well as quiz their peers on their thoughts and dreams for the city.

In the build-up to Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year in 2008, all groups are being encouraged to express their views on the big culture debate, and to be a participant and not just a spectator.

Alicia Smith, the Creative Neighbourhoods' Manager at the Liverpool Culture Company, is making the project happen. She said:- "This is an amazing opportunity to give young people a voice about something which is affecting every part of their city, every day of the week.

They have a very different view about what culture is and this project gives them the chance to shout about it and get truly involved, particularly as they are extremely savvy with technology.

It will be the first project of many to allow the thoughts of the next generation to be properly heard by cultural leaders and decision makers."

Executive member for culture, Councillor Warren Bradley said:- "It's vital all parts of Liverpool are listened to, including young people and their cultural needs.

In the run-up to 2008, it will be an incredibly useful page for political and cultural leaders to take note of."

Michaela Riches, from The Mando Group design agency, has been leading the project. She said:- "This is very much a two-way process with young people. We pass on some of our design expertise and they tell us what they want to see on their page.

After all, it's their chance to talk about culture in their city, what they're interested in and to find out what other people their age think. We're really looking forward to developing this project right through to completion with the talented youngsters that Liverpool has to offer."

The Creative Communities team is supporting the project as part of the Liverpool Culture Company. As part of plans for 2008, projects will be expected to have a lasting effect on Liverpool and that legacy will be handed over to the next generation, which is why more consultation with young people is essential. 

Liverpool Young People's Action group is part of the Greenhouse Project which receives support from the Liverpool Culture Company.

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