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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 190

Date:- 6 March 2005

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Wimbledon legends Czech into Liverpool

LEGENDARY former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova is set to be a smash hit at the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament 2005.

Navratilova - winner of 58 grand slam titles, including nine Wimbledon singles titles, has signed up to play at Calderstones Park this June in the 4th annual tournament in Liverpool.

The 46 year old will be joined by legends Pat Cash, Ilie Nastase and Mansour Bahrami, ATP stars Ivan Ljubicic and Jan-Michael Gambill, as well as Liverpool's own Ken Skupski. 

The Liverpool International Tennis Tournament 2005 is organised by Northern Vision Ltd, in partnership with Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool Culture Company.

The Liverpool International Tennis Tournament 2005 will take place at Calderstones Park from June 8 to 12 June. 

Anders Borg, director of tournament organisers Northern Vision Ltd, said:- "I am proud of bringing the very best of international tennis to Liverpool and I am confident that a future champion will come from the North West."

Liverpool City Council's executive member for leisure, Councillor Warren Bradley, said:-"Martina is one the true greats of the game and it's a fantastic opportunity for tennis fans in Liverpool to see a real legend in action. With Pat Cash, Ilie Nastase and Mansour Bahrami also on board, it's an incredibly strong line-up. Tennis fans are really in for a treat and I'm sure that this year's tournament will be the biggest and best so far." 

Jason Harborow, Chief Operating Officer of the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- "I am delighted that the Liverpool Culture Company is supporting a tournament which grows in popularity and prestige each year. Sport is right at the heart of Liverpool's culture and this tournament is yet another example of our ability to deliver world class events in the city."

Liverpool Astronomy Society Public Star Gazing Night

LIVERPOOL Astronomy Society event at Croxteth Hall & Country Park will be opening up the heavens over a two day ‘Star Party’.   The Society (one of Britain’s oldest, founded 1881) is encouraging people to come to the Country Park and ‘reach for the stars’.

They will set up a load of telescopes outdoors, trained at different interesting views, with experienced astronomers to inform visitors about the sky at night.

Croxteth Hall makes a particularly suitable location as it is a 500 acre Country Park within Liverpool City boundary. The countryside area is relatively dark at night, so allowing a good view of the heavens without light pollution from the surrounding City. Cloudy skies may put a damper on proceedings, but the Society will still welcome visitors as they have a lot to offer inside Historic Hall too, with displays about the solar system and guidance for budding astronomers.

The event falls within ‘National Outdoor Week’, a nationwide initiative to get people to try new activities, find new hobbies and learn more about the Great Outdoors!

The Society's aims are the same as when it was formed, "To promote the science of Astronomy primarily in Liverpool and the neigbourhood thereof" and this is just one of the many ways they do it.

 LIVERPOOL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.   Registered in the UK as a Charitable Educational Trust, No. 519955. 19 March & 20 March, 2005
6.30pm to 9.30pm
£1 Adults, 50p Children
Croxteth Hall & Country Park, Croxteth Hall Lane, Liverpool, L12 0HB

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LIVERPOOL SETS COUNCIL TAX

COUNCIL tax bills in Liverpool are to rise by just 76p a week for the majority of residents in the city, more than twice the price of a loaf of bread. At the annual budget meeting last night, councillors voted in favour of a 3.7% increase. The rise applies to the 64% of homes in the city, which are in Band A, while residents living in Band B properties - 15% of council taxpayers - will pay an additional 89p per week. The budget includes an extra £1.6 million for social services, £300k towards improving Liverpool's recycling rates and £4 million for Capital of Culture.

Council leader Mike Storey said:- "Liverpool has received the worst grant settlement in the country from the government, just 4%. The national average was 5.6%. That has cost the people of Liverpool £10 million. Despite this, we have managed to keep the rise in bills to around inflation while at the same time protecting front line services. We have an unrivalled record over the last six years in which the city has lost its tag as the highest council tax in the country. It's vital that we continue to keep the council tax as low as possible. It is a major achievement for the city council to keep the rise so low when other council's who have received a far better settlement are struggling."

The rise will increase to a total of 4.8% when the police and fire authority precepts are added. These are beyond the control of the city council. 

Councillor Keith Turner, executive member for resources, added:- "This is a continuation of our good financial stewardship. Our finances are stable while services are continuing to improve."

Liverpool has an unrivalled record on council tax in recent years. It was frozen for three years in 1998/9, 1999/00 and 2000/01, reduced by 3% in 2002/3 and increased by around the level of inflation in the last 2 years. 

At the same time, the city council has gone from providing the third worst services in the country to being ranked as a 'good' local authority, according to the latest Comprehensive Performance Assessment by the Audit Commission.

WHAT RESIDENTS WILL PAY FOR SERVICES FROM APRIL 2005

 * Too small to quantify

 BAND COUNCIL TAX  LEVIES  FIRE  POLICE  TOTAL PER WK RISE  % OF HOMES
 Band A  £685.63  £56.02  £77.12  £854.69    £0.76  64%
 Band B  £799.90  £65.36  £41.91  £89.97  £997.14  £0.89  15%
 Band C  £914.17  £74.70  £47.89  £102.83  £1139.59  £1.01  11% 
 Band D  £1028.44   £84.04  £53.88 £115.68   £1282.04  £1.14  6%
 Band E  £1256.98  £102.72  £65.85 £141.39   £1566.94  £1.39  2% 
 Band F  £1485.52  £121.40  £77.83  £167.09  £1851.54   £1.65  1% 
 Band G  £1714.07  £140.06  £89.80  £192.80  £2136.73  £1.90  1% 
 Band H  £2056.88  £168.08  £107.76  £231.36  £2564.08  £2.28  - *