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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 199

Date:- 01 May 2005

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NHS Dentistry to get worse, says the public

45% of people expect NHS Dentistry to get even worse in the coming 12 months,despite all the leading parties pledging to improve things. In a survey of more than 1000 people almost half the people questioned said they had no faith in promises to improve the system with only 16 percent expecting progress to be made.

The National Smile Week 2005 study was conducted by leading oral health charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, in conjunction with Denplan, to find peoples current attitudes towards dentistry and oral health.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation commented:- "Unfortunately people have simply lost faith in the NHS system. Labour has already pledged to appoint 1000 new dentists by October, but regular pictures of people queuing round the block and a failure to reach previous targets has undermined that promise in the eyes of the public. Likewise both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are vowing to tackle the problem, but it is difficult to see where the money will come from, and whether their pledges even represent a good allocation of funds."

However, although the Foundation accepts that the NHS service is floundering they believe that a shift towards private dentistry is not such a bad thing.

Dr Carter continued:- "As a country we are trying desperately to ensure that the majority are seen by an NHS dentist when perhaps it would be more sensible for the service to be principally available to those who really need it. For the fee-paying adult, who already pays for 80% of the cost of their treatment, a move to a private dentist would not necessarily be a bad thing. Provided they pick a dentist with reasonable charges the difference in price should be minimal, while it can also allow a greater choice of treatments and materials than is available within the NHS, such as tooth coloured fillings in back teeth"

National Smile Week aims to provide good oral health information to as many people as possible. This year's tagline of 'Talking Teeth' is all about encouraging people to pass oral health information on to those around them.

The Foundation has created '7 tips for 7 days' as a one-stop guide to good oral health. These are:-

1. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
2. Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months
3. Cut down on the frequency of sugary foods and drinks
4. Visit your dentist regularly
5. Floss at least once-a-day
6. Chew sugar-free gum after meals
7. Be aware of your mouth

For free oral health advice from a team of experts contact the British Dental Health Foundation's Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188.

Jools Holland Returns to Parr Hall

THE King of live music, Jools Holland, makes a welcome return to Parr Hall with his famous Rhythm and Blues Orchestra next month. This year Jools also takes with him the very special guests Sam Brown and Ruby Turner.

Julian Miles Holland was born on 24 January 1958 in London. As a young boy, he showed an unusual flare for the piano; at 8 years of age he had picked up the rudiments of Boogie Woogie and Blues piano from his musical uncle, Dave. At the age of 15, Jools met up with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook; together they formed Squeeze. With hits like Cool For Cats and Up The Junction, Squeeze achieved spectacular success, selling millions of records and breaking America - where they carried out lengthy stadium tours and sold
out New York's Madison Square Garden.

Jools's reputation has since gone from strength to strength and today he must hold the record for making more music programmes for TV than any other host:-

 The Tube, made in Newcastle; 

4 series of Night Music, made in New York; 

3 series of The Happening, filmed at London's Astoria Theatre; 

2 series of Name That Tune, filmed in Leeds; 

14 series of Later...; 

6 Hootenanny shows; 

1 series of Beat Route, filmed all over the world.

Don't miss this opportunity to see Jools Holland performing live at Parr Hall for one night only. To book your ticket, please call Pyramid & Parr Hall Box Office on 01925 442345.

Venue:- Parr Hall    Tickets:- £27 
Date:- Fri 6 May                 Doors:- 8pm

Assurances on Postal Votes

LIVERPOOL election officers are giving assurances about the security of postal votes cast in the city. A number of stringent safeguards have been put in place to try to ensure that there is no abuse of the postal votes system

"We are putting a lot of effort into making sure that each postal vote goes to the person who applies for it and that that person is a legitimate elector in Liverpool. 
Postal voting is a perfectly acceptable way for people to take part in the democratic process but clearly a lot of concern has been expressed because of what has happened in other parts of the country. 

We are spending more time on dealing with the 20,000 or so applications for postal votes than we are with other 300,000 voters in the city. I want to give an assurance that each postal vote cast will be held securely and will be counted alongside all other votes. Last year we had an all -out postal vote for local elections and European vote with no suggestion of multiple voting or fraud. There was one alleged infringement which was reported to the police but no further action was taken." said Sir David Henshaw, the city's Acting Returning Officer. 

When an application is received for a postal vote the signature on the application is checked against that of the household registration form. In a very small number of cases people have be asked to attend the elections office if there appears to be a discrepancy in the signature. So far, a satisfactory explanation has been given in every case.

A further stringent check is made on multiple applications at individual premises to ensure that they are all legitimate.

On receipt of the completed postal votes, government guidance, which stipulates that someone who knows the elector must witness each postal vote, will be followed. In addition, officers will undertake random sample checks of elector signatures compared with their original application for a postal vote.

Voters who have applied for and been granted a postal vote should receive it from the Royal Mail around the 26 April 2005. Ballot papers and declaration of identity should be returned as soon as possible no later than 5 May or they may be handed in at a polling station in the voter's constituency on this date. However, postal voters should note that they may not vote in person at their polling station.

Southport Arts Centre - Studio Clubstyle

SOUTHPORT Arts Centre is making an exception to the rule in order to welcome back an exceptional Blues artist. Jake Roney, Programme Manager at the Arts Centre, explained, "It is our normal policy to give it 18 months before inviting acts back, but when they are as good Sherman Robertson we throw the rulebook away! His performance here last September was rapturously received and who knows when we'll get the chance to see him again".

Born in Lousiana, raised in Texas, Sherman Robertson's soulful music shows all his roots, from hard-swinging electric R'n'B to Zydeco (and all points between and beyond!). A great guitarist and a great singer, Sherman has collaborated in the past with such blues greats as Bobby Bland, Junior Parker and Clifton Chenier as well as playing on Paul Simon's multi-million selling 'Graceland' album. 'BluesMove' are one of the UK's finest contemporary blues bands and, with Sherman at the front, they are an explosive combination.

"Sherman Robertson deserves to have his name added to the short list of the finest musicians who play electric blues."
Living Blues Magazine

Friday 6 May, doors 8pm. Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions) available from Southport Arts Centre Box Office on 01704 540011

Southport Arts Centre - Studio Clubstyle

THE largest independent estate agent in the north of England, Reeds Rains, has today announced the release of its latest Property Barometer figures, revealing that the average house price went from £131,125 in February to £130,814 in March in a decrease of 0.24%. This follows a 0.18% rise the previous month, from January to February.

Nigel Favas, managing director of Reeds Rains, comments:- 'Prices in the north have remained stable in the first quarter of 2005. Where January saw an average price of £130,891, which rose to £131,125 in February, March saw the figures settling back down to just over the £130,000 mark. Having moved out of the traditionally quiet Easter holiday period, we are now seeing increased activity across our branches as homebuyer's gear up for the summer. We are confident that the market will continue to remain stable over the coming months.'

The Reeds Rains 'Property Barometer' is a monthly initiative designed to track market movement across the north of England. The 'Barometer' uses information gathered from the company's 130 branches, across 25 northern counties. 

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