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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 202

Date:- 22 May 2005

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15% of the UK population are needlessly paying out millions of pounds in fines, interest charges and penalty notices simply because they say they don't always do things on time, according to a new poll commissioned by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). 

DVLA commissioned the poll as it continues its campaign, urging drivers to keep all their paperwork up to date. If you have inaccurate paperwork, you could be in line for a fine of up to £1,000. 

The poll, conducted by NOP, asked the public if they paid bills and returned items such as library books and videos on time, as well as whether they updated their driving licence and vehicle registration certificate when they moved house or changed their name. The findings included:-

· 16% of men and 15% of women say they do not always pay bills on time. Young people are the worst offenders, with the figure rising to 24% for 15-24 year olds

· 17.5% of men and 14% of women say they do not always return borrowed or rented items on time. Again, young people come out worst, with 24% of 15-24 year olds

· 20% of men and 19% of women say they didn't update their driving licence and vehicle registration certificate when they last moved house or changed their name. Again, it is particularly bad amongst young people, with the figure rising to 47% for 15-24 year olds.

In response to the findings, DVLA has recruited eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O'Brien to offer some top tips to help the public keep their finances and documents up to date.

Dominic O'Brien, 8 times World Memory Champion says:- "15% of people are risking fines due to bad memory and disorganisation but there are some simple things you can do to solve the problem. Improving your memory and recall is something that everyone can do - so if you are in risk of being among the 1.2 million people DVLA issued with penalty notices in 2003 why not try some of my simple memory tricks and escape being one of the forgetful few."

Dominic's top tips for improving your memory are:-

1) The Body System... There's a very simple system to help you remember a "to-do" list for the day. It works by associating parts of the body to key images of whatever it is you want to remember.

2) The Story Method... Use a story to memorise a list of data as objects or characters linked together in a story. Here's how I would memorise the following list of 5 words:- "Fox, Driving Licence, Tyre, Salesman, Registration Certificates"

As I open the backdoor to my garden I am confronted with a very weird scene. A fox is throwing what looks like a driving licence into a tyre at the bottom of the garden. This must be some kind of circus trick. Encouraging the fox is an insurance salesman at the end of the garden. He is sitting on a large pile of Registration Certificates.

Linda Weaver, spokesperson for DVLA, said:- "If you are one of the forgetful few, it is probably costing you money. You might not worry about paying a small fee for the occasional late video, but nobody wants to be faced with a large fine that could so easily be avoided. Updating your driving licence and vehicle registration certificate is simple, so please don't leave it any longer."

Inaccurate paperwork wastes police time, means car companies can't contact motorists driving faulty vehicles and can make it harder to tackle car crime.


LIVERPOOL is taking its European Capital of Culture programme to the heart of government. The Liverpool Culture Company is to announce its delivery plan for the coming year to an audience including representatives from government, parliament, business and the media at the House of Commons on Thursday 19 May, at an event sponsored by Lord Owen. 

The document outlines the vision and plan for the next 12 months as the city builds up to and beyond 2008 through a series of themed years. 

Liverpool city council leader Mike Storey said:- "We are revolutionising the way we deliver arts and culture in Liverpool. Liverpool is encouraging people and communities right across the city to get actively involved in culture." 

Councillor Joe Anderson, Leader of the Opposition and Capital of Culture board member added:- "Liverpool has been awarded this great accolade and now we are showcasing ourselves to the country and to the rest of Europe. Our aim is to deliver the best ever Capital of Culture programme, and to be the best ever European of Culture."

Independent research has estimated that Liverpool will benefit from 14,000 jobs, £2 billion of inward investment and 1.7 million new visitors as a result of the European Capital of Culture title.

Professor Drummond Bone, chairman of Liverpool Culture Company and Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University, said:- "Liverpool '08 is not only great news for the city, but also for the region and the country. For a whole 12 months, the UK will be centre stage in Europe, showing off the very best in culture. Our delivery plan outlines the steps we are taking as we build up towards 2008." 

Liverpool '08 aims to be the best ever European Capital of Culture, generating huge benefits across tourism, regeneration, the arts and culture, not just for Liverpool, but also for the North West and the UK as a whole. 

The Liverpool Culture Company recently announced a £4.5 million funding package for cultural projects. Grants have been given to 150 schemes to organise projects, which will involve tens of thousands of local people. Part of this funding will benefit the Creative Communities initiative, which is the largest programme of public and community art in the UK. 

Last year, 67,000 people took part in Creative Communities projects based around the 2004 themed year Faith in One City, a year long celebration of religious and ethnic diversity. 2005 sees a year-long celebration of the city's rich maritime tradition and the River Mersey through the themed year, Sea Liverpool. 

The money will also go towards Liverpool's seven key cultural institutions. They are the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool Theatres Trust, Walk the Plank theatre group, Unity Theatre, the Liverpool Biennial visual arts festival and the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT).

Key events during 2005 include the start of the 2005-6 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Mersey River Festival and the Honda Powerboat Championships. They will all take place on Liverpool's historic waterfront, which was last year designated an official World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

Work is also well underway on regenerating the city in time for 2008. Construction has started on Europe's biggest city centre redevelopment scheme which is creating a new heart for Liverpool. The £900 million Grosvenor project will see 2 million square feet of new leisure and retail space created, with 30 new buildings including two department stores and two hotels.

The £400 million King's Waterfront development will bring a concert arena, conference facilities, hotels, residential and leisure uses to the banks of the Mersey. In addition, work is underway on a new £15 million state-of-the-art cruise liner facility.

Loyd Grossman, deputy chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company and chairman of National Museums Liverpool, will be a key speaker at the event. He said:- "The success of Liverpool '08 and its legacy depend not only on the drive, energy and vision of the Liverpool Culture Company team, but also on the commitment and support of our friends and partners - in both the public and private sectors."

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