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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 203

Date:- 29 May 2005

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European Broadcasters Are Live In Liverpool

EUROPE'S top television executives are gathered in Liverpool this week for their 23rd Annual Conference. Circom Regional, a forum for nearly 400 regional public service stations across Europe, is holding the event in the city from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 May.

The Annual Conference has this year been organised by the BBC, one of Circom Regional's member stations, in conjunction with The Mersey Partnership Conference Bureau. More than 200 senior television controllers, producers, managers and journalists from 38 European countries are expected to attend the conference, which has been held in the UK only twice before - in Birmingham and Harrogate. As well as bringing more than £200,000 to the local economy, the conference will also promote Liverpool and Merseyside across Europe.

Martin King, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership, said:- "We are very proud to welcome this delegation of top television people from all over Europe to Merseyside. They will get a chance to experience all the delights of our City region as well as networking with their broadcasting peers. This will be a great prelude to their involvement with our year as Capital of Culture."

Delegates will participate in debates and workshops, sharing new ideas, networking and learning from others, and focus on topics including television production, content and development. Other activities include a Beatles party onboard the Mersey Ferries and free time for familiarisation tours of the city to visit museums and galleries, The Beatles Story and Cains Brewery and other attractions.

The event will also include the prestigious Prix Circom Regional Awards at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel. These are the most important international awards for regional production and broadcasting across Europe. BBC television coverage of the ceremony will be transmitted by satellite to European audiences.

Anita Bhalla, Vice President of Circom, Acting President for this conference and the BBC host said:- "The BBC is delighted to be hosting this very important conference in Liverpool in partnership with Liverpool 08 and Liverpool City Council. This reinforces our work with city partners to enhance our commitment to the local communities; we already do this though several projects including the BBC Digital Bus and the Big Screen as well as having one of the most successful and vibrant radio stations based in the City, Radio Merseyside. In our Charter Review proposals we outline how we wish to develop this commitment further with more investment in the region and the development of Local TV."

In addition to the conference, the Circom Regional workshop for 24 young TV journalists will run from 18 - 29 May, based at The Express by Holiday Inn Hotel. The school admits only the best young journalists already working in television throughout Europe and is regarded as the key training ground for the future leaders of European television production.   The students will produce a series of reports and features about Liverpool which will be presented to conference delegates and then broadcast around Europe. The films will also be available to download from the Circom Regional website.


A local charity is all-set to start the cameras rolling thanks to a funding boost from leading grant-making trust, Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales. Liverpool Lesbian and Gay Film Festival will be using the £5,000 grant to help cover the core-costs of producing an educational film. 

As part of its film education programme the charity will commission a short film to help teach people about AIDS, HIV and the importance of practising safe sex. The need for this film has arisen due to the fact that the rate of HIV infection among gay men is not decreasing as predicted and the number of gay men being diagnosed as HIV positive was at it's highest for 10 years last year. 

Chris Bernard, director of Letter to Brezhnev will act as an advisor, whilst an up-and-coming filmmaker will direct the film and students from the charity's on-going production workshops will be invited to volunteer as crew. The finished production will be suitable for screenings in schools on television and at film festivals. 

Matthew Fox, Festival Director, commented:- "We saw a need for this short film due to the worrying rate of HIV infection and positive diagnosis currently occurring, and we hope that through this film we will be able to educate people on the importance of practising safe sex and help to raise the awareness of AIDS."

David Kay, North West Manager, Lloyds TSB Foundation said:- "We awarded this grant because this charity is working to improve the lives of people in the local community through the production of educational material, the creation of employment opportunities as well as helping to fight prejudice experienced by the lesbian and gay community." 

In 2005 the independent Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales has £22.5 million to distribute to registered charities throughout the UK, including over £2.7 million for charities in the North West.

Wildlife Trust awarded Year of the Volunteer Grant

WILDLIFE Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside, based in Burnley, Lancs has been awarded £3,900 by Volunteering England for the development of 2 garden sites by local people. The award, part of the Year of the Volunteer 2005 Small Grants Programme, will help Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside to take part in the Year of the Volunteer and make a difference in their community. The money will enable the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside to provide specialist staff for two months to support 'Burnley Food Links' of Daneshouse, Burnley in organising gardening activities. The project is called 'Gardens for All' and will improve surroundings for local people. 

Volunteering England, in partnership with BitC, The Media Trust, TimeBank and Youth Action Network, Youthnet, are distributing small grants in order to enable and encourage more people to participate in the Year by taking action to address the needs of their own communities. The 2005 small grants aim to support local people to put their own ideas into action. 

Kim Coverdale, Project Worker at Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside said:- "We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to help make a difference in the Year of the Volunteer. There will be improved access to the gardens as a result of these activities. The project will clearly benefit the wider community and it is hoped, encourage people of all ages to get involved and make a difference."

Ruth Johnson, Director of Grant-making at Volunteering England, said:- "The Small Grants Programme provides groups such as Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside with a great opportunity to encourage and participate in new and exciting volunteering activities in their community. The Year of the Volunteer is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution volunteers make to society and hopefully this project will help to raise awareness and interest in volunteering in their local community"

We are family!

A FATHER and daughter team have taken over the civic reins in a special ceremony this week. Councillor Alan Dean, aged 55, and his daughter Helen, aged 27, will become Liverpool's Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at the Mayor Making event in the Town Hall.

Councillor Dean said:- "I'm really looking forward to my mayoral year and it's great that I can share it with my daughter. Helen is a great girl and both of us are really looking forward to meeting the real people of Liverpool - the people who make this city so special. However as a loyal Evertonian it's going to be very difficult to go to Anfield every time the 'other team' plays at home! I'll probably be cheering on their opposition!"

Alan is a born and bred Liverpudlian. Brought up in the Everton area of the city, he attended King David High School and left school to become an accounts clerk for a shipping company in Water Street. He left that company to work for the Ford Motor Company where he stayed for 24 years. It was at Ford's that Alan became involved in the Trade Union Movement, and became politically active.

"I really wanted to be a councillor, because I wanted to be able to help ordinary people"
, he said. "As a Labour councillor I've been able to improve the quality of life for some residents, and that is really rewarding and makes all the hard work worthwhile." 

During his 18 years at the city council, he held many senior positions including Deputy Leader of the council from 1987 to 1995. He has also held a number of positions outside the city council, including Chair of the Regional Employers Organisation from 1993 to 1999.

In his spare time Alan unwinds by reading murder mysteries, improving his IT Skills and listening to dance music. He said:- "I drive everyone mad in the office with my music, I can't work without it and love to have Pete Tong blaring out from the nearest speaker!"

Helen was educated at Shorefields Community Comprehensive and now works as a receptionist at Liverpool City Council. All Helen's spare time is spent with her 6-year-old daughter, Ellie.

She said:- "I really enjoy working for the city council, everyday is different because of all the different issues and people I deal with. I'll be doing all sorts of different things when I'm the Lady Mayoress which will be interesting and challenging - it really will be a year to remember." 

Councillor Dean's chosen charities for the year are Hands Across the Sea (Liverpool's Asian Tsunami appeal), Broadgreen Hospital's Cardio-Thoracic appeal and Liverpool's asbestos support group.

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