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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 210

Date:- 17  July 2005

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DOZENS of Liverpool teenagers are to get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in The Tall Ships Race. As part of the city's preparations to host the start of the world famous race in 2008, the Liverpool Culture Company has arranged to fund youngsters to sail in these events for the next 2 years for free - with talks underway to take it up to 4 years.

The first waves of youngsters, aged from 14 to17, have been selected after the city's youth centres launched an appeal for kids to write in. After intense interviews 10 were selected. They are: 

Ranjit Burman,
16, Vision Eight, Unity Youth and Community Centre, Liverpool 8 
Samantha Lenehan, 17, Vision Eight 
Laurie Campbell,14, St Michael Lark Lane and Community Centre, Aigburth 
Charlotte Burns, 14, St Michael Lark Lane and Community Centre, Aigburth 
Lisa Jones ,15, St Michael Lark Lane and Community Centre, Aigburth 
Sarah Dineley,14, St Michael Lark Lane and Community Centre, Aigburth 
Callum Jason Smith,15, St Michael Lark Lane and Community Centre, Aigburth 
Stacey Ricketts,15, Clubmoor Youth Centre, Norris Green 
Amy Digney, 15, Clubmoor Youth Centre, Norris Green
Mark Corrigan,17, Edge Hill Youth Centre, Durning Road, Wavertree 

The group will board the Greater Manchester Challenge this Saturday (July 16) in Portsmouth to set sail for Newcastle. During their week on the 76 foot ketch, they will be trained by a team of five experts on how to sail and steer as well as cook and clean the vessel. Team building has already started with the group creating sea themed banners.

The Tall Ships Sail Training Initiative is part of a two tier programme to involve kids in maritime activities, a pledge made by the city to mark its Capital of Culture themed year - Sea Liverpool 2005.

The Liverpool Culture Company launched the first tier with the city's Watersports Centre by offering free sessions in sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing. This has proved to be hugely successful with a 70% rise in youngsters using the centre and membership almost doubling.

The Tall Ships deal is based on a partnership with the Ocean Youth Trust North West and talks have begun with the Tall Ships Youth Trust to create a 4-year programme, involving more youngsters. In 2006, 18 youngsters from Liverpool will have the opportunity to experience the challenge and excitement of Tall Ships sailing. 

Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:- ''The Tall Ships Race will be one of the highlights of our year as European Capital of Culture and we want Liverpool youngsters to be at the very heart of it. This initiative will provide life-changing experiences for dozens of youngsters and is a great boost to our Sea Liverpool pledge to involve every child in a maritime activity.''

The Tall Ships deal is similar to the deal with Clipper Ventures PLC, in which the Liverpool Culture Company ran a competition for three people to sail on a leg for free in the 05-06 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which starts on Sunday, September 18.

Tim Law, Marketing and Operations Director for The Tall Ships Youth Trust, said:- ''We take over 1,500 young people to sea each year - many of those coming from the Mersey area. We are delighted to be able to secure this deal that guarantees more young people from Liverpool have the opportunity to experience the thrills of ocean sailing.''

The Greater Manchester Challenge, which is registered in Birkenhead and is owned by the Ocean Youth Trust North West, undertakes around 40 6-night voyages a year. It takes on board 480 youngsters every year sailing some 7,500 nautical miles around the British coast and northern French coastline.

Patrick Bell, Operations Manager of Ocean Youth Trust North West, said:- ''We are delighted to partner Liverpool in this exciting enterprise. We applaud the Sea Liverpool pledge and look forward to making it's aims come true and provide youngsters with experiences they will never forget.''

Sea Liverpool 2005, supports a national series of events, SeaBritain 2005, held to celebrate Britain's maritime heritage and is centred on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Other nautical highlights of Sea Liverpool 2005 include:-

Liverpool Honda Power Boat Grand Prix - River Mersey, August 20 and 21 
Start of the 05-06 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - 12 noon, Sunday, September 18

‘All work and no play’

DESPITE calls to end the UK’s long-hours culture many managers in the North West refuse to stop working. According to a survey by the Chartered Management Institute the majority of employers now actively encourage staff to take time off, but most employees admit to working during their annual leave and 33% fail to take their full holiday entitlement.

The Chartered Management Institute questioned almost 6,000 managers and found that the number of people with more than 5 weeks holiday entitlement continues to grow (from 56% in 2003 to 66%, this year). In the North West however, managers are fearful about the impact of their absence and almost half (45%) contact their organisation by choice due to work overload. A majority (51%) will also respond to requests from their employer, whilst on holiday.

The survey also shows that managers put in extra hours to make up for the time they lose by going on holiday. For a typical one-week break, the UK’s management community works an additional 36 million additional hours, beyond their contractual requirements. This represents a cost saving to UK organisations of £880 million.

Even when they finally go on holiday, managers in the North West find it difficult to relax. 32% regularly check their work emails and 26% monitor voicemail. In an effort to keep in touch with colleagues 45% take away their work mobile phones, 17% take their laptops and 4% regularly visit internet cafes.

The respondents in the North West were also asked why they work on holiday. The top 3 reasons were...

Deadline drama:- 15% claimed that the need to meet short-term project deadlines means they have had to work at some point during their holiday. 6% added that they lacked confidence in their colleagues’ ability to manage during their absence.

Client care:- 21% suggested that meeting customer needs override everything else and that letting clients down is never an option. 13% also said they found it hard to ‘let go’.

Backlog blues:- 19% worry about the amount of work they will face on their return. 17% expect to find 200 plus emails waiting for them and 1 in 3 managers admit to dreading returning to a backlog.

Jo Causon, Director of Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says:- “It’s long been accepted that the pressure to perform has led to Britain becoming a nation of workaholics. However, the hours people put in at work do not always guarantee optimal results, because quantity is not the same as quality. Employers are certainly beginning to recognise this and are encouraging staff to take a proper break, but the onus must now be on managers to follow this lead.”

The signs are that, for those managers who do take their full holiday entitlement, a break is as good as a rest. 87% of managers in the North West say that their annual holiday ‘fully recharges their batteries’ and 68% suggest it makes them question their work-life balance. They also claim that the hardest part of going on holiday is returning to the regularity of alarm clocks (9%), being stuck indoors (13%) and commuting (6%).

In regional terms, the UK’s workaholics are based in the North East, where 76% leave contact details with their employer and 24% contact their organisation at least twice a week, by choice. The most relaxed Britons can be found in the North West, where less than half (45%) provide contact details and only 4% check in with their employers by choice.

Planners succeed in removing motorway signs

PLANNERS have successfully removed more than 40 signs on areas of land along Warrington's motorway network. The signs, usually displayed on trailers parked in fields and open land, have sprung up next to motorways and major roads across the country – in Warrington's case alongside the M62, M6 and M56. In many cases they have been located in sensitive areas of countryside and in the green belt.

Following Wednesday's meeting of the Council's Development Control Committee, John Groves, Head of Development Control at the Council said:-
"The Highways Agency raised concerns with us over the number of signs in Warrington and the potential highway safety problems, particularly because the signs are so close to high speed motorways and roads. Cheshire Police also has similar concerns and gave us a great deal of help with identifying sites and enabling Council officers to take action to secure removal. Almost without exception, landowners co-operated when we told them of the breach of planning controls and they have removed the signs."

The effectiveness of the approach adopted by the Council is attracting attention nearby local authorities, which are now following the practice and procedures adopted in Warrington. All the areas prone to these types of signs will continue to be monitored, and consideration is currently being given to wider issues relating to the potential impact of unauthorised signs.
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