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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 210

Date:- 17  July 2005

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Kids 'dig' new leisure center

YOUNGSTERS from a Liverpool school are to help start work on a new £4 million leisure centre in Walton. Alsop Community Sports Centre will replace the worn-out Victorian facility at Queens Drive Recreation Centre, which closed last year following a health and safety inspection. It will be housed within a state-of-the-art building and include a 25 metre swimming pool, Lifestyles fitness suite including a gymnasium and sports hall.

It will be a dual-use facility that will benefit both the re-developed Alsop High School and the local community. Pupils and contractors will join executive member for leisure, Councillor Warren Bradley, to help start work on the site this Friday (July 15 2005) following several months of clearance work.

Councillor Bradley said:- "This new facility has been long awaited in Walton. For far too long people have had to make do with a swimming pool which was well past its sell by date and had suffered decades of under-investment. The council is committed to ensuring that people in every part of this city have access to first class leisure facilities, and this will be a place that the whole community can use.''

Alsop High headteacher Phillip Jamieson added:- "A new sports centre has been a major priority for many years, and this can only enhance sporting activities and developments within the school and the area." 

The project is being funded by the city council and the Big Lottery Fund, and the construction work is being carried out by Galliford Try, who have pledged to source labour locally where possible and are forging strong links with the local community. 

Galliford Try Regional director Bob Merriman said:- "We look forward to working closely with Liverpool City Council and their specialist design team to couple their expertise with our wealth of experience in the leisure market to produce a high quality, landmark building to compliment the history of the site and facilitate the continuation of the services offered to the local community and school."

The centre is due to open next year. In the past 10 years, the city council has invested more than £40 million in new leisure facilities, ranging from the first local authority run kids gym to Lifestyle Fitness suites across Liverpool.

Mongolian Buddhism

THE fascinating images from Mongolia, taken by Liverpool-born photographer Barbara Hind, go on display at World Museum Liverpool: Mongolian Buddhism runs from 6 August to 2 October 2005.

Barbara Hind, originally from Knotty Ash, visited Mongolia 16 times between 1994 and 2001. The result of her extensive travelling is a group of photographs, providing an intimate portrayal of everyday life for Mongolian Buddhists. 

The photographs, which are rich in colour and texture, include scenes of monk ordination, the call to morning worship and Tibetan language classes. These wonderful depictions of daily routines avoid any kind of posed or clichéd shots. Instead Barbara has created images that show enormous respect for the people who are her subjects as well as a gripping insight into an intriguing culture. 

The photographs from Mongolian Buddhism have previously been on show at the National Museum of Mongolian History, Ulaanbaatar in 2001, where Barbara became the first westerner to be invited to display her work. This unique exhibition provided the local people, whose lives Barbara had documented, the chance to see the photographs for themselves.

Barbara says:- "The Mongolian Buddhist images have grown out of my personal association with the monasteries and nunneries I have visited. Through my photographs I try not only to represent my own experience of seeing other people's worlds but to also try and evoke the people's experience in those worlds". 

Visitors to Mongolian Buddhism can also see World Museum Liverpool's own comprehensive display of Buddhist artefacts from Asia in the World Cultures gallery, which includes an evocative Tibetan Buddhist shrine.

World Museum Liverpool William Brown Street, Liverpool

Admission:- FREE 

Open:- 10am to 5pm every day.

Information:- 0151 478 4393 


Ringing the changes

A PIONEERING new project by Liverpool City Council is ringing the changes - and it's set to eradicate the need for large mobile phone masts. Proposals are being developed to install tiny, hi-tech mobile phone antennae throughout Liverpool. The 15cm structures will sit on existing street furniture, such as lamp posts, CCTV cameras and road signs.

The new antennae are far less unsightly than large mobile phone masts, and are environmentally friendly. Each mini-antenna, which has the capacity to be used by several mobile phone companies at the same time, emits between 1,000 and a million times less radiation than a mobile phone. 

The council's Executive Member for Customer and Corporate Services, Councillor Dave Antrobus, said:- "This is a groundbreaking solution to the increasing number of mobile phone masts in Liverpool. Unlike current masts, which are obtrusive and unsightly, these antennae are small, compact and discreet. Many people have concerns over the health and safety issues surrounding mobile phone masts, and this project will help tackle this, by providing more environmentally friendly alternatives which emit a tiny fraction of the radiation of large masts. And with up to five mobile operators sharing a single antenna, we are hoping there will be a significant reduction in applications for individual phone masts. Ultimately, this hi-tech project could lead to many existing masts becoming redundant, and some being removed altogether. It's a great idea."

The number of mobile phone users in the UK has grown from 5 million in 1995, to 55 million by 2004. As a result, there has been a huge increase in demand for mobile phone masts. The influx of new masts throughout the UK is often unpopular with residents. Members of the public regularly object to new masts being erected in their neighbourhood on possible health and safety grounds.

The new project would solve the problems involved in erecting large mobile phone masts in communities, offering a forward-thinking, environmentally friendly alternative. 

Chair of the council's planning committee, Councillor Lady Doreen Jones, said:- "Applications for mobile phone masts cause more difficulty than most other types of planning applications. There are often objections from residents, but there are very limited grounds on which the council can judge these applications. Government guidance means our decisions must be based purely on visual amenity and design, and not on grounds of possible health and safety implications, which means applications for new masts can cause great controversy in communities. Hopefully, this new project will provide us with a solution to these problems, and help reduce conflict with local residents." 

The city council is working with BT on the 'microconnect distributed antennas' project. The proposals will go before the city council's executive board for approval on Friday 22 July 2005. 

Pioneering bassoon project for young musicians

TALENTED young musicians are to benefit from a unique music project being pioneered in Warrington. Warrington Music Service, funded by the Borough Council, is launching the Warrington Bassoon Project. This is the only one of its type in the country to receive support from the BBC Philharmonic Bassoon Department.

The Bassoon Project will promote bassoon playing in schools in Warrington and will give children a unique opportunity to visit the BBC in Manchester for special master classes. The bassoon is a double-reed wind instrument and the tenor of the oboe family.

Members of the BBC Philharmonic Bassoon Department will join children at 2 Warrington schools - Broomfields Primary School in Appleton and Park Road School in Great Sankey - on Monday 18th July to launch the groundbreaking project.

Janice Pounds, Music Education Officer, said:- "To be the only area in the country to receive the support of the BBC Philharmonic Bassoon Department is a fantastic achievement for Warrington. We are delighted to be working alongside the BBC Philharmonic to promote music and the bassoon in particular with many young people. We hope that many children will embrace this project and, more importantly, that they enjoy it."

As part of the unique project, a composition has been commissioned, which will enable 8 Warrington bassoon students to perform with the Philharmonic Bassoon Department at a Christmas Concert being held at the Parish Church (St Elphin's) in Warrington on Thursday 1 December 2005.
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