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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 226

Date:- 07 November 2005

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TRACEY EMIN AND SIR PETER BLAKE TO HEAD UP JURY FOR BRITAIN’S BIGGEST PAINTING COMPETITION

CALL for entries to John Moores 24 exhibition of contemporary painting at the Walker Art Gallery. From Monday this week, artists can register for Britain’s biggest contemporary painting competition, the John Moores 24 exhibition of contemporary painting (16 September to 26 November 2006) With a jury featuring 2 of the biggest names in British art, next year’s exhibition looks set to be the most exciting show ever. The often quirky and always unpredictable exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, an integral part of Liverpool Biennial 2006, is an open submission competition available to all UK-based artists working with paint. Judges for the competition include conceptual artist Tracey Emin, artist Sir Peter Blake, former John Moores prizewinner Jason Brooks and curator of fine art at the Walker Art Gallery, Ann Bukantas. The fifth judge has yet to be announced.

Sir Peter Blake was one of the leading figures in the development of British Pop art, incorporating imagery from modern culture into his work, including comic books, consumer goods and advertisements. Perhaps his most recognised work is the cover for The Beatles’s album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He remains one of the most significant and influential painters in the UK.

Tracey Emin rose to fame with works such as My Bed (1998/99) and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995 (1994) that explore episodes in her life. Emin was last in Liverpool to unveil Roman Standard (2005) her first ever public sculpture in the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral in February 2005.

Jason Brooks was a prizewinner in John Moores 20 (1997) and was also included in John Moores 21 (1999), the same year in which he won the NatWest Art Prize. In 2004 he was selected to show in John Moores 23 where his painting ‘Cortina’ was purchased by the Walker for its collection.

In addition to an outright first prize of £25,000 there will be 4 prizes of £2,500 each. Initial judging will be by slides - 1 painting per artist with up to 2 slides of that painting. This will lead to a short-list of up to 500 works which will then be called in for judging and from which the final selection will be made. The £1000 ‘visitors’ choice’ prize, which proved very popular and provoked great debate during the 2004 exhibition, makes a welcome return.

Julian Treuherz, keeper of art galleries, says:- ‘Despite predictions that painting is no longer the medium of choice for today’s cutting edge artists, the John Moores prize exhibition, generously supported by the Moores family, continues to demonstrate that painting is still one of the liveliest and most creative options open to today’s artists.’

The deadline for artists to register is 17 February 2006, registration forms can be obtained through www.thewalker.org.uk/johnmoores24 or from the Walker Art Gallery. Slides must be sent in by 1 March 2006. Winners will be announced at the opening of the exhibition which runs from 16 September to 26 November 2006. Entries have to be original new or recent paintings within a set size, designed to hang on walls, by someone who lives, or is based, in the United Kingdom. Full conditions are in the entry pack. Littlewoods founder Sir John Moores, a keen painter, started the exhibition in 1957.

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Letters To Editor:- "CSV Make a Difference Day"

DEAR Editor, "AS someone who believes strongly in the idea of active citizenship - people playing a role in their communities - I would like to thank everyone who volunteered during October, which was Citizenship and Community month for the Year of the Volunteer.

During the month, Gypsies, Travellers, asylum seekers and refugees who volunteer highlighted the huge amount of voluntary work undertaken by under-fire sections of the community. Also, black and ethnic minority groups in London got together to show how volunteering can have a major effect on the regeneration of inner-cities.

And on October 29th, the 10th annual CSV Make a Difference Day, which is supported by Barclays, saw more than 100,000 people across the country give their time to around 5000 different community projects. So on behalf of everyone who has benefited from the generosity of these good citizens, I'd like to take this opportunity to say a warm thank you."


Yours faithfully, Jonathan Maitland.
(Presenter, Tonight with Trevor McDonald; Author, Vote for Who?)
c/o CSV, 237 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NJ

CRUNCH TALKS HELD OVER LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSIONS

CRUNCH talks take place today between the Deputy Prime Minister, local government employers and public sector unions in a bid to reach a deal on pensions that will avert a national strike. Local government employers want to make immediate changes that will increase the retirement age to 65 and increase employee contributions by 1%. They have offered no protection for existing scheme members. These proposals are worse than those that UNISON members were prepared to strike over in March 2005. Healthcare workers, teachers and civil servants had their existing pensions protected in a deal agreed with the Government on 18 October 2005.

Mr Frank Hont, UNISON North West Regional Secretary said:- “The talks today between the unions, Government and local government employers have reached a crucial stage. The employers proposals are unacceptable to our members. All we are asking is for local government pension scheme members – refuse collectors, social workers, probation workers, school meal providers, teaching assistants, fire service staff, police staff , higher education and further education staff - to be treated the same as the other public services. Why should one set of employees be treated differently? These workers have paid in to a pension scheme all through their working lives and have now been told the goal posts are being moved. All because some local authorities made bad investment decisions."

Taking the example of Ms Julia Scaife, who works for Lancashire County Council. Ms Scaife, like so many other female low paid workers, has 2 jobs, delivering Meals on Wheels and transporting clients to daycare centres. Both jobs earn her £11,410 per year, out of which she pays 5% contributions towards her pension, and on the current scheme arrangements her retirement pension will still only be £699 per year. If these proposals become law it will have a significant detrimental affect on Ms Scaife and thousands of other workers, who will have to work longer, pay more and get less at the end of their working life.

By increasing the retirement age from 60 to 65 years of age this will decrease the value of her future pension scheme membership, forcing her to work longer in order to get the same amount of pension, that she would be entitled to at age 60 years. The additional increase in her pension contributions will hit her hard in the pay packet, just as it did with the previous 1% increase in national insurance contributions.

Workers such as Ms Scaife work under an employment contract providing defined pension benefits, the Employers Organisation are intent on fundamentally breaching these contracts by enforcing the changes. Unison will today be pressing the Employers, for comparable treatment to other public sector workers, who are having their pension entitlements preserved under sustainable pension scheme arrangements.

 

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