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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 226

Date:- 07 November 2005

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WHAT do the stars really want Santa to leave in their Christmas stockings this year? That’s the question ChildLine asked its Chair Esther Rantzen, and 10 more celebrities, who today reveal what’s top of their Christmas wish list – and call on people across the North West to join in the Letter from Santa campaign to help the charity answer more desperate children calling on 0800 1111 this Christmas.

A special Letter from Santa, – supported by Hotpoint, is a great way for parents, friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles alike to bring a little festive cheer to the special children in their life. For each Letter from Santa, ChildLine asks for a minimum donation of just £4 and every penny raised will help Esther’s wish come true – for ChildLine to be able to answer every single lonely and desperate child who calls for help.

Santa will be very busy sending letters as well as trying to deliver what the celebs want:-

• Claire Sweeney is asking Santa for ‘Peace in every country round the world’
• Nothing would make George Michael happier than ‘Space hoppers and marbles!’
• Christine Hamilton would like the honeymoon she never had in Venice, and husband Neil wants ‘an American fridge that makes ice in 25 different ways’
• Countdown’ queen Carol Vorderman wants some time off work
• Ian Wright will be all smiles if Santa gives him ‘a golf handicap of 5’!
• Actress Beth Cordingly is looking for lots of hugs from her 3-year-old niece
• Design duo Colin and Justin are hoping for a home cinema and a Mercedes

Last year ChildLine North West counselled 264 children during the 12 days of Christmas, children in danger or distress, children who felt they had nowhere else to turn. ChildLine's volunteer counsellors give up their time each Christmas to enable the charity’s helpline to stay open 365 days a year. But they are relying on your support to help them answer more calls from lonely and frightened local children this holiday.

ChildLine Fundraising Manager Shona Murphy says:- "A Letter from Santa is a brilliant way to get a child’s Christmas started. For a donation of just £4, a child in your life will receive a very special letter. Parents, grandparents and families who support Letter from Santa will help ChildLine make a real difference to the lives of children in danger or distress all over the UK this Christmas. Every day calls from around 2,300 children are answered by ChildLine. However, the huge demand for the service means that hundreds more desperate children are unable to get through, so we urgently need to raise more funds to ensure every child can reach the comfort, advice and protection our trained volunteer counsellors provide this Christmas."

And you could get a special Christmas present, too! By requesting a Letter from Santa for a child you know, you will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a set of Hotpoint appliances. To receive a Letter from Santa for a child you know, you can fill in a special postcard available in branches of Timpsons, Forbuoys, Dillons, Martins, Somerfield Martins, Hotpoint Centre retail outlets, selected Spar stores, selected Ethel Austin stores, Blackburn Arndale Shopping Centre, Accrington Arndale Shopping Centre, Burnley Arndale Shopping Centre, The Triangle (Manchester) and Borders in Speke and Ellesmere Port, or visit the ChildLine website.

Don't miss out on 'open goal' business rates rebate

DON'T miss out on applying for a rebate in your business rates. It could save you thousands of pounds a year. That's the alert today from national pressure group, The Forum of Private Business (FPB), which champions the cause for more than 25,000 firms throughout the UK.

"Many firms are still unaware that they can claim a rebate on the business rates they pay to their local council. It does not come through automatically," warned Rex Garratt, national spokesman for the FPB.

The right to a rebate introduced since last April allows firms that occupy premises of a rateable value less than £10,000. For premises of a rateable value of £5,000 or less, a rebate of 50% rates relief can be claimed. For every £100 of rateable value above £5,000, the relief drops by 1%. So for example a property with a rateable value of £7,200, the rate relief would be 28%.

To find out the rateable value of your premises log on to and just enter your postcode.

Friday 24 February 2006 is 'Work Your Proper Hours Day'

THE TUC's award-winning 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' takes place on Friday 24 February next year. This is when the TUC estimates that people who do unpaid overtime will stop working for free in 2006 and start to get paid. On that day the TUC is urging people who do unpaid overtime to take a proper lunch, and arrive and leave work on time.

This should remind Britain's employers just how much they depend on the goodwill and voluntary extra work of their staff, the TUC says. Indeed the TUC is urging Britain's bosses to take their staff out for lunch, coffee or cocktails on 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' to say thank you for their hard work and commitment.

"Bosses should put this day in their calendar and make plans to say thanks to their hard-working staff", said TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, "'Work Your Proper Hours Day' is a light-hearted way to raise the problem of long hours working in the UK. Most employees like their job and care about their work, it's one of the reasons they put in unpaid extra time. This year we will be providing practical advice on how employers and employees can work smarter to cut their hours and improve the quality of their work."

'Work Your Proper Hours Day' 2005 recently won the PR Week industry award for the best research based campaign, for more information visit their website by clicking here.  The TUC has used the official Labour Force Survey, which measures unpaid overtime, to work out when 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' will fall.

North By North West

A fantastic music night to be held on Friday 18 November 2005 at the café bar flava, on Lord Street, Southport from 7pm until late.  Yes entry is free!

The music will be a voyage into funky, groovy, weird sounds navigated by the best collector-collective of DJ’s from across the north west.

THE DJ's for the night are:-

Andy votel (twisted nerve, finders keepers – Manchester)
Boney votel (b-music – preston)
Chris mcbride (45 kings – Liverpool)
Crystal voyager (crayon – Liverpool)
Darren wail (record collector, DMC – Manchester)
James hamond (crayon – southport)
Lee brady (unknown pleaswures – Manchester)
LJ Oddman (crayon – Liverpool)
Mat critchley (crayon – southport)
St Norfolk (diversity FM – lancaster)
Striker (vox pops – Manchester)

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