puts its stamp on the UK
proportional Bathing Water Directive set to become law within 2
years. Conservative MEPs succeed in keeping UK water bills
down and protecting tourism.
Updated EU rules regulating the quality of bathing water will no
longer pose a threat to the British tourist industry or push water
bills through the roof, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, has said this week
after the European Parliament gave its final approval to the
The directive simplifies and updates existing legislation from 1976.
Some MEPs, mainly from the Green Group had attempted to extend the
scope of the directive to include vast swathes of sea, rivers and
lakes which would be used only for recreational purposes such as
windsurfing and canoeing. The costs of testing these recreational
waters would have been passed down to consumers through much higher
Bathing water will now be ranked in 3 categories of cleanliness - 'excellent',
'good' and 'sufficient'. Conservative MEPs fought off an
attempt to delete the 'sufficient' category from the
directive. This would have caused a number of UK beaches to fail to
meet the 'good' standard despite being safe for bathers. The
beaches could have subsequently lost their blue flag status with a
notable impact on tourist revenues for the area.
Sir Robert said:- "The European Parliament's vote today means
that further astronomical water bill rises in Britain have been
avoided and damaging downgrades in bathing beach quality
designations are off the agenda. The directive we have helped
negotiate with EU Ministers is sensible and proportional. We need
clean beaches in the UK but we can do so at a reasonable cost. Water
companies have already spent billions of pounds cleaning our beaches
and standards are much better. However, we must remember that the
majority of people use our beaches only a few times each year and it
is not sensible to ask everyone to suffer increases in their water
bills to pay for an unnecessary army of recreational water
Kung Hey Fat Choi!
LIVERPOOL'S one-stop culture shop is gearing up for Chinese New
Year. The 08 Place in Whitechapel will host a spectacular
Chinese Unicorn dance this Saturday in the build-up to the city's
Chinese New Year celebrations.
2 Unicorns will perform the colourful dance to the stirring beat of
traditional drums. The Chinese Unicorn is a mythical creature, said
to be a good omen that brings good luck and fortune for the future.
The dance is often performed at New Year, and during other special
events and celebrations.
Cllr Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:-
"Liverpool is home to one of the oldest established Chinese
communities in Europe, and Chinese traditions are an integral part
of the city's cultural fabric. The Chinese New Year
celebrations are a highlight of Liverpool's annual events calendar,
and a chance for the whole city to celebrate the diversity and
vitality of our communities."
The dance has been organised by Wah Sing Chinese Community Centre in
conjunction with the Liverpool Culture Company. It will be performed
by the UK Chinese Unicorn Arts Academy.
Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company,
said:- "The 08 Place is fast becoming established as one of
the city's creative hubs, so it is a fitting venue for cultural
displays and events like this. Saturday's festivities will be
an exciting preview to Liverpool's main Chinese New Year
celebrations which take place the following weekend."
Liverpool's main Chinese New Year celebrations take place on Sunday
29 January. The action gets underway at 11am at the Chinese Arch on
Nelson Street, with thousands expected to turn out to see Dragon,
Unicorn and Lion dancing, firecracker performances and Tai Chi
It is one of a number of events taking place to celebrate Chinese
New Year. On Monday 23 January, Wah Sing Chinese Community Centre
will hosting a Feng Shui and Chinese Horoscopes Talk at LIPA
(Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts), starting at 6.30pm.
Admission is £3. For more information contact: Liverpool Chinatown
Business Association, Tel - (0151) 709 3221, Mobile - 07703537728,
or email -