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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 12 February 2007

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 THE WHO and KEANE TO HEADLINE THE 1ST KNOWSLEY HALL MUSIC FESTIVAL

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June 2007
Knowsley Hall, Liverpool / 1PM – 11PM
www.knowsleyhallmusicfestival.co.uk

THE vibrant British music scene is one of the most celebrated in the world. Having spawned some of the most legendary events and nurtured a plethora of world-class talent, there is something intrinsically special about a British festival, So, as we look forward to another year of diverse and imaginative music events, it is a brand new 2-day music festival kicking things off and setting the standard for 2007.

Set in 2500 acres of stunning, landscaped parkland and as ancestral home to the Earls of Derby since 1385 the stage is most definitely set for the 1st ever KNOWSLEY HALL MUSIC FESTIVAL and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful events ever to hit the North West of England. Combine this exceptional location with one of the most formidable promoters in the country and you can see why this is a welcome addition to the summer music calendar,

With such a remarkable location, the line up was always intended to be equally grandiose and headliners for the Saturday tick every box. Legendary rockers and possibly one of the most influential bands of all time THE WHO will be topping the bill for their only festival gig, aside from Glastonbury, this year. Their pedigree precedes them and last time they played Liverpool they sold out 10,000 tickets in 28 minutes. Joining them, as part of the Saturday line up, will be local boys THE CORAL and current rising superstars THE VIEW, plus Liverpool legend PETE WYLIE & THE MIGHTY WAH with many more still to be confirmed.

Sunday keeps the larger than life theme alive with stadium sell-outs KEANE taking centre stage with their lauded piano rock anthems, fresh from the worldwide success of the critically acclaimed second album ‘Under the Iron Sea’. Local lads THE ZUTONS, one of the most successful bands to come out of Liverpool in the last decade, will also be flying the Northern flag with their own brand of psychedelic cartoon punk for their army of ardent fans.

Created and developed by the award winning team behind Creamfields and Rockness and the production team behind Bestival and Freedom Rocks, this two day, premier event is destined a phenomenal addition to the festival circuit.

Organiser James Barton (CEO) Cream/Creamfields commented:- "This city has an amazing musical heritage and I know how important it is to the people of Liverpool that tradition is preserved especially as we move ever closer to The Capital Of Culture year. As a company we are totally committed to playing our part by providing events that continue that proud tradition, but by also providing events that people will be excited by. Building on the success that Cream & Creamfields has achieved I am proud to announce this new show and hope that the people of Liverpool will show their support and enjoy what we know will be a great weekend of music."

Organiser Jim King from Loud Sound commented:- “We are fortunate to already work on some of the most amazing festival sites in the UK and Knowsley Hall ranks right up there with Loch Ness and the Isle of Wight as a magnificent venue to hold a music festival. The Knowsley Hall Music Festival has an amazing line up with legends The Who performing with Keane, The Zutons, The Coral and probably the hottest new band this year, The View. Great festivals have always been about more than just theacts and having these bands performing at this wonderful site in front of a northern crowd is going to make this an amazing weekend to experience live music.”

With its vast lakes and uncompromised beauty, this idyllic location is the perfect backdrop for this landmark event and the biggest rock festival to descend upon the region in years. With 80,000 people expected to flock to Knowsley Hall across two days, and many more acts still to be announced this is easily one of the hottest tickets of 2007.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Monday 12 February

Ticket Price:                                                Weekend Tickets: £70+BF
Saturday: Standard: £42.50+BF / Gold Circle: 60+BF / Hospitality: £99+BF
Sunday: Standard: £37.50+BF / Gold Circle: £55+BF / Hospitality: £99+BF

Ticket Outlets: Piccadilly Ticketline: 0871 424 8000 / See Tickets: 0871 220 0260 / Ticketmaster : 0870 169 0109
Online Tickets: www.ticketline.co.uk  / www.seetickets.com  / www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Information Tel: 0151 707 1309
Website: www.knowsleyhallmusicfestival.co.uk

THIS IS A NON-CAMPING FESTIVAL, HOWEVER FOR INFORMATION ON ACCOMMODATION AND TRAVEL PLEASE GO TO www.visitliverpool.com.

Council aims for equality

A MENTORING programme is being proposed at Liverpool City Council in a bid to get women and people from black and ethnic minority groups into top jobs.  The plan is part of a series of measures being introduced as part of the city council’s Gender Equality Scheme, which local people are now being consulted on. 

The Gender Equality Scheme aims to make the council’s 19,000 strong workforce more representative of the local community; tackle domestic violence and hate crime; increase the attainment of black and ethnic minority boys; improve the career aspirations of girls and provide more accessible and inclusive services. 

Although 7% of the council’s workforce is now made up of people from black and ethnic minority groups, compared to a population of 5.6%, only a handful are in senior positions. And the council remains under-represented in terms of Asian, Asian British and mixed race employees.  Despite the council having more women employees than men, they earn on average less than their male counterparts. There are also far fewer young people working for the local authority, with more than a 3rd of staff aged over 50 and only 11% under 30.

Councillor Richard Marbrow, executive member for equalities, said:- “The majority of the council’s workforce is white and over the age of 40, with fewer women or people from black and ethnic minorities in top jobs.  We are Merseyside’s biggest employer, and it’s vital our workforce reflects the city as a whole. The measures we are putting in place are designed to remove the barriers which can prevent people from achieving their full potential and make sure they break through the glass ceiling.”

The proposals being consulted on include extending the range of flexible working options available to staff; reintroducing a “bring your child to work” day to encourage young people to think about a career in local government, and establishing an annual equal pay audit to monitor differences in pay and jobs between men and women.  More support could also be provided for staff who suffer domestic violence and hate crime. The council’s racial and hate incidents policy is set to be more widely publicised, and improved training for managers is to be introduced.

Head of equal opportunities, Andrew Nembhard, said:- “In recent years, Liverpool has improved beyond recognition in fostering good working practices and placing equality at the heart of the organisation. We’re certainly heading in the right direction, and out-performing many other major cities.  We’re engaging more black and racial minority groups in business, culture, education and regeneration than ever before, and providing a range of services which are more accessible for, and tailored to, all our diverse communities.  However, there still remains much to be done if we are to make sure that every single person is treated exactly the same, regardless of gender, age, race or sexuality.”

In order to increase the attainment of black and ethnic minority boys, more support is planned as they progress from primary to secondary schools, and targeted programmes are set to be introduced to improve the reading of boys.  It’s also proposed that Children’s Services work with schools to map the career paths of girls and devise an action plan for dealing with any issues raised.  And to provide more accessible and inclusive services, the council is being recommended to analyze customer satisfaction data by gender and monitor information to assess whether any gender specific services need to be introduced.

A consultation open day for local residents to give their views on the Gender Equality Scheme is being held on Wednesday 28 February. There are limited places and an expenses payment of £20 will be made to those who attend. A questionnaire is also available and people are being urged to fill it in.  People wanting to attend the open day or fill in the questionnaire can find out more by calling the council on 0151 233 3007, emailing research@liverpool.gov.uk or visiting www.liverpool.gov.uk

Steps taken by the council in recent years to break down barriers and improve equality include:

· Introducing a training programme for groups under-represented within the city council’s workforce to help them into employment.

· Establishing a racial harassment helpline through the Liverpool Direct call-centre

· Installing a network of hi-tech pavement pods throughout the city enable people to connect to council services, leisure, tourism and culture from

the street with information in 16 languages

· In Liverpool schools, additional bilingual teaching assistants have been invested in; an inclusion strategy has been developed to ensure all pupils,

including asylum seeking and refugee children are given the linguistic, cultural and religious understanding and support they need

· In housing, the council has set up Liverpool Black and Racial Minorities Housing Strategy, working with Registered Social Landlords and the Black

and Racial Minorities network to make sure the social housing needs of local people are met

· In community safety, Liverpool has invested almost 60 percent more money into directly tackling racial violence

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