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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 21 May 2007

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Local Rail Campaign

OVER 60 MP’s now back SELRAP’s Campaign to re-open the Colne – Skipton line as part of the National Rail Network.  We now have the support of 61 MP’s from all parties including Southport MP Dr John Pugh, 18 MEPs (including 8 out of 9 North West MEP’s) and many other public bodies and individuals.

‘‘I am happy to support any drive to re-open the Skipton-Colne railway line and believe, in fact, the National Rail Network needs to be extended in order to deal with the major capacity problems it currently suffers.’ Said Dr John Pugh MP (Southport).

The closure should never have happened. Restoration will open up so many travel opportunities, not only for the residents of Skipton and East Lancashire but for the Yorkshire & Humberside and North West Regions. It will improve employment and leisure options especially for those who have no access to a car or who would prefer not to drive. It will give Southport rail access to the Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales National park via Preston.

Just 11.5 miles of missing railway separate two of our regions. 

SELRAP also supports the re-opening of the Burscough curve.

"I fully understand the importance of rail to opening up social, cultural and economic opportunities for communities that would otherwise be isolated. There are many similar rail projects, including one in my own constituency,that will be hoping for a successful outcome to this campaign." Rosie Cooper MP (West Lancashire)

"I will support your campaign and do anything I can to assist" - Neil Turner (Wigan)

"I am in strong agreement with the objective of your campaign and very happy to add my support." - Professor Lord Alton of Liverpool

"Such a move would significantly improve employment and leisure opportunities, not only in the immediate vicinity, but much further afield as well. The campaign has my full support." - Gary Titley MEP (North West)

"I am on the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament …I would be delighted to become a Patron" - Den Dover MEP (North West)

"If we are to meet the challenges of congestion, pollution and global warming then we must ensure that public transport is made a priority. I therefore write this letter of support to re-connect the railway from Colne to Skipton as part of the National Rail Network as soon as possible. This would provide not only a better rail service trans-Pennine but for the wider North West region as a whole." - Arlene McCarthy MEP (North West)

You can find more information on our website,

OAP’s (Outstandingly Active Pensioners)

LOOK OUT Arnie, Mr T and Geoff Capes, a group of special OAP’s - Outstandingly Active Pensioners - are about to show you how it’s done!  The world of fitness in Liverpool is welcoming an assembly of gym trainers with a difference - they are all at least 70 years young!

The council’s Lifestyles fitness centres has teamed up with Liverpool’s primary care trust (PCT) to work with a group of older people on a unique fitness programme.  After intensive training, the super senior-citizens are now qualified gym trainers and are ready to encourage and help hundreds of older people get as fit as a fiddle.

It’s all part of an Active Ageing initiative which is a partnership between the PCT and the city council aimed at keeping older people active for longer, promoting their health and well-being and helping them live independently.

Council leader Warren Bradley said:- “The latest additions to our fitness team are a real credit to Liverpool and they prove the saying ‘you’re only as old as you feel’.  We want everyone in Liverpool to be fit and healthy from toddlers to great grandparents. Our senior gym coaches will play a massive part in encouraging people over 50 to build exercise into their daily lives.”

The trainers are now so fit and healthy that they aim to hearten other older people to get fit and confident. In a partnership between St Julies High School and the PCT, children are taking part in tai chi and dance fitness sessions with older people as part of their school curriculum.

Lead nurse for older people and founder of the service, Diane Brennan said:- “We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of older people who have thrown themselves into this programme.  The feedback received from the pensioners involved in the Active Ageing programme has been outstanding, with many people saying it has changed their lives, helped reduce their blood pressure and their dependence on medicines.  Some of our participants have even been able to stop using oxygen tanks because they feel so much stronger.  We are really looking forward to our older people teaming up with the children and working together to help bridge the generation gap and understand more about each other.  This is the 1st accredited intergenerational project of its type in the country.”

As well as training older people to become gym instructors, the Active Ageing service also includes activities such as Tai Chi, music therapy and dance classes.  Nurses encourage older people to sign up for the programme, during home visits. The programme currently runs in south Liverpool, but there are plans to roll it out to the whole of the city.

"Stars of the Future"

THE "Stars of the Future" Junior Badminton Tournaments will be taking place at the following venues:-   Robin Park Wigan Saturday 2 June 2007, 10am to 5pm, entries close 26 May 2007.

Cheadle Hulme SC Saturday 9 June 2007, 11am to 5pm entries close 1 June 2007.

Entry fee is £5, per player, per event.  For an entry form or more details, please contact Barbara at or ring/text 07900 275363 ASAP as places will be limited.     We are also looking for new players for our group. Girls and boys, aged between 7 and 19, any standard, who do not play for the county, are welcome.

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