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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 06 August 2007

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Life’s a beach at Liverpool Children’s Festival

THOUSANDS of young people descended on Liverpool’s cultural quarter last Friday. 

The area around William Brown Street received an out of this world makeover for the FREE annual Liverpool Children’s Festival, which opened on the steps of St George’s Hall at 11am.  The all day entertainment programme included street theatre, model making, circus skills, drumming workshops, tightrope walkers, face-painting, and much more… there was even a fake beach on site!

Liverpool Children’s Festival is presented by Liverpool Young Culture Action Group and the Liverpool Culture Company.

14 year old Imani Thompson of Liverpool Young Culture Action Group, said:- "We organise the Children's Festival to make sure that everyone in the city can have a go at new arts and cultural activities for free.  We also want to show people in Liverpool that young people can do positive things for other people.”

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool city council and Deputy Chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, said:- “We’re only at the beginning of the school holidays but with 6 long weeks stretching out ahead of them young people will already be running out of things to do.  The festival offers a fantastic diversion from summer boredom, and best of all it’s been developed by young people themselves.”

Festivities were centred around William Brown Street, including World Museum Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery, Central Library, St John’s Gardens and St George’s Plateau. 

Visitors were also able to check on the progress of the Liverpool Giant; a 15ft model currently under construction at World Museum Liverpool, which is to lead the city’s 800th birthday pageant on 28 August 2007.

Giant creators Strange Cargo held an open session between 12noon and 3pm on the day of the festival, giving people a chance to drop in and see how the giant is shaping up. 

The day concluded with a parade, starting at 4pm outside World Museum Liverpool.

The average debt exceeds annual income by 23%

WHILE debt in the North West reflects the average across the country - people in the North West are still managing an average debt of £36,627 on an annual income of £27,960 according to a new study compiled for R3 - The Association of Business Recovery Professionals.  The R3 Debt Index, compiled by market research specialists YouGov, asked respondents about their levels of mortgage and non-mortgage debt, and how they had run up their non-mortgage debt - the most important reasons cited included general overspending, unemployment and redundancy, illness, and paying for specific things such as cars and holidays.

In the North West the average salary is £27,960 a year, slightly less than the national average of £30,500. The average overall debt in the North West , including mortgages, is £36,627. Despite representing record amounts of debt in the region, this figure is still well below the national average of £43,920.  The YouGov survey also showed that of the people who feel that their debt is causing them great difficulties and is out of control, 62% haven't sought professional advice and are resorting to taking out extra credit and loans.

"It is a concern that people in the North West have so much debt because we know that so few of them are seeking professional advice.  R3 members deal with people struggling with debt and see the misery this causes the debtor and their families. I would urge anyone with debt problems to seek help and to do so as soon as they become aware of the problems. Taking out further credit simply isn't the answer."

Compared with other parts of the country residents of the North West have an average overall debt of £36,627 while those living in Yorkshire have an average debt of £33,013 and those living in the North East have an average debt of £36,558.  R3 commissioned the Debt Index because it is concerned about the rising level of debt in the country, and is particularly concerned that people are not seeking professional advice to help them with their debt problems. The aim of the Debt Index is to monitor levels of debt and trends over time. This index will be released quarterly. The next statistics will be available on the 31 October 2007.

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