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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 17 September 2007

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BRITAIN'S leading anti-European MEP will take his challenge to the country's most pro-EU politicians next week in a bid to persuade Liberal Democrats to support his call for a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party will take on Southport MEP Chris Davies, a former leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs, in a debate at the latter's party conference in Brighton on Monday (17 September 2007).

Liberal Democrats were amongst the first to argue that the former EU Constitutional treaty should be put to a referendum, but party spokesmen have since refused to repeat their pledge, saying that no decision will be made until the final shape of the draft Reform Treaty becomes known later this year.

Chris Davies says that the idea of holding a referendum on a document containing 250 ideas for mostly minor changes to the existing arrangements is ridiculous.  He commented:- "Hardly anyone voting would have read the proposals, and we would be none the wiser after a vote which bits they liked and which they opposed. We elect a government to make decisions of this kind.  There is only one type of referendum that makes any practical sense, and that is over the single big issue of whether Britain is to pull out of the EU or play its full part in facing up the challenges of the modern world. That's a referendum I could support and it's one that the pro-Europeans would win."

But UKIP claims that a referendum is a necessity and believes that the votes of Liberal Democrats in Parliament could be crucial to the final decision.

Nigel Farage said:- "The Liberal Democrats are now in a pivotal position and may well determine through the House of Commons and Lords whether the British people get a referendum.  That is why I am delighted to be here to have this debate."

Southport Hosts Charity Dance Spectacular

DANCERS from schools all over the North West are getting ready to perform at a 1 night charity spectacular at Southport Theatre next month.

'The Big Dance Show' hosted by Paul Crone of Granada TV will showcase jazz, tap, ballet and modern dance routines along with singing and musical theatre from 12 local dance schools.  Paul Crone will also be presenting the Target Television Awards to the participating dance schools.

one of the schools taking part is the Jacqueline Chadwick School of Performing Arts in Leigh, which is run by former actress Jacqueline Chadwick (former name Pirie) who is famed for her roles in Emmerdale as feisty Tina Dingle and in Coronation Street as Mike Barlow's scheming wife Linda.

The show is organised and sponsored by 2 local businesses, Avanti Travel & Promotions and Target Television, who are working closely with the dance schools to organise the event.  all the proceeds from the show will be donated to national children's charity Children with Leukaemia, a cause that is very close to the organiser's hearts.

Organiser Bill Clarke from Avanti Travel & Promotions said:- "The show is going to be amazing.  The dancers have worked really hard preparing and rehearsing and I'm sure that everyone will be very impressed.  The evening will raise money for a fantastic cause and also it will hopefully encourage more young people to get involved in dancing as it's a lot of fun but also a great way to keep fit and healthy."     Tickets are now on sale for the event taking place on Wednesday 24 October 2007 from 7pm, priced £8 each.  You can buy tickets from the Southport Theatre or online at the secure site

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