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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 26 November 2007

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- Restoration project needs local support-

A fundraising website has been launched to help return one of the city’s finest examples of sculpture to the public spotlight.  Aptly named, the website has been launched to raise more than £3m to reinstate and sculpt the lost tympanum in the south pediment of St George’s Hall.

The project will take 3 years to complete and the organiser, the Merseyside Forum for Sculpture, is appealing to the city’s residents and businesses to support the cause.

Terry McGunigle, the local sculpture leading the project commented:- “The City Council has agreed in principle to support the cause but we need to raise the funds independently. We know that St George’s Hall is a much-loved Liverpool landmark and we’re hoping that the city’s visitors, residents and businesses will help us raise the £3m we need to truly finish off George and return it to its former glory.  There’s a real misconception that art and sculpture is just a high-brow pursuit but we hope that will help to show that architecture and sculpture is there for everyone to enjoy. Completing the pediment will see the final piece of the jigsaw put in place and as the Capital of Culture year gets closer, it’s an opportunity to leave a real cultural and artistic legacy for future generations.”

The project will see the tympanum, a triangular inlay which will house a rich collection of carved imagery that will be reinstated. The original design was a celebration of enterprise, energy, craft and the skills of the people of Liverpool and Terry has carried this through in this new design. It will include individual figures representing Justice, Europe, Neptune, Minerva, Eloquence and Architecture amongst others.  The sculptural frieze was last seen in the 1950s but was lost to decay and it’s thought that the rubble was most likely used in hard core during road construction. Terry continues:- “The loss of the sculpture has destroyed the total concept for the building as a designed work of art on a massive scale.”

The project will be the largest work of classical sculpture carried out in this country since before the last war and it will give local arts students and sculptors a rare opportunity to watch a landmark project take shape.   1 million pounds is needed to start the project and will allow local sculptor, Terry, to travel to Carrara in Italy to hand-select the marble and project manage a team of the world’s master stone masons.  The project will also allow the Mersey Forum for Sculpture to achieve its broader aims of preserving traditional carving and stone-mason skills while providing a more practical experience for the sub-region’s art students. Any students wishing to get involved should contact Terry on 0151 922 9440.

Individuals looking to support the project or companies interested in sponsorship should visit or call for 0151 239 5000 for more information.


THE MILLIONS of Child Benefit claimants whose personal and financial details have been lost in the post must check their bank and credit card statements regularly to ensure they haven’t been targeted by fraudsters, advises financial data comparison site

“This unprecedented level of risk should be taken as a wake-up call for all consumers. 

ID fraud is a thriving business these days and if these personal details do fall into the wrong hands it could spell trouble for thousands of people.

Checking statements once a month or just when a paper copy arrives in the post simply isn’t often enough anymore, everyone needs to take responsibility for their own security if their finances and identity are to be kept safe.” says chief executive Richard Brown.

Whilst the Child Benefit Agency discs are still unaccounted for, the serious risk of complete identify theft is very real and the effects of this may not surface until sometime in the future. But there are a few simple steps that everyone can take to minimise the chances of having their finances drained by thieves.

Check bank statements regularly – take the time to read every entry and look out for any unusual transactions. Fraudsters don’t always take large sums, a few smaller amounts are less easy to spot but the end result can be the same. Anything that can’t be identified should be reported to the bank or building society.

Keep cards where you can see them:– never allow anyone to take your card away to process payment. You’ll never know whether your details have been taken and stored for future use.

Change passwords and PIN numbers regularly:– this is especially important if your passwords or PIN numbers are related to other personal information such dates of birth or children’s names. Armed with mountains of personal information, it’s easy to see how fraudsters could attempt to guess passwords so the rule here is the more random the better.

Never write down your PIN:– sounds obvious but whilst it’s difficult to remember several PINs, it’s just not worth keeping them on paper.

Shred everything that carries personal information:– not just bank statements but bills and receipts too. Fraud is very sophisticated and all information can be used to build a plausible identity.

Check your credit report regularly:– Companies such as Experian and Equifax can provide you with copies of your credit report so check it regularly for evidence of loans or credit cards taken out in your name. If you spot anything untoward you should notify the product provider and also tell the police.

Beware of hoax emails or telephone calls:– fraudsters often operate by pretending to be financial institutions asking you to confirm your personal information. No financial institution will ever ask you to confirm your personal details in this way so be alert to hoax attempts to extract this information from you.

“This couldn’t have come at a worse time, with Christmas shopping producing a massive increase in the number of financial transactions every day.  However, a few simple steps could help to protect personal finances and mitigate damage even if these details do fall into the wrong hands.” says Brown.

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