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Issue Date:- 26 May 2008


SEFTON pupils are being urged to show off their talent to the nation in a week-long festival featuring the best in British schools.

The Shine National Schools Festival gets underway on 30 June and is supported by Creative Partnerships Merseyside - part of a national network set up to use creativity to unlock the potential of young people.  Shine encourages schools to promote events and activities that showcase pupils' achievements of all kinds over the last year.  News stories, pictures and films of school efforts will also be featured on the Shine website.  No activity is too small; all pupils will get a chance to shine and celebrate their talent.  CPM Creative Director Chris Finn, Creative Director, said:- “Creative Partnerships has spent the last five years working with schools in Sefton so we know just how much talent there is in the area.  Shine is a fantastic opportunity to get the message across to the rest of the country and celebrate the great things going on in local schools.  It’s not just about showing off academic or sporting excellence.  It’s as much about passions, aptitudes, abilities, ingenuity, ideas and individualism.”  Schools interested in taking part in the festival should register at   

Victory for energy consumers

MEPs have struck another victory for energy consumers after voting for measures to ensure better competition in EU gas markets and to place energy poverty firmly on the EU agenda.

The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee has agreed that tight control should be imposed on the owners of gas transmission systems and their ability to manage the pipelines.  The Committee’s proposals go much further than those currently being discussed by the European Council and the Commission.  MEPs’ plans include the introduction of a trustee who would guarantee the independence of the transmission systems and ensure no discrimination against competitors.

Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Consumer Protection Committee said:- "Euro MPs have recognised that the current gas model has the potential to discriminate against competitors.  Labour Euro MPs would have liked to have gone further and see the full ownership unbundled model or the total separation of the supply and transmission systems as the only option allowed in the European markets.  However, this would have been a step too far for many member states and it could have put the whole package at risk, so a tough compromise was the only alternative.

Once again consumers have been put back into the driving seat in energy policy and our responsibility, particularly at a time of high energy prices, should be to construct systems which will benefit them.

We have a responsibility to protect and assist all consumers in the energy market, in particular the vulnerable who are hit by rising bills.  My own Committee will be voting next week on a Consumer Charter for Energy Users.  The Charter must include genuine rights that are enforceable by the regulator, and give consumers proper rights and redress."

Stinky Brits are the pits reveals poll

WE may pride ourselves on our high standards of cleanliness and hygiene, but according to new research, Brits are the pits when it comes to keeping clean.

The national survey, conducted by Bathstore, reveals that 1 in 10 of us have gone for more than a week without washing, a 3rd admit to having days off from being clean and 1 in 20 do not brush their teeth every day.  10% of the 2,000 people questioned in the national survey also shamefully admitted that their partner or friend had nagged them to wash more often.  Some 15% also said they believed that if left long enough, your hair will miraculously clean itself.

Gloucester topped the league of the UK’s grubbiest places with almost 30% of people in the town, famous for its cheese rolling event, admitting to leaving it for more than a week before stepping in to the bath or shower.  Instead, town folk prefer to have a quick swill in the sink (28%) use baby wipes (14%) or spray extra deodorant (15%).  Less than half brush their teeth more than once a day and 15% will go for more than 7 days without washing their hair. 

Coventry came out as the cleanest city in the country with 20% of people taking at least 2 showers or baths every day and spending an average of 11 days a year in the bathroom.  The city was closely followed by Brighton, where 85% of people religiously shower or bath at least once a day.

Lucy Nash from Bathstore said:- “Considering we Brits are supposed to be one of the cleanest nations in the world, it’s surprising to hear that so many of us will go for so long without having a bath or shower.
With so many bath and shower options available today to suit all types of homes and lifestyles, there’s simply no excuse for not getting in and having a good scrub.”

The Bathstore research also reveals that women are unsurprisingly more conscientious than men when it comes to washing and hygiene; spending an average of 19 months in the bathroom during their lifetime compared to the 18 months spent in there by men.  Although men come out on top when it comes to keeping their hair clean with 54% washing their locks at least once a day compared to 33% of women.
  The Clean League The Grubby List
1. Coventry Gloucester
2. Brighton Aberdeen
3. Swansea Norwich
4. Chelmsford Plymouth
5. Belfast Newcastle
6. Cambridge Cardiff
7. Birmingham Manchester
8. Leeds Liverpool
9. London Sheffield
10. Edinburgh Chelmsford

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