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Issue Date:- 1 September 2008


HOUSEHOLDERS across Southport will soon be turning the tap on to even better drinking water supplies thanks to United Utilities.

The company has started a three-month project on Monday, 1 September 2008, to replace old cast-iron pipes in the Church Town area with modern plastic ones.

The work forms part of the company's £2.9 billion investment programme between 2005 and 2010 to improve tap water and the environment and when completed it will help prevent low water pressure and water discolouration - as well as reducing the risk of leakage.

"Some of our old water mains like the pipe here at Church Town date back more than 100 years.  It has done a great job all these years but is now not up to modern standards and it is time to replace it."
said United Utilities' Project Engineer Henry Bennett.

To keep disruption to a minimum, engineers will use the latest pipe-laying technique, known as slip-lining, in which the new plastic pipes are inserted into the old pipes.

"Slip-lining is the equivalent of keyhole surgery for water mains.  We only need to dig small access holes instead of open trenches and the new plastic pipes can be fed through the old ones.  It's quicker and causes less inconvenience.”
explained Henry. 

Due to the nature of the work, traffic management will be required on-site.

This will involve the setting up of temporary road closures at certain points, which may cause a slight disruption to traffic flow.

Any closures will be clearly signposted and diversions will be put in place.

Henry added:- “We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this essential work may cause and we thanks residents for their patience and understanding.

We need to remember that when the work is complete it will be of great benefit to our customers across Southport and that we always aim to cause as little disruption as possible when carrying out these schemes.

The main reason why we wanted to start work in early September was so that we could complete the scheme before the run-up to Christmas.

This is the type of work that our customers' bills help to fund and it will be well worth it when it is finished."

WRVS supported by Brighter Living Partnership are set to launch 2 new fruit and vegetable co-operatives in Southport

FROM the 25 September 2008, at Crossens Community Centre, on Rufford Road, Crossens, residents of North Sefton will be able to order large bags of fruit, vegetables and salad for £2.50 each.  This will offer a considerable saving when compared to supermarkets and traditional retailers.  This scheme will run between 12 and 4pm. 

From the 9 October 2008, residents will also be able to order from Parenting 2000 on Mornington Road next to Southport College.  This scheme will run between 3 and 8pm to include those who cannot access the other co-ops.

Both schemes will have a launch event where there will be activities such as cookery demonstrations, fruit kebabs and badge making for children so there will be something for all the family.  Orders can be placed at the launch to be collected the
following week.

Both co-ops will launch with a new supplier who has also started delivering to the existing co-ops in High Park and Woodvale which offer a much improved range of produce.

Cllr John Dodd said:- "I think its good news for the residents of Crossens, Churchtown and Marshside.  The most vulnerable residents will be able to benefit from this excellent service the partnership of Brighter Living and the WRVS are providing."

WRVS are looking for volunteers to help run the schemes by packing bags and managing the orders for all the schemes mentioned. 

For further information please contact Ian Mitchell at Brighter Living on 01704 501024 x 205 or Mandy Naylor at WRVS on 07714 898678.

All systems go for Alsop school

THE green light has been given for work to start on Liverpool’s very first Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.  It paves the way for building work to start next month on the huge £21m project which will breathe new life into Alsop, one of the city’s largest and most popular community secondary schools.

The city council’s executive member for education, Councillor Keith Turner, said:- “The award of the Alsop building contract to Morgan Ashurst signifies the start of a new dawn for education in the city.

More than £485m will be invested, between now and 2013, in rebuilding or refurbishing every secondary school in the city.

Building Schools for the Future is the biggest schools rebuilding scheme ever seen in Liverpool, providing every child with 21st century education facilities.

It will boost educational standards and opportunities for young people for generations to come.”

Alsop has 1,700 pupils and was judged to be ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED in its recent inspection.  However, the arrangement of the school campus, condition of the buildings and high proportion of mobile classrooms are limiting the school from further improvement.

Under the BSF scheme, the existing mobile classrooms will be replaced with a stunning, new 5,500sqm, three-storey building, containing a range of flexible learning areas.

In addition, there will be extensive refurbishment of the existing building, which dates back to 1926, to improve the facilities for science and maths.

The massive investment will allow the school to focus on high quality learning and teaching in a modern, 21st century environment.  A key objective will also be to make sure the new school is used by the whole community.

Headteacher Phil Jamieson said:- “Our fantastic pupils and dedicated staff do an excellent job, and we perform very well academically, but BSF will enable us to revolutionise teaching and learning here.

The project will give us the capacity to deliver an even more diverse, challenging and flexible curriculum, targeted to meet the needs of every single one of our students.

It’s a really exciting time for Alsop, and everyone here is looking forward to the major improvements being made to our school.

It’s wonderful that we will soon have a modern, attractive, state-of-the-art education facility, which will benefit generations of young people in the area.”

The school has been designed by 2020 Liverpool, who are the city council's joint venture partner for building services.

Gerry Connell, project director from 2020 Liverpool said:- "The design concept involves creating flexible spaces, catering for different teaching methods and learning styles."

The BSF programme is the biggest schools rebuilding scheme ever seen in Liverpool.  It is providing the city with £485m to rebuild or improve every secondary school in the city.

Liverpool is included in Wave 2 and Wave 6 of the government programme, giving the city a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost educational standards and vastly improve outcomes for young people across Liverpool by 2013.

In order to secure the funding, the council has had to review existing secondary school provision in the city and convince the government that the schools being invested in are viable and sustainable.

A key challenge facing not only Liverpool, but another cities across the country is declining pupil numbers.

Liverpool is losing around 1,000 pupils from the system each year due to declining birth rates and over the next five years, the city will face significant surplus places in secondary schools.

Building Schools for the Future aims to address this by ensuring that money is spent on teaching pupils rather than sustaining empty desks.

The new Alsop school is expected to be completed by the autumn of 2010.

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