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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 24 November 2008

Latin Lounge Live Music

OVER the last two Fridays, the Latin Lounge, Southport has had not one, but three amazing bands taking to the floor to play to a packed out venue.   These are a few photos we took on Friday, 21 November 2008...  Full report next week.


What happened at the North West Regional Press Briefing 2008

ON Friday, 21 November 2008, we were invited to a press briefing by the UK Office of the European Parliament. The event was held in the Portland Hotel in Manchester. The first part of the briefing was about what has been going on in the Parliament and what will be happening up to the elections next year.

The second part was possibly the most important, it was all about what will happen with the elections to the European Parliament next year and about the changes that are happening over and after the election. The European Parliamentary elections will be held from 4 June to 7 June, 2009, across Europe. The UK's election will be held on Thursday, 4 June 2009, and also in the Netherlands. The results will not be revealed though until all member states votes have been counted, thus the election night will be Sunday, 7 June 2009. The current representatives (MEP's) will stand down on 13 July, 2009 and the newly elected members will take office after the elections. This year the number of MEP's across all the member states are to be reduced, due to the addition of the new member states, this will mean that our area (the North West), will have one less representative, dropping our MEP's to 8 representatives.

All the new MEP's, from all of the member states, will have new rules to follow, from 2009, to combat the flaws that have been making headlines across Europe. This time members of the Parliament will have to follow a new statute that places all MEP's on the same salary and they will have travel expenses reimbursed at par. New employment rules will come into effect for MEP's assistants. From the commencement of the new sitting, all MEP's will have to pick their assistants and they will be employed by the Parliament as their employer as an agent on a set grading system. So why is this so important to us on Merseyside? Well where do we start? The European Parliament is one of the most important bodies in the world, so your vote does count and the effect of your vote has huge impact on our everyday lives. What people tend to forget, or they do not realise, is just how important our MEP's are. It is a fact that their choices and decisions have a major impact on our life; in fact, in some cases their choices have far more of an impact than normal politicians. For example, did you know that laws passed recently by the European Parliament effect locally things like improving beach quality, improving bathing water, helping to combat gun smuggling and improving control, improving policing and legal relations across member states, it also affected the operations of our ports and shipping, as well as overseas business relations. The European Parliament has even given our area grant money and of course for Liverpool and Southport areas have been helped with things like the Capital of Culture. Even small items at home are affected, from our carbon footprints, through to the safety of children's toys and even road safety. Recycling falls under the scope of the European Parliament, so your vote, if you cast it last time, has had a huge impact on your every day life.

You can hear our interviews with Arlene McCarthy, the Committee Chair, and Gary Titley who is not standing next year(2009), but is currently the Labour Leader by selecting one of the players below.
Arlene McCarthy


Gary Titley


The Last Night of 'Our Benny'
22 November 2008

A REPRESENTATIVE of the Southport Reporter attended last Saturday's performance at the Liverpool Empire, which was the last in the production of Anne Dalton's and Billy Dobson's, of ABD Productions' skilful adaptation of Silas Hoching's poignant story of the life of 2 street children in Victorian Liverpool.  It was a life, which the author witnessed first hand, whilst a Methodist Minister here in the City, in the mid 19th century, and was movingly portrayed, occasioning the tears of many.

This show has become a favourite, in Liverpool and its title change to Her Benny was chosen to mark the facts for its performance in this, the penultimate, month of the Capital of Culture Year.  The characters were all too credible and their struggle to survive their poverty, including the reaction of those around them, are reflected today in many places throughout the world.  It is also a tale in which morality and faith feature strongly; also pertinent to today's issues.  As well as a very entering performance, it was one that left one thinking hard. 

Our Benny is another stunning success for the whole team, and for Liverpool.  We hope it returns in the near future.

To see our report and photographs of the show, that we ran last week, please click here.

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