Public fear blackouts this Christmas
WELL the doom and gloom of 2008
had to get worse for Christmas, as if the Credit Crunch was not
affecting us, the Institution of Civil Engineers have said that we
have more to worry about.
Yep, according to a survey released on 23 December 2008, by the
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), 63% of the UK population fear
they could face electricity blackouts over the winter months. They
said that older people are particularly anxious with 76% of the over
65s expressing their concerns.
The survey asked over 1000 people how concerned they are about the
possibility of electricity blackouts due to insufficient generating
capacity, particularly during the cold winter months.
ICE’s Director General, Tom Foulkes said:- “This results of
this survey show just how worried the UK public is about our energy
supplies and they are right to be. Our energy policy has not kept up
with changes in the sector, and with nuclear power stations reaching
the end of their lives, emissions targets looming, and insufficient
progress being made with low-carbon technologies, the future looks
grim. Report after report has highlighted the grave danger that the
UK may not be able to meet demands and government can still do more
to encourage investment by energy companies or support research into
further clean energy solutions. We need to stop dragging our heels
or we could find Christmas in the future becomes rather less merry
and a lot less bright!”
ICE believes that current arrangements don’t create the right
incentives for companies to invest in new infrastructure. It is
calling on the government to create the market conditions that will
encourage the creation of additional capacity rather than pushing
existing stock to the limit.
Investment needs to be encouraged in the storage and supply
connections with mainland Europe and the energy grid upgraded to
cope with more microgeneration and wind power. A concerted drive on
energy efficiency is also needed, with a priority being encouraging
the retrofit of existing homes, offices, and factories.
Mr Foulkes continued in a press release sent to us by the ICE:-
“The government needs to do more if we are to both meet our
environmental commitments and ensure security of supply. As well as
encouraging investment in the full range of low carbon generation
options, the country needs far greater capability to store energy
for the long-term to see us through any future crisis. We need to
bring forward the relevant National Policy Statements as set out in
the new Planning Act and speedily appoint the proposed chief
construction officer. We must make good the commitment to the
construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations and
invest more in research for carbon capture and storage and
alternative energy sources. In short, we must act now or find
ourselves suffering the consequences much sooner than many seem to
The ICE is due to release energy reports on grid and transmission
issues and the potential for combined heat and power (CHP) projects
in early 2009.
Do you agree with these finding? Do let us know by emailing us
also let us know if you are worried about electricity blackouts this
► The survey was carried
out by ComRes and polled 1,012 respondents from all over the UK.
► The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was founded in 1818 to
ensure professionalism in civil engineering. It represents 80,000
qualified and student civil engineers in the UK and across the
globe. The ICE has long worked with the government of the day to
help it to achieve its objectives, and has worked with industry to
ensure that construction and civil engineering remain major
contributors to the UK economy and UK exports.
8 May 09 to 10 May 2009
Southport Weekender Office will be officially closed until Monday 5
January 2009 for phone calls, however bookings can be taken anytime
Weekender's one an only Alex & Dave told us that:- "Don’t
forget that the price goes up by £10pp at Midnight GMT on 31
December 2008. If anyone wants to book, then book NOW...
With less than
3 weeks after tickets going on sale, incredibly we've got less than
1400 places left. Whilst we're on the subject of bookings the
only chalets available are 4 & 6 Berths. Yes, we've got less
out and it was not want we expected! That's
it for now, let's all have a excellent Xmas and New Year."
Green-fingered Jessica earns zoo visit
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s Rocking Horse Nursery are looking
forward to a fantastic day out at Chester Zoo, thanks to a
Three-year-old Jessica Poustie, from Wallasey, has become the toast
of the nursery after winning a visit to the zoo for her entire
Jessica claimed the prize after growing the winning pumpkin for the
hugely popular Arley Hall & Garden’s Pumpkin Games.
The Pumpkin Games, which was one of the highlights of Cheshire’s
Year of Gardens 08 celebrations, saw youngsters from across the
country compete in a Heaviest Pumpkin Competition – growing their
own pumpkins from scratch with specially donated seeds.
Jessica, whose mum Vanessa helped her grow the 6.5kg pumpkin,paid a
visit to the zoo to collect the prize on behalf of the nursery,
which looks after 60 children whose parents work at the hospital.
Vanessa, from Lymington Road, said:- “Jessica and all the
children at the nursery are delighted with the prize. The pumpkin
competition was a great initiative and a fantastic way to help get
children excited about horticulture. We planted the seeds in April
and Jessica was able to watch the pumpkin grow throughout the year.
We had a great day out at Arley Hall for the Games, and are already
looking forward to next year.”
Louise Garforth, Cheshire’s Year of Gardens 08 Project Manager,
added:- “The Pumpkin Games proved an unprecedented success and
was an undoubted highlight of Cheshire’s Year of Garden 08.
The Games were a fantastic example of what can be achieved through
hard work and partnership and I’m looking forward to it becoming a
regular feature on Cheshire’s calendar of events.”
For more information on Arley Hall & Gardens visit
arleyhallandgardens.com or call
01565 777 353.
£7.2 Million Bonus For Cheshire
THE now annual
Creamfields music festival in the Cheshire countryside generated a
massive £7.2 million bonus for the area’s visitor economy, it was
announced this week. Total visitor spend was £7.2 million;
much of this spend remained within Cheshire and 100% was retained
within the Northwest region.
Approximately 65,000 tickets were sold for the Creamfields event at
Daresbury, Halton, during the August Bank Holiday weekend, 86% of
them coming from outside Cheshire. This year was the first year the
event was held as a 2-day event, and this appears to have
strengthened the economic impact in the local area.
This year’s total spend, including the cost of tickets, represents a
7% increase on the income generated from the 2006 Creamfields.
However, analysis shows that spend on accommodation had more than
trebled to £700k and event attendees spent £780k on retail in
Cheshire and the Northwest.
The figures were revealed this week by England’s Northwest Research
Service, which was commissioned by Cream to conduct a detailed study
into the event’s economic impact on the area.
The report showed that visitors, who came from across the UK and
Europe, spent an average of £151 per visitor. Almost a third of
those at the event (29%) were staying in the local area before or
after the event; a total of 2,900 nights in Halton, 3,200 nights in
Cheshire and Warrington and 6,300 nights in Merseyside.
Visitor satisfaction ratings for the event were high with an average
score of 4.5 out of five; 62% were likely come to future festivals.
Reinforcing the success of the event as a 2-day festival, an
overwhelming 69% believed future Creamfields events should be 2
Visit Chester & Cheshire Chief Executive Chris Brown said:- "Creamfields
is now in its third year in Cheshire and it is fantastic to see this
event has managed to gather such momentum over the years. I am
delighted the visitor economy has benefited enormously in Cheshire
and the North West region. We look forward to hosting the festival
Creamfields CEO James Barton said:- "This report once again
demonstrates the positive impact that Creamfields brings to the
Halton and Warrington area’s of Cheshire. We are delighted that
overall numbers have increased and the local economy has benefited
from the two day concept that we introduced in 2008.
Creamfields at a glance…
* 97% was the average hotel occupancy in the area on Saturday night.
* 29% of visitors stayed in the area beyond the event itself; on
average for 2.0 nights, with 44% using serviced
* 96% of visitors were aged 18 to 30
* 52% were male; 48% female
* 59% were on a repeat visit to Creamfields, compared to just 42% in
* 60% were in full time employment and 25% were students.
* 95% rated their overall enjoyment of the event as ‘good’
or ‘very good’
* 76% rated the event organisation and staff as ‘good’
or ‘very good’
* 72% rated it ‘very good’ or ‘good’ value for money
Creamfields will return as a 2 day festival in 2009, Early Bird
tickets are already on sale at 2008 prices, and can be paid for in 2
installments, further information can be found on:-
www.cream.co.uk Tel:- 0844 888