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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:- 21 April / 22 April 2009

A record seven up!

MERSEYTRAVEL'S Traveline team have been voted the UK’s best travel call centre; for the seventh year in succession.

It beat 23 other call centres in a “mystery shopper” survey carried out by the Department for Transport (DfT) testing speed, friendliness, efficiency and accuracy.

Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said:- “This is an outstanding record achieved by an outstanding team who work with dedication and enthusiasm.”

Merseytravel Chief Executive and Director General Neil Scales said:- “To have received this accolade for seven years straight is a magnificent achievement and one of which we can be very proud.”

Tim Partington, who heads the 17 strong team said:- “We have sophisticated equipment which can tell you exactly how to get from your front door to anywhere in the UK, but its enthusiasm and the personal touch of our team that makes the difference.”

Traveline Merseyside is open 364 days per year giving detailed travel information for Merseyside, Halton and Widnes. The service has now also been expanded to help with queries for travel across the Northwest, including Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The Traveline Merseyside number is 0871 200 22 33 and it is available between 7am and 8pm on Mondays to Fridays and 8am to 8pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

New Garden at Ormskirk hospital...

The is the new area.  Pictured from left to right Pat Stuart, Gladys Quirk and Nick Morton, volunteers who work in the shop and Audrey and Ron Stuart who manage the shop.

REGULAR visitors to Ormskirk & District General Hospital may have noticed a change recently outside the main entrance as the garden area has been given a complete makeover.

Audrey Stuart, who manages the hospital shop, explains how this came about:- "I have often noticed groups of people stood around waiting for taxis or to be picked up and thought we could do with some more seating in the area near the main entrance.

I spoke to the facilities department and we decided the area just outside the main entrance could be used.

It was cleared of most of the old plants that were there and a new patio area was laid with four benches for people to sit on and new plants were planted to brighten the area.

The £8.000 needed to pay for it came from the hospital shop and the work was done by Lady Green Nurseries in Formby.

Since it was done I have noticed lots of people using the benches, so it seems to be appreciated."


PEOPLE tempted to ride off-road bikes illegally in the Crankwood area of Leigh are being warned to think again. Police and councillors have received a large number of calls from local residents concerning groups of young people riding motorcycles on the old tip site. Officers say riders are bringing van loads of off-road bikes, scooters and 4 x 4 vehicles from as far as Liverpool to use at weekends or when the weather is good, often creating excessive noise and leaving roads covered in mud. To tackle the problem, police are stopping vans to check if their insurance policies cover transporting vehicles, and Greater Manchester Police’s off-road motorcycle unit will be targeting nuisance riders for at least the next three months. Last week the team seized three bikes and issued five warning notices to those riding without insurance. If they are caught using the bikes again the vehicles will be seized and riders prosecuted for any offences that may have been committed.

Inspector Ian Kennedy of the Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team said:- “Secure fencing around the old tip has recently been damaged again by vehicles attempting to gain access, and we are now looking at CCTV to try to identify offenders. My officers will continue to work with both the council and site owners Peel Holdings to stop the illegal use of off-road vehicles, an activity that causes much disruption to local communities.”

To contact the Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team call:- 0161 856 7225 or email:- For non-emergency calls or to report crime call police on:- 0161 872 5050 or for more information visit Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111. Police across Wigan borough are now working towards delivering the Policing Pledge, giving people a clear minimum standard of service they can expect from their Neighbourhood Policing Teams. They are asking residents for their input to ensure that the service is focused on the needs of local communities and addresses the issues that matter most to people. Find out more at:-

Donation of garden furniture to spinal injuries centre

PATIENTS and staff at the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre are hoping the good weather will continue throughout the summer following a donation from Paymentshield Ltd of Southport.

Last year staff from Paymentshield and from Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust held a football match at Southport FC's ground at Haig Avenue to raise money for the Centre. Around £1,500 was raised and Paymentshield were able to purchase an awning for the barbeque, a bench specifically for people with spinal injuries and a sun umbrella which opens up to cover four or five people in wheelchairs at any one time. These are all for the courtyard at the Centre, where patients can sit with their relatives, friends and staff.

Dr Clive Glass, Clinical Director for the Centre, commented:- "We are particularly grateful to the staff at Paymentshield for all their hard work in raising money for the centre. As you can see from the photographs the money has been able to buy bespoke furniture for our quadrangle which will be put to good use during the summer months, avoiding heavy suntans!"

There will be another football match on Tuesday, 5 May 2009, again at Haig Avenue; doors open 6.30pm with the kick off 7 pm.

Adults £2 - Children £1 with all the money raised going again to the Spinal Injuries Centre. Everyone is welcome.

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