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Issue:- 02/03 June 2010

Liverpool LEAPs Out at City Steps

FOR one weekend only LEAP 2010 will get the city of Liverpool jumping as City Steps, one of highlights of the LEAP 2010 year long festival of dance, takes place on Saturday, 12 June to Sunday, 13 June 2010.

This completely FREE 2 day dance festival has been commissioned by Culture Liverpool, supported by Arts Council England and celebrates Liverpool’s year of Health and Wellbeing. City Steps will see Liverpool city centre come alive with dance as Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) and a wealth of local, national and international dancers take over city centre locations including Clayton Square, Williamson Square, Derby Square and Queen’s Square to name but a few.

MDI are delighted to announce that a full line up has been confirmed for City Steps, which commences at 12pm on Saturday, 12 June 2010. Come along and be entertained by some of Liverpool’s finest dancers and dance companies including, Taciturn Dance, Movema, Darren Suarez, and Lea Anderson’s specially commissioned piece Vox Pop (originally seen as part of the Community Dance Showcase in March).

Shoppers are sure to be kept entertained with live music by the Hot Potato Syncopators and travelling dance pieces which are to take place around the city centre throughout the weekend including brand new work by Bridget Fiske.

As one of the 5 ways to wellbeing is to ‘take notice’, why not take advantage of the raft of dance on offer and witness something new. Watch a passionate Tango at Williamson Square or take part in the Rock a Hula, mass Hula Hooping event, which is sure to prove popular with the younger dancers amongst your family. Williamson Square also hosts Wired Ariel Dance Company, who are sure to thrill with their inspired Rosa’s Bar, bungee assisted dance performance, while Axial Dance take to their mopeds at Derby Square, proving that scooters aren’t only for driving.

Take a trip to Clayton Square and you’re in for a treat as Gulliver’s Boom Box rocks up for the weekend. Originally seen in 2008, this impressive, giant mobile ‘ghetto blaster’ will have revellers dancing on the sidewalk as they enjoy a high energy street dance show, featuring classic tunes and chart favourites from the soul filled 70’s through to the present day.

City Steps is the highlight event of a new £100,000 dance programme with Liverpool City council also commissioning a dance weekend on 6 August 2010 to 8 August 2010 as part of the 'On the Waterfront Season'.

The City Council has also commissioned ten Liverpool-based dance companies to deliver a series of events over the next 12 months The 10 for 2010 commissions will feature performances at City Steps as well as a tribute to gay culture and the premiere of several new works.

The 10 for 2010 programme is a key element of the city council’s support of the first year-long LEAP dance programme and the city’s themed year of Health and Wellbeing.

Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Tousim, said:- "City Steps will bring a huge amount of colour and fun to the city and put a spring in the step of thousands of people as we celebrate LEAP and our year of Health and Wellbeing... The weekend is also part of the biggest dance programme we have supported since our year as European Capital of Culture and the quality of the artistic offer is equal to anything we did in 2008."

With a whole host of exciting dance displays and chances to get involved on offer; no matter where you go in the city centre over the weekend of 12 June to 13 June 2010, between 12 to 3pm each day, you’re sure to be inspired by dance as City Steps gets going in spectacular style.

For a full programme of the weekend’s events, click on to:-


THE pitch at Tranmere Rovers was thoroughly cleared when Merseyside Police’s Mounted Section seized the opportunity from the club to practice vital crowd control techniques.

With three football clubs to police in the region, the section is expected to keep between 5,600 and 45,000 fans safe at each match throughout the football season.

Tranmere Rovers kindly offered to work with Merseyside Police by allowing 12 horses and riders to use the pitch at the end of the season to practice crowd clearing tactics.

For some of the younger horses this was the first time they had a chance to put into practice the techniques they had learnt within a real stadium environment. The experience was made more life like for the horses by the real sounds of a football crowd being played through the grounds loudspeaker system.

Mounted Inspector Mark Fallows said:- "Exercises such as this are invaluable for our ongoing training and we are very thankful to Tranmere for letting is use their facilities. This is a great example of a local club and the police working together. Being inside the stadium is a very different environment both visually and acoustically for the horses and riders so the chance to get this experience and to practice tactics in a real setting was fantastic."

The mounted section is an operational specialist section with a staff of one Inspector, two Sergeants, 22 Constables, 11 civilian stable hands and 25 horses.

Policing football is just one of the many roles the horses perform. The section supports neighbourhoods by patrolling open spaces that would not usually see a police presence and specific areas where there is a need to increase police visibility. They are also used to help prevent or address public order issues, as well as providing high visibility patrolling at rugby matches, race meetings and other special events.

Major road safety milestone as driving test clocks up 75 years of success

THE British driving test marks three-quarters of a century of helping keep people safe on the road when it turned 75 on Tuesday, 1 June 2010.  The first car and driving licences were introduced in Britain in 1903. But it was not until 1 June 1935 - amid rising numbers of deaths as the popularity of the car increased - that a compulsory driving test was introduced. The first driver to pass was Mr J Beene and within a year, the number of deaths on the road had fallen by 1,000.  In 1934, 7,343 people were killed on the roads and there were 1.5 million cars. The latest figures, show there were 2,538 deaths on the roads in 2008 when there were around 34 million cars.  Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:- "The driving test is not just a rite of passage, it has helped save thousands of lives on our roads. The test and the learning needed to pass it are a vital part of giving drivers the skills they need to drive efficiently and safely. High standards of driver training and assessment are an essential contribution to helping Britain's roads remain among the safest in the world."  Trevor Wedge, Chief Driving Examiner at the Driving Standards Agency, said:- "The driving test still retains some of the original elements included in 1935, such as turning in the road and reversing, but it is updated regularly. We continue to make sure that the test properly prepares drivers for the demands of modern roads. This year will see the introduction of independent driving into the test, to help candidates demonstrate their ability to drive without step-by-step instruction. We believe that this added element will lead to better and safer drivers."

Facts and figures:-

• The test became compulsory on 1 June 1935, after being introduced on a voluntary basis on March 16 the same year.

• The test was suspended during World War II and the Suez Crisis – examiners were put in charge of fuel rationing instead

• Until 1975, candidates still had to demonstrate hand signals

• The theory test was introduced in July 1996

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