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Issue:- 25 November 2010

Liverpool Council Acts On Road Safety

CLASSROOMS are becoming courtrooms in Liverpool this week in an innovative drama project aimed at teaching youngsters about the dangers of the road.

To mark National Road Safety Week rinning over 22 November to 28 November 2010, the city council has commissioned a special play which is touring secondary schools across the city. Entitled ‘The Decision’, the hard-hitting performance tells the tragic story of a 13 year old schoolboy who is killed when he walks into the road without looking.

The interactive play takes the format of a court case, with the schoolchildren cast as the jury. They have to consider all the evidence of the case and decide whether the driver is guilty of driving without due care and attention.

The courtroom drama is mixed with scenes showing the effects of the tragedy on family, friends and the driver of the car.

Aimed at schoolchildren aged 11 to 13, the performance – devised by the Tiny Giants Theatre Company - aims to stimulate debate and make them think about their own behaviour on the road.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said:- “Road deaths are the biggest cause of accidental death of children and young people in the UK. National Road Safety Week gives us a great opportunity to give them the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to stay safe on roads. Teenagers can be a notoriously difficult group to reach when it comes to getting road safety messages across. But placing them at the heart of a drama like this and encouraging them to make their own decisions is a great way of connecting with them and getting them to change their roadside behaviour.”

‘The Decision’ is a Theatre in Education production commissioned by the city council’s road safety team. The team researched local casualty data and found that the leading contributory factor in incidents involving pedestrians within this high risk age group was the failure to look properly.

Michele Murphy, Road Safety Officer, said:- “The idea of this project is to educate young people, not by lecturing them, but by encouraging them to make responsible choices for themselves. By basing the drama on a realistic scenario we can really hit the message home, which is one of the great strengths of this approach. The defence and prosecution make compelling arguments – and by showing both sides of the story, we can show students that the teenager had a responsibility for his own safety and should have paid full attention to the road when crossing. We are committed to making young people across the city safer on our roads – not only during National Road Safety Week, but throughout the year – and this project is a really effective way of achieving just that.”

National Road Safety Week is run by road safety charity Brake. The annual event aims to prevent road accidents through education and campaigns, and support people bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes. The theme for 2010 is ‘Kids Say SLOW DOWN!’

Classroom assistant and swimming teacher jailed

HINA Patel, aged 37, Sandilands Grove, Hightown had already admitted to 2 counts of sexual activity with a child at North Sefton Magistrates' Court last month and has been sentenced to jailed for 16 months by Liverpool Crown Court on 22 November 2010. Liverpool Crown Court was told by Martin Decker, prosecuting that she had had sex with 2, 15 year old, male, pupils. The single mother of 2 children had been employed by Birkdale High School, in Southport, to provide support and supervision for pupils who had been disruptive in class. Hina Patel instead had quickly started flirting with them, in February 20010. The Court was told that during the one to one supervision she had exchanged mobile phone numbers with them. Then she started an exchange of text messages. Mr Decker told the Court that:- "Initially she was being friendly and saying he was a 'good lad' but after about four days the content became sexual." At some point the Clourt was told she invited the youngsters back to her home where she had sex with one boy and the other a few hours later. Her defence, Patrick Williamson, said that Patel was:- "feeling shame and remorse". He also added that she was a good mother of 2 boys and a "hard worker." At the same time the court was told that as she was studying for two post graduate qualifications, she had 2 jobs, one at at the school and golf club. He also added that:- "she has little self esteem and little sense of self worth." Accepting that it was "out of character" Judge John Rogers added:- "I have no hesitation whatsoever in coming to the conclusion that these offences were so serious only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified." Patel was jailed for 16 months for each of the two offences, that will be served concurrently. She has also been made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning her from working with children under the age of 16, being alone in the company of under 16s - apart from her own children and bans her from using any social networks to contact children.

easyJet launches Liverpool to Gibraltar route

THE UK’s largest airline, easyJet, on Thursday, 25 November 2010, launched a brand new route to Gibraltar from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.   The airline is now offering a 3 times weekly service from Liverpool to the British-owned island with fares starting from just £27.99 (one-way, including taxes). Seats are now on sale and the inaugural flight will leave Liverpool on Tuesday, 29 March 2011.  Ali Gayward, UK commercial manager at easyJet, comments:- “Famed for its fantastic 426m high rock and steeped in history, Gibraltar offers a great mix of Spanish and British cultures with the benefit of the Mediterranean climate! We’re delighted to be providing travellers from the region with direct and affordable access to this unique holiday spot.”  Robin Tudor, Head of PR for Peel Airports added:- “This will be the first time scheduled flights will be available to Gibraltar for the region’s passengers direct from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and we expect this unique destination to be yet another easyJet success. At a time when many airlines are consolidating their business across the UK, it is great to see easyJet continuing to develop services from here.”  easyJet now flies to 33 destinations from Liverpool John Lennon Airport including recently announced new routes to Brussels, Salzburg and Tallinn.

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