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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 25 November 2010

A Notice From Widnes Vikings

LOCAL bragging rights will be up for grabs once again this Boxing Day, when Widnes Vikings go toe-to-toe against their near neighbours’ Warrington Wolves at The Stobart Stadium Halton.

The 2010 reunion will be entitled the ‘James Edwards Land Rover Challenge in association with Wire FM’, and it is expected that both Denis Betts and Tony Smith will field their strongest possible line-ups for the clash, in what will be stage one of both clubs’ preparations for their 2011 campaigns.

From a Vikings perspective, Steve Pickersgill will be relishing the prospect of facing his former employers for the first time, having served the Wolves so well over the years. By the same token, Denis Betts will also be looking forward to seeing his charges in their first competitive action under his leadership.

Likewise, in the primrose and blue corner, England international Richie Myler will be licking his lips in anticipation of returning to the ground where he first made his name in the professional game, whilst one can only presume that Tony Smith will also be eagerly awaiting his first Widnes – Warrington derby.

Widnes Vikings Director of Rugby, Paul Cullen commented:- “Widnes – Warrington derbies have a life of their own! We are determined, long term, to re-establish all the rivalry that this fixture deserves.”

Themed entertainment will also contribute heavily to the day’s event both pre-game and at half-time, with fans from both sides set to be invited to take part in a whole host of events on and off the pitch.

Treat the one you love this Christmas to a truly special gift...

Tickets for the ‘James Edwards Land Rover Challenge in association with Wire FM’ which will take place at the Stobart Stadium Halton on Sunday 26 December at 3.00pm, go on sale on Wed 1 Dec and are priced from £12 for adults and £6 for concessions / juniors.

A family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) priced at £30 can also be purchased, and hospitality packages are available for the game, priced at £45. Please call:- 0151 495 2250 for further details.

Tickets can be purchased at the Widnes Vikings RLFC Ticket Office, situated at The Stobart Stadium Halton during the opening hours which are: Monday to Friday:- 9.00am to 5.00pm

Alternatively, they are also available at the O'Neills retail outlet, situated on Liebig Court in Widnes. Open Tuesday to Saturday:- 9.00am to 5.00pm. Please note, cash only.

The club would like to stress that fans cannot use season tickets for this game and must buy a ticket in advance.

“Let battle commence!”

Letters to the Editor:- "Southport Weekender 2011"

"DEAR Southport Friends of the Southport Weekender... It's around 7 working days since we heard that Pontins Holiday Centres had gone into administration and we'd like to thank you for your incredible patience in this time. 7 days isn't a long time when you consider Pontins have 5 large sites with numerous events and customers booked for 2011, but we've acted quickly to begin talks with the administrators and they've made it very clear to our lawyers how important we are to them and have stated clearly that it is their intention to honour all holidays and existing contracts for 2011. We're really looking forward to a very special May event. We've sold out already with a huge waiting list. We've got some fantastic World-class names already booked for the event and are continuing to lock down more DJ's and artists every day. We'll be letting you know at least a big part if not all of the line up soon. A few people have been asking about the deadline for balances of 3 December 2010, nothing has changed on this front. The May Weekender is full steam ahead so please don't miss out. We've been doing these Weekenders for 23 years now and we'd like to think we've never let you down yet so we're not about to start now. 2011 is going to be a great year with May's Weekender and SunceBeat2 in July to look forward to." Alex & Dave

Merseyside Students Protest

STUDENTS in Liverpool protested as they marched peacefully through the city to Liverpool Town Hall, on 24 November 2010. The protests took place across England on the same day as the last Harrier jets took off from the Ark Royal, to many it was a sign that the UK is cutting costs to deep, but to others, it is a sign that we have spent over our limits. No matter what your views, the 24 November 2010, was the end of an era for UK. The biggest twist in our view is that the former government is now washes it's hands of it all. Many former students, who are now struggling to pay off student loans, can see why students today are protesting. Back then many asked:- "How did student funding become such an emotive subject?" and who won the argument last time? Oddly it was the former Labour government, who brought in student fees after they came into power in 1997 now wash their hands of it. Students who protested back then are now feeling déjà vu as they hear the news about university fees yet again, and that, like in 1997, it could again bring down a Prime Minister and a government. Back in 1997 it was Tony Blair who faced one of his biggest rebellions over the introduction of tuition fees, so it is strange to see it playing out again, but this time it is in a totally different economic environment. On Merseyside, the 2,000+ students who came out to march also conducted a sit down protest at Lime Street Station and after marching on to Liverpool Town Hall, they then held another sit down protest. Also at Liverpool Town Hall they were addressed by Labour councillor Nick Small. Students chanted:- "No ifs, no buts, no to education cuts" as they marched through the city. One student told us that:- "This was a peaceful protest and we thank the public and the police for their support. We hope that we got our message out, that the government plans to increase tuition fees at English universities to up to £9,000 is just wrong!" After the event a spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said officers had been "committed to facilitating a peaceful protest." It is reported that one in Liverpool was arrested for egg throwing, other than that no other arrests nave been reported. It does make you wonder, as to what Labour would have really done if they had been in power….? What are your views on this topic? Email our news room to:- and let us know what you think. Ever since the introduction of fees controversy has followed, but the question all ways comes down to just how should students make a contribution to their education?

Government heeds Law Society's warnings about impact of immigration cap

THE Government's announcement of a skilled immigration cap acknowledges concerns of the business community over impact of the cap on the UK's global competitiveness.

The Law Society has lobbied hard on behalf of highly successful international law firms that operate in a global market, highlighting the point that recruiting the very best talent from around the world underpins the success of these businesses.

The Society warns that until full details emerge of how the process will work under the new cap, its true impact will not be clear.

However, Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said prioritising sponsored visas for skilled migrants with a job offer reflects a new understanding of the importance of these migrants to the UK economy.

Desmond Hudson added that:- "Migrants brought in to work in the UK’s large international law firms are highly-qualified, well-paid individuals who make a significant contribution to the domestic economy through business generation, salary expenditure, tax revenue, and the creation of support roles filled from the domestic labour market. They also bring specific expertise and experience of foreign markets that supplements, develops and creates opportunities for the excellent legal talent sourced from the resident labour market."

However, the Society warns that even though priority will be given for skilled migrants the fact remains that as long as an upper limit on numbers persists, businesses are likely to encounter problems in recruiting essential staff.

The Society urges the Government to review the limit annually to ensure that it does not damage the UK's international competitiveness.

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