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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


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Issue:- 24 February 2010

John Pugh MP for Southport faced with choice on NHS break up

LOCAL MP John Pugh is facing one of the biggest decisions of his political life, during the next 6 weeks, according to the health union UNISON.  John Pugh has secured a place on the House of Commons committee now reviewing the fine print of the government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill. With the government’s plans set to open up all parts of the NHS to profit-making private companies, MP John Pugh has what UNISON called:- “the opportunity to stop or support the break-up of the NHS”.  As a member of the Bill Committee, John has the power to change the plans recently announced by David Cameron and his health secretary, Andrew Lansley. If the government’s overhaul of the health service goes ahead, private companies that undercut local NHS hospitals on price could leave those same hospitals facing financial problems and potential closure.  A proposal meanwhile, to lift the cap on the number of private patients treated at NHS units could lead to queue jumping, with NHS patients kept waiting longer. Frank Hont, Regional Secretary of UNISON in the North West says:- “As a member of the House of Commons committee debating the government’s plans for the NHS, John Pugh now faces one of the biggest decisions of his political life. The decisions they take in that committee mean they have the opportunity to stop or support the break-up of the NHS.  John has always been a strong opponent of a privatised NHS. In April 2010 John said that having lived all his life under a public NHS he doesn’t want to see it broken up. I believe he can ensure that doesn’t happen by playing a constructive part in the Health and Social Care Bill Committee and sticking to his principles.”


JON Mayhew will be launching his deliciously diabolical Demon Collector on Saturday, 26 February 2011, from 12 noon to 2pm, at the Pool Cafe, in the centre of Formby Village. Also attending will be local magician John Harding, who will do some tricks and illusions to set the scene... Prichards have also told us that:- "Jon will unleash his top 10 monsters onto the screen and tell us all about Moloch, Edgy and the Royal Society of Demonologie... We have arranged a buffet for folks too! The event is FREE, but we want to see as many as possible down for 12 noon to allow a smooth staging for John and then Mr Mayhew. Demon Collector is on offer at just £8 and we have a few Mortlock now in paperback at £5. Southport Reporter have copies and will have them online very soon, but you can also email them to reserve copies that you can pick upfrom the event." To reserve copies of the book, please put your full name and contact phone number and email our newsroom by 12 noon, Friday, 25 February 2011. Your information will be passed on to Prichards Bookshop, Formby.


MERSEYSIDE Police have confirmed that Laura Halligan and her daughter Grace have been found safe and well in Dublin. Merseyside Police is currently working with the Irish authorities to arrange their return to the UK. DCI Tracey Hayes said:- "I would like to thank members of the public and the Irish authorities for their help during our investigation."

2011 Carnegie Challenge Cup - 3rd Round - Siddal v Widnes Vikings

THE Vikings can now confirm that their 3rd Round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie versus Siddal will take place at The Shay (‘Home’ of Halifax RLFC) on Sunday, 6 March 2011. Kick-off for the game will be at 12.00pm. Season Ticket holders are reminded that they receive free entry to this game, as part of their 2011 Season Ticket package. Simply take along your current swipe-card / season ticket on the day to gain entry. Juniors DO NOT need to produce any ‘Away’ vouchers for this game. Cash-turnstiles will also be in operation, priced at £12 for adults, £6 for concessions and £1 for under 15’s.


JOE Anderson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, has hit out at claims by the Government that they are being ‘fair’ while cutting money to local authorities, after figures emerged which showed that residents in Liverpool;  the most deprived local authority in the country; would bear the brunt of Government cut backs while people living in West Oxfordshire and Surrey would get away relatively unscathed. The figures show that Liverpool will lose £162.99 per resident, that is more than any other local authority outside the City of London.

However, other wealthier local authorities would get away much more lightly. David Cameron’s home authority West Oxfordshire is losing just £20.04 per head; Eric Pickles’ Brentwood authority loses just £17.56 per head; Cheshire East, where George Osborne is MP, loses just £12.68 per head; Surrey Heath, where Michael Gove is MP, loses £8.67 per head; Vince Cable’s Richmond Upon Thames authority loses just £5.39 per head; and the country’s wealthiest local authority – Wokingham – will lose just £4.58 per resident.

Joe Anderson said:- “These figures are further evidence that Liverpool is bearing the brunt of the Government’s cuts, and that whilst we have to defend services which some of the most vulnerable people rely on, other authorities are getting away incredibly lightly. David Cameron keeps telling us ‘were all in this together’. When Liverpool residents are losing £163 each, while his own Oxfordshire suburb is losing only a fraction of that amount, that sounds extremely cynical. There should be some very shamed faces at Cameron’s next cabinet meeting, when David Cameron, Eric Pickles, Michael Gove, George Osborne and Vince Cable look across the table at each other, and know that a single Liverpool resident is shouldering more of the burden of their cuts than a resident from each of their wealthier areas put together.”

Do you our readers agree with Anderson views? Email your views to and let us know what you really think about the cuts!

Heartbeat Award for local centre for disabled

THIS is the second successive healthy eating award for Vitalise Sandpipers in Southport, with it's first being awarded back in February 2010! The centre has been presented with a second successive Mersey Heartbeat Award in recognition of its commitment to healthy eating.

The popular centre for disabled people and carers is located on Southport’s Marine Parade and has just received its Heartbeat Award certificate from Heart of Mersey earlier this month.

To achieve the award Sandpipers had to meet very stringent criteria in two rounds of assessment.

The centre excelled in both, earning 20 out 20 in the first round and 19 out of 20 in the second.

Gary Unsworth, Catering Manager of Vitalise Sandpipers, said:- “We are thrilled to bits to get the Award for second successive year. It’s a welcome reward for all the hard work we’ve continued to put in to ensure our guests get delicious, wholesome meals while they’re taking much-needed breaks with us. Our task is made doubly difficult because many of our disabled guests have very specific dietary requirements, so I’m very proud on behalf of our wonderful catering team that our commitment to maintaining our own high standards has been recognised once again. Here’s hoping for a hat trick next year!”

Vitalise Sandpipers provides essential breaks for disabled people and carers from across the Northwest. The Centre offers 24 hour care on call with personal support and can cater for over 150 different disabilities. Guests can choose from a wide range of activities and excursions around the region, with nightly entertainment laid on.

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