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Issue:- 21 July 2011

Carte Díor Plate of the Nation Research Ė The Death of formal Dining

WHILE current TV programmes are doing their best to make formal dining popular again, research from Carte DíOr has shown that the 3 course meal is a thing of the past with only 2% of Brits stating this as their preferred form of entertaining. Instead, British dinner parties are a much more informal affair with a casual meal with friends being most popular (30%) and barbecues 2nd with 23%. Even the traditional napkin is a thing of the past with only 15% of Brits using them for a dinner party while 76% say they use paper serviettes or kitchen roll.

The research shows 21% of Brits spend less than 15 minutes in the kitchen when entertaining friends while 50% of British cooks admit to passing off a shop bought dessert as one of their own. These findings have lead Carte Díor to team up with top chef Jean Christophe Novelli to help the nation make the most of those special eating moments by using great ingredients to make simple dessert classics in minutes.

But itís not just how we entertain, but who we entertain is changing too. When asked who their ideal dinner guest would be, the majority of Brits (50%) voted for a laugh at the dinner table opting for funny man Michael McIntyre shunning more serious guests such as Professor Brian Cox (26%).

The tradition of sitting around the table as a family appears to be a fading formality with 47% saying they sit around the table when eating. In fact, 10% of Brits say that they never sit down as a family with 38% eating their main meal of the day in front of the TV instead.

The popularity of celebrity chefs and cooking on TV has given rise to a nation of confident cooks with 34% of the nation saying they cook for friends at least twice a month. In fact, 54% of British cooks say that they prepare everything from scratch when entertaining.

Jean Christophe Novelli says:- "Itís pleasing to see that British cooks are so confident when entertaining friends and family, however Iím not surprised that desserts make so many people nervous. People need to remember that desserts really donít need to be complicated and by using great base ingredients like Carte Díor, itís easy to create something to make social eating occasions really special."

Carte DíOr Ice Cream is working with Jean-Christophe Novelli to add his flair and creativity to any social eating occasion. Jean-Christophe has created a range of decadent desserts, specially designed to compliment Carte Díorís exquisite range as part of the Ice Cream Sundays campaign. For dessert inspiration and to get top tips from Jean Christophe on how to make a simple and delicious dessert visit:- cartedor.com/sundays.

One of Merseyside's largest green spaces is to be colour-coded to crack crime

RIMROSE Valley Country Park in Sefton is being divided up into 5 coloured zones so that people can describe where they are if they need the emergency services. Local children from Savio Salesian High School, Ambrose Barlow and Litherland High alongside young people from the Prince's Trust, helped to put outand paint wooden posts and maps at the official launch of the new-look park that took place on Wednesday, 20 July 2011. Inspector Simon Thompson, whose Litherland and Netherton neighbourhood, borders the park, said:- "The Rimrose Valley Country Park stretches across a wide area of the neighbourhood, and we want to make sure the area is as safe and accessible as possible for everyone. By dividing up the park in this way it will help us navigate around it and deploy resources to any possible incidents more quickly and effectively. If somebody requires help and calls the emergency service from within the park they just need to tell us which coloured zone they are in and we can make sure that we send the resources to the right part of the park to ensure as quick a response as possible."

This new colour coding system will not only be used by Merseyside Police, but all emergency services, including Mersey Fire and Rescue, the Ambulance Service, the Coast and Countryside Service, as well as Sefton Councilís park rangers, to ensure the quickest possible response.

Inspector Thompson continued:- "As with all urban parks, we deal with a number of different crimes from underage drinking and mobile phone theft to the dangerous use of scrambler bikes. This new system will help us and our partners to focus resources in specific areas of the park where problems may or have arisen. By working with young people to colour code the park, weíre not only raising their awareness to them and their peers of the new zones but also of the type of crime weíre tackling in the park and how they can help us to tackle it."

Merseyside Police has produced a new map and leaflet, which clearly details the new coloured zones. These leaflets will be delivered to homes, schools and businesses in the local area over the coming weeks.

Extra consultation over social care proposal

CONSULTATION over a review of eligibility criteria for adult social care in Liverpool has been extended.  Under the proposals, people with moderate needs will not be eligible for funding, bringing the council in line with the vast majority of other local authorities who no longer provide support in this category.

The council wants to invest in services which prevent people falling ill and keeps them fit and healthy in their own homes without the need for local authority funded support.  Where people do need help, the emphasis will be on re-enablement services Ė short term assistance to get them back to a level where they donít need ongoing support.

Since March, meetings have been held with staff, providers, users of services and families/carers, but in order to provide people with the opportunity to have their say and review the feedback received so far, the consultation period has been extended until Friday, 29 July 2011.

Further meetings are being held on:-

Monday, 25 July 2011, from 1pm to 2.30pm at the LACE Conference Centre, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, L17 1AA

Thursday, 28 July 2011, from 1pm to 2.30pm at the LACE Conference Centre, Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, L17 1AA

Friday, 29 July 2011, from 10.30am to Midday and 1pm to 2:30pm at the Devonshire House Hotel, Edge Lane, L7 9LD

If the proposals are agreed by the councilís Cabinet, around 1,400 people who currently receive moderate social care support will be reviewed by a social worker before any decision is made over what happens to their current support package.

In some cases, people will move up into the substantial category, while others will be judged not to require support any more because they have regained their independence.  People no longer eligible for support would be given information and help to find alternative support and, in some cases, help to get additional benefits to pay for this.

Councillor Roz Gladden, cabinet member for adult social care, said:- "I fully understand and appreciate that people will be concerned and apprehensive about how the proposed removal of the moderate care band could affect them.  The proposal to remove the moderate care banding will enable us to continue directing support at those who are most in need.  We will also be investing in prevention to help people avoid entering the care system, and helping people regain independence after illness or an operation.  We are keen to hear peopleís views and make sure we provide as much information and support as possible, which is why we have extended the consultation."

Places are limited, and people wanting to attend should contact the Liverpool Cares Team by email, or by calling:- 0151 233 4640 / 2819 / 4644.

They can also complete the survey which can be found on the consultation online, or request a copy of the document by calling the above telephone numbers.

All of the feedback will be fed into a report to the councilís Cabinet, which will make a final decision later this year.

Merseyside tax credit claimants reminded to renew

MERSEYSIDE'S 162,200 tax credit claimants have been reminded by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to renew claims by the 31 July 2011 deadline or their payments may stop. They are asked to act as soon as they receive a renewal pack from HMRC. Claimants need to check the accuracy of the information in the pack as HMRC does carry out checks, including contacting employers. They also need to let HMRC know of any changes in their circumstances that they havenít already reported during the year. These could be about their working hours, childcare costs or pay. If asked, they must also provide details of the previous yearís income. Having the right documents to hand will help reduce errors when they are filling out the form or calling the tax credits helpline. These would be, for example, payslips, end of year P60 forms and childcare details. HMRCís Director of Benefits and Credits, Steve Lamey, said:- "We ask people to renew their tax credits as soon as they receive their pack. They need to make sure their details are correct. The sooner they renew, the sooner we can make sure they are getting the right money. Itís simple Ė if they donít renew their claims before 31 July 2011, payments may stop." Help and information on tax credit renewals can be obtained from hmrc.gov.uk/taxcreditsrenewals.

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