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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 10 November  2011

Sign Up for Gay Village

NEW street signs are going up in Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter to show that it is the city’s officially recognised gay village.   It will become the UK’s first city to recognise its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) scene in this way.  Signs, which incorporate a rainbow arch to recognise the LGBT community, will be used on Stanley Street, Cumberland Street, Temple Lane, Eberle Street and Temple Street. The rainbow motif is a symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movements that has been in use since the 1970s. The colours reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the rainbow is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. The first sign will be unveiled at 2pm, 11 November 2011, outside the Lisbon pub on Stanley Street by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Sharon Sullivan, in a ceremony to be attended by representatives of the LGBT communities, local businesses and residents.  Adoption of the new signage follows a wide-ranging consultation involving the LGBT community, residents, business owners, the City Council and its partners. It will support the city’s efforts to tap into the potential economic benefits of one of the most diverse quarters in the city centre.   The new signs are one of the first initiatives following the endorsement in August by the City Council’s cabinet of a report by Feria Urbanism to look at developing a vision and identity for the Stanley Street area.  The report recommended that the City Council and other public and private sector organisations support the identity of Stanley Street as the centre of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) scene to enhance and promote both the area and the city as a whole and there should be official recognition of the quarter as Liverpool’s “gay village”.

Councillor Nick Small, city council cabinet member for employment and skills, said:- “We need to start unleashing the enormous economic potential of the Stanley Street quarter and as one of the first moves we have to show that this is our gay village. The new signs clearly show that we are recognising where the LGBT scene is based in the city and that it is a very important part of our city life."

Candice Fonseca, proprietor of Delifonseca, said:- “As a local business, we are delighted with the new signage which is the first tangible mark of real change to come. By showing visitors to our city where and what the Stanley Street Quarter is, businesses like ours will be able to benefit.”

Adam Simpson from the Liverpool LGB&T said:- "The Liverpool LGB&T Network are proud to see such a visible indication of the joint work between the community, business and Liverpool City Council. We will continue to work together with the City Council to develop the Stanley Street Quarter into a first rate destination for residents and visitors."

A Shockingly Good Cake Sale

THE Southport YMCA held a cake sale outside Sainsbury’s on 30 October 2011. Staff joined members of the Southport YMCA Gymnastics Team, some dressed in fancy dress and all had a wonderful time from what we have been told. The group with like to thank all the public who supported it and also the staff at the Southport Store on Lord Street.


THE rail industry has called for tough new measures to deal with cable theft at a meeting of the Transport Select Committee in Westminster.

Speaking at the hearing, industry representatives set out the disruption that cable theft causes to rail passengers. It is estimated that last year cable theft affected almost four million journeys, delaying passengers by a total of 365,000 minutes. The cost to the industry over the last 3 years has been over £40m.

Representatives from Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the British Transport Police also called for tough new measures that would help to reduce disruption to passengers caused by cable theft.

These new measures include:-

A robust licensing regime with clear requirements on scrap dealers to take steps to reduce the risk that stolen materials are purchased or received.

Scrap metal dealers to pay a licence fee in order to give local authorities greater funds to facilitate the regulation of the licence.

Property obtained by breaches of the legislation to be classed as criminal assets allowing Proceeds of Crime provisions to apply.

Police powers to close scrap metal dealers and police authority to search and investigate all premises owned and operated by a scrap metal dealer.

Measures to restrict trade in scrap metals to cashless payments and introduction of a requirement that scrap metal must be held for a certain period before being sold or processed in order to allow payments to be processed.

Searchable records to be kept of proof of identity of the seller of scrap and any vehicles used to transport it, for example through photo ID and CCTV.

Magistrate powers to add restrictions on to licences and to prevent re-opening of closed yards until conditions have been met.

Dyan Crowther, Director Operational Services at Network Rail, said:- "Britain is under attack from metal thieves. Every day hundreds of passengers and essential freight deliveries are being disrupted and delayed. We are doing all we can to protect the network; investing around £2m each year to fund extra BTP officers, using CCTV, forensic marking techniques and other technology. To an extent our actions can help us manage the crimes but, despite our efforts, they continue to increase. We believe that the only way to significantly reduce metal crime is to take away the illegal market and that more robust legislation and police powers are needed to achieve that."

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of ATOC, said:- “Cable theft is regularly bringing disruption to thousands of passengers up and down the country. The industry is doing all it can to stop the thieves, but the time has come for further tough measures. To deal with the problem more effectively, we also need tighter regulation on the sale of scrap metal and tougher sentences for offenders.”

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther, of British Transport Police, said:- “Metal theft, in any form, is a direct attack on our communities. When the target is the railway, the thieves are directly affecting the travelling public who use trains to go about their daily business and indirectly affecting businesses and services whose employees are delayed by the disruption. We will continue to drive home the message to thieves and unscrupulous scrap dealers that their criminal activity will not be tolerated, but there is more to be done and we could be assisted by new regulations and legislation to reflect the needs of the 21st Century. Through ACPO, the metal theft working group has put forward suggestions to amend the current legislation. We are conscious of the need to protect the business interest of law-abiding scrap metal recyclers, but there has to be a way to meet all the requirements around greater enforcement whilst respecting the interests of legitimate businesses.”

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