Exclusive' for your attention this weekend!
amazing Southport author, Joseph Delaney, who has written the
multi-award winning Spook's series, is returning from the filming of
his books in the USA to do a very special book signing and talk!
This is an international exclusive and will take place in Formby on
Saturday, 12 May 2012. He will be reading one of his favourite bits
of one of his amazing books. That book will be his 10th book in the
series, 'Spook's Blood'. He is keen to see his local
fans, and if you are lucky, you might even get to see his latest
book, 'Spook's Blood' before any other members of the
public see it, anywhere in the world! He will also be signing some
copies of this new book and we will have a few for sale on our
Mersey Reporter Shop, but we expect them to sell out extremely fast!
Joseph will also be bringing us some film news and there will be a
few of the collectors' editions of Grimalkin available on the day as
well! This 'World Exclusive' is scheduled for to run
from 10.30 to 12 noon on Saturday, 12 May 2012, at Formby Books
within Derbyshires, in Formby (L37 4DU).
Is it Lights Out
for Clinton Cards?
YET another shop on the
British high street is put into administration by Barclays Bank and
Royal Bank of Scotland. It had sold its £35m loan facilities to
American Greetings. Founded in 1968, Clinton Cards is the UK's
biggest greetings card retailer and employs more than 8,000 staff.
In March 2012, Clinton had reported a loss of £3.7m, from July to
January 2012. It also said that its outlook for 2012 was worse than
previously thought. With only days to go before its new plan was to
be to be released, supplier American Greetings decided to press for
the repayment which Clinton Cards could not meet. The company said
in a press statement:- "We had not breached any covenants or
repayment obligations", but it added that they had been
given certain temporary waivers for "technical breaches"
by the 2 banks. Clinton Cards then added:- "However, having
secured control of the debt, American Greetings immediately informed
the board that it intended to enforce the loan against the company."
Clinton Cards had asked for its shares to be suspended
before the administration announcement.
Clinton Cards in a statement to
the press said that:- "On 9 May 2012, Peter Saville, Simon
Freakley and Anne O'Keefe of Zolfo Cooper LLP, were appointed as
Joint Administrators of the Company. The affairs, business and
property of the Company are being managed by the Joint
Administrators. The Joint Administrators act as agents of the
Company and without personal liability." So will it be
lights out for the retailer at its 628 Clinton shops and 139
Birthdays stores? Let's hope this iconic high street name is not yet
another retailer in the UK to close. Also, is this a sign of things
to come, as many business experts have said that this appears to be
an aggressive financial power play by the US card giant, American
Greetings? Some industry experts are saying that this is looking
like a well know American Business practice that sees a rival firm
buy the loans of the other as a way of taking control of the
company. If it is this type of move, it is known as "loan to
own." This type of action, if it is a power play by the
American firm, is rarely seen in the UK and many question if the
banks are going to or have opened the flood gates to more retailers
finding themselves in the same or similar situations.
Numbers of staff in Clintons on
|Southport - 9
Saint Helens - 7
|Southport - 12
Saint Helens - 5
What are your views on this situation? Also are you employed by the
firm? Let us know by
Did you know that American Greetings was founded in 1906 and
is now the world's largest creator, manufacturer and distributor of
social expression products to be publicly trading? Did you know that it is
also the 2nd largest greeting cards firm in the world after
Grant brings a
WE may be heading towards
Summer, but planning is already under way to make sure that
vulnerable residents will be warm and safe next winter.
Liverpool City Council and other agencies are reviewing work carried
out in this area during the last winter to see what improvements can
be made in future years.
"It may have been a comparatively mild winter but we still had to
make sure that vulnerable people remained safe and warm. We have
worked very closely with our partners to ensure all our efforts were
properly coordinated and we have already started looking at what we
can do to prevent excessive deaths during next winter. If we can, we
will improve the situation even further although this year we
provided more support than we had ever done previously."
said Councillor Ann O'Byrne, cabinet member for housing and
The council's Housing Strategy Team was successful in its bid to the
Department of Health's 'Warm Homes Healthy People' and received a
grant of £333,000; 1 of the biggest allocations in the country to
fund innovative schemes.
The team worked closely with the
Healthy Homes Team and partners from Local Solutions, PCT, Fire
Support Network, The British Red Cross and Community Foundations for
Among the schemes it funded were:-
► The 'Spread a Little Warmth' campaign, a partnership
delivered by the Fire Support Network, which meant that 120
households received emergency heaters and 14 gas isolation switches
► The City Council installed 28 new central heating systems for free
to vulnerable owner occupiers who had no form of heating. Repair
works on boiler systems and faulty radiators were also undertaken
and the council contacted 22 landlords to have work carried out on
heating for tenants in the rented sector.
► The Healthy Homes Team increased the capacity of their advocates
team, meaning an extra 63 surveys were carried out, with 99
referrals being made to partner organisations.
► The PCT recruited 2 staff to engage with all 96 Liverpool GP
practices to publicise benefits of, and provide access to a
co-ordinated system so that vulnerable patients can be referred to
Healthy Homes and related partners for assistance on energy and
thermal efficiency, advice and guidance on debt assistance, benefits
checks and household safety.
► The Red Cross delivered specific cold weather related first aid
training to 200 vulnerable residents in Liverpool, helping them be
better prepared for cold spells.
► One-off grants were given to a number of community groups who
focus on assisting vulnerable residents during cold periods with
fuel poverty issues.
Royal couple to
Photograph by Patrick Trollope
HM The Queen and The Duke
of Edinburgh will visit Liverpool on Thursday, 17 May 2012, as part
of the Diamond Jubilee tour. They are coming to the city during a
tour around the north west to mark 60 years since her accession to
the throne. During their visit they will ride on one of the city's
most unusual tourist attractions, the Yellow Duckmarine Tour. Former
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Frank Prendergast, said:-
"It is a real honour and pleasure to have Her Majesty The Queen and
The Duke of Edinburgh visiting Liverpool in her Diamond Jubilee
year. This is a really great opportunity for the people of the city
to come out and pay tribute to Her Majesty for six decades of
sterling service representing the UK at home and abroad. I really
hope that young and old find some time in their day to come out to
give them a really warm welcome to our city." Her Majesty
and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel along Canada Boulevard and
Mann Island at lunchtime. They will then board the Yellow Duck for a
tour on the water around the Salthouse and Albert Docks, before
returning to the Merseyside Maritime Museum for lunch at the Dining
Rooms. Her Majesty last visited Liverpool in December 2011 where she
unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new Museum of
Liverpool. Please note that the Merseyside Maritime Museum will be
closed for the day due to the Royal visit.