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Issue:- 14 February 2013

Mersey Maritime Medley

A WAVE of events will wash over Liverpool's iconic waterfront in May and June as it plays host to three special maritime weekends.

Liverpool on the Waterfront starts in May when the city will be the national focus for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic commemorations. Working in partnership with the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, from the 24 – 28 May activities will take place at the waterfront and in the city centre including a cathedral service, veterans parade, a special band concert by Her Majesty's Royal Marines at the Philharmonic Hall, a 40s themed party at St George's Hall, a fly past and a James Bond-style display involving the Royal Marines and Liverpool's own Motor Tug Brocklebank.

Bomb disposal displays will also take place during the event along with exhibitions from the army, air force and the navy.

Around 25 warships will arrive in the city from countries including Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, and some vessels will be open to visitors during their visit. There will be a co-ordinated departure of all the vessels on Tuesday 28 May.

The following weekend (31 May-2 June) will be a birthday celebration marking 25 years since the completion of the regeneration of the Albert Dock and the opening of Tate Liverpool. To celebrate Liverpool's most visited free tourist attraction turning 25 this year, everyone is invited to join in Albert Dock's 25th birthday weekend of family fun and entertainment, which will feature the very best of the much loved attraction. And their birthday present to Liverpool is a free day out for the children.

During the 3 days there will be a host of free family activities, Beatles Story will have free family workshops and kids go free with a paying adult to see the world class attraction. Tate Liverpool is drawing on the silver anniversary and kids can get creative in a workshop from 27 May. Merseyside Maritime Museum's free event programme will entertain any little sailors, while PanAm and Blue Bar and Grill will be doing kids eat free.

All the latest information will be updated on:-

The final weekend sees the return of the hugely popular Music on the Waterfront weekend. From 7-9 June live music will take over the Pier Head as a mix of home grown talent and household names perform on the outdoor stage in front of the Liver Buildings. Once again the city council is working in partnership with Smooth Radio who last year brought acts ranging from Russell Watson and Paul Carrack to Jocelyn Brown.

This weekend will also see the return of the River Festival with Tall Ships and historic vessels lining the waterfront along with other special activities including street theatre and shanty music. There is also an exciting Red Bull event planned to take place in the Albert Dock. Keep checking:- for more information.

The full programme for each of the events will be announced in the next few months.

Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "There's something for everyone with these fantastic three, free weekends.  From commemorating war heroes and seeing the city's waterfront at its best as it hosts a magnificent fleet of vessels, right though to getting people of all ages together to celebrate the 25th birthday of one of the city's most popular tourist attractions and seeing a series of stars bring the Pier Head alive with fantastic music. We are a city renowned for putting on high-calibre, free events, but there's always something even more special when they are focused around our stunning waterfront, and we're sure tens of thousands will make the most of all the activities on offer. And to have 3 consecutive weekend events will be a much needed boost to our local economy with hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions all benefiting from the huge numbers of people descending on the city."

Merseyside has high educational under-achievement

2 out of 3 areas of Merseyside have a greater percentage of residents without educational qualifications than the national average, the University and College Union (UCU) has found.  The union's analysis, shows that 10 of Merseyside's 15 parliamentary constituencies have a higher percentage of people with no qualifications than the national average for England, Wales and Scotland (10.7%).

The city's top hotspots for educational underachievement, Liverpool Walton and Liverpool West Derby, are both in the top 10 of lowest-achieving parliamentary constituencies in Britain. In both areas, at least 1 in 5 working-age residents has no qualifications.

In Liverpool Walton, 23.5% of residents aged 16-64 years old have no qualifications. It ranks seventh out of 632 constituencies in England, Wales and Scotland for people without qualifications. In Liverpool West Derby, 23.4% of residents have no qualifications. It ranks eighth out of 632 constituencies.  At the other end of the scale, in Sefton Central, just 4.9% of residents have no qualifications and in Wirral South, just 6.8%.

UCU ranked the 632 parliamentary constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales according to the percentage of working-age people (16-64 years old) who have no qualifications. The analysis coincides with the launch of a new campaign to promote the knowledge economy and its contribution to the country.

The contrasts are extreme. In 96 constituencies, 15% or more of working-age residents have no qualifications. In some places such as Glasgow North East, Birmingham Hodge Hill, Glasgow East and Wolverhampton North East this rises to 1 in 4.

Of the 50 constituencies with the highest percentage of people with no qualifications, the West Midlands, the North of England, Scotland and Wales account for 80% (40) of them. By contrast, of the 50 constituencies with the highest percentage of people with at least one qualification, 44 are in the South of England. Yet there are pockets of under-achievement within every region.

The union pointed to evidence from the IPPR which showed the substantial benefit to the economy of funding people to improve their education* and described the analysis as a wakeup call for politicians of all parties to ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities that education provides.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, public spending on education as a proportion of GDP is lower in the UK than in many of our competitor countries and is significantly lower at both pre-primary and tertiary levels.

UCU regional official, Martyn Moss said:- "Beyond the city centre's waterfront tourist attractions, designer shops and restaurants, Liverpool has a widespread culture of educational under-achievement. Walton and West Derby may be the worst-hit areas with one in four unqualified, but across Merseyside, people are more likely to have no qualifications than in many other parts of Britain. We know it is the knowledge economy that will drive economic growth, enhance social mobility and enable our country to compete globally. Yet politicians all too often seem to see cutting off access for young and old to educational opportunities as an easy target. Given the opportunity, everyone can benefit from education."

More information on the knowledge economy campaign can be found at:-


MERSEYSIDE Police are re-appealing on behalf of Sefton Coroner's office for help in tracing the next of kin of John Polarty. Mr Polarty was found dead at his address in Summers Road, Bootle on 9 January 2013 in non-suspicous circumstances. Following an initial appeal, it has emerged that Mr Polarty has previously been known as John Pilkington (he changed his surname by deed polll approximately 10 years ago) and had lived in Bootle most of his adult life. The Coroners office continues to appeal for help in tracing the 68 year old's next of kin or anyone who knows who they are. Call:- 0151 777 3481.

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