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Issue:- 21 March 2013

Everton head chef shortlisted for national catering award

THE head chef at one of the country's leading football grounds has been shortlisted for a national award – and is hoping success will lead to a hat trick for him and his team.

Gareth Billington, 45, who heads the 32-strong catering team at Goodison Park, home to Everton FC, has been shortlisted in the Chef category of the prestigious Cost Sector Catering awards.

Held by Cost Sector Catering magazine to recognise and reward outstanding achievement in all areas of contract catering, the awards will be held on Thursday 4th April at the Hilton London Metropole hotel.

The catering at the Everton ground is managed by the UK's leading food and facilities management company Sodexo Prestige and Gareth's nomination comes just weeks after two of the team took first place in a separate industry competition.

Chefs Darren Ryder and Antony Smith took the gold medal in the Contract Catering/Football Stadia category in the Salon Culinaire contest for professionals working in the catering industry, run as part of The Hospitality Show held at Birmingham's NEC in January.

In addition, Gareth himself tasted award success at the end of last year when he was named Sodexo UK and Ireland Unit Chef of the Year at the company's annual Star Awards ceremony.

Gareth, who trained at London's The Garrick Club and was also formerly in charge of patisserie on the QE2 cruise liner, successfully catered for a string of high profile events over the past year.

As well as providing for a wide range of match day and corporate events at Goodison Park he was also in charge of two restaurants and a number of food outlets at Royal Ascot last year, the catering at Lord's cricket ground during the Olympics 2012 archery competition and cooked for the Paralympic contestants at London's Olympic stadium.

Gareth, a father-of-2, from Liverpool, has previously won acclaim for his skill in creating seasonal, modern British dishes presented with flair and imagination and his entry in the Chef category – one of 14 categories in the awards - will be judged by a panel of independent industry experts.

Ian Simpson, General Manager at Sodexo Prestige at Everton, said:- "As well as being a superb chef, Gareth is wholly committed to training young and vulnerable people in the Liverpool area – imparting his knowledge and experience through a number of projects."

Further information about conferencing and events at Goodison Park can be obtained by calling:- 0151 530 5250 or by email.

 Starting point for new housing debate

LIVERPOOL City Council has identified a preliminary list of more than 1,200 sites which could potentially deliver nearly 35,000 new homes over the next 15 years; and is inviting local people to have their say.

A new report - the Liverpool Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) - has identified potential sites, across the City, as a baseline to start a conversation about the long term, supply of new housing in Liverpool up to 2028.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said:- "This is an important piece of work, which provides us with a starting point from which to define a framework for the future delivery of thousands of new homes for our City. It will be important evidence for our new Local Plan, to deliver the housing, business, industrial units and infrastructure the City needs over the next 15 years. Not all of these sites are going to be allocated or developed - nor necessarily will they be developed in the way indicated in the report, but it's a starter list of the sites that we think have potential for housing development. It also begins the process of assessing whether sites are suitable, in policy and physical terms, and the important question of whether they are likely to be viable as development opportunities. In addition, we want to improve the diversity and range of housing on offer in the City, and bring forward sites which will deliver high value executive homes - and we will be looking for additional sites in this respect as we move forward. This list seeks to show what sites were capable of being delivered at the baseline date of last April, in 2012. We are inviting comments on to make sure the views of local people are taken on-board. It will be one of several opportunities for individuals, communities, land owners and businesses to feed into the Council's Local Plan process. Later in the year there will also be opportunities for the public and developers to suggest additional sites, including sites which have been put forward since 2012 - and not just for housing, but for jobs, shops and other uses as well."

The SHLAA is required under national planning guidance to help support the production of Local Plans and it aims to identify as many potential sites as possible which could meet long term housing needs for the City.

It will help the City better understand the housing development options open to it as it prepares its new Local Plan, which is scheduled for production over the next two years, and will be used to inform the allocation of specific sites for housing development.

The SHLAA Update is at draft stage and the City Council is now inviting comments on it. It summarises the City's position as it stood on 1 April 2012. It will be updated annually as new sites are identified, or existing ones are developed or otherwise removed from consideration.

You can see the report, and make comments, at:-

Do you want to be on TV?

THIS week, Victory Television, who are the makers of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?', are looking for new contestants to take part in a brand new Channel 4 game show. "This is your chance to test your creativity and have the chance to win some cash, in this exciting competition!" said the Casting Team.

For an application form please email the Casting Team at Victory Television via emailing:- now!

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