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Issue:- 2 May 2013

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to be unveiled!

2013 marks the unveiling of a new non-profit John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which was made possible by the generosity and support of Yoko Ono Lennon. The bus is dedicated to providing the young people of Europe with free hands-on opportunities to produce original music, video, photo, game app and broadcast projects within the bus's mobile recording studios. This revolutionary program is made possible by international companies such as Montblanc, Apple and Sony whose contributions of state of the art equipment and funding underscore a commitment to art, culture and education.

Yoko, along with special guests, will be in Liverpool for the European launch of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus on Wednesday 8th May at the Museum of Liverpool. The event will be streamed live for a global audience.

"The educational bus is a huge success in the USA. But John would have been extra thrilled that it is now launching in Europe, starting in Liverpool, his home town."
– Yoko Ono Lennon.

Attendees will be able to preview this extraordinary vehicle before it sets off on an exciting tour of the UK and Europe.

The bus will also be at the Yoko Ono curated Meltdown Festival on the South Bank in London this June, amongst other soon to be announced dates.

Yoko Ono Lennon adds:- "I'm so thrilled that the Educational Tour Bus will be situated at Meltdown. All kids who are interested in making music and learning how to use instruments in the recording studio should come and make use of this freebie!"

Plans for Lennon Bus Europe have been evolving since the first US Lennon Bus hit the road 16 years ago. Yoko Ono Lennon developed the outreach project with Executive Director Brian Rothschild and legendary music manager, David Sonenberg to provide young people with access to state of the art studios as a way of inspiring them to create original projects reflective of their ideas, values, and creativity.

Like its original sister bus in the US, Lennon Bus Europe is staffed by a crew of three producer/engineers, and will include stops at local schools, colleges and festivals; providing free tours and workshops in which young people produce original songs, audio recordings, broadcast quality music videos and livestream events using equipment from Apple, Sony, Avid, Gibson Guitars, Epiphone Litepanels, Roland, Genelec, Neutrik, Thomann, SSL, Audio-Technica, NewTek, Todocast by Globecomm, and more – all in one day!

The US Lennon Bus also has an illustrious history as a hit maker, with chart topping singles from The Black Eyed Peas and Fergie recorded on board. Continuing the tradition, the European edition will invite name recording artists to participate, mentor students, and utilise the facilities throughout its journey. The new larger facility boasts 2 studio environments, robotic video cameras, switchable glass doors that change from clear to opaque for privacy, green screen production capabilities from Reflecmedia, Manfrotto's Sky Track system for suspending lights, cameras, and speakers, and the new upper level "Peace Deck" created for interviews, live music, DJs, and bands.

Lennon Bus Europe is a unique one of a kind vehicle designed and built by the Ketterer Truck Company, with studio integration provided by Sony Professional Solutions Europe. Interiors were created by designer Tom Junglas. Lennon Bus Chief Engineer, Jeff Sobel worked closely with all parties to produce the perfect environment for students and professionals alike.

The UK & European tour schedule and interactive map can be found at:-, where visitors can also see all of the content created on board. Plans are underway to further expand the project to China and Japan.

Commissioner meets Policing Ministerm

LANCASHIRE'S residents had their concerns about policing taken to the top today when the county's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw met with Policing and Criminal Justice Minister The Rt Hon Damian Green MP.

The Commissioner had a meeting with Mr Green as part of the Minister's day-long visit to Preston, and took the opportunity to share what the public in Lancashire want to see from their police force.

Clive Grunshaw said:- "I welcome the Minister's visit to Lancashire and I am pleased to say it was a productive meeting where we discussed a range of policing and crime issues. During my time as Commissioner I have engaged with and listened to the public about policing, and today's meeting enabled me to reflect the public's views back to the Minister. We spoke about the budget cuts the force is facing and I stressed the public expectations around visible policing and neighbourhood policing and the need to maintain that in the future, given the financial challenges we're facing. I told him it is becoming increasingly hard to find the savings, but stressed what a good job the police and partners are doing in Lancashire to maintain performance and the importance of maintaining frontline services."

During the meeting, which took place at Preston police station, the Commissioner also discussed police reform and victims' services, and thanked the Home Office for releasing funding for the new Central Lancashire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, in Preston.

Clive Grunshaw added:- "I'm looking forward to working with Damian Green on police reform and the wider criminal justice partnership, especially around the importance of joining up services to victims and maximising efficiency in the criminal justice sector."

During his time in Preston the Minister also met with Lancashire Constabulary's Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan, visited the City's Magistrates' Court and went to HMP Preston.

MEP pledges backing for e-cigarette responses

A North West MEP has pledged to fight a bid to introduce new controls to restrict the availability and strength of e-cigarettes.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies says he has hundreds of letters from constituents claiming that e-cigarettes have helped them stop smoking tobacco.

E-cigarettes provide users with a nicotine boost similar to conventional cigarettes, but contain no tobacco that is the cause of smoking-related disease and premature death.

As nicotine is highly addictive the European Commission has proposed new requirements that e-cigarettes should be classified as a medicinal product and the nicotine content restricted.

But Davies, a member of the European Parliament's public health committee, says that this would undermine their value as a means of weaning hardened smokers off tobacco.

He wants them to be sold alongside conventional cigarettes and says that former smokers are able to judge for themselves how much nicotine to inhale.

Davies said:- "Many addicted smokers have written to tell me of the difference that the availability of e-cigarettes has made to their lives and their health. There's no doubt that nicotine is addictive and light touch regulations are needed, but it is tobacco that kills. Living is better than dying and the benefits of e-cigarettes far outweigh any disadvantages they may have."

But Davies predicts an uphill battle to fend off the proposed new regulations and urges users to make their views known to MEPs in other parties.

A selection of the responses received by the MEP can be seen on his website at:-

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