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Issue:- 1 May 2014


THE chairman of Southport based medical negligence and serious injury solicitors, Fletchers Solicitors, is set to take on his toughest challenge yet, all in the name of charity. Rob Fletcher, 59, will be cycling the length of France, as well as taking on Tour de France's most notorious mountain, to raise vital funds for The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust's 'Home from Home' Appeal.  Rob will be joined in the saddle by Walton Centre Neurologist Nick Fletcher and Neurosurgeon Andrew Brodbelt, as well as Southport resident Richard Neve who works for Bolton based medical legal report provider Premex Services. Starting on the 19 June 2014, the team will cycle 628 miles across France, passing Dijon and Lyon and through the Rhône Valley. The cycling adventure will culminate at the summit of Mont Ventoux, the 6,273ft mountain made famous for its inclusion in the Tour de France route. 

Mont Ventoux, translated as windy mountain because of the strong gusts recorded from its peak, has been used in the Tour de France route since 1951, and is regarded as the most famous and fearful climb of the entire race. Rob and the team will be taking the Bèdoin route up the mountain, which is deemed the most difficult course ascension. Rob Fletcher said:- "I am a keen cyclist and I am very much looking forward to this challenge. I have previously cycled to Poland in a 7 day trip but this will certainly test my fitness and endurance levels to the maximum. Fletchers Solicitors has had a long association with The Walton Centre and the 'Home from Home' appeal is an incredibly worthy cause. I am honoured to be able to help them. I turn 60 in May, and this will be the perfect way to conclude the celebrations."

The Walton Centre in Liverpool is the only specialist NHS unit for neurosciences in the UK. Its specialisms lie in diagnosing and treating injuries and illnesses that affect the brain, spine and peripheral nerves and muscles. The Centre also aids patients who suffer from long term illnesses caused by neurological disorders. The majority of its patients come from the Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire areas, but it also provides specialist treatment and complex disorders from patients across the UK.

The 'Home from Home' appeal aims to raise £1million by the end of 2014 to provide 8 ensuite bedrooms enabling families of patients receiving care to stay at the facility, as many family members are currently sleeping in chairs in visitor rooms. Some of the money raised will also aid the development of therapy gardens and gym equipment for the patients.  Rob aims to raise a minimum of £5,000 with a group target of £50,000. To donate please visit his JustGiving page.  If you wish to get involved in the 'Home from Home' appeal or would like more information, you can contact Kevin Byrne, Fundraiser, on 01515295612 or send an email or visit:-

Parking Signs on St Luke Church Road

WE have had many readers over the last few weeks' contact us after seeing notices about parking and private property on Formby Sand Dunes. We have contacted a range of parties including Sefton Council for a response to your questions. We are running the full report in next week's issue that should clear things up for you all. For now part of the reply Sefton's Brian Goodwin, who is the Senior Assistant Engineer - Public Rights of Way and Cycling, Highways Development Control has said that:- "The Council does not have the authority to permit or protect public vehicular use of the private section of St Luke's Church Road. Albert Road and Alexandra Road are owned by the Council. However, they are not public highway and the public does not have a vehicular right to use them." He also adds that:- "The Council is unable to comment upon the appropriateness of the content/wording of the current signs as they are sited upon and refer to access and use of this private road." He also adds that the contactors used will remove the signage that has been wrongly installed. To see the full letter, please see next week's edition.

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