St Helens author and
pet Pugalug help raise funds for children's charity at Church Square Shopping
YOUNG fans got to meet their canine heroes at a St Helen's shopping centre
thanks to a local author. Jessica Parish took along her pet pooch Pugalugs and
his laid back pug companion Dug to Church Square Shopping
Centre, where she signed copies of her
She also read from the book:- 'Pugalugs - The Beginning and Walkies',
at the centre's BHS store as part a charity day to raise funds for the NSPCC.
Jessica donated £1 from every book she sold to the charity, which supports
families and works to end child abuse.
Former recruitment company account manager Jessica and her husband Mark set up
their own publishing company, Pugalug Publishing Ltd, and the couple have been
distributing the 1st 2 books around the North West region; with a ⅓, due out
in September 2015, but the 27 year old from Newbold says her books have proved
so popular, they are now negotiating with several national distribution
companies and she's confident her work will soon be on sale right around the UK.
She said:- "It's been a steep learning curve to be honest. I got my 1st
pet pug, Pugalugs, 4 years ago and his character just inspired me to write
children's stories about his adventures. No one had written about a pug
character and seeing the way children are drawn to them and how they react when
they meet Pugalugs and Dug I thought I had to write about it."
Jessica says she was delighted to be invited to spend the day at BHS in Church
Square and help raise funds for the NSPCC. She said:- "It's been really
busy and I'm so pleased to have been invited by both BHS and the management of
Church Square Shopping Centre. It's been lovely to meet some of the many fans of Pugalugs and to chat about what they like about the books. I certainly don't
regret becoming a full time author and publisher and I'm confident the Pugalugs
stories will be available in bookshops nationwide before very long. I'd like to
thank all the young fans of Pugalugs!"
Warrington teaching assistant David Priestly took along his 3 year old son,
Joseph, who was dressed in his favourite Pugalug T-shirt to meet the 2 pooch
friends and Jessica. David said:- "Joseph can't read yet, but he can
pretty much quote the books word for word. It only took him a few days to know Walkies off by heart. Jessica's books are everything you need in a children's
book. We have to read him one of the books at least twice every night when he's
in bed and before he goes to sleep. He just loves them to bits. They are great
for those that are too small to read as they get to know the stories and once a
child is reading they get even more from them. Pugalugs is Joseph's favourite by
miles. The stories are just so appealing. He can't wait for the new one to come
Caroline White, a credit controller from St Helen's took her 7 year old son,
Martin, along to meet Jessica, Pugalug and Dug. She said:- "It's been a
wonderful event and I'm so glad BHS and Church Square put the day on. Martin
reads the Pugalug books all the time he really enjoys them. He also loves pug
dogs now, I think children just like their looks and character. It been
fantastic getting to meet Jessica and seeing the two dogs we have read so much
Paul Travis, a computer programmer with St Helen's Borough Council, says his
daughter Amy, 9, a pupil of Eccleston Meer Primary School, is one of Pugalugs'
biggest fans and he was thrilled she got to meet him. He said:- "Amy is an
avid reader and adores the Pugalug books. She asks everyday if we can have a pug
dog ourselves and I can see the time coming when I'm going to have to give in!"
Amy added:- "It's been the best day of the school holidays meeting Jessica and
seeing Pugalug and Dug. I love the stories, especially Walkies, which is my
favourite at the moment. I'm really excited about the new 1 that's coming out. I
keep asking if we can get a pug for a pet; I'm keeping my fingers crossed!"
Church Square Shopping Centre Steven Brogan said:- "Pugalug and Dug have
proved very popular today with our young shoppers. As a dad myself, I know how
important it is to get children into reading at a young age, and Jessica's books
certainly seem to appeal to them. I'd also like to thank all our shoppers who
have been so generous in their donations to the charity day at BHS for the
NSPCC, which carries out such excellent work."
Michael Bracken, manager of BHS, in Church Square Shopping Centre, said:-
"We have been raising funds for the NSPCC through a cake and sweet sale, with
everything donated by staff, and through sales of Jessica Parish's wonderful
books. It's about community involvement and encouraging local people to shop
here in St Helens. We ran an event recently called We Love St Helens and this
event came off the back of that. We want to support local people such as
Jessica, who is a fabulous author of children's books. We are delighted with the
response and the number of people that came along to meet Jessica. We are aiming
to raise around £250 for the NSPCC, which is one of the stores charity
Author Jessica said she 1st began writing short stories when a pupil at St
Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School in Ashton in Makerfield She added:-
"However, writing children's books is not as easy as it might seem; it's
really hard but great work. We found a wonderful illustrator, Helen Poole of
Crosby, Liverpool, but decided to set up our own publishing company so we could
keep control of everything. We are even producing Pugalugs merchandise now, such
as mugs, T-shirts and bags which are proving hugely popular too. I hope my
stories help children get into reading and they learn to enjoy books. The books
are really all about Pugalugs and Dug. Pugalugs, who is now 4, is hyper and
never calms down, he's so full of energy, but a great character. Dug, on the
other hand, is totally chilled out and likes to sleep as much as he can. The 1st
2 books are based on the area around Newbold where I walk my pugs. My third
book, Trick or Treat, is coming out on 7 September 2015 and is all about
Halloween, and sees Pugalugs and Dug dress up to go trick or treating."
Decathlon City of Salford 10K
THE Decathlon City of Salford 10K race,
which is set to welcome more than 3,500 runners, starts and finishes at the
plaza area between the Lowry Theatre and Lowry Outlet Mall before following
a route through Media City UK and over to Trafford Park.
Reubens Retreat, the Greater Manchester charity set up to support seriously
ill children and their families, is this year's official charity partner.
Runners can also raise money for their chosen charity.
Europe's leading sportswear and equipment retailer, Decathlon, has announced
that it will be the Official Title Sponsor.
The 1st 3 people over the finish line will win a cash prize; £250 for the
winner, £150 for 2nd place and £75 for 2rd place. The run also includes chip
timing, a medal and commemorative technical t-shirt given to all finishers.
Car parking is available on the day at MediaCityUK car park and the Lowry.
Please note, trams will be out of action on race day, but a replacement bus
service will be operating.
For more information visit:-
Countdown – Retailer Winners from Rating Revaluation
1 September 2015, Colliers
International's independent research reveals the nation's top regional
anticipated 'winners' for the retail industry when the new
rateable values are introduced on 1 April 2017, resulting in a
substantial shift for the industry.
With so many businesses closing in the Town
Centre it might come as a shock that Southport is amongst the top 20
Towns across the UK, to be listed as benefiting from the new rateable
values! The research says that Southport is to expect a reduction
in business rates of 41%. Other Towns in the North West to benefit
from reduced values include Rochdale (-40.20%), Crewe (-37.90%),
Stockport (-35.41%), Ashton-under-Lyne (-35.41%), Oldham (-33.36%),
Stretford (-32.30%), Barrow-in-Furness (-31.11%), Northwich (-29.41%),
Warrington (-16.82%) and Manchester City (-17%). But will this
good news bring back business to our failing Town Center?
In Merseyside, the Top Towns to benefit from
reduced rateable values in retail include, not only Southport with a
-41% reduction, but also:- St Helens (-38%), Birkenhead (-36%), Bootle
(-29%), Liverpool (-17%) and Ellesmere Port (-10%).
Colliers' comprehensive research examines
421 centres surveyed by the company and compares the results with the
Valuation Office Agency (VOA's) current values. These findings are based
on the prime locations in these retail centres.
Top 20 Retail Towns to benefit from the 2017
Adam Burke, Director in Colliers
International's Manchester Rating team, commented:-
"The regional retailers are finally seeing relief on the
horizon from the values taken on 1 April 2015 coming into effect on 1
April 2017. The huge swing in values is due to the Government
postponing the revaluation, which was meant to commence this year, so
instead of having a 5 year cycle we now have a seven year cycle. This
long delay in revaluation is like stretching a rubber band, which when
it snaps has a significant impact. The effect is evident that we need
shorter revaluation cycles, perhaps of about 3 years, in order to
capture the rapidly changes relative values."
Extra information and
► Top 10 London areas where rateable values are
anticipated to decrease include Ealing (-46%), Ilford (-38%), Enfield
(-35%), Harrow (-34%), Barking (-30%), Sutton (-19%), Fleet Street
(-13%), Tottenham Court Road (-12%), Hounslow (-10%) and Bexleyheath
► The South East*, excluding London, also showed
rateable value decreases in:- Dover (-41%), Gravesend (-35%), Worthing
(-32%), Fareham (-28%) and Chatham (-24%).
Top 10 Towns to benefit from reduced rateable values in retail include:-
Newport (-80%), Port Talbot (-64%), Neath (-56%), Pontypridd (-44%),
Llanelli (-42%), Bridgend (-40%), Llandudno (-40%), Merthyr Tydfil
(-34%), Haverfordwest (-28%) and Wrexham (-28%).
► The South West the top 10 Towns to benefit from
reduced rateable values in retail include:- Torquay (-45%), Gloucester
(-39%), Yeovil (-34%), Bournemouth (-30%), Swindon (-28%), St Austell
(-28%), Weston-Super-Mare (-28%), Taunton (-25%), Penzance (-22%) and
► West Midlands'
top 10 Towns to benefit from reduced rateable values in retail include:-
Tamworth (-56%), Kidderminster (-42%), Bromsgrove (-42%), Northfield
(-34%), Kings Heath (-34%), Halesowen (-1%), Rugby (-31%),
Newcastle-under-Lyme (-22%), Nuneaton (-21%) and West Bromwich (-19%).
► In Yorkshire Humberside, the top Towns to benefit
from reduced rateable values in retail include Dewsbury (-43%),
Scunthorpe (-41%), Keighley (-40%), Sheffield (-24%), Bradford (-23%),
Rotherham (-19%) and Grimsby (-17%).
► North East's
top 10 Towns to benefit from reduced rateable values in retail include:-
Stockton-on-Tees (-42.04%), South Shields (-41.28%), Redcar (-38.49%),
North Shields (-37.21%), Middlesbrough (-36.90%), Whitley Bay (-36.68%),
Hartlepool (-34.91%), Peterlee (-33.76%), Newcastle Upon Tyne (-24.65%)
and Berwick-upon-Tweed (-15.75%).
► In the Eastern* region, the top Towns to benefit from
reduced rateable values in retail include:- Lowestoft (-40.61%), Hemel
Hempstead (-39.45%), Southend-on-Sea (-39.16%), Waltham Cross
(-37.21%), Great Yarmouth (-35.41%), Stevenage (-33.82%), Kings Lynn
(-25.76%) and Dunstable (-24.90%).
Consultation over late night
City Council's Licensing Committee meets, on
Tuesday, 8 September 20125, to consider starting a consultation over the
introduction of a late night levy for bars, clubs and pubs. Under
the proposed scheme, all licensed premises or clubs that supply alcohol
after midnight would be required to pay an annual charge to offset the
cost of the night time economy. Merseyside Police; who are backing
the move; estimate it costs around £540,000 to cover the City Centre
between midnight and 6am, although this doubles to £1 million when
taking into account other units that have to respond to incidents.
The levy is based on current licensed premises in the City and, assuming
the period it is applied is from midnight until 6:00am, would affect
approximately 800 premises, with the costs varying dependent upon the
rateable value of the premises. The consultation is
suggesting that the vast majority; round 700; could pay between £299 and
£1259 per year, with 20 paying the highest rate of £4,440 per year.
However, the figures are just indicative and are subject to change
following the outcome of the formal consultation process.
Councillor Emily Spurrell, Mayoral Lead for Community Safety, said:-
"Liverpool is a vibrant and safe City and its night time economy is
enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Obviously
this all comes at a cost arising from the minority of people who cause
crime and disorder, and the money raised from the late night levy would
be used to help offset this. We know that our community safety
partners are supportive of the introduction of a levy, so what we are
doing now is going out to consultation on a proposal." A
total of 70% of the money would go to the Merseyside Police and Crime
Commissioner with the money used to fund additional staff at weekends,
funding specific operations and assist with 'designing out'
crime. The remainder would go to the City Council to support night time
economy initiatives. Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet member for
licensing, said:- "It is important to note that if we decide to
proceed with the consultation, it is just the very start of the process.
No decision will be made until we have completed the consultation and
assessed all of the feedback and it is possible that the proposal will
change dependent upon the responses that we receive." Consultation will start in September 2015, with a decision on whether to
implement it made in January 2016. If the go ahead is given, it would be
introduced from June 2016. The Licensing Committee meeting takes
place at Liverpool Town Hall on Tuesday, 8 September 2015, at 10am.