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Issue:- Thursday, 28 October 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 2.

New statistics show that North West residents are foreigners when it comes to local landmarks

THE British Heart Foundation (BHF) can reveal that some of the North West’s world renowned landmarks are going unvisited by residents living just a stone’s throw away from the famous sites.

With a third of people in the North West choosing not to take a short break in the UK 2015 (32%), the BHF is encouraging people to go off the beaten track and get exploring their local area with its programme of walks and treks, to help raise money for heart research.

Top 10 UK destinations North West residents have never visited:-
Ranking Name of destination % of residents in the North West who haven’t visited
1 Giant’s Causeway 90%
2 Brecon Beacons 81%
3 Isle of Wight 80%
4 Angel of the North 75%
5 Cambridge University 75%
6 Hadrian’s Wall 74%
7 Brighton Pier 72%
8 Stonehenge 72%
9 Oxford University 71%
10 Glasgow 68%

Top of the list of local landmarks left unvisited is Hadrian’s Wall. Although the iconic barricade is renowned across the globe, 74% of people in the North West have failed to see it for themselves. Also, 24% of North West residents have never taken in the stunning scenery and picturesque landscape of the Lake District. But it’s not just the countryside that local people are taking for granted. 20% of locals have never even been to Blackpool Pier.

Adam Brockett, BHF Events Manager said:- “The North West is bursting with incredible must-see destinations and it’s a real shame that they’re going unseen by people who live in the region, which is why we’re encouraging residents to sign up to one of our treks. Signing up to a BHF trek is a fun and healthy way to make the most of your local scenery and iconic heritage sites.  Including a range of terrains and distances, you will also be helping fund life saving research that will benefit the estimated 902,000 people in the North West who suffer from heart and circulatory disease.”

Included in the BHF’s programme of treks in the North West is the BHF’s Hadrian’s Wall Hike, which takes place on 7 May 2016, where trekkers take on 9 miles across the most challenging section of the historic wall.

Other options include the 8 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District on 2 September. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the famous National Park, you will be put to the ultimate test as you tackle some of the most rugged mountains in England, climbing over 1600m in a single day.

Every pound raised from a BHF trek will make great strides in the fight against heart disease. By signing up to take on a ramble to remember, you will be helping us win the fight against heart disease. To find out more, visit:- BHF.Org.UK/Challenges.

Huyton cigarette smuggler has to repay £340k

A convicted cigarette smuggler from Huyton has been ordered to repay £340,000 or face a further 4 years in jail.   Stephen Nicholas Riozzi, 53, has been given 3 months to pay the confiscation order or serve the extra jail time.

During investigations into Riozzi’s finances after his original arrest in 2011, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that he had amassed a substantial property portfolio in the UK and abroad.

Zoe Ellerbeck, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:- “Riozzi profited from the illegal trade in smuggled cigarettes and counterfeit tobacco and now has to repay his criminal profits. HMRC is committed to recovering money stolen from UK Taxpayers whether it is hidden here or abroad.  We urge anyone with information about the commercial trading of smuggled goods and the associated Tax evasion in the Merseyside area to contact us on:- 0800 59 5000.”

His Honour Judge Wright at Liverpool Crown Court accepted that Riozzi had been living a lifestyle well beyond his declared income and that his properties were bought with the criminal profits associated with the illegal trade in smuggled cigarettes and Tax evasion. 

Riozzi, of The Park, Huyton, was caught at an industrial unit in Knowsley in December 2011 with huge quantities of illegal cigarettes and counterfeit tobacco. He was arrested by HMRC, but gave investigators a false address and denied any knowledge of the tobacco products.

In March 2014 he was jailed for 53 months after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to 2 counts of fraud.

The Court determined that he had benefited by £913,863 from his crimes, linked to 5.5 million smuggled cigarettes discovered at a Knowsley industrial unit.

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