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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 108

Date:- 19 July 2003

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LIVERPOOL is set to rival the carnivals of Notting Hill and Rio de Janeiro by launching an international competition to attract the world's best street artists.

Just six weeks after coveting the European Capital of Culture in 2008 title, Liverpool city council has unveiled plans to award a £10,000 top prize for the best street theatre performance to launch next year's International Street Carnival.

The announcement comes on the eve of the city's first carnival, held this weekend, which has already attracted artists from 19 countries from as far as Costa Rica, Brazil, Uruguay, Nigeria, Turkey and Italy.

On Saturday, the city will be bouncing to more than 14 hours of street music, dance and theatre from acrobats and jugglers to Samba and hip-hop artists across nine venues.

And in a unique move to heighten audience participation, the council is inviting the public to vote for their favourite performance. More than 10,000 voting slips have been issued at hotels, museums, bars and tourist information centres to find the best act and the best dressed.

Thanks to sponsors TJ Hughes, the winning street performers will receive a cash prize and all voters will go into a prize draw to win a FREE state of the art flat screen TV, with bigger prizes planned for 2004.

The two-day festival, which culminates in a carnival parade on Sunday, is the curtain raiser for the two week long Merseyside International Festival organised by council partners Brouhaha International.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Liverpool's Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said:- ''This is the first year we have attempted this carnival and the interest around the world has been huge. This will be a weekend of entertainment not to be missed, and the voting will give it a real edge for spectators. This is their carnival.

There is a real potential to use this competition to grow the carnival into a world class event and we are talking with our sponsors to create a cash prize that will attract the best street performers to the city.''

Sue Woodward, Liverpool's Creative Director added:- ''Liverpool has a fantastic reputation for festivals and audience participation, which is growing ever year. By 2008 we want to be hosting a world class carnival. As European Capital of Culture we need to be aiming to be the very best.''

Performances on Saturday begin at 12.20pm. The nine venues are:-

· Bluecoat Chambers Courtyard 
· Lord Street/Church Street 
· Concert Square 
· Clayton Square 
· Lime Street Station 
· London Road - outside TJ Hughes 
· Lyceum Square 
· Rope Walks Way 
· Queens Square 

The Carnival Procession on Sunday, July 20 starts from St George's plateau to the Pier Head. The procession, organised by Brouhaha International, will consist of over 700 participants made up of international artists as well as regional community groups who have created stunning costumes under the artistic direction of renown Notting Hill Carnival designer; Ray Mabhir. 

The procession is scheduled to commence at 12 noon and is expected to reach the Pier Head around 1.30pm. 

The rest of the day will be filled with performances on two stages, the Dance stage showing the likes of Spain's own Ballet entradanza performing contemporary flamenco, and the Music stage hosting the likes of Morocco's Musique Gharnati performing traditional Arabic music.

A unique guide to architecture in Liverpool and Birkenhead

ARCHI-TREK, a free interactive guide promoting architecture in Liverpool and the Wirral launched on June 19 as part of Architecture Week to encourage awareness of the urban environment, to strengthen further the image of the Liverpool area for tourism. The pocket size guide will be available this summer from city centre venues following the success of Archi-trek in Manchester, featuring Merseyside’s waterside architecture and tourist attractions. 

New Government figures expose poor Sefton council tax collection 

SOUTHPORT Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman Mark Bigley this week pointed to new statistics published by the Government showing the percentage of council tax collected by each council in England as Sefton council failed to collect almost 3 million in revenue over the last year. 

Despite Sefton claiming this represents the best collection rate in all Merseyside Authorities and the ninth best collection rate out of all Metropolitan Authorities in the Country. Bigley rebuked the point as little comfort to the financial position of the borough, as Sefton fairs as low as 216 out of all 353 Councils for Council Tax collection rates across the country, "We already know that Labour and Liberal Democrat councils have the highest council taxes in the country - now we can see why. 

Only 96.6 per cent of council tax across Sefton is collected. If this trend is to continue, Sefton will fail to collect well more than £3million this coming year. Frontline public services are losing out and council taxes are higher because of the poor management of the council. We are told continuously that teachers have to be made redundant, toilets have to close, the beach has endure more grass, roads must go unprepared, and streets must remain dirty, all because the council fails to achieve its most basic of functions. This is a disgrace and it must end."

Trust introduces new Trust Board Non-executive Director

THE NHS Appointments Commission has appointed 49-year-old Jacky Citarella who will take up her post as a Trust Board Non-executive Director on September 1st, 2003, until August 2007. Les Byrom has been reappointed as a Trust Board Non-executive Director, who will serve a further term on the committee from November 1st, 2003, until October 2007. Both Jacky and Les will receive £5,426 each per annum for their roles

Talking about her new role, Jacky said:- "I am delighted to be appointed and look forward to my new role. There are a lot of changes taking place within the Trust and I think my role will be a very challenging one. I already have a good grasp of the NHS but my appointment with the Trust will greatly further my knowledge and I will do my best to ensure that the services provided by the Trust are delivered as effectively as possible."

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