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News Report Page 8 of 18
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The Old Bank in Southport is now open creating 24 new jobs
Photo and report by Andrew Brown

THE Old Bank in Southport is now open again following a ₤100,000 transformation. The stylish new business, on Lord Street, in Southport Town Centre, has seen the creation of 24 new jobs. The venue will be open from 11am each morning and into the night, with a delicious menu that makes the most of the venue's top quality pizza ovens. The new bar and restaurant is owned by Alexandra Myhill and Bernie Snagg, who have worked hard to create something new and exciting for our Town Centre.

2 amazing pieces of street art adorn the walls. 1 features:- Sean Connery as James Bond, from the movie Goldfinger, above the bar. Another is a huge, colourful portrait of The Queen next to the mezzanine area, tying in with The Old Bank theme. Guests can enjoy a choice of tasty pizza with flavours including:- margherita, pepperoni, 4 cheese, Italian sausage, meat feast, Pacific or puttanesca. Salads include:- classic caprese, Caesar or hot smoked salmon, while there are a choice of sides such as:- skin on fries, parmesan fries, garlic pizza and pizza oven roast potatoes. Bar bites include:- Amaranto olives, baked focaccia and crispy gnocchi, with starters including:- calamari, stuffed baked figs and tempura courgette planks. There are an incredible 18 draught beers and ciders on tap, with an extensive wine list, a selection of spirits and a range of cocktails.

The Old Bank Social Media and Events Manager Amber Sardinha said:- "We have got a really exciting and diverse new look in the Old Bank. During the day it will be a great space for families to enjoy and a perfect space to eat, with more of a bar atmosphere at night. We will have a DJ in here every Friday and Saturday. In terms of food, we are going to be offering some superb pizzas, salads, bar snacks and starters. We have taken a lot of care over our kids' menu. A lot of places sacrifice the quality of the food when it comes to children. Here they can enjoy great quality, just in smaller sizes. We are also offering drinks packages for people, with things such as bottles of fizz or house spirits. They are great for groups of people who are enjoying their night out in 1 of our booths."

The furniture inside is comfortable and stylish, with lots of booths on the ground floor. There is a VIP area on the mezzanine level which can be hired for events. The style of the decor is colourful, fun, modern and vibrant. Amber said:- "The decor we have gone for is contrasting colours, and very bright. We want to bring a new, modern perspective of what a bar should be. Our mezzanine area will be used for private hire, functions, Christenings, hen parties, Christmas nights out, or networking events, which we will look to start in the new year. We are getting lots of bookings for Christmas nights out at the moment, and we still have space to accommodate more. Lots of businesses are busy over Christmas so we are hosting some work Christmas parties for people in January."

The Old Bank is 1 of the grandest buildings in Southport, and 1 of its most noticeable landmarks. Grade II Listed, the former National Westminster Bank was built in Classical style in 1922 with imposing Roman columns, in the style of an old Roman temple. It has been empty since Pizza Express announced in August 2020 that it was to be among 73 of its UK branches to be closed due to the impact of the Covid Pandemic.  Amber added that:- "This building really stands out on Lord Street! We are lucky to be able to open just before Christmas, with the beautiful Christmas tree opposite us being installed earlier this week. Hopefully it should attract lots of people who are going to see it to come in. Being situated right at the heart of Lord Street we really stand out too due to our location. You could notice the empty gap that was here before we arrived. We have made decorational changes in here, but we have done our research into what Southport people want. We discovered there was a real gap that we can fill to bring people something new. There are exciting times ahead."

Police and Crime Commissioners show their commitment to stamping out anti social behaviour

EMILY Spurrell, Merseyside's Police Commissioner, is joining her colleagues from up and down the country to show their commitment to stamping out anti social behaviour (ASB) through a new national report. 'ASB in Focus' published by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), showcases some of the initiatives and projects that PCCs have been leading on to prevent ASB, work in partnership to tackle it and ensure victims get the right help. The report details how PCCs are working with Government, Local Authorities and wider partners to improve how communities can report anti social behaviour when it occurs and to ensure that action is taken. It highlights how Merseyside's Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, has launched her Youth Diversion Fund specifically to focus on supporting activities which divert young people away from acts of anti-social behaviour during Halloween and Bonfire Night. She has announced that nearly 8,000 young people will be able to enjoy safe, well managed activities at 28 youth diversionary projects which have been awarded small cash grants totalling more than ₤48,000 from the Fund.

The publication also details how the Commissioner united with charity ASB Help to run an online workshop attended by more than 30 organisations to raise awareness of the Community Trigger progress. As well as this work, more than ₤2.8m has been awarded from the Commissioner's Crime and Disorder Reduction Grants to the Region's Local Authorities to address community safety issues in their areas, including ASB, and she has also secured nearly ₤1.1m through the Safer Streets Fund to invest in lighting, CCTV and security measures for hotspot areas in Liverpool and Wirral.

Emily said:- "Anti social behaviour is often, wrongly, viewed as:- 'low-level,' but for victims who are repeatedly and persistently targeted it can have a hugely damaging effect, leaving people too scared to leave their front door and even afraid while they are inside their own home. It causes fear, stress, anxiety, depression. I am committed to working with partners to stamp out ASB across Merseyside as part of my priority of building Safer Communities and I have already secured investment for a number of key projects to help make this a reality. This national report sets out how PCCs up and down the country are united in their determination to tackle ASB and make a difference to people in their communities. I welcome the partnership approach set out in this new publication and I'm pleased to be among the PCCs featured."

Alison Hernandez and Jeff Cuthbert, APCC Local Policing Leads, said:- "Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to act as the public's voice in policing, and what we hear right across England and Wales is that anti social behaviour matters to local people. That is why anti social behaviour features so prominently in our Police and Crime Plans. These issues matter because they affect people's everyday quality of life. Policing has always tackled serious violence and high harm criminality; and will continue to do so; but PCCs are also ensuring wider criminality and anti social behaviour are not neglected in our forces' priorities and performance activity."

NSPCC comment on Court appearance of Police Detective for child sex offences

FOLLOWING the appearance at Liverpool Crown Court of Greater Manchester Police Detective Constable Lee Cunliffe, on 23 November 2021, an NSPCC Spokesperson have issued the following:- "In his role as a Police Officer, Cunliffe, would have been all too aware of the devastation child sexual abuse causes its victims So it is unforgiveable he would seek to cause harm on such a vulnerable member of society in this way. This case also highlights the need for a robust Online Safety Bill to help ensure offenders like Cunliffe cannot easily make and share indecent images of children. The NSPCC will continue to campaign to ensure the proposed legislation is fit for purpose and properly protects children from avoidable online harms."

Lee Cunliffe, 40, was arrested on 15 December 2021 and was suspended from duty since then. After admitting 7 offences, including arranging the commission of a child sex offence, he could now face jail time. Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary QC adjourned sentencing until 12 January 2022, and has released Cunliffe on Conditional Bail. This delay to sentencing is at request of his Julian King, who was defending him in Court, so that a psychological report can be prepared.

Children can contact Childline on:- 08001111 or through the Childline website:- ChildLine.Org.UK. Adults with concerns about a child's wellbeing can phone the NSPCC helpline on:- 08088005000 or send an email to:- Help@NSPCC.Org.UK.


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