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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 12 February 2007

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BRITS are abandoning their local pubs and taking to the roads as their hunt for good food sees the resurgence of the old fashioned ‘weekend drive’, says a leading insurer.  New research from Privilege Insurance reveals that for many Brits thelocalis no longer local. Just 29% say their regular drinking spot is the pub round the corner, and just 15% eat at their local pub.

But Brits do love their pub grub. 2/3rds cite good food as the reason for choosing a pub, compared with just 3% who say location. Of those that go out for a pub meal regularly, 49%, nearly 44% will drive more than 10 miles to guarantee good food at reasonable prices. And 10% is willing to drive more than 20 miles.

Those aged between 18 and 30 are the biggest fans of the gastro pub experience. 2/3rds regularly go out for a pub meal, with more than a 3rd happy to travel for more than 10 miles. But this age group is also the most likely to ignore the drink driving laws, with 5% admitting they accompany their meal with more than the legal limit of alcohol and still drive home.  Only 7% of those in living in the West Midlands eat at the pub round the corner, but it’s the Welsh that will travel the furthest for good food. 24% of those in Wales say their favourite gastro pub is more than 10 miles from home, compared with just 9% of those in living in Yorkshire and Humberside.

James Gore, spokesman from Privilege Insurance says:- “With so many great gastro pubs out there serving great food at reasonable prices, we are seeing the return of the weekend drive, as more and more people travel further afield to try out new places. We advise food-loving motorists that, if you do like a drink with your lunch, stick to a pub within walking distance, or be prepared to take a taxi home. Alternatively, you could ask a friend to drive you – as long as they are insured - or take turns being the designated driver.”

The research also revealed that drivers on long car journeys are just as keen to have good food. While only 9% of drivers eat at a pub en route, 66% said they would do so if they knew where to go, with 26% willing to make a detour of 4 miles or more.  Just a 1/4 of people currently eat at motorway services stations, with munching a sandwich in the car park a preferred option for most drivers (33%).  Some 80% of all British pubs now serve food, compared with about half in the mid 90s, serving nearly 1.1 billion meals last year. The average pub now gets more than 25% of its turnover from meals.

Janet and William Hutchings, owners of award winning The Bell in Skenfirth, identified in Privilege Insurance’s Gastro Pub Guide says:- “'We have always placed the utmost importance on the provenance of our food and have only ever used our organic kitchen produce, local and sourced suppliers. The Bell is perched on the banks of the River Monnow in one of Wales's smallest and prettiest villages and our customers come from near and far. They are normally people who appreciate good food, good wines and beers, good exercise and a good sleep!”

Natasha Crowe, aged 26 and housewife from Torquay, loves to find good gastro pubs to drive her family to at the weekend:- “My husband and I love eating out, and take our kids out for a pub lunch every Sunday. We try to always go to a different pub each time, and often travel more than half an hour to get there. Our local pub is ok, so we tend to pick this one when we fancy a drink and don’t need to drive.”

Privilege provides top tips on how to avoid drink driving:-

- Choose a pub within walking distance from home.

- Take a taxi home from the pub, and collect your car the next day.

- Ask a friend to come and pick you up

- Organise a rota system, so there is always a designateddrink-freedriver.

- Find pubs that are easily accessible by public transport.

- Make a pact with friends that nobody will drink, so the driver doesn’t feel left out.

Stolen drugs - Halewood

MERSEYSIDE Police are urging members of the public to exercise caution following the theft of a quantity of prescription drugs. The medication was taken among personal items from a lorry in Edenhall Drive, Halewood, on Thursday 8 February 2007.  The prescription medication is in tablet form and all contained in foil strips. The medication is as follows:-

Atorastatin (40 mg)
Atenolol (25 mg)
Candesartam (4mg)
Isosorbide - Mononitrate (40 mg)

The medication is for the control of a heart condition and could be very dangerous if taken by someone it is not prescribed for.  Anyone who finds the drugs is asked to take them into the nearest police station. Anyone with information about the theft can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Trust maintains its position as top for cleanliness

FIGURES published on Tuesday last week show that Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust still has the lowest rate of MRSA Bloodstream infection of any general acute hospital in the country.  Over the 5 and a half years that Trusts have had to report figures to the Department of Health, the Trust has reported the lowest percentage rate of any General Acute Trust in the country and a total of only 57 cases in the whole of that time.

Martin Kiernan, Infection Control Nurse Consultant said:- "We are very encouraged by these figures, and pleased that they reflect our continuing commitment to providing our patients with the cleanest and safest possible environment. Patients should feel reassured by this news and they can be confident that their local Trust is the best there is when it comes to cleanliness.

As an infection control team we know that clean, safe care is not an optional extra, and this view is fully supported by everyone within the Trust. It has also been encouraging to see so many visitors washing their hands or using the alcohol rub as they enter and leave the wards, but there are still those who do not and I would want to encourage every one to do so as a matter of course.  Patients have a right to expect a high standard of care every time they visit a hospital and we believe our team approach to cleanliness, with domestic services working together with nursing staff and the infection control team, is the most effective way of fulfilling those expectations.

Despite this news, we are not complacent and we will continue to strive to make the hospital an even cleaner and safer environment, reducing incidents to the minimum level possible. Any avoidable infection is one too many, and if a patient contracts an MRSA bloodstream infection, a thorough investigation is undertaken in order to help us make improvements to try to ensure it is avoided in the future."

This comes just after the Trust has had confirmation that it is to receive £275,000 from the Department of Health as its share of the £50 million fund to help hospitals install new facilities to help tackle infections.  It is intended to use this money to build six new isolation rooms, which will enable us to isolate more patients when necessary. We will also be looking at the most effective positioning of alcohol gel dispensers to maximise their use by visitors and others entering and leaving wards. These further actions should help us to preserve and improve our excellent record so far.

Trust In Yellow to Launch Non-League Book

TRUST In Yellow are delighted to announce that they have begun work on their latest project in documenting the full history of Southport FC’s 30 years of non-league football.

Intended for release to coincide with the 30 year anniversary of the club’s first non-league game against South Liverpool in 1978, the Trust are hoping to launch the book in August 2008.

Following on from the incredible success of “The Sandgrounders – The complete League History of Southport F.C.” by Geoff Wilde and Mike Braham, published in 1995, this new book will effectively fill in the gaps of Southport FC’s more than 125 years of history.

Filled with manager and influential player biographies and records of every single non-league match played to date (including full line-up, substitution and goalscoring records), the book is expected to be a big hit amongst supporters of the club, the local community, and football statisticians alike.

Charting the ups and downs, successes and failures of the Haig Avenue club, there will be additional in-depth features on the Championship successes of the 1992/93 and 2004/2005 seasons, along with the club’s historic Wembley visit in 1998.

With contributors including Southport FC Chief Executive Haydn Preece, co-author of the “The Sandgrounders” Geoff Wilde and 'Port personalities past and present, Trust In Yellow would like to invite people to subscribe early to the book, to ensure the ultimate publication of what they know will be an incredible story.

The book will be a limited edition and we are expecting to retail it at around £15. To subscribe, and to reserve your copy, a £5 deposit is required, which will be knocked off the final price, please either:-

• Subscribe and Pay using the Trust’s Online Shop.

• Send a £5 cheque payable to "Trust In Yellow" to 19 Hillsview Road, Ainsdale, Southport, PR8 3PW with your Name, Address, Telephone number and Email address

• Or alternatively make your payment to a Trust In Yellow representative in the club shop on a match day.

All subscribers’ names will be published in the book as a gesture of thanks for their support. If you would like to contribute to this project in any way, or wish for further information, please contact us by email.

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