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Issue. 9 - January 2017

Inside this issue: weddings - education - sports


Police issue drugs warning after

suspected ecstasy death in Knowsley

Police are warning the public of the risks of taking illegal drugs after a young man from Knowsley died in hospital on Friday 22nd December 2017. The 17-year-old was taken ill at home on Friday morning and admitted to Whiston Hospital where he sadly passed away a few hours later. Detectives are treating the man’s death as unexplained until a post-mortem examination is carried out to establish a cause of death. However initial enquiries have led them

to believe that the young man may have taken a quantity of Ecstasy tablets. Detective Inspector Matt Smith said: “We want people to think twice before they take drugs. It is not only illegal to buy or sell drugs, but taking illegal substances can also be very dangerous and potentially fatal. People taking any form of illegal drugs don’t know what’s in them, where they’ve come from or what effects they may have on them. “Although we do not know the full circumstances of what has happened in this tragic case and must keep an open mind, we are sufficiently concerned to feel the need to issue a warning to anyone out there thinking of taking drugs this weekend. "More people than normal will be out celebrating in the next week or so due to it being Christmas. They need to understand there are significant risks with any drug use, especially when it involves drugs bought off the streets from unregulated sources. The effects of drugs are not always immediately apparent or can be delayed. This can sometimes result in people taking more in order to speed up the effects. This can have devastating results. “We are asking people to use their common sense, think about the risks and not to take illegal drugs as the consequences can be absolutely devastating.” Detectives are treating the man's death as unexplained and are preparing a file of evidence for the are providing support to the victim's with any information about the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For further information Coroner. Specially-trained officers family at this difficult time. Anyone supply of illegal drugs should contact about drug use and abuse call FRANK on 0300 123 600.

Merseyside Police Appeal For Information After Anti-Social Behaviour in St Helens Supermarket Merseyside Police can confirm that officers attended a supermarket in St Helens following reports of anti-social behaviour last night, Wednesday 27 December. At around 6.30pm, a call was received from staff at Morrison's on Baxters Lane of three teenage boys being abusive, throwing eggs and

causing nuisance within the store. Store security intervened and a bicycle left behind was seized by police. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to CCTV and witnesses and officers are asking anyone with information to come forward and warning parents and guardians to ensure they know where their

children are. Local Policing Inspector Matt Drennan said: "We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in St Helens, whether against individuals, groups or businesses. Incidents like this cause damage and distress to businesses and customers alike and I want to reassure people that we take such reports very seriously. "We are working closely with the supermarket to identify those responsible and if necessary, will use all our available powers to ensure they are not allowed into local businesses. Any evidence you can provide will be acted on and ensure that St Helens remains a safe place to live, work and visit. “My team works closely alongside partners and local schools to deter youths from becoming involved in this unacceptable behaviour. We know the vast majority of young people have respect for other people and their

property but we know that some young peoples' behaviour causes annoyance and distress to the local community. "My message is think about what you are doing and how you may make other people feel. How would you feel if a member of your own family was affected by incidents such as these? "The support of parents, guardians and other responsible adults is vital. They can minimise the risk by not letting children hang around the streets with nowhere to go and know who they are with and what they are doing when they go out. Anyone involved in criminal behaviour could be arrested and receive a fine, a criminal record or even jail time. If your child is under 16 then you will be liable for payment of any fine.” Anyone with information on anti-social behaviour is asked to call 101, speak to local officers, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111.

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Funding secured to improve borough’s walking and cycling infrastructure

St Helens Council has secured over £4m of funding to improve walking and cycling infrastructure in the borough over the next four years. The funding, known as the Sustainable Transport Enhancements Package (STEP) aims to: · Support economic growth in the region, particularly around the STEP Growth Sites, to further the objectives of the Growth Plan · Build on the ongoing sustainable transport initiatives in the Liverpool City Region to further expand the region’s multi-modal transport network; · Complement the ongoing Major Transport Schemes programme by providing smaller scale sustainable transport investments; · Remove travel barriers for local residents, helping to address socioeconomic issues in the Region;

and improve transport provision to capitalise on growth in sectors of the economy where the LCR has a competitive advantage, particularly the low carbon and visitor economy sectors. Work in St Helens will focus on the areas of Haydock Industrial Estate, the east of the borough and the A58, where work on the creation of new cycle paths is currently taking place in Parr Street and Atlas Street to link this area up to the town centre. Several trees have had to be removed in order to facilitate a cycle path along Parr Street, however new ones will be planted in their place once the path is complete. The Parr Street scheme will see improvements at key locations, reducing potential conflict between active travel users and motorised vehicle users. It will complete and

provide clarity from the end of existing cycle facilities in and out of the town centre, promoting alternative to motor vehicles. St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, Councillor John Fulham said: “These investments will improve connectivity across the town centre and open up access to new developments, benefitting residents and the economy. “It’s this council’s ambition to promote growth, healthy lifestyles, and bring more jobs into the borough. With more people taking up cycling it’s important they can commute safely into work and into our town centres, reducing traffic and supporting local retail and leisure.”

Have you made improving your health a top priority for 2018? Well you can now undergo a free lifestyle check WITHOUT the need of booking an appointment after the installation of a digital health kiosk in St Helens town centre. Located in the Smokefree St Helens Hub in the Hardshaw Shopping Centre, a static ‘Wellpoint’ health kiosk asks users several questions about their lifestyle habits before allowing them to find out their main vitals such as weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure and heart rate, with results produced instantly. At the end of the assessment, Wellpoint will indicate how likely the user is to develop heart disease in the next 10 years and offers tips and advice on how health and wellbeing can be improved. Results are recorded into a personal profile which can be accessed online or on a smartphone

each time the health kiosk is visited, and users can record and track their results. Speaking after testing out the Wellpoint kiosk, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing Councillor Gill Neal said: “For many, the thought of having a health check can be a daunting prospect in case something unbeknown to us is discovered, like obesity or high blood pressure. “However, our health is the most valuable thing we as human beings can possess and therefore it’s better to catch these conditions early rather than run the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. “It’s encouraging to hear that over 450 people have already used the kiosk since it was introduced in the autumn of last year, and I would urge anyone who is out and about in St Helens town centre to call into the Smokefree St Helens Hub to have a go. After all, it takes

Free digital lifestyle check kiosk launched in St Helens town centre less than five minutes to complete and you don’t need to be registered to the Smokefree St Helens service to use it.” Wellpoint is available to use during the Smokefree St Helens Hub’s opening hours which are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am – 2pm on Saturdays. A mobile unit can also be hired by local businesses and organisations, free of charge, for up to four weeks to allow employees the opportunity to screen their health. Businesses and organisations looking to get involved are invited to contact St Helens Council’s Head of Public Health Commissioning, Matt Davies, by calling 01744 671279 or by emailing uk If you’re aged between 40-74 with no pre-existing conditions, you may be eligible for a free full NHS Health Check. Contact your General Practice or the Healthy Living Team on 0300 300 0103 to find out more.


before you use your phone

Drivers are being reminded of the dangers of using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel. Even if you just glance at your phone for a moment you will miss important details about the road conditions, other traffic as well as vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The risks are great. At only 30 mph a car will travel 100ft in just 2.3 seconds – the time it takes to just take a glance at your mobile. A short film has been made to highlight the point. This new THINK! campaign particularly aims to target drivers

under 35, as research shows this age group is less likely to consider mobile phone use to be dangerous. In addition to showing what you might miss if you do glance at your phone, the campaign also highlights the potential impact your actions can have if a collision happens. Alongside the danger posed to yourself, passengers and other road users, those caught using a handheld mobile whilst behind the wheel also face a £200 fine and 6 penalty points. Anyone caught doing this twice can face a lengthy driving ban which could also lead to a £1,000 fine.

The message is simple – Put your phone away when driving.

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Children and families encouraged to tuck into healthier snacks as part of Change4Life Campaign

St Helens Council’s Healthy Living mascot, Captain Tuck, was on hand to help educate local children and families on the importance of healthier snacks as part of Public Health England’s new Change4Life campaign. To help families get more active and eat healthier, the Healthy Living Team – along with Captain Tuck - began their new year Fit4All programme at the home of St Helens RFC, where families took part in a range of activities and learnt about healthier meals and snacks. At the session, the Change4Life campaign key message of ‘100 calorie snacks twice a day maximum’ was also promoted to help cut children’s sugar intake which, nationally, currently stands at around seven cubes a day. Recent data shows childhood obesity has reached alarming rates in St Helens, with 26.9 per cent of 4 to 5-year-olds overweight or obese – increasing to 38.5 per cent in 10 to 11-year-olds. Each year children across the country are consuming almost 400 biscuits; more than 120 cakes, buns and pastries; around 100 portions of sweets; nearly 70 of both chocolate bars and ice creams, washed down with over 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink. On average, children are consuming at least three unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks a day, with around a third consuming four or more. The overall result is that children consume three times more sugar than is recommended. As part of the Change4Life campaign, parents will be signposted and given special offers on a range of healthier snacks, including fruit and vegetables

at selected supermarkets. They can also get money-off vouchers to help them try healthier snack options, including malt loaf, lower sugar fromage frais, and drinks with no added sugar. Many of the unhealthy snacks children consume regularly are high in sugar and also typically high in calories, for example: · An ice-cream contains around 175 calories · A pack of crisps contains around 190 calories · A chocolate bar contains around 200 calories · A pastry contains around 270 calories The ‘100 calorie snacks, two a day max’ tip applies to all snacks apart from fruit and vegetables, as children should also be encouraged to eat a variety of these to achieve their five a day. Cllr Gill Neal, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “Changing our children’s snacking habits can be a real challenge and we want to make it easier for families to find healthier options. “By asking parents to look for two 100 calorie snacks a day, maximum, children are still able to enjoy a couple of snacks a day, but less frequently.” Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “The true extent of children’s snacking habits is greater than the odd biscuit or chocolate bar. Children are having unhealthy snacks throughout the day and parents have told us they’re concerned. “To make it easier for busy families, we’ve developed a simple rule of thumb to help them move towards healthier snacking – look for 100 calories snacks, two a day max.” PHE’s improved Change4Life

‘Food Scanner’ app shows parents how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in their food to help make healthier choices easier. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play. With a third of children across the country leaving primary school overweight or obese, tackling obesity requires wider action and is not just limited to individual efforts from parents. PHE is working

Chief exec to help

shape national

libraries picture

Warrington Borough Council’s chief executive has been asked to join the national Libraries Taskforce. Professor Steven Broomhead will be taking up a position on the board after an invitation from the chair of the taskforce Kim Bromley-Derry, chief executive of Newham Council. Prof Broomhead was chair of Warrington’s Libraries Working Group which formed to review the results of consultations over the borough’s provision. The group has implemented a plan which has led to

new investment and innovative plans to save Warrington’s libraries. The national taskforce was formed after the Independent Library Review for England to provide leadership and help to reinvigorate the public library sector in England, as well as showcasing and promoting the excellent work already happening in libraries across the country. It promotes libraries to national and local government and to potential funders and creates a strong and coherent narrative around the

contribution public libraries make to society and to local communities. Prof Broomhead said: “It will be good to learn, and contribute to, best practice elsewhere in order to bring back to Warrington to ensure we have a library service that we can all be proud of in the future.” The Taskforce is jointly sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Local Government Association.

with the food industry nationally to cut 20 per cent of sugar from the products children consume most by 2020, with work to reduce calories

due to start in 2018. If you and your family would like to get more active and learn more about healthier meals and snacks, contact the Healthy

Living Team today and sign up to their Fit4All programme by calling 0300 300 0103 or email hit@sthelens.

From today Warrington residents can buy their licences to have their green waste collected by Warrington Borough Council. The new garden waste collection licences were introduced in 2017 and 39,552 licences were issued for green bins across the borough. Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for the environment, said: “Our collection service was very popular last year and helped us to

recycle 9,500 tonnes of garden waste. We hope that residents will choose to use our service again in 2018.” For 2018 the licences will cost slightly more with a one pound annual rise. They will now be £34 if bought at Contact Warrington or over the phone but will be only £31 online. You will need to buy a new licence in order to benefit from the first round of collections in March. The service runs fortnightly until November.

You can pay for more than one green bin if you need to. You can also share a bin with neighbour(s) if you don’t produce much garden waste. You can also compost your waste or take it to our community recycling centres if you prefer. For more information about the garden waste service and for full terms and conditions visit www.

Go green for 2018

No council tax for care leavers, says council Page 4.

Young people leaving care in Knowsley are to be given greater support into employment and exemption from council tax, as part of a package of additional support from the council. The move is designed to make the transition to adulthood and independent living easier for young people who have been in the care system. As well as making the young people exempt from council tax, the council plans to launch a new 12-month introduction to work placement for care leavers who are struggling to find a job. It would give them paid work experience in a role that interests them, working for the council. Cllr Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “For any young person, growing up and learning to live independently is a daunting prospect, but in most cases they have help and

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support from parents and other family members. Some of our young people leaving care don’t have that support to count on, which is where we, as their corporate parents, have to step in. “Young people leaving care often find themselves living independently much earlier than their peers, and on top of that, can find it more difficult to find a job because of the experiences they’ve had in childhood. Both of these things mean they are more likely to struggle financially. “By offering a bit of breathing space with the council tax exemption, and offering more support to get care leavers into work, we hope to make life a little easier for these young adults.” The council tax exemption scheme will apply to any young person currently aged between 18 and 21 years, who has left care in Knowsley, whether or not they live within the borough. The exemption will last until they are 25-years-old.

Meanwhile, the Introduction to Work scheme will see jobs created at the council for up to10 care leavers per year, in roles suited to their skills and interests. As well as giving them real, paid work experience, the young people will be supported throughout the 12-month placement with a package of support that will include a Knowsley Works mentor and a personal advisor. This programme will be initially targeted at care leavers aged 18 and 19, with plans to extend it to young people between 1621 years old in the future. Cllr Gary See, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “It is right that we, as corporate parents, consider all options to make life easier for young people who don’t have the support network that others might take for granted. “I’m delighted that we’re able to exempt care leavers from council tax charges – it means more money in their pockets every

month and just provides one less financial worry at a time of great change for them.” And the decision is already being welcomed by young care leavers in Knowsley. At the Care Leavers’ Forum, when asked for a reaction, the feedback included:

““That will save me at least £20 a month.” “It took us a while to get what we wanted but we got it!” “We will have more money in our pockets and its one less thing to worry about.” The decision to go ahead with the council tax exemption and

Introduction to Work scheme comes ahead of changes to the Children’s Social Work Act, which come into force next April, extending the responsibilities of local authorities to support care leavers from 21-yearsold until the age of 25.

Council shuts restaurant

after cockroach infestation

Raj Tandoori takeaway on Warrington Road in Widnes has been closed after an inspection by Halton Borough Council environmental health officers

found the premises was infested with cockroaches. Following the inspection on 19 December 2017, officers were

satisfied the premises posed an imminent risk of injury to health and closed it immediately using emergency powers. The Council

successfully applied to North Cheshire Magistrates Court for a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order which has the effect of closing the premises indefinitely until the Council is satisfied that the health risk has been removed. During the hearing, the court heard that officers identified that the infestation was active throughout the premises by using monitoring traps that had been placed during a previous visit. At the time of the closure the premises scored zero on the national food hygiene rating scheme. Cllr Stef Nelson, the Council’s portfolio holder for Environmental Services, said: “The majority of

food premises in Halton comply with their food safety obligations – 95% of premises achieve the top 3 hygiene ratings. However, there are a small number that do not take their responsibilities seriously.

“The environmental health team will take whatever action is necessary to protect public health. In this case the Council had no option but to close the premises down.”

Tenors Unlimited –

Be prepared for powerful performances at The Brindley

Hear the best songs from the world’s Opera Houses, Broadway theatres and concert halls when Tenors Un Limited takes you from ‘Venice to Vegas’ at the Brindley Theatre on Wednesday 28 February. ‘The Rat Pack of

Opera’, Scott, Paul & Jem are excited to present their latest tour and will be joined by their musical director at the piano. Tenors Un Limited’s soaring vocals and lush harmonies combined with fun, personality and a sense of

humour is the perfect recipe for a great night out. Tickets are £21 from the Brindley Theatre box office on 0151 907 8360 or book online at www.thebrindley.

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The grave of war horse hero is awarded Grade II listed status

The grave of Blackie the war horse in 1942. Blackie’s grave is one of given heritage protection by Heritage centenary listing project. in Halewood has been given Grade more than 1,000 historical sites England as part of its First World War II listed monument status by Historic England. This is the first time a war horse grave has been awarded this heritage protection and recognises the contribution Blackie made as a horse in service with the British Army during the First World War. Buried at the RSPCA Liverpool Animal Centre, Higher Road, Halewood, Blackie served with the 275th Brigade Royal Field Artillery ‘A’ Battery – 55th West Lancashire Division in most of the major battles of the First World War, including Arras, the Somme Offensive and Ypres. Blackie – thought to have been born around 1905 – belonged to Lieutenant Leonard Comer Wall, a war poet from Kirby, who requested in his will that his faithful horse should be buried with his medals and decorations. Lieutenant Wall died at Ypres in 1917, aged 21, while riding Blackie, who received shrapnel injuries from the attack. Despite this Blackie remained in service on the Western front for the rest of the war and was one of the very few war horses who returned from the front. After returning to England, Blackie served at the Territorial Army riding school and led parades through the streets of Liverpool, before being retired to the horses’ rest home in Halewood, where he died aged 37

Don’t fall foul of

dodgy dealers

Warrington Borough Council is targeting scrap metal theft after receiving reports that unlicensed mobile collectors have been seen to be operating illegally in the borough. The council’s public protection team is now urging residents to be vigilant and contact them if they see any suspicious activity. The team particularly want to hear about activity involving flat back vehicles laden with scrap metal being driven around communities. The team have received reports of illegal collectors using transit vans to collect metal and so would welcome any information relating to this as well. Legislation was introduced in October 2013 to ensure all mobile scrap metal collectors were licensed with the local authority in the area where they collected. Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for public protection, said: “Using an unlicensed dealer may result in your scrap being tipped in a field or the side of a road. If the contents of a fly-tip are traced back to you, you could be fined or taken to court. “Please make sure you only use an approved and licensed dealer.”

Dave Watson, public protection unit manager at Warrington Borough Council, said: “We’ve carried out a number of joint operations with other partner agencies to combat this problem and these operations will continue. “They not only include patrolling and actively seeking out offenders, but we will work with other agencies to deal with offences such as construction and use of vehicles, insurance and driving offences”. If you have something that needs removing, those collectors licensed by Warrington Borough Council will do it properly. They have been checked and approved by us and their vehicle will have a dealer’s licence plate displayed. The complete list of licensed scrap metal dealers can be found on the Warrington Borough Council website: https://www.warrington. of_scrap_metal_dealer_licenses To report any suspicious behaviour please call 442658. Residents are also reminded that Warrington Borough Council operates a free bulky household waste collection service for white goods. To arrange for items to be collected please call 443322.

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Kids should be

having fun – not flu!

Free nasal spray flu vaccinations are now being offered to children aged two and three in Warrington. Parents are being urged to protect their children from flu this winter by taking them to their GP practice to receive the free nasal spray vaccination. Flu can be serious for young children and the vaccine helps protect children against flu and other serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. If you have a child aged two or three you will be contacted directly by your GP practice to arrange an appointment. Children in reception class and schools years 1 to 4 will also receive the free nasal spray vaccination in school.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Flu can be a very unpleasant illness, especially for children as they can develop more serious complications. We want to protect our children and communities as much as we can so it’s really important that we take steps now to avoid the spread of flu over the winter months. “We are advising that parents who have children aged two and three to respond to the invite from their GP practice and get the vaccination done as early as possible. For young children, the nasal spray vaccine is a quick, painless and effective way to be protected without the need for

injections. It’s really not worth putting yourself or your family at risk.” Dr Dan Bunstone, local GP and chair of NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “Flu can be horrible for young children and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. The free nasal spray vaccination can help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others. I’d advise all parents/carers not to put off it off. Ask your GP about the free flu vaccine for your child now.” For more information on how to receive the free flu vaccine contact your GP practice or visit www.nhs. uk/flu

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Whatsapp warning from Halton Council

trading standards officers after voucher scam

A Runcorn woman has received two scam WhatsApp messages from two different friends who were convinced they were genuine. Both messages say that a big name supermarket is giving away a £250 voucher and contain the web link to enter the prize draw. In both cases a real friend has forwarded the message to the 48-yearold. The web link looks genuine but careful readers will notice that there’s a very subtle difference – one letter has been replaced by a symbol. In the example below the ‘d’ in

Asda has been replaced with this symbol ‘đ’. The other message was identical apart from the name of the supermarket that was supposedly running the draw. The scammer had replaced the letter ‘o’ in Tesco with this symbol Ó. By substituting one letter with a symbol, the scammer is able to make the web address appear genuine. Clicking on the link will take you to the scammer’s website Halton Borogh Counci’s Executive Board Member for Trading Standards, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “These texts

are scams. If you receive one of these messages, or anything similar, delete it without clicking on any links. “If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams. ” If you need advice on anything else please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline or 03454 04 05 06.

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Protect yourself and your

loved ones against flu this year

As winter approaches, it’s time for those at risk from flu to protect themselves and their loved ones. Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch. While flu can be a short-lived illness for the majority of people who catch it, for some it can be much more serious. Health leaders in St Helens are

encouraging those who are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, to get themselves protected by getting their free flu jab. Those at greatest risk include people aged 65 and over, those who have a long term health condition, those with a weakened immune system,

residents of long-stay care homes, carers and pregnant women. Those eligible should contact their GP, local pharmacist or midwife to get their flu jab. The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last year you need another one this year to be protected.

Building on the success of last year, children aged 2-3 are being offered a free nasal spray from their GP to protect them against flu and children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be offered the nasal spray at school. Sue Forster, St Helens Council’s Director of Public Health said: “I would urge everyone who is eligible to get the flu jab. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu. The sooner people have the jab the better.” St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Gill Neal added: “Flu symptoms can come

on suddenly and sometimes severely. The most effective way to help protect yourself and your loved ones against flu is to get vaccinated. For most children it is not even an injection, it’s just a quick, easy and painless nasal spray.” NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group and St Helens Council Public Health are encouraging everyone in St Helens who knows anyone who may be at risk from flu to tell them how important it is that they get protected. People who are carers and frontline health and social care staff are also encouraged to get a free jab to protect

themselves and those around them. Younger children are being encouraged to ‘Fight the Flu Monsters!’ - a campaign designed by local children that will promote the free nasal spray and encourage families to ensure their children are protected. The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the autumn before flu is circulating: you can get the jab now, so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter. For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.

If you’re looking for a compassionate but affordable cremation service provider then look no further than Cremation Specialists - Simple Sendoffs. Tom Neal, co-founder of Simple Send-offs explains “With many years’ experience in the funeral industry we were aware that there was an increasing demand for a low-cost cremation provider, hence Simple Send-offs was created”. Joint co-founder Liz Blackmore continues “Since the company was launched in early 2016 we’ve gone from strength to strength and over that time we have found that people have used us for lots of different reasons; They liked the personal, simple, fussfree approach we provide. They felt that a traditional funeral would be a

‘waste of money’ and would prefer to leave their money to others They liked the fact that our Simple Cremation package offers all the practical elements for a cremation at a fraction of the cost of a High Street Funeral Director It suited the wishes of the deceased Many families liked the flexibility it provided and wanted time to organise a separate celebration at a later date It reduced the cost of repatriation” Tom stated “Over the past ten years the cost of a basic funeral has more than doubled to an average of £3,897 and as the ‘cost of dying’ has continued to rise we see the demand for our services continuing to increase. There are big differences in what funeral directors charge and the lack

of clear, comparable information about prices makes an already stressful time, much worse for many people. At Simple Send-offs we have signed the Fair Funerals pledge (part of the Quaker Social Action campaign) therefore, we can reassure our customers that our transparent and low-cost pricing is genuine.”   Liz concluded “The feedback from our customers shows that they were delighted to receive the same service they would have expected from a High Street Funeral Director for a fraction of the cost and many have gone on to purchase our fully guaranteed prepayment plans”. Please call Liz or Tom to discuss your needs on (0151) 630 0050 or 0800 246 5292

Simple Send-offs

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Unusual Wedding Venues If you’ve never considered yourselves to be a conventional couple, check out our list of top alternative wedding venues in the U.K. Some are fun and quirky, some are downright odd. The Gherkin Boasting the best views over the city of London, The Gherkin is the capital’s most iconic modern building. The London landmark also offers a very high standard of hospitality with some the biggest companies choosing it as the venue for their lavish parties. The Gherkin can be seen for miles around so your guests certainly won’t have any difficulty finding your wedding venue. A Cave Wookey Hole in Somerset, who recently appointed a new resident witch, offer couples the opportunity to exchange their vows deep underground in one of their spooky

caves. There are a selection of caves to choose from, the largest can accommodate 120 guests, all of which are fully licensed for civil ceremonies. A lighthouse West Usk Lighthouse is situated halfway between Newport and Cardiff in South Wales. The lighthouse is privately owned and has been restored to a very high standard with a hot tub, four-poster beds, an exquisite spiral staircase and a beautiful roof garden with views across the Severn Estuary. Your ceremony can be conducted on top of the lighthouse in the open air. The building is steeped in history being over 180 years old and grade ll listed; keeps your eyes peeled as many of the local farmers have spotted UFO’s in the area. Editor’s Office

We’re not sure why, but the offer is there. Media enthusiasts (if there is such a thing) can choose to commit themselves to each other in the Editor of The Daily Mirror’s office in Canary Wharf, London. Aaah, the romance! If you’re a busy career couple, this maybe the perfect venue as you can tie the knot during your lunch break; even better if you happen to work at The Daily Mirror. Theatre It’s expected that the newlyweds are the centre of attention on their big day, however privately owned Clonter Opera Theatre in Cheshire offers couples the opportunity to wed live on stage. They have a selection of 5 separate reception rooms to choose for your reception. The theatre enjoys an idyllic setting surrounded by bluebells woods and lush parkland.

London Eye Climb aboard your own private capsule with your family and friends and hold tight. A full revolution takes half an hour and by the time you’ve reached the highest point of the wheel 135 metres above the city, you’ll be married. If you choose the Platinum Package you’ll also be treated to a complementary ride on the Eye to celebrate your fist wedding anniversary. Absolut Ice Bar Set in the heart of London this sub zero venue will certainly give your guests an occasion to remember. The aisle is constructed out of the purest ice harvested from a river in Sweden. This bar is far from being a novelty venue as they also offer a very high standard of catering courtesy of their award winning chefs.

Combining beautiful architecture with picturesque Cheshire surroundings, Inglewood Manor, nestled within 38 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens makes for the perfect venue to hold your wedding ceremony or reception. Situated between the historical cities of Liverpool and Chester, this delightful Grade 2 listed building retains all the charm and warmth of a lavish Edwardian family home, remaining almost unaltered since it was built in 1915.

Depending on the time of a year, a roaring log fire greets our guests in winter, and in summer elegant oakpanelled rooms lead out onto spacious sunlit terraces, creating a memorable backdrop for this most special of days. Wisteria clad walkways, formally planted gardens, pretty ponds and shimmering lakes all contribute to an unforgettable setting for photographs you’ll treasure for a lifetime. The beauty of the building is matched only by the quality of the food and service from your champagne

reception, to dancing long into the night. Our spaces include luxury dining rooms and a bar that can all be specially transformed for your wedding day. The team here at Inglewood Manor see every wedding as a unique opportunity to make your dreams come true. Offering a number of wedding packages, we simply could not try any harder to ensure that every single detail has been meticulously taken care of. Our award-winning chefs and experienced banqueting team ensure that every

meal is prepared with care, presented with pride and served with the friendliest of smiles. From start to finish, our aim at Inglewood Manor is to create from your ideas and dreams a magical ceremony day for you and your guests.

Love at First Sight…

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Sales E: | T: 0115 8456423 Pain is important because when we suffer from pain, it is a vital signal that something is wrong where the pain occurs. It gives doctors essential clues to the problems so that steps can be taken to begin treatment. In most cases the problem will go away after treatment, and in that respect, the pain will have fulfilled its function. But when patients develop chronic pain, that is pain that just goes on and on – it leaves unrelenting suffering that clouds and impairs the mind, so when a patient says to the Doctor “surely there must be something you can do to stop this terrible pain”, it is clear that specialist help is needed. Here at our Pain Research Institute in Liverpool, researchers, scientists and doctors steadfastly continue with their dedicated work, and we believe that the achievement of further targets will lead to added improvements in our battle to ease the suffering of those who are presently committed to a life sentence of agonising pain. We are proud of our achievements to date in finding many cures and beneficial treatments for chronic pain. But with more help we can develop further changes that are desperately needed which will end the suffering of thousands of chronic pain patients. Research into chronic pain is much underfunded compared with other diseases – yet the cost of treating chronic pain in the NHS exceeds the total cost of treating Aids, Coronary Disease, and Cancer combined, yet cancer alone receives income of almost £1M per day. LEAVE THE FOUNDATION A LEGACY IN YOUR WILL AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SUFFERERS. Pain Relief Foundation Clinical Sciences Centre University Hospital Aintree Liverpool L9 7AL Tel: 0151 529 5820 Fax: 0151 529 5821 Registered Charity No. 1156227 Web: www.painrelief

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Helping adults with learning

difficulties or disabilities into work

An innovative employment programme, developed by Knowsley Council in partnership with Knowsley Community College, has successfully helped a number of Knowsley residents secure employment. The Knowsley Internship Programmme launched in September 2016 and offered work experience opportunities across a range of

council service to 11 adults who have learning difficulties or disabilities. Nine interns have subsequently secured employed, with the other two participants pursuing volunteering and training opportunities. Due to the success of the programme, the council has welcomed a further intake of ten adults onto the programme from September 2017.

They are working in a range of council services including Grounds Maintenance, Environmental Services, Administration, Catering and Security. Francis Keenan, an intern in the Council’s IT Service said “I enjoy learning new skills and being part of a team, working in a hands-on environment.”

Francis’ mentor, Stephen Towner, added “Francis has developed a broad range of technical skills and we are now starting to introduce customer services skills too to his working day. Having Francis as part of our team enables us to share our knowledge with a young person who is interested and keen to learn. It’s great to see someone develop their ability and confidence.” Jack Higgins is working with the Street Scene team and said “I enjoy being part of the team and doing practical work being out and about in different areas.” The programme provides invaluable work experience, knowledge, skills and qualifications as well as boosting their confidence and social skills. They are mentored by council staff on a day-to-day basis and also attend a weekly training session around employability, literacy and numeracy, run by tutors from Knowsley Community College. Cllr Joan Lilly, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said “It is fantastic to see the results delivered by this programme and to watch the young adults develop their skills and grow in confidence. We know they had a valuable contribution to make – they just needed an opportunity to show their potential and shine. And that’s what we have done. Our participants have gained invaluable knowledge, skills and qualifications whilst working on the job, and can

now confidently demonstrate their value to any employer. I look forward to welcoming more interns and local employers on to the programme as we hope to expand the programme out across the borough, providing even

greater choice for participants.” To find out more about the Knowsley Internship Programme contact Sue Temple-Fielding or Llyr Owen on 0151 443 2574 or email siadmin@

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Pennant Park

Golf Course

Surrounded by the stunning Pennant Park Golf Course, the Pennant Holiday Lodges will delight those looking to relax and enjoy some of North Wales’ picturesque countryside. The park boasts spellbinding views of the Dee Estuary, Hilbre and the Wirral. On a clear day you can see as far as Blackpool and the Cumbrian Hills. Pennant Park is perfectly situated between Conwy and Chester, making it the ideal location for exploring the North Wales coast and all the area has to offer. Within just a short walking distant you can enjoy nature trails, rambling, horse riding and fishing. If it’s something more adventurous you’re looking for then you won’t be disappointed. North Wales is fast becoming a Mecca for adventure sports. Of course, if you’re a keen golfer then this is the perfect place to own a holiday home. Set in 110 acres of stunning parkland Pennant Park boasts a superb 18 hole golf course with greens of the highest quality and truly breathtaking signature holes. The course also has a practice putting green and a six bay driving range. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome at the clubhouse with its friendly atmosphere and fully licensed bar and restaurant serving food daily. The luxury holiday homes are finished to the highest of standards and complete with interiors that are unique, elegant and fully customisable, so you’re sure to find one that you’ll love. Each lodge comes with a large decked veranda and parking for two cars. The small, exclusive development of 15 holiday lodges are sold with an amazing 75 year agreement and a full 12 month holiday licence, meaning they can be used all year round, as often as you like. This quiet retreat is filling up fast, with the park currently having one brand new lodge for sale and only one empty base left. However, work had now commenced on a second holiday park. This will be home to a further 18 lodges with all the amenities of our first park plus the benefit of being able to sub-let. To truly appreciate the beauty of this park seeing really is believing! Spend a day at Pennant Park, viewing the lodges, have a bite to eat and maybe a round of golf, you won’t be disappointed! Pennant Park Golf Club & Holiday Lodges. a: Whitford, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9ER Junction 32 off the A55 t: 01745 563000 e: w:

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Latest GPS Feature

Draws Glowing Reviews

10 Things Golfers Hate

Golf can be a frustrating game at the best of times. It will test your patience and mental strength, and will do all it can to break you. When things go wrong, they tend to go terribly wrong, but for some reason we keep coming back? Here are 18 things golfers hate on and off the golf course. Wet weather Playing golf in the rain is not fun. No matter whether you have the latest waterproofs, the hassle of sorting your umbrella and swinging in several layers is a pain. Waking up on the morning of a competition that you’ve looked forward to all week and seeing it is raining is an awful feeling. This is made even worse when you ring up to see if the course is open…and it is! What is even worse than this, is heavy showers. Many golfers will risk it on the course and not take any waterproofs out with them. Big mistake. There’s nothing much worse than being caught in a heavy shower with nothing to protect you or your clubs. People saying it isn’t a sport/old man's sport This one is very frustrating as a young golfer. Having played golf for over 10 years now, I can honestly say the game is moving far away from being an “old man’s sport” and most definitely is sport. Just look at the top players on tour. The likes of Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler blow this “myth” out of the water. Slow play When it comes to competitions around your home course, it can often be frustrating because of the amount of players who think they are tour professionals and take what seems like an eternity eyeing up their shot. In my eyes, no one should be on the course for more than four hours, and even then, that is still far too long. Those who play during the week after work can get round 18 holes in three hours, in a fourball, from my experience any way. Then, when it comes to competition day, it can be hard for these faster players to keep rhythm as they are waiting over every shot. Now, I’m not saying everyone should run around the course, but the fact golf takes so long to play is currently damaging the sport and alternatives need to be found. Missing your buffer This one hurts to just think about it. You’re on the 18th tee and you know a par will save you getting that crucial

.1 back on your handicap. Having nailed a drive, played your approach into the green and lagged your putt 3ft from the hole, you then go and miss the par putt and your dreams of not getting .1 back are crushed, just like that. Three putting Putting is the key to scoring. As the saying goes: “Drives for show, putts for dough.” This saying couldn’t be more true. Countless times golfers, including myself, have come off the course and said, “I’d have scored well if I could putt.” If you look at the top pros on tour, they very rarely three putt, hence why they are right at the top of the professional game. Worse than three putting for bogey in my eyes, is three putting for par on a par 5. You’ve done the hard part reaching the par 5 in two, and then you go and three putt. Although you haven’t dropped a shot, it sure feels like you have.

Losing a brand new ball Having cracked open a new sleeve of balls and ripped your driver all week in the build up to competition day, you proceed to carve your first tee shot out of bounds, never to be seen again. It hurts, trust me. Bandits After battling the testing conditions and pushing yourself to the limit mentally, you post your best medal round of the year and think there is no way anybody is beating that. That is until Dave, who “hasn’t picked up a club in a fortnight” comes in with a nett 59. They are the talk of the club as they finish in the prizes for the next few weeks until they reach a suitable handicap. Scarified greens I always try to avoid competitions when the greens have been scarified because for me, it doesn’t always give a fair reflection of your putting. If you play at a course where they

don’t always scarify the greens at an appropriate time, you will understand the struggle. Just when you think you’ve sorted your putting out, you walk onto the course and the greens have holes and lines all over them. The term “hit and hope” comes to mind on these greens. Bad bounces There’s always one of your golfing group that gets every single good bounce. They can miss the green by a good 10 yards, but still somehow get a lucky bounce and see their ball end up just a few feet from the hole. This is even more frustrating when you seem to get every single bad bounce on the course. How many times have you played a career shot, all over the pin, only for it to somehow take a sharp kick right on what looks a perfectly flat putting surface? All I can say is try and laugh it off; otherwise you will most likely lose your mind. Ending up behind the only tree This one really does make you wonder if you really are the unluckiest golfer in the world. The chances of hitting your ball behind the one tree that stands alongside the green if you tried, must be well over 100/1, but somehow you will manage it. This is also a similar situation to when you somehow hit the one and only branch when playing out of the trees. It is no thicker than your little finger but because you are deadly accurate, you will hit it nine times out of 10. There are so many more things that get us golfers riled up, so let us know in the comments what gets you frustrated on the golf course.

SkyCaddie has introduced a stunning new feature on their GPS Touch Model, which has increased accuracy and improved the pace of play, with those findings coming from a test during a major PGA event. Ten PGA pros recently tested SkyCaddie’s latest ground-breaking functionality in Morocco. When they were given a SkyCaddie Touch GPS with the new Pin Position feature activated, they quickly found that they were less reliant on their laser rangefinders – and in the winner’s case, that it relegated his laser to a mere backup device. Or, in his own words, ‘obsolete’. That’s the finding from November’s Grand Final of the SkyCaddie ProCaptain Challenge 2017, when ten qualifying pairs gathered at the Mazagan Beach Resort in Morocco to compete for one of the PGA’s most prestigious trophies. On each of the event’s three days all PGA professional competitors were given a Touch pre-loaded with each day’s pin positions, and were invited to use the Touch for their distance information. The response from the pros was emphatic: adding the Pin Position function – with sub-yard accuracy – to SkyCaddie’s alreadycomprehensive distance information for each hole gave the fully-loaded GPS devices a huge advantage over laser. With no ‘blind spots’ whatsoever – an issue with which laser users are very familiar – the Pin Position-enabled SkyCaddies gave competitors not only exact yardages to the day’s pins, but also to accurate lay-up points on each hole, distances to dozens of key target points per hole including carry distances for all hazards, and even yardages to the major contours on each green, however obscure to the naked eye – something which lasers cannot do. Event winner Paul Bradshaw, Head Professional at Holme Hall GC in Scunthorpe, said: “Over three rounds the experience proved to me that when Pin Position is available for the SkyCaddie Touch, it makes my laser obsolete. “The Morocco event was the first time I had used SkyCaddie Touch with Pin Position. I’ve been a laser user for 15 years, but in Pin Positionenabled events my laser will now be just a backup. The SkyCaddie was a Godsend for lay-up shots in particular, and it both improved and speeded up my game. With a laser you’re dead without line of sight, but Touch with Pin Position makes that problem disappear completely. It gave me Front, Back and Side distances to all parts of the golf course instantly, including the greens, and both my partner and I quickly came to trust the SkyCaddie yardages without hesitation. “The biggest advantage was in knowing instantly where all the hazards were, on an unfamiliar golf course. Without doubt, having Pin Position enabled on the SkyCaddie Touch was a factor in our victory. We used it almost exclusively, and lasered only a few times to doublecheck a distance to the pin – and when we did, the SkyCaddie and the laser were never more than a yard apart. “On golf courses where there are a lot of blind shots, laser is no good. On the 18th at Mazagan in November I was looking to close out the tournament.

I wanted to leave myself with a safe 120-yard layup to the pin. It was blind so my laser was useless. But a quick look at my SkyCaddie gave me a 168-yard shot and an exact layup spot – simple! Through the week, it was of far more benefit to me than a laser. “From now on my laser is just a backup. I’m ordering a SkyCaddie Touch, and the Captain’s getting one too.” Third-place finisher Andrew Baguley, the experienced Head Pro at Leigh GC in Cheshire, said: “My laser is fine as long as you can see the flag, but it often leaves me guessing at a yardage. In contrast I found SkyCaddie Touch with Pin Position to be great. I knew it was giving me an exact yardage to the flag, and it was dead simple to move the cursor to any other point on the hole. “I quickly learnt to trust the SkyCaddie yardages, particularly from distance. For example, with the SkyCaddie it is simple to see the exact yardage to the corner of a dogleg hole – even if is hidden behind a bunker – or to plan your lay-up shots. From now on I will be using a combination of both SkyCaddie GPS and laser, which gives me the best of both worlds.” Muswell Hill GC’s David Wilton, who finished fourth, said: “The simplicity and speed of the SkyCaddie GPS was beyond question, and I quickly learnt to trust the Pin Position feature. I used the SkyCaddie in all three rounds – it was excellent.” And event runner-up Cameron Clark, from Moor Hall GC in Sutton Coldfield, said: “I am normally 100% laser but I also used the Touch a lot in Morocco, especially for lay-ups.” SkyCaddie’s James Holmes said: “Whether you are competing at elite level or playing in your club’s monthly medal, SkyCaddie Touch with Pin Position activated is now demonstrably the most complete distance measuring device on the golf course. “Only SkyCaddie can guarantee that its GPS maps are accurate for professional events, because only we constantly update our course maps on foot, by invitation, using professional surveying equipment. “In Morocco it was fascinating to watch PGA pros who had previously been totally reliant on their laser devices come around to SkyCaddie GPS, once they used the Pin Position feature. “With Pin Position your SkyCaddie GPS now shows the exact same distance to the pin as a laser – but it also gives you comprehensive extra distance information throughout the hole, at-a-glance, within seconds, without needing to laser anything. That speeds up play, makes it more enjoyable, and enables you to play better. “We are looking forward to seeing what happens when the PGA uses Pin Position in more of its events in 2018.” See for all information.

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The Countdown Begins! There’s a month to go until Saints kick off the new season at home to Castleford. The match-up with the Tigers on Friday February 2 will be a mouth-watering start to the 2018 Betfred Super League campaign and tickets are on sale now. Before then, Justin Holbrook’s men face Sheffield and Leigh in preseason friendlies. The Eagles come to town on Saturday January 20 (3pm) whilst Neil Jukes’ Centurions will come to the Totally Wicked Stadium six days later (Friday January 26, 8pm). Both matches are a key part of preparations for the season opener and strong squads are expected to be named for both. To buy your tickets call into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, call 01744 455 052

10 of the Best UK Courses to Play in 2018 Golfers are always looking for somewhere new to play. Ticking off a different course, and sampling a layout or facility for the first time can be an inspiring experience for those of us seeking something fresh. Those familiar with the Course Section on Golfshake will be aware that we have numerous reviews written by Staff and Ambassadors from a wide variety of venues across the country, and further afield. Here, we bring together 20 of the Best UK Feature Reviews on Golfshake, packed with information and opinion, which should be helpful when it comes to identifying worthwhile places to visit across Britain in 2018.

Royal St. David’s Golfshake Rating: 4.64 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: "Royal St. David's describes itself as being "quite simply one of the finest traditional championship links courses in the world". That is a bold statement. But having played it in beautiful May sunshine, with a slight zephyr of light breeze, I find it quite difficult to argue against." Gullane No. 2 Golfshake Rating: 5.00 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “To sum up the course, it provides a fantastic test of golf, a wonderful links experience, presented perfectly and set within a location that you will immediately want to go back and play golf at again.” Aberdovey Golfshake Rating: 4.63 - HIGHLY

RECOMMENDED Snippet: “This is a wonderful golf course in a fabulous setting being maintained to the highest ecological standards. It was a wonderful experience that will live long in the memory and I totally recommend it.” Macdonald Cardrona Golfshake Rating: 4.12 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “The whole experience at Cardrona is one to cherish for a long time. The condition of the course is superb and the large collection of water features, ditches and swales will aid the drainage of the course during winter months offering a solid playing experience all year round.” Royal North Devon Golfshake Rating: 4.26 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “Royal North Devon is a

great links course that oozes tradition and heritage and is as far removed as you can imagine from the manicured and manufactured championship courses we see every day on television.” Burnham and Berrow Golfshake Rating: 4.74 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “It feels historic and special and I cannot wait to return to sample its delights again. The experience of playing here will last long in the memory. This was due in part to the welcome we were extended but also the magnificence of the course and its surroundings.” Thetford Golfshake Rating: 4.56 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “It is a traditional heathland course, with acres of glorious heather

and thousands of mature trees which frame each hole. Keep your eyes open and you will see squirrels scampering from tree to tree, muntjac deer foraging for food amid the forest and a vast variety of birds and other wildlife.” Royal Mid Surrey Golfshake Rating: 3.97 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “While Royal Mid Surrey conjures thoughts of classic rolling heathland of the Surrey and Berkshire sandbelt, it is not quite in the same category as the likes of Sunningdale or Hankley Common, but it does however provide a great test of golf and the mounding either side of the fairways and the greens offer an almost unique test with only the likes of Berkhamsted drawing comparison.”

Thorpeness Golfshake Rating: 4.32 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “If you are looking for an affordable golf break in either summer or winter with a top-quality course just a mile from the sea look no further than Thorpeness. I give you my word you won’t be disappointed, can’t wait to go back again soon.” Preston Golf Club Golfshake Rating: 4.44 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Snippet: “The course itself was in fantastic condition and the great variation in holes was quite impressive. If you find yourself travelling up or down the M6 then you should definitely make a quick stop off here for 18 wonderful holes of golf.”

Each Edition of the St Helens Local has a print run of 2,025 copies. Published by JAC Media Ltd, Foxhall Lodge, Foxhall Road, Nottingham, NG7 6LH.

St Helens Local 9  
St Helens Local 9