15 - March - 2017
INSIDE THIS WEEK’S ISSUE... NEWS
Silent Disco and Yoga classes come to Sefton Park
Liverpool hosts second MCM Comic Con event
Merseyside team wants Quidditch recognised as a real sport
A place for Percy An illegally smuggled deaf pup has �inally found a new home Full story on Page 4 ©Dogs Trust Merseyside
BATTLE BEGINS Liverpool takes on Birmingham in fight for Games
By ALISTAIR BAKER and SAM HEYHIRST Liverpool will battle it out with Birmingham to host the 2022 Commonwealth games, after Durban was stripped of the event. Mayor Joe Anderson has written to the UK Government to express his interest in hosting the games, after the South African city was stripped of the Games because the it did not meet the
criteria set by the Commonwealth Games Federation. A Liverpool City Council spokesman said: “All we’re able to say at the moment is that we’ve written to the Government to express an interest in hosting it in 2022 and are willing to have a dialogue about it. In the meantime we are working up our bid for the 2026 Commonwealth games.” Durban were awarded the event in September 2015, but
was stripped of the Games on Monday, just two months after the city declared itself “fully committed” to staging the event. Liverpool will face opposition from the second-city Birmingham, which has also registered interest in hosting the games. The two cities were set to go head-to-head to host the event in 2026, but the withdrawal of the games from Durban has meant both cities
have stepped forward to take over, due to the unlikelihood of successive games being less than 100 miles apart. Liverpool declared its readiness to step in and host the event last month, as news began to break that Durban would be forced to drop out. The Canadian city of Edmonton is also in the picture, but is unlikely to step in having seen its bid for the Games withdrawn two years ago due to budgetary concerns.
Liverpool City Council has launched a Commonwealth Games fund that will reward local communities who encourage sporting activities. Joe Anderson is offering successful applicants £500 to go towards their community project. It is primarily aimed at people who do less than three hours of activity per week. Applicants will need to send in a form describing how it will impact his/her local community and what
lasting impact it will have. Councillor Tim Moore, Mayoral lead for sport, said: “We know Liverpool has many community groups and local clubs who do amazing work in their neighbourhoods, and we want to be able to help support them in staging new activities that not only promotes getting active, but also raises the proﬁle of the Games.” • Merseysiders have their say - Page 3
Cyber criminals’ new hacking tool By HOLLIE HAYES Cyber criminals are now able to target Fitbits and other online gadgets to blackmail tech users, according to a joint report by the National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency. Online hackers are using a software developed to pilfer photos, emails and even ﬁtness progress information from internet-connected devices to hold users ransom, which could target a critical 21 billion connected devices used by businesses and consumers around the world. Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of the NCSC, said: “Cyber attacks will continue to evolve, which is why the public and private sectors must continue to evolve, which is why the public and private sectors must contin-
ue to work at pace to deliver real-world outcomes and ground-breaking innovation to reduce the threat to critical services and to deter wouldbe attackers.” Ofﬁcials have warned in the past that baby monitors are at risk of being hacked by paedophiles and pacemakers could be targeted to steal conﬁdential health records. Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper will tell Facebook, Twitter and Google chiefs today to “develop ways to better protect users from hatred and abuse”. She said: “They have a duty to do so. We will be asking the companies about speciﬁc cases, why they didn’t act and what they intend to do about it now.” The study also warns that the sharp increase in device usage is opening up an entire new range of opportunities
DELIGHTED: Paul King and his radio © Sam Heyhirst
Radio helps man each day By SAM HEYHIRST
for cyber criminals to use. The National Cyber Security Centre’s Flagship Conference is being held in Liverpool until Thursday for three days of discussions, including briefing information security lead-
ers from around the world, implementing information assurance (IA) and cyber security across Government, and specialised design and development of online services and systems.
Cyberhackers: Online hackers are developing new methods of targeting users © Wikimedia Commons
Liverpool horror writer’s visit By JESS HARRIS
One of Britain’s most respected living horror writers Ramsey Campbell visited LJMU last week as part of the university’s ‘In Conversation With’ series. The Liverpool-born author sat down with Andrew McMillan, senior lecturer at the Liverpool Screen School, to talk about his impressive writing career one that spans ﬁve decades. Members of the public were welcome to join an already packed lecture theatre, with BBC Broadcaster Roger Phillips in attendance, alongside Campbell’s wife Jenny. Phillips took to the podium prior to the main
event to deliver a ‘Ramsey Campbell in brief’, reeling off a list of the guest of honour’s greatest achievements. He described Ramsey’s work as an art form that “combines striking horror narratives with autobiography and real life observation” and revealed that “the older he (Campbell) gets, the more appealing he ﬁnds terror”. The man of the hour kicked off the night with a chilling extract from one of his earlier short stories: ‘Calling Card’, before sitting down with Andrew for an intimate one-to-one. The 71-year-old spoke of how inﬂuences such as M. R. James and Fritz Leiber and the ways in which their
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By SAM HEYHIRST
“reality was invaded by the uncanny”, honed his craft from the early age of 17 - two years after Ramsey started working under his ﬁrst editor. When asked what weapons he kept in his own creative arsenal, Ramsey expressed the importance of good timing and the ability to use the right word when necessary. He said: “Timing is something that can be learnt and is one of the things that horror ﬁction has in common with comedy. “Not only that, but the horror genre is one of the few that depends on the use of language to gain maximum effect.” The concept of horror
writing is about the art of suggestiveness, said Campbell: “To me, I always want things to be weirder than they seem.” Ramsey’s bibliography is proof of his relentless talent, having had work published almost every year since the late 1970s. Audience members were treated to a visual of a handwritten excerpt from the penman’s forthcoming trilogy, currently in its editing stage. Students did not hold back in questioning Campbell on the possibility of his creative tank ever running out of fuel. But the LJMU Honorary Fellow was quick to defend his innumerable ideas - the majority of which are squir-
PROLIFIC: Ramsey Campbell writing autographs © Jess Harris reled away in notepads for someone to stumble across at a later date. He said: “I always ﬁnd myself wanting to write something I didn’t know I was going to write. “I’ve got more ideas than I’ll ever be able to use. But I’m always hoping to surprise myself with something special.”
Wirral Libraries’ creative project By LAURA HUGHES Wirral Libraries have successfully secured a grant to run a series of free creative writing workshops. More than £7,000 from The Arts Council was given to the Write Time Write Place project for a host of libraries across the borough to run a six-week creative writing course for adults. Creator of the project and local writer Charles Lea, told Liverpool Life: “Wirral libraries and I were discussing how we could do creative writing workshops for adults and we knew there was an Arts Council fund for libraries, so with my help Wirral
libraries applied for funding for it and successfully got it.” Nine libraries will be hosting the workshops, which will run from March to July. Mr Lea works at the Read Now Right Now, a company which runs workshops in local schools to help children construct stories, he added: “This is a piece of artistic creation and that’s why we got the Arts Council funding. It is a piece of art creating stories, and that’s how we got the funding because we are helping people write a piece of art work in the form of a short story. “I write stories and I might have had a bad day but if I can take myself off to
my world then I feel good because I can sort of control my own imagination in my writing.” It will give the writers an opportunity to read their work at this year’s Wirral Book Fest in October and submit their stories in a published anthology. Brian Ashley, Director of Libraries at Arts Council England, said: “The workshops, publication and participation at the Wirral Book Festival will provide artistic opportunities within Wirral Libraries, illustrating how libraries can be a hub at the centre of a local area bringing people together to learn about arts and culture.”
A blind man from the Wirral has been given life-changing equipment that will aid him in everyday life. Paul King, from Pensby, has received a Sonata internet radio, which is specially designed for people with sight loss, featuring easy-touse dials and highly-visible colours for those with partial sight. In Paul’s case, this sort of device is heavily relied upon to receive radio news bulletins, something that is taken for granted in modern day life. Mr King lost the sight in one of his eyes at just three after he was impaled on a spike railing, resulting in the need for a prosthetic eye. In 2009, the working retina in Paul’s remaining eye detached, leaving him with permanent vision loss. The 58-year-old has expressed his gratitude to the British Wireless for the Blind Fund for awarding him with a specially designed radio. He said: “When I ﬁrst lost my sight, everything was alien. I couldn’t use anything. I couldn’t use a phone and there weren’t iPads back then. I found it difﬁcult to use a normal radio. I have science podcasts that I thought I wouldn’t hear again and local radio stations. It is tremendous.” BWFB is a national charity that seeks to aid people with visual impairments with their specially designed radios and are currently looking for more volunteers to help within the Liverpool area. Emma Grove, Communications ofﬁcer for the charity, told Liverpool Life: “Life can be lonely for many people with sight loss. Often, they are stuck indoors and can’t read a newspaper or watch the television so they rely on their radio to get news, information and entertainment. “Having a radio which they can operate themselves gives them back a bit of independence and also provides companionship.”
The Voice scouts Liverpool City is positive about Games By AALIYAH RUGG
HOPEFUL: Billy Gwok tries to wow the scouts © Aaliyah Rugg
A leading talent show was looking for fresh scouse talent at a local open mic night on Monday. Scouts from ‘The Voice UK’ came to O’Neill’s bar on Hanover Street in the hopes of signing singers on to the popular TV show for 2018. One Voice scout said: “We are looking for a bit of variety here tonight. So far, we’ve had applicants with a variety of genres like rock, pop, country and a few songs
they’ve written themselves, which is really what the Voice is all about. “We are sure that Liverpool will be able to deliver what we are looking for.” The Voice is a British television programme that has recently moved to ITV, where singers from around the world perform to famous judges such as Sir Tom Jones and Will.i.am. A young singer from Thailand, Billy Gwok, told Liverpool Life: “Singing is my life, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do since a
very young age and I’m so grateful for this experience to be here tonight. “I just hope they will see some potential in me; it would make my dreams come true. “Liverpool is an amazing city and I’ve fallen in love with it so much. Wish me luck.” The performer loves Liverpool that much he wrote a song about the city, which he performed in front of the scouts in the hopes of appearing on the show in 2018.
email@example.com. Also, a Doggie Fancy Dress Parade will be on all paws at New Brighton Seaside Festival this May Bank Holiday. Liverpool event Management Company Orb Events and Wirral Animal Sanctuary invite pooches and their proud owners to join the parade on May 29 in their best fancy dress costumes with the chance to win prizes. Prizes will include a doggy photo shoot with The Flying Canadian Photography, a doggy spa day with The Butler Did It Concierge Company, a hamper and much more, so if you did not make it to Crufts this year fear not as your pooch still has their time to shine. Michelle Rushton from Bill Elms Associates told Liverpool Life: “It’s a great opportunity for the family and man’s best friend to do something fun together. “It’s different and who wouldn’t want to see a pa-
rade of dogs dressed as pirates, superheroes and god knows what else walking down the street. “I think the whole day will be fantastic. I just hope the weather is on our side.” The parade will be part of a fantastic three-day festival for the whole family to enjoy taking place from 2-4pm. The festival will take place over a huge space in front of Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton Beach, Marine Lake and Promenade between May 27 and 28. It will be the ﬁrst large scale seaside festival of its kind in the area promising amazing food, chef demos and live entertainment, as well as a host of family activities and seaside attractions. To enter your pooch, register your details on their Facebook page, which costs £2 and all proceeds will be donated to Wirral Animal Sanctuary. Facebook/NBseasidefestival and Twitter @NBSeasideFest
Festival of ice will be twice as nice
SUMMER FUN: Ice cream festival heads to Liverpool © epic-moments.de
By EMMA WHITE True advocates of ice cream will be delighted to hear that an ice cream festival will be coming to Liverpool on July 8 and 9. Festival organisers Christian and Johannes are two Bavarian brothers bound together by blood and their love for Ice cream, and after travelling around the USA, captivated by an ice cream festival there, they decided they wanted the rest of the world to enjoy the sensations of all things ice cream. The two brothers have set up their own event and social media marketing agency called Kultfeierei Gbr, which will be organising the summer ﬁesta. Flavours from all over the country will be ﬂoating on top of many Scousers’ taste buds come summer time, in a range of scoops, cones and
sundaes with a big cherry on top. Christian Rufﬂing told Liverpool Life: “After bringing the event to Germany ﬁrst, it was a huge success and now we want to bring it to the UK. “We had more than twenty thousand visitors and ﬁfty different exhibitors come to our festival in Munich and Hamburg. “We are hoping that Liverpool and many other places in the UK will be just as fruitful. “Artisan ice cream is one of the big summer food trends in 2017. Similar to beer where many craft breweries, mostly small businesses with one or two people, create new tastes and go new ways in marketing. “Local ice cream manufacturers go the same way and produce new ﬂavours with high quality ingredients, some organic and some even vegan.” The street food festival will be the perfect occasion
to taste every single ﬂavour in one place and with dates swirling in up and down the country, it will be a great opportunity for small and local businesses to show what they have to offer. The festival will concentrate on cool foods from ice-lollies to ice cream bowls. There will be cosy lounge areas, which will offer relaxing summer beats, local bands and many freezing specials. Johannes Schbert said: “It is our aim to support local businesses with their artisan products like organic and vegan ice cream. “We want to be a local festival with local products for the local people.” Christian and Johannes are still in search for local ice cream manufacturers, exhibitors, interested sponsors or local event agencies to join the event. If you are interested, you can reach them at icecream-
By ALISTAIR BAKER People in Liverpool have had their say on the possibility of the Commonwealth games coming to the city in 2022, following the news that Durban has been stripped of the role as host. Liverpool will have to battle it out with Birmingham for the right to host the games but we went onto the streets to ask the people if they thought the games should come to Merseyside. The majority of the feedback was positive, with a general attitude of excitement towards the event. David Cavanagh, 37, from Widnes, said: “I think it’s brilliant if it comes here. I think we should try and put as much in as possible, every penny they need.” Damon Jarvis, 20, from Leeds said: “Yes. It will be good for sports in the area as well if it comes here.” Lizzy Foster, 20, from Guildford, said: “Yes, I think it would be good. “London had the Olympics and they were the most successful games and they managed to make a proﬁt. “It will bring money and more people to Liverpool.” However, some were more sceptical towards the costs of hosting the games. Andrew Best, 45, from Liverpool, said: “I’d like it to come here, but there probably are more important things for us to be spending our money on.” Kathleen Plath, 72, from Liverpool said: “I think it’s a good thing, but I wouldn’t like to see too much of public money spent on funding it.” Kris Aldridge, 71, from Liverpool, added: “At the present time I think no, not at this moment in time. “Especially in this city I think the money could be used elsewhere. “I think that kind of money would be more useful going to social planning and things like that.”
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Squad raises money to teach By HOLLIE HAYES Liverpool John Moores Women’s Rugby Union held a charity fundraiser in aid of a third year player and student who will be taking part in Camp South Africa this Summer. The event, held in McCooley’s Irish Bar last Wednesday, was organized to raise money for Susan Deacon’s ﬁve-week trip to coach rugby to children in schools in South Africa. As sports is not on the curriculum in schools in South Africa, Camp South Africa specialises in sending volunteers to coach not only sports, but also the life skills that can be learned from being a team member. The fundraiser was South African-themed, with players dressing up as animals and safari rangers, with some of the best dressed on the night including penguins, elephants and zebras. The Camp South Africa team attended the event to show their support to the girls organising the night. They held a rafﬂe with over 200 tickets being sold. Prizes consisted of VIP entry in to Level, Camp South Africa Tshirts, rugby balls and more. The night raised more than £130 for United Through Sport, meaning Susan is well on her way to the £500 target. The night had many different teams in attendance showing their support to Susan and all of the LJMU WRU members. For more information on Camp South Africa visit www.campsouthafrica.com, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01612223780 To apply for 2017 or 2018 please use the following link: https://campsouthafrica. com/apply-now/
Happy ending for smuggled puppy By GABRIELLE WALSH
An illegally smuggled deaf pup has ﬁnally found a forever home after an appeal to re-home him was launched earlier this month. Percy, a six-month-old French Bulldog was bred in Slovakia and was illegally transported into the UK. He endured a 1,500-mile journey before being intercepted in Kent and taken into quarantine. Dogs Trust Merseyside provided care and support for the pup during his time in quarantine and he arrived at the Huyton centre just before Christmas. He was eventually adopted and headed off to his new home in January but sadly, due to a change in his owners’ circumstances, he found himself searching for a new home once more. As part of Dogs Trust’s ongoing investigation into puppy smuggling, the UK’s big-
gest welfare charity launched an appeal to help ﬁnd a special home for Percy. Georgina Lowery, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Merseyside, said: “Percy is a very resilient and absolutely adorable puppy who has had a terrible start to life, being bred in a horrendous environment purely for proﬁt. These poor puppies don’t have appropriate vaccinations, are transported thousands of miles in terrible conditions, have false documents and have been taken away from their mums far too soon.” The trade of puppies within and into the UK from abroad is a tragedy that continues to play out unabated. As with puppy farming, “designer” dogs popularised by celebrities such as French Bulldogs, Pugs and Chihuahuas make up 82 per cent of those smuggled into the UK according to a study by Dogs Trust.
IN GOOD HANDS: Percy finally finds a forever home After hundreds of phone calls of interest for the pup, Percy was ﬁnally adopted early last week by a local family, who apparently fell in love the minute they saw him. Georgina told Liverpool Life: “People can sometimes feel they wouldn’t be able
to cope with a deaf dog but they can have a perfectly normal life and can be trained fairly easily, especially when they are as young as Percy as he’s very eager to learn new things.” She added: “We are delighted that he has found his
© Dogs Trust Merseyside forever home, particularly after his tough start in life. We wish him all the very best.” If you think you could offer a dog in need a forever home, please call 0300 303 0292 or visit Dogs Trust Merseyside at Whiston Lane, Huyton, L36 6HP.
Real life story behind Syrian conflict By ALISTAIR BAKER Liverpool Guild of Students hosted an event to mark the sixth anniversary of the Syrian Revolution as part of their Syria Week initiative. The event aimed to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the Middle Eastern country, where the situation has continued to deteriorate into civil war, since the civilian rejection of the regime in the so-called ‘dignity revolution’ in 2011. Speakers on the night included Dr Haytham Alhami, advocacy director of Rethink Rebuild Society and a political prisoner of Syria for three years, and Brian Slocock of Merseyside Syria Solidarity.
Co-organiser of the event and Chairperson Hannen Awwad said: “It’s been six years and it’s known as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises known to date, so we’re here to spread awareness, educate people, everyone is welcome, no matter how much they know about it, the more awareness we raise, the better.” The event featured the personal story of Dr. Haytham, who spent three years in prison for his community activism in Syria, 10 years before the eventual uprising against the Assad regime. During his time in prison, Dr. Haytham spent seven months in solitary conﬁnement, while his family had
no knowledge of his whereabouts for the ﬁrst ten months of his sentence. He eventually received a political pardon from the Syrian authorities after over three years behind bars and moved to the UK in 2007 to pursue his PhD in Occupational Health. Although he lost three years of his life in prison, he said his experience of hardship was nothing compared to the current plight the Syrian people are enduring. Speaking to the audience at the Stanley Theatre he said: “What happened to me is nothing compared to what happened to others in Syria. Many Syrians have lost all of their children, their families,
because of the conﬂict. I’m safe here in the UK and my family is safe.” Also speaking on the night, Brian Slocock outlined the terror inﬂicted on the Syrian people because of their peaceful opposition to the Assad regime during 2011. Since then, 11 million people have been driven their homes, with 5 million ﬂeeing the country and 180,000 civilians killed during that time. Brian was keen to relay his message of awareness regarding the ongoing destruction in Syria. He said: “I think there’s a lot of either lack of information or awareness, or in some cases disin- HARDSHIP: Dr Alhami formation about the ongoing speaking at Stanley Theatre crisis in Syria.” © Alistair Baker
Showing the bullies who is bigger By AALIYAH RUGG A young woman from Liverpool is speaking out against a lifetime of bullying about a rare condition that stops her from growing. Pearl Kelly, 20, will spend her life measuring just 4ft 2ins due to neuroﬁbromatosis, a condition which causes tumour to grow across her nerves. At just eight years old she had a ten-hour operation whilst doctors fused her bent spine and attached metal rods and screws to keep it straight. She told Liverpool Life: “I had a massive problem with bullying, it was really bad.
I didn’t have any friends to hang out with and I got bullied because of my size and disability. People would steal my bag and crutches and I even had my glasses taken off me, snapped and thrown off a balcony.” The illness causes other problems such as nerve damage, bone problems and learning difﬁculties. Pearl was ﬁrst diagnosed when she was two years old and has always been dependent on other people for help with everyday life. Due to her condition, the 20-year-old cannot work and is trying to raise money for an electric wheelchair to make
her life easier, so she can become less dependent on her parents. She said: “I’m so independent I would rather do my own shopping and go out on my own. If I’m really bad like I am now I’ve got to have someone push me, but I would rather go out on my own. “So if I had an electric wheelchair with a joystick I’d be able to go out on my own without someone pushing me.” Pearl wants to speak out against the bullies who have made her life hell. Her GoFundMe page to raise money STRONG: Pearl (upper left) is available at: http://www. shows bullies who is bigger gofundme.com/2rqjodg © Pearl Kelly Baines
UK’s oldest cooper retires
Strike disrupts Mersey commuters by GABRIELLE WALSH
by LAURA HUGHES England’s oldest cooper is to shut his shop in Liverpool. Les Skinner has been working as a cooper for more than ﬁve decades but now the 72-year-old is selling up to enjoy his retirement. Cooperage is making wooden barrels and casks and he started doing it aged just 16 when it was a thriving industry. Mr Skinner said: “I’ve been very lucky all my life because I have enjoyed what I have done for a job. I get up in the morning and look forward to coming to work.” Over the years Les has made thousands of barrels for breweries and ﬁlm, including Robin Hood and Cinderella. There are still about 200 coopers in Scotland but now in England there is just Les and one other cooper based in Yorkshire.
Juliette’s new role at Liquid by LAURA HUGHES Liverpool marketing and PR agency, Liquid, has appointed Juliette Hagan as account director. She will be taking responsibility for strengthening the Liverpool agency’s offering and driving client projects. Ms Hagan has worked in Geneva for the past eight years, managing campaigns for household names including Nokia and Duracell. She said: “When I originally decided to move back to the UK, I spent time researching agencies who were making an impact in the creative sector. “Liquid particularly stood out to me as a North West agency with an international client base. “They’re producing fantastic creative campaigns and concepts for household brand names, so I’m incredibly excited to join.”
QUIET: RMT strike disrupts commuters © Gabrielle Walsh
Hundreds of commuters were disrupted on Monday after members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) staged a walk-out in a bid to save the future role of conductors. Over 2,000 workers went on a 24-hour strike across England’s rail network over plans to scrap the role of 220 guards for new trains, which are set to arrive in 2020. The £460m development of driver-only-operated trains (DOO) will have drivers operating the doors instead of guards.
The strike on March 13 marked one of the biggest days of industrial action since rail privatisation in the mid-1990s. More than half of services on Merseyrail and Northern Rail were cancelled while Southern Rail still ran over 80% of its trains. Merseyrail failed in an attempt to block the planned strike on its network after ﬁling for a court injunction. Commuter Sarah Pettigrew, 46, from Wirral, told Liverpool Life: “It’s been an absolute nightmare. Not only are there no trains after 7pm but my home station Bidston was closed.” Passengers were entitled
to compensation or refunds if their journeys were cancelled or delayed. Despite the negative effects, Merseyrail described the new ﬂeet as “affordable” and said that they would be in public ownership. They claim the new trains would be modern, faster and safer. However, Darren Island, RMT Regional Organiser told Liverpool Life: “We just want the employers to see sense. We’ve had to take industrial actions because Merseyrail and other employers will cut standards and safety.” The RMT has said there will be no further strikes at this stage.
Council scrutinises Government cuts
By ANDREW LIVINGSTON
Liverpool has become the ﬁrst council to produce a report on the effects of Governmental cuts on the people of Liverpool. The Cumulative Impact Assessment states that it is “intended to help the Council and partners to further develop its approach to supporting those affected by current and future welfare reforms”. Changes to local housing allowances, freezing child beneﬁt rates, beneﬁt caps and reduced council support tax are just some of the 22 reforms that are considered within the report. Cllr Martin Jungnitz presented the main body
at St George’s Hall, whilst Mayor Joe Anderson and Bishop Paul Bayes both gave opening speeches to those on-looking in the Great Hall. Mayor Anderson said: “This is the ﬁrst time ever that a complete picture has been pulled together of the impact of the welfare reforms that the Government has implemented since 2010.” Nationally, each individual change is subject to an impact analysis by the Government, but this is the ﬁrst time the effect of each individual reform has been collated. The Mayor added: “It shows clearly that some of the most vulnerable people in society have been repeatedly affected by the changes that
have been made and will be hit again with changes that are coming down the line.” Since 2010, the city council has received a 58% cut in central Government funding and will have to save an additional £90 million by 2020. The report says the Council is having to spend around £7 million a year on rent topups and crisis payments. The Rt. Rev Paul Bayes said: “The measure of a true and just society is our attitude to the poorest and most vulnerable.” He added: “In today’s Britain we should be investing in support for our people. We should not punish, attack and demonise the people who need our help most.”
REPORT: The Come2gether panel disscuss Govermental cuts © Andrew Livingston
Yoga in harmony at the Palm House by EMMA WHITE Combining body, mind and soul with the love of music is bringing together the two different worlds of yoga and silent disco in Liverpool for the ﬁrst time. Launching at the Sefton Park Palm House, the event sees people combine their passion for yoga into a rather fun twist as they explore their inner selves.
Niamh Kavanagh, organiser and instructor, told Liverpool Life: “Yoga and music work pleasantly together if you can ﬁnd the right style of music. “If you’ve heard the expression ‘dance until the dancer disappears’ then you’ll understand that love for dancing and listening to music can make you forget yourself and all your problems for a short while.” Playing a rare house harmo-
ny style, music comes from DJ Lupine who creates emotion and builds up elements particularly through his happy movement tones, lifting up the music and experience for all those that listen. His inspirations are drawn from happiness and a sense of freedom. Niamh decided to bring the event to Liverpool after recently attending one in Cornwall.
Pleasantly surprised by the experience, she wanted to turn her traditional yoga practice into something that is fun and feels good for everyone. “It’s a chance for people to forget the stresses of everyday life, become alive with the desire of heart and soul and feel only good attitudes. “Once we return, it will be a good space to carry on with our lives and hopefully be a
lot happier in. “Music is the best tool. It cheers us up and when we listen to it, we want to move and dance, allowing our emotions to shift.” With a passion for dancing and music, Niamh has been a yoga instructor for over fourteen years. Almost four of those have been at Sefton Park Palm House teaching weekly classes.
Life| Arts |6
Curtains up at Fringe Fest
LJMU: Drama students set to headline this year's festival Below: JMU students rehearsing for the play
By GABBY WALSH and JOSH DOHERTY Fringe Fest is set to return next week with the biggest lineup to date. Headlining this year’s LJMU Drama Festival, produced and performed by the University students. A re-enactment of the Hillsborough tragedy will be played out on stage at JMU’s Fringe Festival next week. The production, called Bottleneck, is part of a festival played out, produced and organised entirely by LJMU students. Bottleneck has previously taken place as a monologue piece in Edinburgh and London but has never been shown in Liverpool before. The production will play a central part to the success of this year’s Fringe Festival and the students taking part have been hard at work to ensure a
quality display. Rachael-Sofia McLean, who is directing, told Liverpool Life: “It’s going well, we’re really happy. We still have lots more rehearsing to do but we are all pretty much on track and we’re just adding the finishing touches to the production now. “It’s been received really well in London and Edinburgh, highly acclaimed, it got four stars from the Telegraph at Edinburgh but it’s never been adapted to a five-person script before, it’s always been a monologue show. So, this is really a first for it. “We started editing the scrips, back in November, we got the final script the end of January so it took two months to edit the script and make sure everything was right for us.” With this being the first instance of the production moving away from being a monologue, Miss Mclean is
hopeful that it will make the viewing experience a more emotionally charged one. She told Liverpool Life: “I hope that actually seeing all the physical characters and being able to see the interactions with each other and how you see the relationships grow on stage might make the audience feel a little extra connection to what’s going on. “It shows the aftermath of the disaster, what was said about it and how it affected the people involved. So, we see the family aspect and the effects of the actual disaster too. It was a tragedy that brought the city closer together, it didn’t matter whether you were red or blue, and now it carries that extra significance too because the families have gotten justice. This is the first time it’s been performed in Liverpool and we can’t wait to perform it here.” Bottleneck, awarded five stars
by the Telegraph, is one of the many performances taking place over the spring festival. There will be eight original plays in total and are linked by a common theme, aiming to address todays societal issues of injustice and inequality. The festival kicks off on Tuesday March 21st starting with Who Watches the Watchmen. Performances from Held for Release, Class of 05, On the Rox, Phobophobia, Don’t Fall Asleep on the Met, Do Girls like That are all casting on dates over three-week-long event. Donation boxes are available at these shows for The Whitechapel Centre, The Hillsborough Family Support Group and The Brain Tumour charities. Tickets for the plays cost £5 general admission and £3 students. To buy tickets go to http://buyonline.ljmu.ac.uk/ conferences-and-events/ljmu/ makin-theatre-festival
Scouse humour goes straight to the funny bone James Jones finds his ribs are seriously tickled at the Royal Court's hilarious comedy Lost Souls When it comes to capturing Scouse humour, many shows can struggle to do so. However, Lost Soul excels at exactly that. The play aims to have the audience laughing from start to ﬁnish and it undoubtedly does so. Following two sisters and their husbands – who are best mates – the play goes through a few rocky weeks for the four who’ve been married since the '70s, as one of the sisters leaves for another younger man. Taking part in the modern day, it follows the two couples as they struggle to relight the ﬂame that brought them together in the '70s, while using a classic Motown-era
soundtrack to help the story ﬁzz along. Adding to the story, the four characters have amazing chemistry with each other, with Andrew Schoﬁeld’s character Smigger leaving the audience in tears as he throws jokes and insults around that just reﬂect the humour that Liverpool is famous for. The show also features Jake Abraham, who has appeared in ﬁlms such as Formula 51 and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, playing Terry, with the two hitting the town with the Sunday night crowd in clubs such as Smokie Mo’s and The Big House listening to the music of their youth.
On stage: The set of Lost Soul at the Royal Court Theatre Overall the play itself is unbelievably witty, funny and outrageous, and it is certainly something that the older crowd in Liverpool can relate to as it looks at the past of the city's nightlife, while also reﬂecting on the current state of it. The actors in it play their parts perfectly and have an
undeniable chemistry with each other, and it’s clear to see that they enjoy being on the show just as much as the crowd enjoy seeing it. From beginning to end it really is a brilliant display of Scouse humour and has many lines that will have the crowd laughing in tears on the ﬂoor.
• The show runs at the Royal Court Theatre from Friday March 10 to April 8. VERDICT:
This Scouse laugh-fest will have you lost for words
Lost Soul: At the Royal Court
Time to check your VITAL SIGNS! T
he first symptom of an undetected heart problem is usually death. But, an average of 12 fit and healthy young people die each week, but a simple screening could save lives and intervene before it’s too late. One such screening event was held in Garston and was attended by Stacey Fielding, who tragically lost her boyfriend, Chris Tansey, to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest in June 2015. She has since been a passionate advocate for the Vital Signs Foundation, promoting young people to get checked for underlying heart conditions. She said: “Does Chris’ death not scream out the importance to grab these chances to come to the free events? You cannot just go to the doctors and get this done. By just taking 15 minutes out of your Sunday, you could have saved the rest of your life!” Stacey raised £5,160 with a group of friends by trekking up Mount Snowdon and it was this fundraising that was able to pay for the screening event that took place in Garston in memory of Chris. She said: “I had planned our Snowden trip purposely on Chris’s anniversary at the time for selfish reasons to be away from reality that a year has passed already. As the time went on while raising the funds, it helped me to see what a positive effect we are actually making to our generation and the age bracket VSF support. “I thought the 4th June 2016 would have been filled with emotion and tears for Chris but it was only filled with laughter and great memories I will cherish forever with my closest friends and will always be truly grateful for them making this time one of the best experiences in my life!”
aving never taken the health of my own heart into consideration, I went along to a free screening
Andrew Nuttall explores a hidden killer of young people and the simple ways in which one local charity is helping event in the Garston Urban Village Hall to see just how important the screening process is. Upon arrival at the centre, I was greeted by the friendly trustees of the charity and given a run through of what they do for the community. Steve Haw, founding trustee for VSF, explained how the charity has delivered 13 screenings to date with over 1200 young people benefitting and; from those; eight young people found they had potentially life-threatening heart conditions.
MEMORY: The event was funded by Stacey and her friends trekking up Mount Snowdon and held in memory of her boyfriend Chris Tansey Pictures © Stacey Fielding
fter a simple questionnaire which took my basic information and details of family history, specialist consultants were given a clearer idea of my general health as part of the process. Whilst filling this out, paramedic Patricia Chadwick was on hand to deliver a brief session of defibrillator training while people were waiting to continue the screening process. She said: “People should not be afraid of these machines. It may be daunting once someone collapses but you are their lifeline. You can only do good with these machines, they won’t shock someone who doesn’t need it. Anything you can do until we [the paramedics] arrive on the scene will increase that person’s chance of survival.“ After this demonstration, my blood pressure was checked before one of the specialist physiologists escorted me into a private room to conduct an ECG exam. The quick and painless test took a matter of minutes as I lay still and let the machine monitor the electrical activity in my heart. Shortly after that, one of the consultants ran through my results which I got just 15 minutes after walking through the door. Speaking to trustees after the event, it is clear that the day was a success as amongst all of the people that came along, one person had a condition identified.
THIS WAY: Signs outside the Garston Urban Village Hall promoting the heart-screening event Pictures © Andrew Nuttall
SINCE STARTING IN 2010... 13 free heart screening events across the North West
39 people have been referred for more tests after a screening
Over 1,200 young people have been screened by VSF
8 previously undetected conditions were found
Therefore, 1,200 families have been given peace of mind
‘Just taking 15 minutes out of your Sunday, you could have saved the rest of your life!’
Don’t miss next week’s final bumper edition of Liverpool Life Find us at: https://issuu.com/ljmujournalism
LIFE EXTRA The midnight journalist
ince graduating last summer with a 2:1 degree in international journalism, Jenny Kirkham is now well on the way to her dream career. The 23-year-old from Belfast currently works as the night reporter for the Liverpool Echo, and told Liverpool Life all about how she landed the role. “After graduation In July 2016 I applied for a job at the Echo and didn’t get it, but they offered me another job within Trinity Mirror for the Southport Visiter. I did 6 months of freelance work for them, covering stories such as crime, council meetings and local issues across west Lancashire.” About six weeks ago, Jenny then moved over to the Echo. She initially covered the live blog and the Wirral area, before switching to her current position. “I work from 4pm until midnight and I’m the only person at the ofﬁce past 6pm. My role includes covering any live and breaking news during that time. One minute I can be writing a lovely piece
Amber Roberts talks to graduate Jenny Kirkham about how she made the transition from student to late night reporter about a puppy that needs a new home, and the next I’m called out to something quite sinister such as a murder.” Jenny highlighted how important it is to be adaptable in her role, and how her time at university prepared her for the world of work. “The reason I chose the course here at LJMU was because of how practical it is. The news days in third year actually really prepare you to do your job. I liked the fact that you are all thrown in together. “I’ve had a couple of different job roles since graduating so when you’re moving around one massive ofﬁce to different departments you just have to get on with people, and I feel like third year really prepared me for that. When I go to work now, I know what I’m doing due to the news days.” Recalling her favourite part of the course, Jenny said “I absolutely loved the news days. They were more
intense than any day I have ever had at the Echo and are exactly what you need to expect when you get a job. They are the one thing that properly prepare you. That feeling on a Monday morning when I was asked for the top story gave me a buzz.” Along with the practical skills gained such as writing stories and learning how to design, the skills such as building the conﬁdence to speak to anyone and create new relationships are what Jenny found the most valuable. “I get to meet so many people I would never usually encounter; I’ve got great relationships with the Merseyside Police press ofﬁce and other people that in university I’d never have imagined. “It is important to remember everyone is a contact. You have to get over doing the little things such as vox pops and phone calls, because although you may ﬁnd them difﬁcult at
ﬁrst, they will soon become second nature” Jenny would like to cover various areas of journalism such as politics and conﬂict. However, for now she is really enjoying crime, something she has only been able to cover since graduating. When asked what advice she would give to current journalism students, Jenny said:“It’s important not to turn your nose up at anything, no matter how small. You have to cover local and charity stories before tackling the big ones. The contacts you make you will always need one day so keep them in your back pocket. It is also the best experience for learning how to write a story.” Jenny is really enjoying her new role at the Liverpool Echo and all the opportunities that come with it, from enrolling on a course to improve her video making skills, to the daily competition for the frontpage splash.
MIDNIGHT OIL: LJMU graduate Jenny Kirkham now works as late reporter for the Liverpool Echo
‘It’s important not to turn your nose up at anything, no matter how small. You have to cover local and charity stories before tackling the big ones’
Stylish Cyrano’s triumph of love and laughter
A new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s romantic comedy Cyrano de Bergerac by Deborah McAndrew was performed at Liverpool’s Playhouse theatre. On entering the auditorium, it is impossible to overlook the famous disﬁgured nose of Cyrano - its silhouette is projected onto the wall Pinocchio-style. Christian Edwards tackled the role of Cyrano with great
talent, moving the audience from laughter to almost tears as he surrendered his love for his cousin Roxane to woo her on behalf of his friend, Christian. Roxane was played gracefully by Sharon Singh, her thick Scottish accent an unusual choice for a lead character of a play set in 17th century France. The subtle use of sly humour and spirit made Roxane stand out as a
Liverpool Life’s Poppy Backshall had a date with Cyrano de Bergerac at Liverpool Playhouse great female character, who could be appreciated for more than just her beauty. Conrad Nelson’s production nudges the central narrative along with plenty of music and ribaldry. Most of the story takes place in Paris featuring a colourful
array of characters, singing and reciting poetry. The small versatile ensemble were clearly a hard working bunch, who seamlessly switched from ﬁne ladies, gossipy nuns to randy soldiers. The production’s strengths
lay in the comedic scenes, with the more serious taking on a slightly stuttery feel. However, anyone interested in observing the simple story telling of a tale of unrequited love would be sure of an enjoyable evening.
‘A must-see if you’re in the city! Anyone interested in observing the simple story telling of a tale of unrequited love would be sure of an enjoyable evening.’
So, who would want to work in a bar? BARFRONT: A familiar sight for night-time bar staff
Emma White reports on the difficulties that Liverpool’s nocturnal bar staff face as they try to make a living
fter working in several nightclubs all around Liverpool city centre for many years, I want to share the real story of what goes on behind the club doors, and the often intolerable circumstances that staff have to put up with, both from customers and the companies who employ them. The life of a bartender might seem like fun but it can soon become draining. Becoming nocturnal in the cold winter months and only seeing daylight when leaving work at seven in the morning is a challenge. It can be termed a rollercoaster. No security and zero contracted hours is the norm for these people - and if the club is receiving no money, then you can guarantee that neither will the staff. John Charles, bar manager of a local nightclub, told Liverpool Life: “As a manager, I used to feel guilty as I knew some staff members would be desperate to work. I wouldn’t be allowed to offer them all hours, yet I would be expected to keep the employees loyal to our venue. “They were paid minimum wage and without any sort of contract. If there was any slight reason to no longer need them, they could be sacked at any moment without giving them any reason. “On occasion, I was told to just stop texting them with hours and not give a reason for lack of texts. No staff members received holiday pay or sick pay, including myself. I even felt like I could be sacked without reason at
any moment.” People fear being ill because contracts do not allow for sick pay like most jobs do, so you ﬁnd staff coming in sick, which can be a major health hazard when working with food and drinks. The last thing a customer wants to see is a bartender with a runny nose serving a mojito in one hand and a dirty tissue in the other. The hospitality industry can be unforgiving, and so can the people who provide it. Staff are prepared to give up their precious weekends to work ridiculous hours with no breaks, turning into a member of the walking dead. Left with no sleep and no social life, jealousy comes into play watching all those drunks on a Friday and Saturday night. Bartender Paul Johns told Liverpool Life: “The major problem of nightclubs at the moment is the absurd amount of proﬁt being made by companies that is not being passed down. “Yes, managers probably work very hard but it is ordinary staff, the boots on the ground taking all the money in and working unsociable hours. “It can be seen by various reviews left online, citing the hard working nature of staff that improves the reputations of businesses, therefore making them more money - but we see nothing in return, and certainly not a thank you.” You would need to have a thick layer of skin to handle the level of rudeness from customers who think they have a right to speak to you in any way they want, click-
ing their ﬁngers and waving their hands in your face as if you’re some sort of animal. common phrase heard in hospitality is ‘but I was here ﬁrst’. It is amazing that a customer expect that out of the 500 people standing at the bar, that the staff can pick out who was standing there in order of who got there ﬁrst. In reality it doesn’t work like that and they are only trying to do the best they can. Charles said: “I found that I was in a position where I was under pressure from the owners to have a large pool of staff, but I also couldn’t offer regular work to a large proportion of these staff
members. This would involve ﬁnding out the day before an event or even sometimes on the day of an event to which staff I would need and giving them such little notice.” One of the aspects of working anti-social and nocturnal hours at bars is that a lot of
the time the work is for free. Bartenders are forced to do this because whoever has a voice and stands up to this risks getting sacked and replaced. Capping money an hour or two before the staff get to leave the premises is an inexcusable thing to make anyone do, but especially at unsociable
© Emma White
hours. For all the hard work that actually goes into working in a bar, bar staff are not getting the credit they deserve. They work long hours and are usually spoken to so badly. It’s as if they’re not seen as a real person. James Woods, bar supervisor said: “I feel sometimes you are under-appreciated by the organisation you work for and the customer. “I think the organisation forgets that you are the body that is painlessly making money for their egotistical, capitalist schemes and the customer seems to forget that you’re the one who is providing them with the means to dance like Michael Jackson, or at least try.” *Names have been changed
Embrace the Emerald Isle Rosie Steedman has Liverpool Life’s essential guide to celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day
hanks to the luck of the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, so the celebrations are expected to be bigger and better than ever. With packed-out city centres and bustling pubs, Liverpool is one of the best places to revel in the festivities. St. Patrick’s Day is the ofﬁcial feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. Celebrated on March 17 every year, the day is always a big occasion in the city. The historic celebration of the Emerald Isle is one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar, with events such as the St Patrick’s Day parade through the streets of Liverpool City Centre and stout on offer in the city’s many Irish pubs. With three-quarters of Liverpudlians having some Irish ancestry, it’s no surprise that Liverpool’s celebration of St. Paddy is so popular. There is no better reason to down as much whiskey as possible and dress up for a day (and night) on the town. Most Scousers love an excuse to drink, so combining ale and music is the perfect way to party.
Here’s the best way to get out and celebrate on Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Parade This year’s parade begins at the Old Irish Centre on Mount Pleasant at 3pm and features local groups. The Liverpool Irish Flute Band, Cumbrian Drum Band and Manchester Community Pipe Band will provide the unmistakable soundtrack to this traditional march. If you want the best experience, make sure you head down early to make the most of it. The parade will move down from Hope Street, pass along through Upper Duke Street, Chinatown, and make its way to Derby Square where the parade will end. St. Michael’s Irish Centre Embrace some real Irish culture by going to the city’s Irish Centre on Boundary Lane. With live music and entertainment, tickets are £7. Pub Crawl Liverpool has plenty of Irish pubs spread around the city, including bars such as O’Neills on Hanover Street,
McCooley’s on Concert Square and Shenanigans on Tithebarn Street, Flanagan’s Apple on Mathew Street, Seel Street’s Pogue Mahone, The Irish House on Ranlagh Street and the The Liffey on Renshaw Street. Independent Liverpool’s St. Patrick’s Day Weekender On March 17 and 18, Independent Liverpool is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day weekender. With tastes of Ireland transforming The Great Baltic Warehouse, expect to see lots of food and lots of drink. Tickets are available online. Irish Disco Maﬁa at Constellations Constellations in the Baltic Triangle is hosting a Paddy’s Disco night. For those who want a spot of dancing and have made it to the evening, there’ll be an Irish party with Get Down Edits, Queen & Disco and James Morgan playing on the night. Currently there are 300 free tickets available from Skiddle.
HIGH SPIRITS: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at Concert Square bars last year © Facebook/McCooley’s/Soho/ Walkabout
TALENTED: Fegus O’Conchuir performs at the Irish Festival. © Facebook/Liverpool Irish Festival
Mindful drinking movement moderates a generation
By ROSIE STEEDMAN
t’s universally known that throughout our younger years we each spend a lot of time, effort and money drinking. However, we aren’t sobering up as we get older. It’s not young people that need their hair holding back or being put into a taxi home, it’s their parents who need the help. According to ﬁgures from the Ofﬁce for National
Statistics, a quarter of 18-24 year olds have cut back on drinking alcohol over fears it could ruin their appearance. In January, when many people stop drinking for the ‘Dry January’ campaign, ‘Mindful drinking’ was also top of the list for New Year’s resolutions for some. The ‘Mindful Drinking’ movement is all about changing the way you think and feel about alcohol.
Pub worker Jasmine Simpson knows the effects of alcohol consumption. She told Liverpool Life: “From working at a bar, I can deﬁnitely see a difference in age of the regular drinkers. “Older generations seem to drink on a daily basis whereas younger generations tend to drink now and again. Although, when young people do drink they tend to drink in higher quantities than the people
who drink regularly. “I see ﬁrst-hand what effects alcohol can have on a person. It can make them angry, loud and argumentative. It is often a regular occurrence we have people coming back to apologise for their behaviour the next day!” To combat drinking problems, The Brink, Liverpool’s only dry bar, opened. The alcohol-free bar is a social enterprise run to help
people recovering from drink and drug addiction, but is open to all members of the public, whilst having a private area set aside for alcohol counselling. Eve Christian from The Brink told Liverpool Life: “Social pressure has a massive inﬂuence on young people. In lots of situations, they drink because it gives them more conﬁdence to socialise. “I would say to young
people who want to drink but still want to have fun and stay safe, that they should create a prevention plan before embarking on any social situation that may involve drink. “For instance, drink one glass of water to one glass of alcohol and stop drinking after a certain amount of alcohol.” This trend could be the next big thing for a healthier you in 2017.
With a weekend packed full of action we sent Liverpool Life’s Josh Hodge and Aaliyah Rugg to join in the fun at this year’s Comic Con
omic Con returned to Liverpool this weekend with Sam Jones, otherwise known as Flash Gordon, leading the celebrity line-up. The Exhibition Centre on the docks played host to Liverpool’s second ever MCM’s Comic Con this weekend for fans of every TV show, game, movie or comic book series to prove once again that being a ‘Geek’ or ‘Nerd’ is no longer a negative connotation. The weekend started on a downbeat note after the show’s headline guest, former Doctor Who star Billie Piper, cancelled due to ﬁlming commitments. However, MCM’s Regional Event Manager Danny
Aindow managed to make the weekend a huge success, with over 20,000 people expected to have attended the event from Saturday to Sunday. He told Liverpool Life: “The feedback from our guests has been incredible. I’m from Liverpool myself and it’s just such a fun-loving group of people who love to laugh and have a good time. “Sam Jones, Flash Gordon, has fallen in love with Liverpool. I took him into Liverpool town centre to the Cavern Club to go and have a look at where the Beatles played. People from Liverpool are always up for just having a good time and when you bring a show like
PACKED: The show was very busy with content creators, fans, celebs and enthusiasts alike © Josh Hodge
ANIME: Three girls showing off their best Japanese cartoon dress © Josh Hodge
TORINO: The famous car from American cop thriller Starsky and Hutch makes an appearance © Josh Hodge this here there is so much to see and do, it is just a great meeting of venue, show and people. “A huge number is brought to Liverpool, I mean one of the good things about the Liverpool show is that for all the shows we have, exhibitors come and sell things and exhibit at our shows and they travel all over the globe. “There is a huge amount each year of exhibitors from Liverpool, so there are loads of people that have never really gone and traded at a Comic Con before who’ve brought their local business to the show. It has been really helpful for people in that regard.” Sam Jones, arguably the show’s main celebrity guest, is best known for his role as Flash Gordon and his appearances in Ted, spoke to Liverpool Life about what Comic Con does for him and what he thinks of Liverpool. “It’s an opportunity for the ﬁrst time in this city to meet the fans face-to-face and it is also an opportunity for me to listen to the fans, a lot of actors I guess don’t get the time to do that.
“The people here are very good and it’s a great turnout. The other night I visited the Cavern where the Beatles performed and that was good. It was crowded, it was only ﬁve o’clock at night and you could barely walk in there.”
ne of Comic Con’s main attractions, all over the world, is the opportunity for fans of all types of genres to be able to dress up as their favourite characters. Over the weekend costumes ranged from Harley Quinn and The Doctor, to Darth Vader and Deadpool in a bid to win the great accolade of being the best-dressed guest. Speaking about what fan love means to him, Andrew Lee Potts, known for his starring role in Primeval and Wireless, told Liverpool Life: “I have been doing Comic Con for ages now, and I guess it’s meeting the people that’s great, and on TV you don’t really get any feedback. You might read what critics think, but that is not necessarily the audience, is it? So having that feedback about
PUDDIN’: Suicide Squad fans pose next to the MCM Comic Con logo © Aaliyah Rugg your show is amazing and it means so much to see whole families all excited to see you, so you know it’s really nice. “It’s a nice feeling to get that validation that you did something good and you had some sort of impact on somebody in some sort of way. Also, I love all the costumes; it always surprises me how good some of them are. “I haven’t been here much in Liverpool. Yesterday I had a little walk into the centre and its lovely. Building-wise and the way its planned out, its really nice and I wish I could’ve spend more time there, maybe if I come back next year, I’ll be able to work that into the schedule. Also the people seem pretty lovely to me. I mean I’m a
northerner, but I live down south now, so it’s nice to come back up to this end.” Sam Jones added: “The reason I did the entire franchise of Ted, with Ted 2 - and I’ve signed for Ted 3 - is that I got a call from Seth Macfarlane six years ago, and he said, ‘When I was eight years old, your movie inﬂuenced my life so much that I knew I was going to be a creative type of person when I grew up’. “Now when I travel everyone else has grown up and are in their 30s, 40s and 50s and they share the same story with me, that when they were eight, nine or ten years old, myself, the ﬁlm or the character had some type of impact or inﬂuence on their lives, so it’s cool to hear their story now.”
Life| Focus |13
NOW: Site of the proposed course, showing Hoylake and West Kirby with the Royal Liverpool Golf Club on the right and the local municipal course behind ... © LiverpoolCityCouncil
... AND IN FUTURE : Same section of land showing where the developments would take place © LiverpoolCityCouncil
We don't need another golf course - we need to save our beautiful spaces Wirral residents rise up against plans for new leisure resort
By Poppy Backshall
petition has been set up by Hoylake residents to halt Wirral Council in its plans to override planning policy and build a golf resort on protected land. The policy would allow a private developer to build a golf resort and luxury housing estate on protected green belt land. Green belt land is essential for many reasons, primarily to safeguard the countryside. The plans are to build on a huge 295 acres of land between Hoylake, West Kirby and Meols. Local people are not supporting the plans as they beleive that there will be little beneﬁt for the community, as well as the huge amounts of money that are being spent on the plans by the council. Despite the recent council cuts, over £600,000 could be spent on surveys and consultant reports for what will be a £190m pound championship golf course resort. The development will include a ﬁve-star hotel, con-
ference facilities and spa, two golf courses and clubhouses, a links academy, large car park, a new link road, maintenance buildings, 160 luxury houses and 40 luxury apartments. This could be a precedent for future building on green belt land. It is also believed that the developer has submitted plans for a further housing estate in West Kirby adjacent to the proposed Golf Resort. There are other submissions for building on green belt land in Greasby and Saughall Massie. Removing the protection of this land across Merseyside could have devastating effects on the bio-diverse farmland which is home to a wide variety of fauna and ﬂora, including species of national and international importance.
he petition has been launched by Karen Laurence and holds over 1,500 signatures. This has drawn the attention of councillors Chris Blakeley and Adam Sykes, who are holding a meeting at Hoylake town hall on March 20. The Hoylake resident told
GREEN BELT: Land currently being used to graze cows Liverpool Life: “The Wirral really doesn’t need another golf course. They should just change one of the already existing ones to meet the requirements. Jack Nicklaus is going to be designing the course, which is a concern in itself as at least 70 of his courses have failed. "We don’t want our environment disturbed. The land is currently home to a fantastic variety of unusual birds. "Both the Mersey and Dee estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites for waders and wildfowl in
winter. "We also have marsh land and reed beds home to Natterjack Toads. We don’t want all of this spoiled by yet another golf course. It will also increase the risk of ﬂooding as it’s being built on ﬂood plain. Many of the local residents are very disappointed.” A statement by Wirral councillors Chris Blakeley and Adam Sykes noted that members of the council are not prepared to allow green belt land to be built on. They explained that this land
© Karen Laurence was like a jewel in Wirral's crown and greatly valued by residents. The council recognised the valuable part green belt played in preventing urban sprawl and protecting muchloved green spaces. The council therefore conﬁrmed an unconditional guarantee to protect Wirral’s green belt land. The councillors argued that golf courses are highly mechanised and intensively managed with high volumes of water, pesticides and fertilizers. The proposed course is
an American-style parklands resort which could upset the kind of habitat for the species which currently use the area as an undisturbed refuge. After the initial launch of the plans over ten years ago, consultants’ reports have stated that the resort is not ﬁnancially viable without housing development. The council struggled to ﬁnd a developer until the luxury housing estate was added to the plan, which has worried locals that the golf course is acting more as a disguise for luxury housing.
Question of Sport for Kids By ANDREW COOK Children’s charity Kids Out are hosting a Question of Sport event fashioned after the popular show of the same name. The evening will be held in April and all proceeds will go to helping disadvantaged children in the Merseyside area. Tables will face-off against each other in the tournament in a league-style format with each table taking the name of a well-known football side. The quiz rounds will be played between the servings of a three-course gourmet meal and the overall winner will take home a trophy. Kids Out said: “The children we help may be disabled, have a life-limiting illness, have special educational needs, escaped domestic violence or come from difﬁcult backgrounds, but whatever their disadvantage, KidsOut is there to help” The competition is bound to be full of exciting competition and the proceeds from the event with be invested back into the charity to help the 30,000 children.
Red and Blue fans unite for foodbank By ANDREW LIVINGSTON With very few Premier League games on last weekend, it may come as a surprise to ﬁnd both Merseyside teams playing at home in the league for the ﬁrst time in 124 years. For Walton, it was going to be a busy weekend with nearly 100,000 visitors going to Anﬁeld and Goodison Park collectively. Walking to either Everton or Liverpool, one may have passed one of many food bank that both football clubs have been supporting. Fans Supporting Food Banks, who organise and run the collection points, have been collecting at home games in the city since September 2015. The organisation formed from members of both clubs’ supporter groups, the Spirit of Shankly and the Everton Supporters Trust, and collected 380 kilogrammes of food
at the weekend, amounting to around £700. Dave Kelly, the founder from the Goodson side, says they set up on the back of talks between each other on how they could give back. He told Liverpool Life: “The Walton constituency is the only constituency in the UK that has two Premier League football teams and six of the eight wards are in the top 20 most socially and economically deprived in the UK.” The work they are now doing is helping to keep the food banks going. “Like most voluntary organisations, it peaks and troughs; the busiest time of year is the run-up to Christmas, where people tend to be incredibly generous and are more inclined to give,” said Dave. Dave states that they “are not asking for lots of people to donate lots of things”, however they have seen amazing feats of generosity
in the past. He said: “The biggest single donation we’ve had was a donation of £47,000 worth of Jaffa Cakes. That equated to 1.8 billion Jaffa Cakes. “One of the supermarkets asked us if we could distribute them, but the problem was they were running very close to their sell-by-date and we picked them up on the Friday and had to distribute them across not just Liverpool but across the whole of Merseyside.” Being a charity, logistics sometimes hinder the work of the organisation - however, Dave states that they can always ﬁnd help: He said: “We belong to the two biggest families in the city and that’s the family of Evertonians and Liverpudlians. We are able to tap into people that have the expertise to help us out when we are in a sticky position.” With the success of Fans Supporting Food Banks,
ONE TEAM: Fans supporting food banks © Facebook other teams are now attempting to copy their work, however not in conjunction with two clubs. Dave said: “There’s a number of clubs now, on the back of what we’ve done, that are
setting up food banks collections at football matches, including Newcastle and Hartlepool.” After this weekend, the group will turn their attention to the Anﬁeld derby.
Return of the charity cycling challenge By LAURA HUGHES
GOOD CAUSE: (Bottom) Ladies pose in front of Pier Head © Nightrider Classic Tours
The Liverpool Nightrider event is cycling back to the city this summer. The challenge will see hundreds ride across Liverpool and Wirral through the night in aid of different charities. The circular route will take place on July 15 and 16 and will include 50km loops all while taking in the city’s best landmark attractions such as Penny Lane, Albert Dock and the Cavern Club. The event was ﬁrst set up in London in 2010 with the aim of doing something a bit different to the ordinary bike ride. Classic Tours senior manager Gina Thomas told Liverpool Life: “We wanted to do something a little bit unique hence the doing it at night, this adds a whole different dimension to the challenge, having to stay awake all night. It also means you see city sights in a totally different way and the roads are a lot quieter too which also helps.” Ms Thomas explains why the event is suitable for the city: “Liverpool works so well because we do half of it over at the Wirral and half of it actually in Liverpool so that gives us big distances to play with, different scener-
ies to see and different areas to explore. With the Wirral section, they really have a chance to push themselves and do some nice riding. “Last year we were very lucky and had amazing weather so the views back over to Liverpool were stunning. We had such great feedback last year, we had a few people who did all three routes across the country and actually said that Liverpool was their favourite.” Many local charities will beneﬁt from the event including Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Claire House Children’s Charity, as well as national organisations like Marie Curie and the MS Society. Almost £130,000 was raised in Liverpool Nightrider 2016 and this year the target is even higher at £200,000. Gina added: “Everyone who is taking part is raising funds for charity the whole
ethos of the event is that it is a charity ride, it’s not timed and it’s not a race, it’s a challenge. It’s about having fun and getting together with friends and family, doing something positive.” Steven Evans MBE, from Runcorn, is taking part in the challenge to raise funds for Macmillan. He told Liverpool Life: “I saw it on Facebook and thought that will be a nice little ride so when when I found out it was for charity I thought even better. My dad died of bowel cancer when he was 62 so there’s a certain symmetry there with the fact that I’ll be doing the ride when I’m 62.” Mr Evans, added: “I’m a member of Liverpool Century Cycle Club but I’ve been off my bike for just over a month now because I had to have a vein operation. I will be training for the ride just to get back ﬁt again.”
LifeSPORT © Liverpool County FA
15 March 2017
Goalless clash for Tranmere Rovers By SAM HEYHIRST
CHAMPIONS: Merseyside Blind Football Club players
LIVERPOOL BLIND TEAM TRIUMPHS By SAM HEYHIRST and DAVID PURCELL
A blind football team in Liverpool have been crowned champions of England after beating both Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) and West Bromwich Albion on the ﬁnal day. Following their triumphant win, Liverpool Life spoke to the manager of Merseyside Blind Football Club Steve Cushion about his team’s recent success, as they closed a
four-point gap to capture the title in dramatic fashion. The 33-year-old told Liverpool Life: “It’s a good moment to win the league again, especially going into the last game four points behind the leaders, so it was a very proud moment for the club, the players and the staff, who have all been fantastic.” The last-gasp victory for the Merseyside-based blind club ensured their place in the FA Disability Cup ﬁnal in May, where they will face West Bromwich Albion or RNC.
While the manager was appreciative of the coverage that the sport has attracted in recent times, as it featured in both the Paralympics Games of 2012 and 2016, he believes there is still more that can be done to raise awareness. “It’s the way it needs to go, to be fair. “I think it’s important that people know about what’s available for all sorts of football, whether that’s disability football, or Futsal, I think it needs to be publicised a bit more - deﬁnitely.”
The success of winning yet another league has put a smile on the manager’s face, but there is nothing more satisfying for him to see how much his players are improving, both on the pitch and off. “One of the major barriers that comes with visual impairment is isolation. Being part of the team, once they get involved, makes it so much easier for them to socialise with others. “They are getting out and about and becoming more mobile as well.”
It is not only the FA Disability Cup ﬁnal up for grabs in the coming months, but the Brian Aarons Cup as well, which is set to take place in April. The manager has said that he has high expectations for his team. Steve Cushion added: “We can deﬁnitely win it. “The players have got a great mentality and they are winning games now as well. I deﬁnitely think that we have a good chance of wining the two cup ﬁnals.”
City of Liverpool triumph over Widnes visitors
By ANDREW LIVINGSTON
It was all cheers of “Ohhhh COL FC” at the ﬁnal whistle in the Delta Taxis Stadium, as the club secured their ﬁrst ever cup ﬁnal with a 4 – 0 aggregate win over Widnes. Goals on the night from John Connolly, David Forbes and substitute Sean Cookson added to Tom Peterson’s away goal to give
City of Liverpool FC a place in the last two of the Reusch First Division Cup. Travelling Widnes had the best of the early opportunities; in the 19th minute, Danny Hand found space inside the box after a quick counter, his shot just took a deﬂection off the covering Captain, Christopher Lester. Connolly’s opener came late on in the ﬁrst half.
Mathew William’s free kick from the half way line was poorly cleared by the Widnes defence as it eventually fell kindly in box for the striker to hammer home in front of the Dodge Kop end of the ground. As the second-half came around, the cold air muted the home supporters; the Purple Partisans. However, Forbes’ goal 13 minutes
from time got them cheering again. Declan Gregson’s cross neatly found his partnering winger to score. Once he came, striker Daley Woods looked lively in attack with his pace and used a neat bit of skill for the ﬁnal goal as he ﬂicked it round his marker for Gregson to attack down his left ﬂank. The winger’s delivery into the box was followed
by a procession of pinball around the goalmouth, leaving the opposition goalkeeper, Owen Wheeler, nowhere when Cookson concluded the game from ﬁve yards out. The Purps will no-doubt carry their form from this game into the ﬁnal run-in the league as they hunt for promotion and onto their cup ﬁnal.
Relegation-scrapping Torquay held promotion contenders Tranmere in a goalless draw at Plainmoor last night. Rovers came into the game having made changes from the squad which drew 1-1 against Macclesﬁeld last week in the cup, with manager Micky Mellon favouring Lee Vaughan, Connor Jennings, Andy Mangan and Cole Stockton. The away side played last night in the light of their forthcmong semi-ﬁnal second leg clash with Macclesﬁeld, in what would be their ﬁrst ever FA Trophy ﬁnal. Rovers predictably had the better of the contest but could not capitalise on their clear-cut chances. The Gulls also played their part in the ﬁxture, knowing that they would have to invite pressure on from the much stronger side. Jay Harris and Michael Ihiekwe had early chances for Tranmere before a mix-up between Gulls keeper Brendan Moore and team-mate Myles Anderson midway through the ﬁrst half almost led to an own goal. Similarly, shortly before the break, a goalmouth scramble after Moore failed to clear a free-kick nearly saw the visitors go ahead. Rovers dominated again after the break although Torquay’s Damon Lathrope hit the top of the bar with a 25-yard volley. After the game, Torquay gaffer Kevin Nicholson gave his thoughts on the game: “I thought it was a good game. I thought anybody that came and paid today would’ve seen two teams that were having a real good go at each other. “I think Tranmere are a good side. I think they’ve probably got the best squad of players in the league options to do whatever they want. To have someone like James Norwood and Andy Cook on the bench is incredible.” Rovers will now be looking for a strong run-in to secure the National League play-off spot that they’ve been eying up since December.
Liverpool Life is a weekly newspaper produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism programmes...