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GEORGE HOWARTH MP, Chair of the European Capital of Culture 2008 All-Party Group urged Westminster authorities to lift a ban on an Early Day Motion that was drafted in support of the City of Liverpool and Capital of Culture in 2008.
The motion was to be the first of its kind, with Liverpool poet Roger McGough drafted in for creative assistance. However, due to the "out-dated" rules governing Early Day Motions, the artistic input of award-winning McGough has broken House rules.
The MP attempting to table the EDM, George Howarth, said: "It was only going to be difficult and Roger did an excellent job in trying to squeeze an EDM into rhyming couplets. Even at this late stage, I do hope the House authorities will allow it to go forward in the spirit with which it was written."
Senior figures from Liverpool's cultural sector backed the MP's demands for the House authorities to relent and for the ban to be lifted.
The Motion begins: "That this House congratulates the people of Liverpool", for their role in securing the city's status as European Capital of Culture in 2008, and calls on Members to support the City as it prepares for 2008.
An audience of 200 guests - including artists, broadcasters, MPs, musicians -- assembled at a Parliamentary reception organised by the Liverpool Culture Company and hosted by George Howarth MP to hear the poetic motion. Here, McGough's pre-recorded recital of the controversial EDM was broadcast to guests.
Roger said: ''I'm very honoured to have been invited to support my city in this way. The beauty of 2008 is that it presents a gilt-edged opportunity for the people of Liverpool to showcase their talents.''
Parliamentary experts today identified one possible reason that the banned motion was vetoed. Strict parliamentary rules prohibit the use of irony in EDMs. "For scousers, as you all know/ Aren't given to boasting or making a show," was thought to be too much for House authorities.
Meanwhile, MPs lined up to support the motion. Louise Ellman MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG and other signatories to the EDM, joined Bob Wareing MP and Eddie O'Hara MP in calls for the veto to be lifted.
George Howarth MP was last night refused permission to table the following Early Day Motion, which was drafted with assistance from award-winning poet, author and children's author Roger McGough.
That this House congratulates the people of Liverpool
For scousers, as you all know
Aren't given to boasting or making a show
Stiff upper lip, that's our motto
When we speak it's voce sotto
But the city has something to celebrate
European Capital of Culture, two thousand and eight.
So it's off with the trackies and on with the Armanis
Out with the champagne and the caviar sarnies
The chance to invest in what it does best,
Dance, drama, music and the rest.
'The Town of the Talk', more sinned against than sinning
If not a new Jerusalem, at least a new beginning.
That this House shares the sense of pride,
Of purpose and spirit, on Merseyside.
House rules are that EDMs must not be over 250 words; must not criticise other members of the Commons or Lords, peers or judges or members of the Royal Family except as the main subject of the motion. They must make no reference to matters before the courts and they must not use unparliamentary language or irony. The title of the EDM must be purely descriptive. They must also start with 'THAT' because they are expressed in the form of a resolution, in a single sentence, that may be broken up by brackets, colons or semi colons. In other words, they must be performed in one breath
WANTED: LIVERPOOL LIVES
National Museums Liverpool project
Help is needed from Liverpudlians in an exciting National Museums Liverpool project recording the personal experiences of 800 living people, as the city prepares to celebrate Charter Year 2007 and European Capital of Culture 2008.
A unique concept, 800 Lives is inspired by the 800 years since King John granted Liverpool its first charter. National Museums Liverpool wants young and old people from all backgrounds and walks of life to offer their stories for this milestone venture.
The project aims to reflect a cross-section of the people of Liverpool - from its citizens and local characters to its celebrities and wealthy business figures. Some will be newcomers, others with deep roots in this amazing city - all helping to make up its rich history.
The aim is to compile 800 stories which reflect Liverpool's world-famous make-up as a living, vibrant city consisting of not just beautiful buildings but also a vast range of personalities with many diverse qualities and talents.
Everyone has a chance to be included in 800 Lives. The project records people's experiences and some are asked to donate an object to National Museums Liverpool's social history collection. It could be anything from a simple everyday object to historic family keepsakes, including photographs. But they must have significance to the people involved.
800 Lives will be a virtual exhibition on the National Museums Liverpool web site and in future Liverpool history exhibitions. You can see some of the lives collected so far, read more about the project or even nominate yourself to take part, on the website www.eighthundredlives.org.uk
The information gathered will be an educational and learning resource for future generations, a series of snapshots of Liverpool in 2007-8.
Jen McCarthy, project manager and head of social history at the Museum of Liverpool Life, says: "This is a great opportunity for people to come forward with their personal stories. We want to uncover little-known, moving and fascinating narratives that people can tell from their own memories.
"This is a remarkable and stimulating project which will give a deep insight into Liverpool's diverse communities. We are certain that many people will want to tell us their stories. 800 Lives will reveal the true heart of this renowned city - its exceptional people."
It seemed like such a good marketing idea. The two No. 8 players in the Merseyside derby (Liverpool v Everton football match at Anfield today) were wearing special '08' shirts to help advertise the Capital of Culture.
Really, the only thing that could go wrong was for Steve Gerrard to be sent off in disgrace for an awful foul. And, guess what, that's exactly what happened after only 18 minutes.
Maybe that was part of the plan too, even more publicity, no such thing as bad publicity etc.
The Merseyside derby is set to for a Premiership first this weekend.
Toffees striker James Beattie and Reds captain Steven Gerrard will make history as the first players in the English game to have their numbers specially altered for a professional match when the Mersey rivals meet at Anfield on Saturday.
The two number 8's have been given special permission by the FA Premier League to wear '08' on their match shirts to promote the new 08 Ambassadors Programme.
Everton and Liverpool FC have joined forces for this unique one-off at the 203rd Merseyside derby to show their support for the city and its role as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
After the match the two shirts will be presented to the Liverpool Culture Company so they can be framed and auctioned for charity.
The 08 Ambassadors programme has been created to enable people who love Liverpool to spread the word about the city and its role as European Capital of Culture 2008.
Ambassadors already signed up include Cherie Booth, Ken Dodd, Paul Sculthorpe, Gerry Marsden and Liz McClarnon. (and Ian Jackson - ArtInLiverpool)
Players and staff from the blue and red halves of the city that have signed up are:
Everton Football Club:
Liverpool Football Club:
Liverpool 2008 Chief Executive appointed
The Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company Board today (Friday 24 March) announced the appointment of Jason Harborow as its Chief Executive.
36-year-old Mr Harborow has been the Culture Company's Chief Operating Officer for more than a year and will take up his new post from 1 April 2006.
Mr Harborow will be responsible for managing the delivery of a host of events and programmes between now and European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Welcoming Mr Harborow's appointment, Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: "I'm very pleased that Jason has agreed to accept the unique challenges that go with this high-profile post. His strategic vision for the company alongside his proven ability to manage it on a day-to-day basis and his knowledge of the city will be a great advantage."
Cllr Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "Jason has been instrumental in ensuring the Liverpool Culture Company is in the best possible position to maximise the opportunities 2008 represents. His ability to work with both the private and public sectors at all levels and his desire to succeed will be of immense benefit to the city for many years beyond 2008."
Jason Harborow said: "I'm delighted and honoured to accept this role. I'm particularly proud that we have such a good team in place for achieving the city's ambition of staging the best-ever European Capital of Culture. We're all firmly focused on delivering for Liverpool, the region and the UK."
Here's Pete Price and Ken Dodd signing up Liz McLarnon to be a Liverpool08 Ambassador.
I've signed up too of course!
Sign up online at the liverpool08 website or the 08Place or One-stop shops....
"The 08 Ambassador Programme has been created to engage all those people who love Liverpool and want to support our efforts to make the most of its position as European Capital of Culture 2008.
We would like your assistance in joining us to help tell the world about the great strides the city is making and why Liverpool will be the best-ever European Capital of Culture."
A FABULOUS free family event this weekend celebrates the diversity of Liverpool's food culture.
Community groups all over Merseyside are preparing for a spectacular event that will take place at the Palm House in Sefton Park on Saturday 25th March. The performance starts at 2.30pm, is free and there is no need to book in advance. Visitors will see giant inflatable plants and dances from all over the globe. They'll hear music from around the world played on kitchen utensils, not to mention a gig by Urban Strawberry Lunch.
Designers, musicians, dancers and drama workshop leaders from the Hope Street project have been working with over 200 people to produce short performances based on foods, culture and histories from around the world. The groups have also been working with the National Museums Liverpool to research where the food that we eat comes from.
Peter Ward from Hope Street said: "After this visual and aural feast, you will then be invited to sample the food prepared by the 15 groups involved in the event. We're looking forward to all getting together to showcase our work to the public. Fingers crossed for a sunny day!"
This event is part of Hope Street's exciting spring programme and is funded by the Liverpool Culture Company, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Knowsley Youth Service and Arts Council England. Participating groups: Al Ghazali Multi-Cultural Centre, St Silas School, Bronte Youth Club, Marybone Youth Club, Crown Street Resource Centre, Knowsley Youth & Play, Hope Street Project, Stockton Wood Primary, Wirral Youth Theatre, Unity Youth Theatre, Edge Hill Youth Club, David Lewis Youth Club, Speke Youth Theatre, Granby Somalian Women's Association, St Anthony's of Padua Primary School.
FRAKTURED SOUND IN LIVERPOOL
IMPROVISED classical musical group, Frakture, are holding another of their popular gigs with guest stars.
Emily Hay and Chao-Ming Tung are playing alongside Russell and Webster at St Bride's Church, Catharine Street, Liverpool on Friday 24 March at 8pm.
Frakture have held concerts in Liverpool tunnels and under the city's domes in the past and now hold a series of improvisational music workshops for all ages and abilities. The organisation is supported by the Liverpool Culture Company.
ENGLAND STARS BID FOR HOME GLORY IN LIVERPOOL
ENGLAND'S leading squash stars will be heading to Merseyside in May hoping for home glory in the inaugural Liverpool08 Open Squash Championship at St George's Hall.
The Liverpool08 Open runs from May 1-7 and is already the biggest squash tournament in Europe and one of the top six in the world in terms of prize money and world ranking status.
It is certain to be a magnet for the world's leading stars and England's world team champions are fully committed to making it a roaring success.
The awesome foursome of James Willstrop, Peter Nicol, Lee Beachill and Nick Matthew are currently competing in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
They are bidding for medals in singles and doubles to add to the World Team Championship title they collected in Pakistan in December, beating Canada in the semi-finals and Egypt in the final.
Before heading to Liverpool they will be competing in the Bermuda Open and then travelling to Vienna to defend their European Team title.
England No.1 James Willstrop, the 22-year-old rising star from Pontefract, is certainly looking forward to competing in Liverpool.
He said: "It's always great to see new tournaments on the calendar and Liverpool is already up there with the best.
The St George's Hall venue looks absolutely awesome and I am sure all the players will love the atmosphere of playing on the glass court in such a fabulous building."
Tournament promoter Alan Thatcher of SquashUK said: "We are delighted to be staging such a massive tournament in Liverpool. The glass court will look absolutely stunning inside such a beautiful and iconic venue and, with St George's Hall directly opposite Lime Street Station, it could not be more convenient for attracting spectators to Merseyside. We know that squash fans will be travelling to Liverpool by train from all over the UK and flying in from all over Europe."
The entertainment value is sure to be high and Thatcher added: "Squash is a fast, thrilling game and spectators are sure to get full value for money when they watch the world's top players in action."
Tickets went on sale this week and he added: "We have deliberately kept the ticket prices low in year one to attract a new audience to the sport in Liverpool."
Seats will placed on three sides of the glass court and organisers are hoping to entice Liverpool's business community with special hospitality packages and VIP tables at courtside.
The qualifying competition will be held at Liverpool Cricket Club on May 1 and 2 with the top eight players going into the 32-man first round draw, which will be split between St George's Hall and the cricket club's squash courts.
TICKET HOTLINE: 0871 230 9808. Book online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Full details from: www.squashuk.com/liverpool
Three more shows have been confirmed for the 2006 Summer Pops, as the bill for the city's showpiece musical event really starts to hot up.
Superstar Irish boy band WESTLIFE, pop sensations SUGABABES and a second night by SIMPLY RED have been added to the line-up at the Big Top Arena, which already boasts a double sell-out by rock legends The Who, along with shows by Il Divo, Bryan Adams, Ronan Keating, Simple Minds, Whitesnake, James Brown and Oscar Peterson.
More big names are being promised by organisers CMP Entertainment, with announcements over the weeks to come.
Now in it's 6th year, and with an estimated 500,000 people having attended shows at the Big Top Arena, the Summer Pops have grown into one of the most important musical events in Europe.
THE FULL 2006 LINE UP SO FAR!
Sat 01st July: OSCAR PETERSON
Mon 03rd July: WHITESNAKE
Wed 05th July: THE WHO SOLD OUT!
Thurs 06th July: THE WHO SOLD OUT!
Fri 07th July: JAMES BROWN
Mon 10th July: SIMPLE MINDS
Fri 14th July: RONAN KEATING
Mon 17th July: WESTLIFE
Tues 18th July: SIMPLY RED
Wed 19th July: SIMPLY RED
Thurs 20th July: SUGABABES
Fri 21st July: IL DIVO
Sun 23rd July: BRYAN ADAMS
LIVERPOOL SUMMER POPS 06
LIVERPOOL BIG TOP ARENA
POPS 06 HOTLINE: 0870 151 4000
Space girls' mission launched
The largest rocket ever launched in the UK is being displayed at an all girls' school to inspire the next generation of female scientists.
Standing at 43ft high, the NOVA / Starchaser rocket reached outer space after being successfully launched from Morecambe Bay in 2001.
Now back down on earth, the Starchaser's outreach team will be embarking on a mission to enthuse girls at St Julie's Catholic High, Woolton as part of National Science Week.
Councillor Paul Clein, Liverpool's executive member for children's services, said: "Science education is important for pupils and for the future of our society. This visit by the Starchaser team demonstrates just how exciting science and technology can be."
John Grace, head of science at St Julie's, said: "Science is a declining subject in the UK so we want to use National Science Week to raise its profile with our pupils. With St Julie's being an all girls' school, we want to challenge the stereotype that science is a boy's subject.
"We are also keen to develop links with other local schools, and are delighted that pupils from Saint Francis Xavier's College will be participating in the day. Three local primary schools are also bringing pupils, which is a fantastic way to develop links between secondary and primary education and to get children interested in science from an early age."
The Starchaser team will be giving pupils a number of presentations that link in with the science and technology curriculum.
Founder of Starchaser Industries Ltd Steven Bennett said: "Our aim is to open up the space tourism industry so that people will get the chance to fly in a rocket."
Ronan Keating and Simple Minds sign up for Summer Pops
Former Boyzone frontman and now huge solo star, Ronan Keating joins this year's Summer Pops line up along with one of the biggest British bands of the last 20 years, Simple Minds.
Ronan plays the Pops on Friday 14 July with Simple Minds appearing on Monday 10 July. Both shows are expected to attract full houses, with tickets going on sale 9am on Friday 10th March.
Simple Minds and Ronan Keating join The Who, Simply Red, Il Divo, Bryan Adams, Whitesnake, James Brown and Oscar Peterson as the list of big names playing this year's Liverpool Summer Pops grows and grows!
It's over a decade since a fresh faced Dublin teenager called Ronan Keating made his debut in Boyzone. Over 17m album sales later and he's still going strong. Last year, saw the release of Ronan Keating: 10 Years of Hits, an amazing retrospective of his career so far, featuring all his classic songs such as Life Is A Rollercoaster, When You Say Nothing At All, Father and Son, and If Tomorrow Never Comes.
Ronan returns to the Summer Pops after two previous sold out shows: "I've enjoyed both shows I've played at the Pops, said Ronan. "The atmosphere was electric and I can't wait to come back this year!"
Simple Minds hit the Summer Pops after an amazing sold-out show in 2004. Described by The Scotsman newspaper as "one of the greatest live bands of all time", Jim Kerr and co produced classic tracks like Don't You Forget About Me, Waterfront, Alive and Kicking and Belfast Child, which helped define eighties rock music, as they topped both the US and UK charts.
Recent years have seen the band enter a new era of frenetic touring and continued musical output. 2005 saw the release of the critically acclaimed Black & White album and the band have recently returned to the studio to record the next Simple Minds album.
"Playing live has always been the pivotal point for us", said vocalist Jim Kerr. "Everytime we set foot on stage we still feel the buzz and Liverpool will be no different!"
The Pops are organised by Chas Cole for CMP Entertainment in association with Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Culture Company.
From Clipper Ventures website...
Clipper Ventures has announced that the restart date for the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race will be Saturday 25th March 2006. Arrangements are now being made to fly crew back to the Philippines for Race 6 from Subic Bay to Qingdao in China.
After planning a detailed work schedule for the fleet with Green Marine, who are project managing the repair, the 25th was selected as the first date by which all the work could be completed to Clipper’s satisfaction, the boats re-launched, fully tested, surveyed and prepared for the race restart.
The Race Team recommend that crew return to Subic Bay the weekend prior to the Restart (18-19 March).
Given the length of the delay in the Philippines, the stops in Yokohama, Japan and Curacao in the Caribbean have been removed from the route to accommodate a more stream-lined race programme. Whilst the fleet will now sail direct from Qingdao in China to Victoria in Canada, the Caribbean stopover has been changed from Curacao to Jamaica, in an attempt to cut down the length of time the fleet will spend in the Caribbean during the hurricane season.
The fleet was diverted on 5th February due to keel problems and a survey identified an issue with the connection between the outer skin of the hull and the keel. With a team of around 90 people working on the fleet, amounting to around 1000 daily man hours, good progress is being made.
Merseytravel is the first organisation in Merseyside to train ‘08 Welcome’ champions across all its areas of work.
Eight trainers, who all work for Merseytravel and volunteered to join the scheme, will roll out 08 Welcome customer training to Merseytravel staff and workers across Merseyside’s wider transport network in time for Capital of Culture year.
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, presented the trainers will their University of Liverpool certified Excellence in Customer Care certificates.
He said: “The transport industry has a very important role to play, particularly during Capital of Culture Year.....
TOP author Frank Cottrell Boyce will be reading extracts from his acclaimed book 'Millions' at a Liverpool library this coming Wednesday.
The novel by the Liverpool born writer is the focus of the Liverpool Reads campaign, which is encouraging people to pick up and read the book. It tells the story of two young boys who find £1 million.
The book reading is part of a series of activities taking place between noon and 5pm at Wavertree Library on Picton Road on March 15, aimed at encouraging people to take up new interests.
'Wake up to Wavertree' has been organised by the libraries service, South Suburbs Neighbourhood Management Team and Age Concern in conjunction with Liverpool Reads and the Wavertree Society.
Other highlights of the day include a creative health workshop, details of heritage walks, a tai-chi and container gardening demonstration session as well as computer workshops.
Councillor Tina Gould, assistant executive member for leisure and culture, said: "This is a chance for people find out more about the wide range of many and varied activities that are available on their doorstep."
Key events are:
1.45pm and 4.15pm - Frank Cottrell Boyce reading and talking about his Liverpool Reads book 'Millions' and new work 'Framed'.
3.30pm - Wild and Magic Creative Health Workshop to prepare you for the year ahead.
1.00pm; 2.15pm and 4.00 pm - Healthy Heritage Walks in the Wavertree area.
12.45pm and 2.00pm - Tai Chi Demonstration and Taster session.
12.15pm - Chair based exercise session.
Free refreshments and raffles will be available throughout the day
Sadly, Liverpool Football club were just as welcoming, losing 2-0 and crashing out of Europe. So no more scenes like this till next season (if then).
Liverpool Culture Company kicked off this year's international activity for the 08 Volunteers by giving a warm welcome to 2,500 football fans supporting Portuguese club, Benfica who arrived in the city for a second leg Champion's League match against Liverpool FC.
After a crash course in basic Portuguese, around 20 of Liverpool's 08 Volunteers hit the streets with placards and clearly marked t-shirts to offer help and advice to visiting football fans.
As well as giving directions, the volunteers suggested places of interest in the city for fans to visit before the game and show them that there's more to Liverpool than just football.
Free Scouse was given out from 08 place (the city's Tourist Information Centre), along with authentic Portuguese stew from 'the Algharve', a Portuguese restaurant in the City, to encourage visitors to get a taste of two cities.
The 08 Volunteer programme is being rolled out in Liverpool in the run-up to 2008, when the city will become European Capital of Culture. In extending the hand of friendship to visitors, from both the UK and abroad, the city aims to become one of the most friendly and accommodating cities in Europe
There were kids playing tennis in the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel this morning. Not something you see every day but no need to call in the police or social services, it was all part of the marketing for the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament which takes place in Calderstones Park on 13th to 18th June 2006.
This is the 5th year of the tournament and a few more big names are competing.
The big name today though was Alan Mills the former Wimbledon referee (known as the 'rain man') who will be the official referee for the Liverpool games.
I also managed a few words with Phil Thompson the former Liverpool footballer and assistant manager who is now a tennis ambassador for Liverpool, that made my day!
Tickets are selling fast, here's some of the press release...
Alan Mills - the last word on rain, light, pigeons and crowd noise at Wimbledon for 23 years - is set to run his eyes over the fast growing tennis tournament as Official Referee.
Tournament organisers Northern Vision have also announced today (Tuesday, March 7) that Goran Ivanisevic, who came out of retirement to help Croatia win the 2005 Davis Cup against Slovakia, will headline the 2006 tournament at Calderstones Park.
Ivanisevic, a four-time Wimbledon finalist and 2001 Champion, is not the only famous face from SW19 in Liverpool this June.
Pat Cash, '87 Wimbledon champ and a crowd favourite last year, is set to return to compete in the Legends singles event against Ivanisevic and local hero Barry Cowan.
Due to the increasing popularity of the tournament following Martina Navratilova's 2005 appearance, organisers Northern Vision will also incorporate a Ladies event this year.
The addition means the Liverpool International is now the first tennis tournament in the UK with both an ATP and WTA tournament, alongside a Legends singles and doubles event as well as exhibition matches.
America's Ashley Harkleroad will lead the way in the women's event, Xavier Malisse of Belgium and American's Vince Spadea, Robert Kendrick and Bobby Reynolds are the first of the ATP players to be announced.
Crowd entertainers Mansour Bahrami, Ilie Nastase, Henri Leconte and Pete McNamara will return for the 6 day event to show off their well polished ball skills!
Due to an outstanding 2005 the tournament has now been extended to 6 days, taking place between the 13th - 18th June 2006.
As well as the increase in days the Centre Court stadium has been increased in capacity to 3,000 to cope with demand - and tickets sales are already 30% up on this time last year.
Tournament Director, Anders Borg comments: "We are delighted to have Alan Mills on board - his experience will be invaluable to the tournament's development.
''We are now the largest exhibition event in Europe and are delighted to host an event that brings world class ATP and WTA players and the very best tennis Legends to a public park in Liverpool".
The event is held annually at Calderstones Park by Northern Vision in conjunction with Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool Culture Company.
Now in its fifth year, the Liverpool International has received a record £160,000 from the City Council and Culture Company as part of a sports strategy to celebrate the Capital of Culture themed year - Liverpool Performs
The 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament runs from 13th - 18th June.
For further information about the event and ticket enquiries, telephone 0151 227 5940 or visit www.liverpooltennis.co.uk.
Classical musicians teach parents to sing nursery rhymes
Orchestral musicians have been recruited to teach Merseyside parents how to sing nursery rhymes.
The 'Song for Home' project aims to give parents the confidence to sing with their toddlers over fears that the tradition of singing nursery rhymes together has been lost.
The scheme, delivered by musicians from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra through local Sure Start projects, has proved so popular since its launch two years ago that it has now won funding to expand.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic education manager Judith Agnew said: "We'd discovered that the tradition of parents singing nursery rhymes to their young children was dying out.
"Many parents don't have the confidence to sing, perhaps because there was less music in schools when they were young and it seems to have left them feeling too self-conscious to sing to their children
ONE of Liverpool's oldest libraries is proving popular following work to give it a huge facelift.
Old Swan library opened in 1913 as a reading room, with books originally brought in by hand cart from nearby Lister Drive library. An extension was added in the 1960's to create a children's library.
The new look building includes new fixtures and fittings, self-service points so people can take out and return books themselves and a 'Surfzone' with access to state of the art computers with free internet and email facilities.
The library receives more than 120,000 visits per year and loans over 80,000 books.
WORK is to start on building an Olympic size swimming pool in Liverpool after the city council approved a £15 million construction contract.
Building firm Gleeson Building Limited has now got the go-ahead to start work immediately on building the 50 metre facility at Picton Leisure Centre in Wavertree.
The state-of-the-art pool will be one of only a handful of Olympic size pools in the UK.
The majority of funding - £11 million - is coming from the city council, with a further £4m of Lottery cash from Sport England.
Council leader Warren Bradley said: "It will be a valuable facility not just for our own elite swimmers, but also the local community including recreational groups, mothers and toddlers and schools.