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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 05 February 2007

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THE race is on to find local people who are prepared to run in this year’s Southport April Fools races and raise funds for a medical research charity, as it continues to search for a cure for muscle wasting diseases.

As part of its 2007 ‘Every Second Counts’ appeal, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is asking readers to enter the Southport races this year and to get sponsored for running. The races were previously known as the Good Friday races but have moved to 1 April 2007.

In return, everyone who runs for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign will be able to claim some great sportswear rewards for the sponsorship they raise and will also be sent an ‘Every Second Counts’ running vest to show their support for the charity.

Says Charles Horton, Regional Fundraising Manager for the charity:- “We need as many people as possible to enter the Southport April Fools races raise sponsorship if we are going to beat this disease. Even if you have already entered, but would like to run for charity, we would like to hear from you. It’s a great way to help others and help yourself to keep fit. People die from the effects of muscular dystrophy every week in the UK. Every second counts if we are to give people with muscular dystrophy a chance in the future.”

The Southport races, which are four miles in length over a traffic free course in Victoria Park, take place on Sunday 1 April 2007, starting at 10.30am for ladies and 11.15am for men. To run in the race to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, call their Regional Office on 01244 403012 or  email.


SOUTHPORT MP, John Pugh, has been urged to back the Bill to end the over development of existing residential neighbourhoods, known as ‘garden grabbing’. The bill, being presented to Parliament today, would change John Prescott’s regulations, introduced in 2000, that force all new developments to cram in at least 12 new dwellings into every acre.

Conservative Spokesman, Cllr. Mark Bigley, said:- “I really hope Mr Pugh will give his time and back this Bill. We are seeing people’s gardens classified as ‘brownfield land’ and suitable for development. These regulations are also having the effect of encouraging more flats to be built and not enough homes for starter families. We need a good mix of homes in Southport, that don’t blight local communities and that cater for everyone from the first time buyer, through to the retired.”

Caroline Spelman MP is introducing the Bill:- “When the gardens are part of a family sized house, the house itself will be demolished to free up more land for more denser units of accommodation. This is happening all over the country, in the north and south, and development in such a chaotic, unplanned way is unsustainable in the long term and destructive in the short term.

This Bill is about acknowledging the crucial part gardens and urban green spaces play in creating balanced and rewarding places to live.

It’s about making sure we get the right homes in the right places. And, above all, it is about giving planning authorities and the communities they represent, such as Southport and Formby areas, real say in the shape of their neighbourhoods and environment."

Tiddlywinks Nursery to get new premises

THE Tiddlywinks Nursery at Ormskirk & District General Hospital is to move from its current home to newly refurbished accommodation elsewhere on the hospital site.

After more than 16 years in a building that has had various uses over the years including a nurse's social club, the nursery is to move to what was the doctor's mess in Ruffwood House.

Julie Walsh, Manager of Tiddlywinks said:- "The current building has served us very well since 1991, but it really has passed its sell by date. Even though we meet Ofsted standards where we are, it will be great to have newer accommodation that we can tailor to our needs and get exactly how we want it. The facilities will be designed for each age group, each of the children's activity rooms will have their own toilets and we will even have enough room to offer space for things like baby massage classes."

The new nursery will have 60 places for children up to the age of 5. It is run in accordance with the national standards for under eight's day care. There are three rooms for the different age groups; the "Tiny Tots" for the under 2s, the "Jelly Tots" for the 2 to 3 year olds and the "Tree Tops" for the pre-school 3 to 5 year olds.

Steve Taylor, Director of Capital and Facilities added:- "This is part of a programme of re-development of underutilised accommodation at Ormskirk & District General Hospital, the doctor's mess and on-call accommodation currently located in Ruffwood House is to move. This will enable the Tiddlywinks Nursery to move from its current location into a newly refurbished Ruffwood House, which will provide it with Ofsted standard accommodation, including an enclosed outdoor play area. This will be funded by a grant from the Strategic Health Authority."

There are currently some places available at the nursery, and if any parent, whether staff of the Hospital Trust or not is interested in a place they should contact Julie Walsh at Tiddlywinks on 01695 656 558.

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