€300m in to keep Britain's lights on
A North West England MEP is
celebrating his success in helping to ensure that Britain's lights
can be kept on without contributing to global warming. The country's
1st carbon capture power station looks set to be built with the help
of €300 million from a finance mechanism introduced by Liberal
Democrat Chris Davies. The European commission has announced that it
now has the necessary letters of support from the UK government. It
amounts to a green light from Brussels for the White Rose project, a
450MW coal power plant to be built at the Drax power station in
Yorkshire which could be the first of many. Instead of being
released into the atmosphere CO2 will be piped from the plant for
permanent storage in rocks deep beneath the North Sea. Chris Davies
introduced the idea for the special EU funding source back in 2008.
The money available comes from the sale of 'surplus' CO2 allowances.
He overcame initial scepticism eventually to secure the backing of
Europe's governments. The MEP, who is known as the European
Parliament's expert in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology,
has warmly welcomed the award. He said:- "Carbon capture
technology can allow us to continue to use oil and gas without
releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Together with renewable energy it
is vital for our future and Britain is set to take the leading role
in Europe. Making possible these funds for CCS is one of my greatest
achievements as an MEP."
adventurers – could you conquer Snowdon by moonlight for the NSPCC?
IN September 2014, the
NSPCC will be looking for adventurers from Southport to take on an
exclusive trek to the summit of Mount Snowdon by moonlight to raise
vital funds. Mount Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and
Wales and is a popular hike by day; however its slopes have been
largely unexplored by night, until now.
Taking place on 6 September to 7 September 2014, this unusual trek
will be an unforgettable experience; climbing 1,085m to the summit
of Mount Snowdon by moonlight and descending the mountain slopes by
Snowdonia National Park is synonymous with beautiful, rugged
landscapes, wonderful trekking and outdoor pursuits. The start of
the trek will provide stunning views of the National Park in the
fading light, and as the night draws in this challenge turns into a
real adventure as you navigate the mountain paths by moonlight.
Trekking at night is a very different experience than during the
day; your senses grow used to the darkness and you can enjoy the
silence and the remoteness of the mountain.
When you reach the summit, you'll have the chance to explore and
take in your achievement before starting your descent. The sky will
start to lighten and you will be able to enjoy wonderful views over
the Menai Strait towards Anglesey. As the sun rises, the spectacular
landscape will open up before you, leaving you amazed by how far you
have climbed and ready for a hearty celebratory breakfast.
By taking part in this exclusive trek, you can help the NSPCC to
protect children all year round through its projects and services
including ChildLine; the UK's free, confidential 24 hour helpline
and online service for children and young people in distress or
Louise Stimson, NSPCC's head of community fundraising for the North
West said:- "More than 90% of our income comes from voluntary
donations, for which we are extremely grateful. Anyone interested in
the Snowdon Moonlight Challenge will need to commit to raising a
minimum of £350 to secure their place and pay a registration fee of
£29, but with plenty of time to build up your fitness, and with the
support of the NSPCC's dedicated fundraising team, this really is an
experience not to be missed. You can always combine the trek with a
great weekend away."
For more information about the trek or to register your interest
really does have a patron saint!
THE 23 April 2014 was Saint
George's Day in the UK. The 23 April is traditionally the feast day
of Saint George and the National Day for England, although it is not
an official national holiday in
England, it is celebrated on this
date each year. It is the traditionally accepted date of Saint
George's death in AD 303, but oddly he wasn't actually English at
all - nor did he slay a dragon. Quite how Saint George a symbol of
bravery and how his image and cross became part of English history
is just as strange as the stories that are associated with him. The
1st real mention of him as part of England was through links to the
Crusades, when he is said to have miraculously appeared and led the
Crusaders into battle. His name and symbol later became a battle cry
on several occasions during the Hundred Years' War, thus embedding
him firmly into English mythology and culture. In England St
George's Day was once a major feast, and a national holiday in the
early 15th century. Within England the day was on a par with
Christmas! Today though it is no longer a national holiday, in fact
many English do not know when their Patron Saint's day is and others
appear not to be bothered about it. So what would encourage more
English people to celebrate St George's Day? Unlike St. Patrick's
Day, St George's Day is frequently forgotten and is often not even a
blip on the English social calendar. It has been called for over and
over again, but there is still no sign of the government giving way
and making St George's Day a public holiday. Should we have it as a
holiday and do we need a Patron Saint to be English? On Sunday, 27
April 2014, keep an eye out for the Saint George's Day Parades. Each
year in Southport and Formby such parades are held by the local Cub
and Scout Groups! Email your views on this topic to:-
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you
really think about Saint George's Day.
Did you know? Interestingly, this year
marks the 120 year of The Royal Society of St. George, which was
established in 1894, by Royal Charter and currently has Her Majesty
the Queen as its Patron. The society bills itself as is the premier
patriotic society of England. For more information visit:-
New and extended
signings for the Widnes Vikings
WIDNES Vikings has
announced that prop-forward Paul Johnson has signed a new contract
with the Club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Johnson, 26, joined the Vikings prior to the start of the First
Utility Super League season on a one year deal and he's impressed
enough for Vikings Head Coach Denis Betts to hand him a new 2 year
Denis Betts said:- "Paul is a person of real quality and he's
a great bloke to have around the Club. His deal is a reward for how
hard he's worked since he's been here. He got released early from
his contract at Hull but he's backed himself here and every time
he's played for us he's put in quality performances. We knew that as
soon he got settled at the Club and in an environment that he's
happy with we'd get the best out of him and that's proven to be the
case. He's going to get better and better, he has a lot of potential
in him and we are looking forward to working with him in achieving
that over the next couple of years."
Johnson, a former prop with St Helens, Wakefield and Hull, admitted
that the offer of a new contract came sooner than he thought, but
was pleased to sign after an 'enjoyable' start to his Vikings
He said:- "It has come a little sooner than I thought, but
when Denis Betts came up to me and offered me the chance to re-sign,
I was delighted to put my name to the contract. I originally signed
here on a one year deal and it was my goal to work hard and get a
new contract so to do that now is great for me. As soon as I came
here I knew Widnes Vikings is a Club I'd like to be at for a long
time. The people here, the set up and the facilities are first
class, so to be at the Select Security Stadium for another two
seasons is brilliant. I've been working hard and I'm just really
enjoying my Rugby League here. It also helps being back at home near
my family and girlfriend, so things are going well for me both on
and off the pitch. I'm just glad that now the deal has been sorted I
can concentrate on my Rugby and contribute to us having a successful
season at the Vikings."
Things have come full circle for
Johnson this year and to sign in the week the Vikings toppled St
Helens was pretty special for him.
He added:- "I'll continue to work hard and wins like the one
we got this week against Saints are massive. I played at St Helens
earlier in my career and to get a result like that against your old
Club is pretty pleasing. We were keen to put our recent losses to
Catalan and Warrington behind us and we managed to do that yesterday
with a really good win."
Signing up is strike centre Stefan Marsh on a new 2 year deal.
Marsh, 23, joined the Vikings initially on loan in 2010 and returned
to the Club on the same terms in the Vikings' 1st season back in the
At the end of 2012 campaign Denis Betts signed the Wigan born player
on a permanent 2 year contract and now Marsh will be at the Vikings
for 2015 and 2016 Super League seasons.
Marsh has played 40 times for the Vikings, scoring 23 tries and is a
key figure in Betts' back line.
Widnes Vikings Head Coach Denis Betts said:- "This new deal is
a reward for all the hard work Stef has put in since he's been here.
He's a great person to have in the group, works hard, has loads of
ability and we think he's got it in him to get better and better for
this Club. He's a real strike player for us and he has that X-Factor
about him that makes Stef pretty dangerous to play against. We're
really pleased to have tied him up for another 2 years."
Marsh said:- "I'm really enjoying my time here at Widnes and
when the offer came in to put pen to paper for another 2 years, I
jumped at it. It's a really exciting time to be involved at the
Vikings as the Club is really moving forward. Widnes Vikings is a
Club that has a rich history and I'm looking forward to playing my
part in shaping the future. We are building something special here."