Wednesday, 25 January 2017

My Visiter column 24th January

I was invited to a family panto at The Atkinson. All Souls pantomimes are a Southport institution. All institutions need to adapt to survive and All Souls did that gloriously with their Sleeping Beauty show this year. 

There was an exciting and innovative use of high quality video, not just in the opening sequence but, throughout the show that added to the production.

All Souls have a loyal and growing audience-over 3,500 people have already booked for this year. We even had a post-modern feminist twist at the end. The principal boy (who is a bit of a wimp) and is of course a girl, fails to slay the dragon with the magic sword. The princess seizes the sword and decisively slays the dragon. Excellent stuff.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) is an organisation which represents the bus and coach industry. They chose Southport for their annual gathering. This is the seventh time the event has been held in the town, which is quite an accolade as haven’t stayed put for so long before.

Southport has been recognised as a ‘coach friendly’ town and I was pleased to be able to welcome them to the Floral Hall. The CPT’s members play an essential role in sustaining our visitor economy. I had an opportunity to speak with many of the delegates and it was very encouraging to hear them speak highly of the facilities in the town. In particular two groups were praised; the hoteliers and the staff at Floral Hall. In 2016 there was an increase in coach parties visiting Southport a trend that is continuing in 2017.

For 40 years Jim Byrne served his community in Maghull. His service in local government goes back before the creation of Sefton. He served as Town Mayor back in 1975. He served chair of the National Association of Larger Local Councils. In Sefton he was the first cabinet member for planning. Sadly, Jim died earlier this month and I attended his funeral along with the Mayor of Maghull and two former Sefton Mayors and four former Maghull Mayors. Their attendance was a mark of the high regard that this gentle and decent man was held, he will be sorely missed.

Finally, this week I would like to thank Anna Ingram who organised a fundraising event for an Alzheimer charity which took place in the Mayor’s Parlour. 

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