Category Archives: People And Places

Beating The Safe Water Deadline In Rural Malawi: WaterAid’s ‘Big Dig’

One of the most memorable stories  I ever heard was from a civil engineer who was asked about the achievement of which he was most proud. He immediately said it was being invited to first turn on the tap which he had installed to deliver clean running water to an African village where there had previously been no supply. And now Water Aid has decided to share in real time their account of an even more ambitious project in Malawi, set against demanding deadlines…

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Liverpool’s Hope Street Celebrates The Queen’s Jubilees And The 2012 Olympics

Hope Street in Liverpool has long been a place for celebrations.
The street, deservedly famed for its music and theatre, links Liverpool’s two cathedrals north-to-south, and its universities and colleges, east-to-west. It is inevitable therefore both that the Queen should visit Hope Street many times – not least in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee – and that the Olympic torch should be paraded along Hope Street (today, 1 June) as part of its three month tour of the UK before finally reaching the 2012 London Olympiad.

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Shaping The Future (North West Wales)

I was pleased recently to be invited to become an Ambassador for the Shaping the Future programme in North West Wales. This programme aims to ‘put human potential at the heart of regional development’ – an aim with which I immediately felt aligned; as I did also with the intention to create sustainable economic diversity by encouraging skills development, with retraining and redeployment for the highly-skilled employees of the Wylfa and Trawsynydd nuclear power sites as their careers are threatened by decommissioning.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Understanding How The Pakistani Community in Blackburn Relates To Public And Private Institutions

Blackburn on a Saturday afternoon… and an invitation to join discussions with business, mosque and council leaders from the Pakistani community, as the Insight Out project comes to an end, with dedicated time to face outwards and engage additional concerned citizens. It was a wide-ranging, open-hearted debate about what Pakistani heritage Blackburn residents might do to improve the outlook for both their own and their neighbours’ communities. The move towards real action, I sensed, has begun.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

Liverpool Economic Forum 2012

The Liverpool Economic Forum 2012, hosted on 15 May at Radisson Blu Hotel by North West Business Insider, offered important pointers to the future.  Positively, a lot now hinges on new City Major Joe Anderson’s delivering his pledges to bring investment, cruise liners and much else to Liverpool. More problematically, whilst all agree the city now punches above its weight, concerns remain about whether Liverpool can deliver a coherent offer to potential investors. And still discussion of real sustainability and inclusion is absent.

To read more of this article and to comment, please visit Hilary’s professional website here.

So Is Salford’s Media City A ‘Wonderful Town’?

We went to see Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town performed by the Halle Orchestra at The Lowry in Salford last night.  And by coincidence, it transpired, yesterday was also the day when the BBC began transmitting the popular Breakfast show from its brand new operation in Salford Quay’s Media City.  Apparently, despite the anticipated longer term advantages of being in Salford rather than London, there are still BBC people who think it not done to be going Up North regularly to broadcast to the nation.

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Call The Midwife: A BBC1 Triumph For Real People

The second hour of the BBC1 Call The Midwife drama series has now (on Sunday evening, 22 Jan 2012) been broadcast; and already we learn that there will be another series before long.  Rarely do I get enthused about television, but the original books offered the potential for something special; and so it turns out to be.  My piece elsewhere (and below) about aspects of public service which the TV drama illustrates has resulted in some really human engagement with this excellent viewing.  Please keep the Comments coming….

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Speed Limits And De-restricted Signs Don’t Add Up

All public roads in Britain have a legal speed limit. What then are so-called ‘de-restricted’ speed signs about?   I spend many hours every year on motorways and travelling between various towns (especially at Christmas: no trains – safest and greenest way to travel – so we have little choice but the car).   But must road experience be confusing as well as so un-eco?  Is it time to change the way vehicle speed controls operate?  And maybe also time to challenge current road culture?  More RoSPA, less Jeremy Clarkson perhaps?

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Liverpool Lights At Christmas-Time

We took the opportunity whilst in town this afternoon to have a look at the festive lights, switched on now a few days ago. This was a quick visit just to the Liverpool ONE area, so much remains for a return trip (and perhaps to write about again); but what we saw was great. The displays are fresh and varied and the mood is good.
Liverpool city centre felt like a place where people will want to come to enjoy their Christmas shopping. There’s something here for everyone.

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Green (Solar) Energy To Resolve Greek Debt?

Could the sun resolve Greek (and Spanish) problems with national debt? Some three years ago now Dreaming Realist lamented the inability or unwillingness to capture the power of Greece’s annual 2,000 hours of sunshine. Perhaps the current European economic crisis means the time is now right to revisit this omission. The Greek deficit is alarming. Carbon (sunshine) now has formal monetary value. Northern Europe needs much more energy. Investment in Greek solar energy infrastructure would benefit that national economy….

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