Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New era in Georgian media

Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) takes innovative actions to return its reputation and quality of delivery to become leader in Georgian media.

During many years it has been the only media company that managed to attract the viewers with relatively high quality journalism and had lots of trust from the public.

However, during more than the last 10 years it has become very unpopular and even the subject of mistrust and aggression. It used to be accused of being the "mouth" of the Government and the shame of Georgian journalism, because it used to be less critical to Georgian government.

The downturn of Georgian Public Broadcaster, earlier known as the "Channel 1", might as well been caused by emerging of privately owned media companies, like Rustavi 2 and Imedi TV, who had more funds and more opportunity to produce high quality material.

Fortunately, in 2008 and 2009 the Georgian Public Broadcaster is seen to be making big efforts to innovate the company and its ways of delivering services to the public. 

Taking a look at the website of its television (1tv.ge) is enough to understand that GPB is trying to take an example of the BBC and produce the material that matches the standards of Western media. New media is no longer an "unknown fruit" for Georgian media companies and they try to not leg back. 

It is a happiness to see that the Georgian media is moving forward even in the hard times when it is still suffering from the effects of the war, financial crisis and ongoing political tensions. 

During my internship (April-May 2009) with the BBC on factual programme Hardtalk, the editor told me that the Director General of the Georgian Public Broadcaster has been there recently observing the system of the BBC and the programmes of it. She said Mr Kubaneishvili is aiming to renovate the GPB according to the example of the BBC. 

At that moment I didn't really believe in his commitment, but now, after seeing the website of the GPB, I am taking my "mistrust" back and say "well done".

I hope that the process will continue and reach the moment when journalists will have an opportunity to work without being terrorised and without being physically or verbally assaulted for telling the truth and being objective. There should be no room for either self-censorship or pressure from the Government or opposition parties. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

People have doctors, companies have web designing experts

“A client comes to us with questions about their website i.e. we've recently redesigned our website, but now our sales have dropped”, says Damian Rees from Experience Solutions.

More and more companies address web designers and focus on online interaction with their clients.

Nowadays having a website became absolute necessity. When a company launches one of the first things they do is create a website.

James Mallorie, project manager in Redweb thinks there is a bigger need for websites, because the companies can actually see the return on their investment (ROI).

He says: “For a company it’s very important, because they can see that they are investing certain amount of money and every month their revenue is coming back to them through their shopping cart or through advertising sales.

It’s recordable and they can see and it’s a great benefit. The more that benefit gets realised by companies the more companies want to do it.”

Redweb is an expert team who specialise in the designing and building of websites based in Bournemouth. They noticed that web industry has suffered least of all in the ongoing financial crisis.

Dan Hills, accounting manager in Redweb says: “Any credible agency is still going to make a lot of money and keep growing it. All the offline agencies, which are not accountable, are the ones that are going to suffer. They are already suffering, because the money is getting from offline onto online.”

“Doctors” in action

Agencies like Experience Solutions help the companies who have seen downturn in their business and want to attract the clients back by improving their websites.

The experts of the agency work with the company to profile who their customers are, review their website statistics, then recruit people who meet the target audience description to come in and take part in research.

They will be observed using the website to establish where the problems are in the process.
The agency will then meet with the client to show them video clips of people using the site and present their priority recommendations.

The client will then implement the changes and the agency will do follow up research to make sure they have worked.

Paul Seys, Head of User Experience in Redweb, says: “We have some clients that come with the existing website and it might be a case that they just want to improve it.

If the client is coming to us with a brand new idea that does not currently exist then it is very much about working with a client to identify the need for it.”

How far did the web industry come?

Web industry is developing step by step and becomes more and more flexible not only for users but also for the people working in this industry.

Jake Skedgell, a freelancer in web programming, has always been interested in computers and was on the Internet since it existed. He thinks flexibility is one of the most attractive things in this industry.

He says: “I could work in a coffee shop, sitting in bed or on a beach halfway around the world. The same goes for clients - they can be anywhere.”

However, there are changes in major issues of the web industry as well.

Paul Seys from Redweb says: “Ten years ago we had to just focus on what the website looked like from design point of view. It was more about how it looked and how somebody interacted with it. Now we’re more focused on meeting the needs of the brand. We’ve got to consider accessibility, search engine optimisation.”

The blue-sky Future

Not that long ago it was hard to understand what the Internet could do. It was impossible to imagine that some companies would exist only online.

But how far is this tendency capable of going?

Adam Wintle, creative director of the Mallmus Media says:”The future seems really bright, unless of course Google crashes and disappears overnight.

I think it’s awesome that the kids at university right now are studying for things that are yet to be invented in the digital world. These guys will have the next big ideas and lead the next big companies.”

It’s the ambition, skill and imagination of site builders that has got us to where we are today and it's those qualities that will transform the Web in the years to come.

But what does a future hold for us? Should we expect fundamental changes in the digital industry?
Paul Seys from Redweb thinks the industry is constantly changing and it will never stay the same for any length of time.

He says: “I think the big thing that’s going on at the moment is social media, sites having communities built around them is fundamental. The brands that don’t embrace the communities will really suffer, because Internet is not like TV for example, where you just sit and flick the channels. The Internet is about interaction, about having an influence. Social media will grow and grow and the brands will have to adopt that. “

Getting ready for the next successes

It is now quite blurred how the web industry will evolve. What else is to be done to make a next step forward?

James Mallorie from Redweb thinks there has always been a lack of software that matches what the hardware can do.

He says: “The hardware is always increasing, always improving and software has always been behind. People are just trying to write software that can actually do things that hardware is expected to do.”

Who knows? It might be a person graduating from the university at the moment, who is going to lead us to the new era of the web world.

But what does one possibly need to achieve success in the web industry?

Paul Seys from Redweb thinks that one needs to pick an area and not to try and be a Jack-of-all-trades and have an understanding of every aspect to be in design, development, user experience, mobile.

He says: “I think they need to be picking a niche according to the area that they are particularly interested in.”

Besides, because of the speed that the Internet moves, one needs to be educated and to be up-to-date.

He says: “We have to be playing with things like Facebook and Twitter very early on to understand how they work and be a step ahead of the client. So often the clients are playing with these things anyway, so we need to have that understanding.”

To stay up-to-date and to keep in touch with the people working in the digital industry, Redweb organises series of informal events called “Meetdraw”.

The recent event took place on 12th March in iBar, Bournemouth where students, freelancers, professionals, creatives, developers, account managers, usability gurus or anyone with a passion for digital were welcome.

Paul Seys says Meetdraw was born out of the desire to bring all the people passionate about digital on the South Coast together.

“A bunch of us got talking about the lack of a solid community in the area and decided that the best course of action was to simply set a date and then organise an event that would hopefully start the ball rolling.”


Monday, March 16, 2009

Georgian group excluded from Eurovision

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has officially informed Georgia that its entry for the Eurovision 2009 song contest does not comply with the rules of the competition, the EBU said on its website today. 

The Georgian group Stephane & 3G has been chosen to represent Georgia in Moscow with a song entitled We Don't Wanna Put In, a clear reference to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. 

Is that the best place to protest against the political enemy? Song competition that is supposed to be a place where peace reigns and enemies become friends.

There have been many competitions where Georgians were performing side by side with Russians and had been able to forget everything bad that politicians had done using the name of the public. 

The Reference Group of the Eurovision Song Contest announced on Tuesday that the title and lyrics of the song 'do not comply with Section 4 Rule 9 of the Rules of the 54th Eurovision Song Contest, and cannot take part in the competition as such.' 

'No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest,' the EBU said on its website. 

Georgia will now have either to rewrite lyrics of the song or to choose another entry. The deadline is March 16, when all participating countries officially hand in information on the selected entries. 

Georgia said it would announce its decision on Wednesday. 

They should think twice next time in which light such tricks show the country and put aside the politics and concentrate on a victory that would guarantee a double win over the Russians who would be beaten in their own country. 

Belarus has to make a choice between Russia and EU

EU Foreign Policy Chief, Javier Solana recommends Belarus to refrain from recognizing independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Javier Solana says in case of recognition, the relations of the EU and Belarus would be revised and changed not to very desirable direction.

"It is important as you know we don't recognise and we would like everybody that has a relationship with us to be on the same wavelength." Mr. Solana said.

But is it not too naive to think that Belarus, the closest ally of Russia, will take any notice of recommendation of the EU? 

Belarus depends so much on Russia and has so many business relationships that it will mean "committing suicide" for it to break relationships with Russia.

Is it not time for EU and Georgia to face the truth and say that it will be extremely hard to reach at least slight success in gaining the breakaway regions back, unless Georgia becomes so attractive to those people living there that they will rebel themselves and ask for rejoining.

Where is the law and its power when the separatist governors of the Gali district, Abkhazia, Georgia, are forcing ethnic Georgians to take new Abkhazian passports and threaten to evict them from the occupied region if they resist? 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shoplifter gets leniency from the court

A drug addict was able to avoid fines for shoplifting today.

Oliver James Bland, 28, of St Clements Gardens, Bournemouth pleaded guilty to theft in the ASDA shopping centre, Bournemouth Magistrates Court heard today.

Andrew Newman, prosecuting, said Bland appeared in the ASDA store on March 9 this year with a blue bag and stole alcohol worth £17.75. He was arrested on the spot and interviewed by police.

Mark Proctor, defending, said Bland was a typical drug addict who tried to get off heroin three times.

''I ask you to give him one last chance. He does fully understand that he did a wrong thing and regrets it,'' Mr Proctor told the court.

Mr Proctor asked the judge to avoid fining Bland, who already owes money to the court.

District Judge Roger House said he hoped Bland would work hard to get off drugs and encouraged him, saying ''It's hard, but it's a joy to see success at the end.''

He placed a supervision order on Bland and granted him conditional bail

Elderly warned about scam

Police are warning elderly residents to be vigilant after Southbourne pensioners gave money to a young man claiming he was locked out of his house.

Dorset Police Constable Rob Bentall said: "This man appears to offer a similar story each time he attempts to trick a victim. He says that he needs around £30 for a locksmith, because his landlord has supposedly locked him out of his flat."

The incidents which have been happening since February.

The man is described as being in his early twenties with short brown hair, slim build and around six feet tall.

There are no reports about any violence or threat against residents.

PC Bentall explained: "This man is preying on elderly members of the community and I am also urging members of the public to keep a look out for their vulnerable neighbours and report any suspicious activity."

At the time of the offences he was clean and tidily dressed. He has a healthy complexion and is said to be well spoken.

"I would like to remind home owners, particularly our more vulnerable residents, to be vigilant at all times. Anyone who is approached in similar circumstances should contact Dorset Police as soon as possible", PC Bentall said.

The police asks anyone who has any information about these incidents or any other similar scams to contact Dorset Police in confidence on 01202 222 222 or the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

Poole business organisations get together

Business organisations are going to get together today in Poole to get a better insight into the current financial situation and get tips how to move forward.

Holding this series of meetings was decided by D+R The Solution LTD that is a full service marketing agency based in Poole.

These meetings, Business Development Club, will be held every month on the second Tuesday of the month at Holton Heath Industrial Estate.

This month’s meeting will feature a talk from Sue Baker from Clarity Financials and will cover managing the financial elements of business in these testing times.

Bryan Benjafield, Operations Manager of D+R The Solution LTD, said: “The idea of the meeting came from the current financial climate. It was the brainchild of David Dean who is the Managing Director here and we hope that it will help business in Dorset come together a bit and lend a bit of support to each other.”

They have been using their own business development programmes for over 10 years to help the businesses grow, but now they have to focus on not letting the businesses fall into an economical slump.

Mr Benjafield said: “We feel it is important to help businesses in these challenging times with a view of all Dorset businesses mucking in to help get through and help each other.”

They have also recently been involved with launching a scheme called Buy Dorset (www.buydorset.co.uk), which is an online database for Dorset Businesses.

The companies can post their details for free as long as they sign a pledge to try to source as much of their materials and products and work wherever possible with other Dorset businesses.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Cabinet votes for compulsory purchase

A compulsory purchase of a land seems to the Cabinet of the Poole Borough the best way to start building of a long-awaited bridge in Poole. 

The Cabinet of the Poole Borough recommended the Council on Tuesday to use its powers to buy the land for construction of the second bridge in Poole. 

The Council has been holding negotiations with landowners, including Gallagher Estates and Lands Improvement Holdings, to acquire the land since 2006. 

The Council still hopes that the voluntary purchase will take place, but the Cabinet proposed the compulsory purchase to ensure that the Twin Sails Bridge project will be launched before the end of 2009.  

Councillor Ann Stribley, Deputy Leader of the Borough of Poole, said: “The bridge is essential for Poole. But it’s not about getting the land cheap, it’s about getting it quick.”

Councillor Ron Parker, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Economy said: "The Twin Sails Bridge will be an iconic structure for Poole, generating job opportunities at a time when the local economy is feeling the impact of the global economic downturn."

Councillor Brian Leverett, Leader of Borough of Poole, said: “We’ve been waiting for 50 years for the new bridge. This bridge is so important to the economy of Poole and to the wellbeing of the whole town.”

He added: “First of all we have a Transport and works act, which give us a legal planning permissions to build the bridge and that would be running out in 2011 if we’ve not made a start on it. 

Second is that the government has given us a grant in 2001 £14.1 million and less we get on and use it, the government’s likely to claw that money back, especially in the current financial situation. So we could lose this bridge all together if we delay.”

He says the project is going to cost between £36 and £37 million. An authority like Poole can’t find that money. It is only in December this year that we got the final government loan of £10 million, which will enable us to go ahead.”

Liberal democrat Councillor Brian Clements said: “We’ve been working on that bridge for many years and I look forward to see it completed.

He also thinks that the compulsory purchase is in the interests of Poole council taxpayers. “The bridge should have been finished five years ago, so the delay is intolerable.”

However, he sees a problem with the loan that the council received: “There is an issue that the Council is not facing up to the fact that if they are borrowing £10 million they will well end up supporting that land, the interest on that land from the Council tax and so that could be a problem building up for the future.”

Leader of Borough of Poole Councillor Leverett says: “It is a loan, but effectively it’s people that own the land by the side of the bridge who will have to pay it to the government, because this bridge will open that land up for development, house building, commercial purposes etc.”

There are two houses on the land that is to be used for bridge construction. 

But Councillor Leverett says they are not inhabited, so there is no need for forcing people to move out. 

“These houses were bought by one of the companies, because they knew that they would be needed for the road and unless that bridge is put in then they cannot develop their land for housing. So it’s in their interest as much as it’s in the interest of the council to provide this bridge.”

Daisy Boman’s sculptures displayed in Westover Gallery

Sculptures loaded with philosophy of life by Daisy Boman are displayed in Bournemouth Westover Gallery.

In her sculptures figures climb, interact with each other, fall, crawl and run mostly in groups, making people see what we have to live through to survive in a cruel world.

As you see them you can’t escape thoughts about all the challenges and traps that we have to overcome if we want to achieve something.

On one of her wall sculptures “Imagine” there are figures crawling from left bottom corner towards right top corner pushing each other to make their way up.

As you see this sculpture you feel small, as if you imagine yourself between these figures. You think over and over again whether you had such a struggle in your life to achieve your goals.

And lucky you if you see that you have found your way up without pushing someone down. Or unlucky you who have not achieved anything and you have all of this challenging way ahead.

Boman’s figures are all the same colour and the same shape. You realize that for her the colours and races doesn’t matter. She tries to make us see that we are “from the same mould” conditioned by the society we live in.

Her figures might make you laugh when you first see them, but look closer and you will quickly discover how serious they are.

Boman’s another wall sculpture is “Time To Go Higher”, which again shows figures crawling up, but this time there is more optimism in it.

There is a rope ladder on it and figures are trying to push themselves up, but at the top there is one figure that is looking back and reaching out its hand to help another figure.

This sculpture makes you feel that not everything is so bad and there are people in this world who still care about others and who are trying to make the world a better place to live.

There is one more sculpture by Boman in Westover gallery that attracts lots of attention. It was a brick of marble with two figures on top of it. They have their arms around each other’s shoulders and you see that they are having a heart to heart conversation.

It’s not possible to identify their sex and the reason is quite obvious. For Boman sex doesn’t matter either.

Plagiarism advertised at the entrance of the Bournamouth University

Tamila Varshalomidze_final TV assignment_Plagiarism from Mammj on Vimeo.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Will Europe become a green energy centre?

Bournemouth will host MEP Graham Watson later today, who encourages making the green energy switch at a time of crisis.

He will speak at Bournemouth Adult Learning Centre in Slades Farm at 7pm about the European initiative on a proposed new supergrid, using high voltage direct current (HVDC), to bring together all the various renewable energy resources within Europe.

European Parliament wants to create a whole system of green energy supplies throughout the world.

Its project includes building solar, wind and hydro stations in different regions of the world and transmitting it by HVDC cables.

Members of European Parliament sent an official letter to Nicolas Sarkozy on 18th July 2008, encouraging him urgently to begin work on creating the new infrastructure Europe needed if they were to make a rapid shift to clean energy.

Emily Bullock from Dorset Energy Advice Centre says: "The UK and EU have ambitious renewable energy targets.

"These are important as a response to climate change and to reduce our dependence on current fuels such as nuclear, coal, gas and oil, for environmental and energy security reasons."

Bournemouth Liberal democrat Councillor Roger West: says: "We must move towards stopping burning fossil fuels. The Council has signed up to the Earth Charter and our major 2026 conference at the BIC I believe endorsed it."

Emily Bullock says: "Bournemouth and Poole's Energy Efficiency Strategy will aim to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2025 based on a 2005 baseline by saving energy."


Boscombe has to wait for flats

A Boscombe area renovation project is paused, as Bournemouth planning board can't get the height of the proposed development right.

Bournemouth planning board discussed a planning application of a developer Dave Wells on Monday.

It sought planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings and their replacement with a four storey block of 46 flats on the Christchurch street frontage, extending into Gloucester Road and the erection of a separate 3 storey block of 5 flats in Wolverton Road.

After the meeting Chairman John Beesley said: "Members agreed with the Planning Officer (Stephen Clark) that in terms of height massive bulk, it was inappropriate development and it didn't respect the neighboring properties which were domestic in scale."

However, developer Dave Wells said: "We will go back and talk to the Officer. We will explain to him that he was very wrong.The buildings are the same height as the ones around it."

He said if the Officer doesn't agree he would appeal. "We'll go to the government. In the government we will come and decide the application, which they are all so frightened of."

But Chairman said that he suspects Mr Wells will come forward and do as he suggested, which was to have further pre-application advice with officers and come forward with a more appropriate scheme that they will be able to support.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Speed driver avoids disqualification

A woman driving over 64 mph in Bournemouth was able to avoid disqualification from driving today.

Ms Julie Fiona Bateman, 38, of Connaught Crescent, Parkstone pleaded guilty to speed driving, Bournemouth Magistrate’s Court heard today.

Prosecuting Paul Griffin said Ms Bateman was driving over 64 miles an hour on Wessex Way on January 15 at 6am.

Defending Justine Gayfors said Ms Bateman had exceptional hardship pointing that her father was very ill and she was transporting him. If she would be disqualified from driving, he would have grave problems being unable to walk on long distance.

Ms Bateman gave evidence trying to point out another problem. “I have a £28 000 debt that I am paying of working on two jobs. I’m also paying a fixed mortgage for my house in Southsea.’’
She also provided character references from both jobs.

District Judge (MC) Roger House said: “I want you to know that neither your debt problem nor your jobs cut the ice. The thing that I take into account deciding the case is your father’s case.” He warned Ms Bateman that if she breaks the law within next 3 years she would not have any opportunity of providing mitigation.

Ms Bateman got 3 point on the licence and was conditionally disqualified from driving. Besides she will have to pay £35.

Psychic holistic event

Ferndown village hall will become a home of psychics, mediums, palmists and others on Sunday.

Psychic holistic event will union different kinds of spiritualists on February 15 who will give lectures and demonstrations as well as tell your fortune, heal and put a spell on people.

An organiser Robert Broadhurst-Browne says: “Twelve years ago I went to a psychic fair and I’ve looked how they were running it. I saw that they were trying to make money out of it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m trying to help the public. You’ve got to make business as well, but you’ve got to help people.”

He says he works in this field for a while and this year it is his second event of this kind. He claims this business to have much success. The admission to the event costs £1, but the service fees vary.

Chaplain at Bournemouth University Sharon Hartwell thinks there can be a danger in such things. She fears that people believing in the things that are not real may harm themselves without even realising it.

“Say for example they were very ill and instead of going to a doctor, they decided that some spell or crystals could make them better.

“If you are dealing with anything in spiritual nature, at best it could be something you will be deceived by or it could be something quite dangerous. So we have to think carefully before we get involved in spiritual things and what we’re actually looking for.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

Saucy exhibition draws to a close

An exhibition of cheeky postcards was available for the last time at Bournemouth's Russell-Cotes Art Gallery on Sunday.

The collection of Bamforth postcards (Secrets of Saucy Seaside Postcards) were exhibited there for three months, but crowds of people still visited on the last day.

There were people of different ages and nationalities laughing and giggling in front of the postcards.

Bamforth comics used to deal with taboo subjects, anything that was a bit embarrassing. Bodily functions, being naked and, of course, sexual relationships were favourite topics.

This explains the big notice on the wall saying: "Some of the pictures in this exhibition may be regarded as racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. We regret any offence this may cause. It should be noted that all the images were available to view in stationers and card shops across the country."

The cards feature fat ladies, down-trodden husbands, busty girls, with red-nosed men taking the lead. Next came drunken men, cheeky boys and goofy girls. They are essentially real people, but with certain aspects (bottoms, noses and bellies) exaggerated.

Like the cast, the scenes are essentially realistic and well-observed. Setting jokes in the bingo hall, barber shop and bar room gives them an intimacy and realism that makes the humour even funnier.

The whole point of many Bamforth jokes and comics was to be a bit shocking.

On one of the postcards, a woman says to the other who is in a very open swimming suit: "Heaven's - Are you trying to catch pneumonia?" And the answer is: "No darling I'm trying to catch a man!"

On another postcard it's written "Happy birthday to a man who can carry his drink" and there is a picture of a man going to the toilet with a glass of beer in his hand and a bottle in the back of his trousers.

There's also a postcard with a naked man and a woman in the bushes. It reads: "A nudist camp is where men and women get together to - Air their differences!!!"

It was also amusing to see a mother attempting to explain to her young son what all the cheeky postcards meant. For instance, a postcard with a picture of a woman on the sea shore, sitting on a tummy of a huge, fat, naked man said: "I'm writing this sitting on the front."

Art Boot Sale

Eight women were warming the Study Gallery of Modern Art with their charming songs in the Poole College on Saturday.

They gathered there to promote their ensemble La Nova Singers, in a new monthly event.

Art Boot Sale invites artists of all art forms to come and sell their work in a creative way.

La Nova Singers was formed four years ago and has already become highly sought after. They are recognised for their beauty of sound, harmonies, diction and eclectic mix of music.

They gave a live concert in the gallery without any microphones. Seven of them were standing in a semi-circle and head of the group, Michelle Nova, was conducting and singing with them.

Michelle Nova, Director Conductor and soprano trained in London and is well known for her performing and teaching skills.

The group performed many beautiful songs, but 'You Raise Me Up' played magic on the audience. Quite understandably they had to sing it three times.

They study at La Nova Studios following the discipline of the Bel Canto technique. They give regular concerts throughout the South West and are regularly booked for weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, festivals etc.

Bel Canto singing characteristically focuses on perfect evenness throughout the voice, skilful legato, a light upper register, tremendous agility and flexibility, and a certain lyric "sweet" timbre.

The atmosphere during the concert was very relaxed and friendly. The singers were exchanging comments and even talking to the audience.

On the other end of the gallery there was an artist working quietly. After a while she became so enchanted with their songs, she started painting the whole ensemble singing.

The audience was a bit lost afterwards. They couldn't decide whether to look at the artist painting or at the group singing!

Tamila_La_Nova_Singers from Mammj on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Drinks for 99p

Bournemouth pubs and bars are expected to start decreasing prices on alcohol after the Bournemouth Townwatch meeting on 4 February. 

At the moment, most of them have an agreement not to offer drinks below £1.50 supported with the idea of avoiding disorder in the town.

Night Time Economy Co-ordinator Jon Shipp says: “In principle the fixing of alcohol retail prices is not possible legally and for that reason Townwatch has decided to review this, and at the same time to look at the Responsible Operating Policy (ROP) as a whole, within which the indication of maintaining reasonable pricing is contained. The ROP has now been re-written by a sub-group and it will be forwarded to all members prior to the 4th February where it’s expected to be ratified." 

JD Wetherspoon pub The Moon in the Square, which isn’t signed up to the agreement, is already offering bottles of San Miguel and pints of IPA real ale for 99p.  

The Old Firestation manager Sam Cox says they won’t decrease prices even if they have to compete with the rivals offering drinks at lower prices.

Although Old Firestation is a member of the Townwatch, Sam Cox denies having the agreement about the price, saying: “As a trade group, Townwatch cannot set a minimum price for it's members to sell drinks at. Townwatch has a Responsible Operating Police, which all members agree follow. It is this policy, which is being reviewed at the Townwatch AGM next month."

Irresponsible driving on Boxing Day

A middle-aged Poole man will have to get used to public transport after he was disqualified from driving vehicles for the incident on the Boxing Day. 

Steven John Barnley, 44, of Poole, pleaded guilty of driving through red lights exceeding speed limits without insurance or certificate, Bournemouth Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.

Prosecuting Paul Griffin said that Mr Barnley was driving blue Astra on Friday December 26 over the speed limit going through red lights on Constitutional Hill Road and Ringwood Road. “He [Barnley] was arrested yesterday evening and admitted he knew his insurance was not valid.” 

Defending Mark Proctor asked the Court to take into consideration that “this is the first time he is disqualified the licence” and that he is voluntary to pay the court fee, but as he has £5000 debt he asks the money to be taken directly from the salary. 

Mr Proctor adds that Mr Barnley has a risk of lossing his accommodation and his job. He has already lost his child and has a breakdown of relationships with the family.

The chairman Christopher Laishley said: “It is difficult to deal with this case”.

The magistrates of Bournemouth disqualified Mr Barnley from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay fines and costs totalling £325. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bournemouth - UK's First Fibrecity

Bournemouth will be the first Fibrecity in the UK after its first 30 homes will be connected to 100Mbps fibre optic network in March. 

In addition to 100Mbps broadband that is tens of times faster than standard connections, these first 30 homes will demonstrate the next generation services from IPTV to remote home security.

Fibrecity’s innovative patented FS System allows engineers to lay fibre optic cable in the sewer network. Using this existing channel means that the fibre can be laid up to 90% faster and with far less disruption than is caused by major road digging.

With a large student population and thriving business community, Fibrecity recognised that Bournemouth is a town that would truly benefit from connectivity speeds of up to 100Mbps. 

Besides, H2O Networks, Fibrecity's sister company had already built a fibre-optic network using the sewers in Bournemouth for the Borough Council so the Fibrecity team were able to build on this across the town.

Adrian Crook, commercial manager, Fibrecity said:

“Feedback has been very positive from both residents and businesses in Bournemouth and we are seeing a real appetite for next generation connectivity speeds. We are in the process of signing up residents and businesses to connect to the network and we have already achieved a 40 per cent take up in the first phase of the roll out.”

The fibre optic network is being built at the expense of Fibrecity Holdings, which plans to complete the work on Fibrecity Bournemouth by the end of 2010. 

Bournemouth University Wins

Bournemouth University moves forward in the BUCS competition between Women’s 1st basketball teams after a 101-5 win over UWE Bristol yesterday.

It is their 6th win in this competition after 3 losses. They have already beaten the universities of Cardiff, Southampton and others.

Bournemouth University was playing the match against UWE Bristol home and from the very start took the control over the game scoring in twenty seconds. 

The visitors could manage only one successful two-point shot during the whole first quarter and the Bournemouth University won the quarter with the 27-2 result.

UWE Bristol started the second quarter more actively and had a couple of good opportunities for scoring, but unluckily could not lead the attack to the end.

Bournemouth University once again finished a quarter with an excellent result, 53-4.

The best player of the UWE on this match, Leanne Webb shot a penalty during the third quarter and made it 67-5, but it turned out to be the last score for UWE Bristol on this match.

Bournemouth played the whole game very actively and did not give the visitors a chance of any success. Almost each member of the BU team scored during the match, but the three most successful players were Beevers, Webber and Awuku.

But it was Maddock, who scored the last two-pointer and finished the match with the devastating for the visitors result 101–5.