It's Bonkers - Reaction to The Face of Sutton Manor

the dream st helens sutton manor collieryWork has already started on The Dream – an enormous white bust of a woman's head that will stand 20 metres tall alongside the M62 motorway at St Helens.

The Dream has been commissioned from a Spanish sculptor by St Helens Borough Council with cash from The North-West Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

NWDA is the government-funded quango that is meant to create jobs and stimulate the economy in the North West.

But critics say taxpayers money would have been better spent in creating jobs in the town where more than 5,000 are jobless.

June Lornie director of the Liverpool Academy of Arts said, "This is supposed to be an iconic sculpture but it says nothing at all about the area.

"The artist clearly did not do much research into the history of St Helens or he would have come up with something in glass.

"There are hundreds of local artists who could have done much better job for a lot less."

North-West Lib-Dem MP John Pugh said: "The backers of this project seem to be aiming for some kind of Angel of the North phenomenon but they're way off.

"All too often projects like this build up momentum and are waved-through without any proper consideration for what it will look like or what ordinary people really want."

Southport MP Dr Pugh added: "Creating new jobs in the North West would keep this money in the local economy.

"Instead we are getting a folly with a large proportion of the funding going to a Spanish artist.

"It shows a lack of realism about what is required to tackle economic regeneration in the North West."

Locals in St Helens have mixed opinions about 'The Dream' which has been designed by award-winning artist Jaume Plensa at his studio in Barcelona and is being built on a hill in "Community Woodland" – a former spoil heap at the Sutton Manor Colliery which was closed in 1991.

Janet Jones, 56, whose home in Union Bank Lane, overlooks the site said, "It's bonkers. We will have to look out at this every day and it will stick out like a sore thumb. It's huge and it's white, it will look totally out of place with the trees around it. It will be a blot on the landscape and will probably end-up covered in graffiti."

The sculpture will be assembled from 90 blocks that are being cast at a concrete works in the East Midlands.

Catherine Braithwaite, spokesperson for "The Dream" project said, "This is going to be an iconic structure. Its had a really positive response from local people.

"We've taken a model of the sculpture around local libraries and had really positive feedback.

"Obviously it is a lot of money, but we have to be completely sure that this is a top quality piece of work, and it's not going to fall apart."

Peter Mearns, executive director at the North West Development Agency was keen to point-out that NWDA had not decided the nature of the sculpture.

He said, "We've provided the funding to redevelop the land, but we haven't been involved in choosing the actual artwork.

"Hopefully The Dream will stimulate local pride and generate regional identity."

Suspect Held as Prescot Rd Seige Ends Peacefully


st helens major incident An armed siege which saw a man carrying a suspected explosive package holed up in a St Helens firm’s HQ has reached a peaceful conclusion.

No official statement has been made by police, but it is believed the man has left the building on Prescot Road following talks with police negotiators and is now in custody.

Officers will now assess whether the suspect package the man was carrying did in fact contain explosives.

St Helens Fire Engines
Read our original story here

A major incident unfolded at Prescot Road, St Helens this afternoon 5th March 2009.

The Bomb Squad are present as the latest Police Briefing indicated that one person was present on site and that he possessed a suspect package. Trained negotiators were holding talks with him.

A large police presence is at the site and a huge section of surrounding roads have been sealed off.

Sources have told local bloggers that the incident centres on Alfred H Knight International Ltd, a business with global interests, that analyses metals and minerals.

Police have issued a brief statement saying they Alfre H Knight HQare dealing with a security alert.

The incident is said to be ongoing, say police.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "We are dealing with a security alert at a business premises in West Park, St Helens.

"We were called at 11.30am following reports of a man acting suspiciously. The business premises have been evacuated while checks are carried out."

"Prescot Road and Freckleton Road are closed and Prescot Road with the junction of Lugsmore Lane, Thatto Heath are closed." Motorists are being advised to avoid the area.

Alfred H Knight is based on Eccleston Grange, Prescot Road. The company carries out work across America, Southern Africa, Asia and Europe.

Callers to local newsrooms say some homes and businesses nearby were evacuated.

Students at the nearby Carmel College were kept on site since this morning, but they were sent home at 3pm this afternoon.

A heavy police presence and at least a dozen fire crews have also been stationed at the scene throughout the day.

A large media contingent has been gathering throughout the day.

For more details follow this link back to the original article in The St Helens Star

You Can Now Follow Domino's Pizza St Helens on Twitter

Twitter Domino's Pizza Barack Obama does it, Stephen Fry does it and Britney Spears does it too. Twitter is the latest Web 2.0 tool to get everybody talking - and now Domino's Pizza St Helens is at it as well.

For the uninitiated, Twitter is a very simple idea. (sorry but this video is a bit cheesy and American!) You answer the question 'what are you doing?' in 140 letters or less, as often as you like. Other people can then sign up to 'follow' you and receive your updates. They can also reply to you, either in public by using their own update or in private via a Direct Message, a bit like an email.

But in short, we intend to use Twitter as a way of keeping you in touch with what's happening at your local pizza store - from the mundane stuff about new pizzas to Exclusive last minute special offers and deals (even we order too much stock sometimes!)

Getting an account is simple and there's no intrusive questions, then just click on us and click the Follow button to receive regular updates straight to the web, your inbox or via SMS.

For more information you can email us at