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The Nifty 250: news of the day in so many words

<b>Weds Jan 20:</b> Payback time for arena cash? Public transport use falls; Travelodge plan on Strand and another smash and grab

Published on January 20th 2010.

THE CITY COUNCIL MAY HAVE TO PAY BACK UP TO £2m given by the EU for the Arena and Convention Centre.

The revelation comes after European auditors raised concerns that the awarding of contracts for the Kings Dock project was "anti-competitive". It is thought the repayment maybe part of a wider repeal from Europe on a number of projects. Liverpool Council’s 2010/11 shows £8.4m has been set aside for potential repayments.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT USAGE HAS DROPPED BECAUSE OF THE RECESSION, latest figures show. During the six months between April and September last year, 69.3m passenger journeys were taken across Merseyside, showing a fall of 8.4 percent on the same period in 2008, when 75.6m journeys were taken

The recession and the rise in unemployment were cited as key factors, but the chairman of transport authority Merseytravel, said high bus fares were also to blame.

A TRAVELODGE MAY BE BUILT ON LIVERPOOL’S STRAND after the hotel chain submitted plans to convert the site near the junction with James Street, into 10-storey hotel. Some council bosses already support the plans, with the hotel said to create 38 new jobs and contribute £1.5m to the city’s economy.

A SECOND JEWELLERS IN LIVERPOOL IS RAIDED BY AN ARMED GANG in two days. Eric G Milton’s jewellers, in County Road, Walton, had 25 customers and staff inside when the four men walked in, armed with hammers, axes and a knive, and emptied the window displays. The incident comes after Boodles was raided a day earlier by an armed gang.

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