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A new Merseyside Approach to Child Exploitation and Missing Children

Merseyside Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the five local Safeguarding Boards, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Liverpool and St Helens are coming together to continue the fight against child exploitation and tackle the issue of missing children.

On Tuesday, 1 May the partners will launch new Pan – Merseyside Child Exploitation and Missing Children Protocols, to ensure a consistent approach to tackling these issues right across the region.

Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney explains: “As individual Safeguarding Boards across Merseyside, we have always worked to our own individual protocols around child exploitation. Last year we decided to build upon this existing work to launch a pan-Merseyside approach. The aim of these protocols is to continue and improve the work already done in individual areas to protect children from exploitation – be that sexual or criminal.

“Exploitation of children exists in lots of different forms and it is not always obvious to the victim or their families, when it first starts happening. We want this joined up approach to not only tackle the problem but also to change culture and opinions. A lot of children involved in crime are actually victims of exploitation and organised crime groups are grooming, coercing and abusing children and young people to work for them. Our new protocol includes pathways and assessments tools that can help all agencies to identify those children who are at risk and help put a stop to this behaviour – offering support to victims, disrupting criminal groups and prosecuting those involved.

“Similarly the new Missing Children Protocol will ensure all missing children are reported and identified at the earliest opportunity to reduce their risk of exploitation and offer the support at the right time.”

The launch event will take place at Everton Football Club and representatives from the local five Safeguarding boards, strategic services such as children’s homes and referral units, alongside representatives from the voluntary sector will be in attendance. Key note speakers such as Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney, PCC Jane Kennedy and Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, will talk about the issues faced and give details on the implementation of new protocols, and how they will work practically to streamline and improve the processes. Delegates will then be invited to visit stalls, staffed by representatives from the local Safeguarding Boards.

Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Alongside our partners, we have a duty of care to protect young people from harm and this new innovative, multi-agency approach will mean a consistency across the board.

“The introduction of the new protocols shows how, as a partners, seriously we take these issues and that we are leading the way in putting a stop to child exploitation. Sadly we know child exploitation can affect any young person and have a devastating impact on their lives – that’s why it’s so important for us to work together to ensure we provide the best possible quality of service for those most vulnerable in our communities.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Keeping our young people safe must be a priority for all public agencies. Today’s launch demonstrates that this responsibility is taken very seriously by all the partners here in Merseyside.

“As a region we are committed to working together to deliver a consistent, high-quality service that prevents exploitation of all kinds and protects young people, no matter where they live. Sadly, we know that some young victims do not recognise that they are being exploited. That means we need all professionals to know how to spot the signs that a child may be at risk and take the appropriate steps to keep them safe. These pan-Merseyside protocols provide the tools, the risk assessments and referral pathways to ensure the right response at the right time for young people who may be vulnerable.

“I thank everyone who has worked so hard to get to this point today and to all the partners for their on-going commitment to improving the protection and care we provide for young people in Merseyside.”

Ellie Fairgrieve, Senior Service Coordinator, Catch22 Pan Merseyside Child Exploitation Service: “Catch22 believe there should be no barriers in responding to Child Exploitation, and our team are excited to continue our work with all five local authorities and Merseyside Police to keep children safe. The launch of the revised exploitation protocol, referral forms and risk assessments mean that all forms of exploitation will be considered and that more professionals will understand the risks of criminal exploitation. Merseyside are leading the way in fighting child exploitation and, as practitioners, it’s wonderful to know that young people will receive a consistent response- no matter where they are on Merseyside.”

June opening date confirmed for new Maghull North station

Residents of Maghull will benefit from better links to the local rail network from June 2018 after the opening date for the new station in the town was confirmed.

The first services, operated by Merseyrail, will run from the new Maghull North station from the morning of Monday 18th June.

The opening date was confirmed as the first of several community projects involving local groups and schools was unveiled at the station site – artwork designed by local school children.

A number of schools in the Maghull area have come together to produce community artwork to help brighten up the station site. Seven schools, both primary and secondary, from the Maghull area took part in the project, which was unveiled along the site hoardings on School Lane last Friday (16th March).

Students from Maghull High, Deyes High School, St Andrew’s Primary, St Georges Primary, St Gregory’s, St Thomas Primary and Summerhill Primary schools showed off their artistic talents for the project, covering a wide range of subjects from butterflies and trains to the Three Graces and other landmarks within the Liverpool City Region.

After the unveiling Rob Grey from Network Rail gave the students a presentation about the work involved in building a new station, the jobs and skills that are needed to work in the rail industry and railway safety. This was followed by a question and answer session.

A number of other community projects are planned for the new station, including a time capsule prepared by a local school and display boards covering the history of the former nearby pioneering Moss Side Hospital.

 

Councillor Gordon Friel, Lead Member for Rail on Transport Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “The new Maghull North station will be of huge benefit to local residents when it opens in June, giving more travel options while playing a big part in helping the on-going development of the area in the coming years.

“This fantastic art project involving local schools is a great example of the community getting involved and will help to bring a bit of colour to the new station site.

“There are a number of other community-based projects planned for the station and we would encourage local residents to get involved and give their support in the coming months.”

Andy Heath, Managing Director of Merseyrail said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Maghull North station on to the Merseyrail network. These investments, including the new fleet project, are really enhancing rail services for local people.

“Maghull North will make our rail network much more accessible for those living nearby and it’s great to see the station already becoming part of the community with the artwork that has been created by local schools.”

Rob Grey, Network Rail project manager for the scheme, said: “The new Maghull North station forms part of a massive £340m railway investment in the Liverpool City Region. This major investment is about boosting connectivity and capacity – making room for new, longer trains, with more space for passengers.

“It has been fantastic working with local schools to create the new artwork which will be enjoyed by Maghull North station passengers for decades to come. We look forward to future projects with the local community before the station officially opens in June this year.”

Sally Ralston, Merseyrail Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager, said: “We approached the schools and asked the children what they would like to see at the new station.

“We gave them a blank canvas to produce what they wanted for the project and were delighted with the quality and quantity of work that came back.”

June Burns, Mayor of Maghull said “It was an absolute pleasure to attend the event and meet all of the children who have helped brighten up what is currently a construction site.

“I would encourage mums, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters and the wider community to come along and have a look at the display on School Lane”

 

The new Maghull North station will be located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line.

The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future.

It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years, and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

Facilities at the new station will include:-

  • Staffed station building and ticket office with passenger toilet.
  • Passenger waiting facilities on the platforms.
  • Step-free access with lifts and a bridge to, from and between both platforms and the station building.
  • 156-space car park with blue badge and motorcycle parking facilities, as well as cycle storage.
  • Pedestrian and cycle routes from School Lane and Park Lane to the station, and bus stops on School Lane.
  • Future provision for electric vehicle charging points.

The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail.

More details on the scheme can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/MaghullNorth

Longer hours for Merseyside Recycling Centres

Residents will have the opportunity to recycle more from Sunday, April 1 as the region’s Household Waste Recycling Centres open for an extra three hours every day.

The 14 Recycling Centres, which are provided by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and operated by resource management company Veolia, will be switching to their summer opening hours, meaning they’ll be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm*, seven days a week.

The Recycling Centres are situated throughout the region with all 14 available to use for all Merseyside householders. They accept all sorts of household materials for recycling, from batteries, cans and cardboard, through to garden clippings, glass bottles, wood, and white goods. They also accept lesser known items such as takeaway coffee cups, clothes, furniture and electrical items.

A Van Permit scheme is in operation at all the sites meaning if you are planning to use a van or large trailer then you will need a Permit. Permits can be obtained free of charge by calling 0151 236 0305 or visiting www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.

The Recycling Centres are open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton Play The Atkinson, Southport

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton will play The Atkinson, Southport on Friday 6 April.

The first gig of their new album launch tour, the duo can’t wait to play the venue, Ross said: “We absolutely love being on tour, there’s nothing better for us than playing to a live audience. We’re really looking forward to playing The Atkinson and seeing fans old and new there on the 6th April!”

Following on from the success of their debut album ‘Symbiosis’ Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton will release their second album ‘Symbiosis II’ this spring. Winners of the best duo category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 and nominees for the same award in 2018, Ross and Ali have been busy in the studio creating an album full of new and original material.

Packed full of their own compositions, partly commissioned by some of their fans, Ross and Ali have welcomed lots of their fellow friends and musicians to record on this album.

Revolving around skilfully played guitar, cittern, whistles and bagpipes, which are the bedrock of the award-winning duo, the arrangements also include a full string section, the extensive use of synthesisers, drum kit and bodhran. The result is a much bigger sound with more adventurous and epic arrangements.

Ross and Ali met in the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band when they were 12 years old. The boys were guided by one of the most influential pipers in the last 30 years Gordon Duncan. Gordon instilled a great passion in them for playing pipes with other instruments and they have gone on to play in many leading Scottish bands including Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Shooglenifty, Capercaillie.

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra (of which he is a founding member), Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Ali Hutton, Jarlath Henderson, Charlie Mckerron, India Alba and has performed with Kate Rusby, Blue Rose Code, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Capercaillie, Shooglenifty, Carl Barat, Papon, Karsh Kale, Flook, Breabach, Soumik Datta, Tim Edey, Patsy Reid, Hamish Napier.

Ali Hutton, from Methven in Perthshire, was inspired at the age of 7 to take up the bagpipes and rose through the ranks of the world-famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. It was there that he was taught, alongside Ross Ainslie, by the late, great Gordon Duncan. He has since gone on to become a successful multi-instrumentalist on the Scottish music scene. Ali has performed, and worked alongside some of the most respected musicians, and bands on the scene, such as Capercaillie, Dougie Maclean, Carlos Nunez, Deaf Shepherd, Clueless, Steve Forman, Salsa Celtica, and Shooglenifty to name but a few. During his apprentice years as a professional musician he was fortunate enough to become a member of the multi award winning bands Brolum and Back of the Moon. He toured with them for several years across Europe and North America. Ali has also found himself producing some of the most well received Scottish Folk albums in recent years. Ali is currently a member of Treacherous Orchestra, Old Blind Dogs, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson band, and the new duo, cleverly named, Ross and Ali.

SYMBIOSIS II FEATURES

Ross Ainslie – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Cittern and Banjo
Ali Hutton – Highland Pipes, Whistles, Acoustic and Tenor Guitar Duncan Lyall – Moog and Synth
Martin O’Neill – Bodhran and Drums
Steven Byrnes – Drums
Patsy Reid – All Strings
Gus Sicard – Snare Drum

Produced by Andrea Gobbi, Ali Hutton and Ross Ainslie
Engineered by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Mixed by Andrea Gobbi at GloWorm Recordings and Carrier Waves Additional Engineering by Barry Reid and Keir Long
String Arrangements by Patsy Reid
String Recordings by Jamie Pryke
Mastered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios
Design and Photos by Somhairle Macdonald.

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton perform at The Atkinson, Southport on  Friday 6 April at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £14 and are available online at theatkinson.co.uk, by calling 01704 533333 or over the counter during opening hours. 

The Kings of Swing at The Atkinson this Spring

2018 sees King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys celebrate a remarkable 30 years on the road. More than the greatest jump, jive and swing band on the planet, they’ve become an institution and they perform at The Atkinson on Saturday 7 April at 7.30pm.

In their three decades, the band have delivered nearly 6500 performances in 21 countries, played on 36 radio shows and made 73 television appearances, including several on Blue Peter, The Teletubbies, as well as the Paradise Club series [where they were the house band], Challenge Anneka, The Gadget Show and on a prime time National Lottery advertisement – not to mention accompanying John Barrowman in a rendition of I Get A Kick Out Of You on Live And Kicking.

Rough, tough and always rocking, King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys have appeared at festivals, in concert and at clubs throughout the UK and Europe – and they still play the Birmingham Jazz Festival, where they have headlined for an unprecedented 14 years.

The band has also performed alongside B.B. King, Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, Ray Charles, and toured with the actual Blues Brothers Band – the one from the movie.

Along the way, the band have recorded 11 albums for Big Bear Records, all distributed worldwide physically and online.

The band line up as King Pleasure [vocals and baritone saxophone], Boysey Battrum [alto and tenor saxophones], Bullmoose K Shirley [guitars], Mighty Matt Foundling [piano], Shark Van Schtoop [bass], and Gary ‘The Enforcer’ Barber [percussion].

Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2 called them “the hardest act to follow since the parting of The Red Sea”,

King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys comes to The Atkinson on Saturday 7 April  at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15.

For more information about The Atkinson’s programme  join the e-mailing list by visiting theatkinson.co.uk

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