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Sefton launches SEND evaluation to seek out parent’s views

Sefton Council  have commissioned researchers at Edge Hill University to undertake an evaluation of Special Education Needs and Disability services in the borough.

The evaluation, funded by Sefton’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, will involve a sample of parents and carers with children and young people who have SEND and will help shape and improve the services Sefton can offer.

Key partners including schools, and health and care services will also be asked to give their views in the evaluation.

The results will then be used to inform policy, strategy, prioritisation and development of activities and services related to the needs of young people aged under 25 years with a special educational need or disability.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools & Safeguarding, said: “We have asked Edge Hill University to help us better understand Special Education Needs and Disability provision throughout Sefton.

“This is a very important project to undertake and we need parents and carers who are involved to give their views, both good and bad, so that we can positively shape how we deliver and develop services in the future.

“The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to help our children and young adults with SEND needs, as well as their families and support networks.”

Participation in the evaluation is completely voluntary and those who contribute will be given complete anonymity.

The evaluation is expected to be completed before April and a final report will be shared widely and posted on the local offer.

To find out more email public.health@sefton.gov.uk.

Funding approved for Heritage Lottery Project in Southport

Further funding has been approved by Sefton Council to allow a second round application for Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for a major project in Southport town centre.

Development funding of £70K was awarded by the HLF last year to enable Sefton Council, in partnership with Southport BID, to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m. With contributions from Sefton Council and property owners it could be worth up to £2.36m in total.

At Cabinet on February 7, £200K of match funding was approved to enable Sefton Council and Southport BID to submit a second round application in June, 2019.

The Southport Townscape Heritage Project aims to enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront so that the two become more integrated.

The project aims to increase the levels of economic activity within a target area and reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “We initially beat off fierce competition from 23 other bids to be one of only 5 areas within the UK to be awarded the grant.

“This match funding will allow us to apply for a full National Lottery grant worth about £1.6m which we will submit in June with a final decision made in the autumn.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.”

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work , involving structural and external repair of historic buildings, the reinstatement of authentic architectural features and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “Working with partners like Southport Civic Society and other education and training providers, we hope the project will bring community, volunteering and educational benefits to local residents.

“Lord Street and the Promenade conservation areas provide a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings and landscaping. We firmly believe preserving this heritage for residents, businesses and visitors alike will contribute greatly to the town’s economy while providing a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.”

Part of the initial development funding has allowed for the recruitment of a dedicated Project Officer, Paul Crowther, who joined Sefton in November 2018 from the successful Townscape Heritage Project in Winckley Square, Preston. Paul has been busy working on developing the second round application and liaising with Southport BID.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great step forward for our town. The success of our joint application for first round funding demonstrated the effectiveness of the private and public sectors working together for the greater good of our town. We’re confident that continuing this collaboration will now help ensure a successful second round application resulting in £1.6m grant funding to improve a core area of our town centre and is an example of how such collaborations are important in encouraging future investment in Southport.”

For more information please visit our webpage www.sefton.gov.uk/townscape alternatively get in touch on 0151 934 3155 or e-mail Paul.Crowther.sefton.gov.uk

Volunteers launch #SeftonCrowd to help transform lives across Sefton

Sefton Council has launched a brand new crowdfunding initiative to help community groups and volunteers create incredible projects to transform the borough.

The local authority has teamed up with national crowdfunding platform Spacehive to create the #SeftonCrowd, a community led initiative which can help groups and individuals to improve the communities where they live.

Supporting a project can cost as little at £2 and funding may also be available via Sefton Council’s Community Transition Fund.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The creation of #SeftonCrowd is a fantastic legacy to our Year of the Volunteer project and supports our 2019 Year Of Friendship in a huge way.

“We want this initiative to encourage, support and create community projects which make a huge difference to our brilliant borough.

“All creative ideas and proposals are welcome and we encourage as many groups and individuals as possible to consider a crowdfunding campaign through the #SeftonCrowd.

“Support is available to help you develop your campaign from both Sefton Council and Sefton CVS will be available to help you reach your target.”

Chris Gourlay, Spacehive CEO, added: “The Spacehive team are excited to launch the Sefton Crowd alongside the council and its partners.

“Together we’ll be encouraging everybody to share innovative ideas to shape their part of Sefton, and providing the support and technology to help make them happen”

Community groups and volunteers who are interested in creating a #SeftonCrowd project can attend a special workshop at Crosby Lakeside Activity Centre on Wednesday, February 13 to learn more about putting together a proposal.

To register for the workshop visit www.seftoncrowd.eventbrite.com

For more information about #SeftonCrowd visit www.spacehive.com/movement/seftoncrowd

Tickets go on sale for 2019 Mayor’s Charity Gala

Tickets have now gone on sale for the 2019 Mayor of Sefton’s Charity Gala Ball.

Taking place at the stunning Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Saturday April 27, all money raised from the evening of food and entertainment will go to the Mayor of Sefton’s Charity Fund.

Funds are then annually dispersed throughout the borough to local charities and good causes.

Starting at 6pm with a drinks reception followed by a 3-course meal, entertainment is provided by the King of Swing Asa Murphy, Soulman Steve Charles and the sensational Victoria Jones.

Tickets, which cost £40, are on sale now subject to availability.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “The annual Mayor’s charity dinner is one of the major highlights in the calendar and I am very much looking forward to welcoming many guests on the evening.

“All the money raised throughout the evening goes towards the Mayor’s Charity Fund, which in turn, helps so many wonderful charitable and voluntary organisations right across the borough.”

For more information or to book your tickets call 0151 934 2062 or email mayorsoffice@sefton.gov.uk.

Hundreds of businesses boosted thanks to Sefton Economic Forum

More than 100 business leaders from across the city region have attended the latest Sefton Economic Forum to find out how they can expand and plan for future successes.

Run by InvestSefton, the winter Sefton Economic Forum took place at Formby Hall Golf Resort on December 7, with more than 110 local businesses present to discuss the North West economy and Brexit.

Hosted by Karen Potter, local businesswoman and estate agent, the popular forum included guest presentations from Brian Sloan, Deputy Agent from the Bank of England; Dr Thomas Horsley, Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, who provided an update on Brexit; Natalie Atkinson, CEO at Southport Football Club, who shared the club’s ambitious plans and Alison Hadaway, Business Manager at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa.

Following the informative talk, businesses networked at the Growth Hub Marketplace, discovering a wide variety of support for their enterprise, from investment opportunities to health and fitness in the workplace and more besides. Sefton Council’s Active Workforce team was also present.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “It is great to see the economic forums go from strength to strength, helping leaders to grow their businesses and create opportunities for the workforce across Sefton and the Liverpool City Region.

“All of our speakers gave great insights into the business climate, especially in light of Brexit and the challenges we need to meet in our local economy, something we can do more effectively as a business community coming together and working collaboratively.

“After the forum finished, businesses spent time in the Growth Hub Marketplace and met with representatives from over 20 different business support agencies who provided vital information on what help is available to boost business.

“InvestSefton consistently curate engaging forums and organise a vibrant marketplace showing the best of Sefton’s businesses – I’m looking forward to the next forum”

For more information about further Sefton Economic Forum events call 0151 934 3452 or email info@investsefton.com

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