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Have your say on Sefton’s road network

Residents and visitors to Sefton are being encouraged to have their say on the borough’s highway network.

Each year Sefton Council conducts a detailed survey to find out what residents, commuters and visitors alike think of the highways around the borough.

Launched in June and running until September 28, the survey seeks feedback on a range of services provided, including road defects, street lights, pavements, traffic management, cycling facilities and road safety.

The results of the survey are then published on Sefton Council’s website, and the data captured helps to inform service planning and prioritisation in the coming months and years.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “Our highway network is the largest asset that Sefton Council is responsible for.

“It is important that it works for everyone who lives, works and has fun in our borough.

“Last year’s survey proved popular with a great deal of engagement – our highways are clearly something local residents feel are very important.

“The feedback that we received was exceptionally useful and I encourage as many people as possible to take part this year. It’s really easy to get involved.”

To take part in the survey, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/transportation

Metro Mayors’ Skills Summit Calls for Further Devolution

England’s directly-elected regional mayors will meet in Liverpool today, at the invitation of Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.

The meeting builds on the success of two previous meetings in London and Birmingham.
At the summit, all eight mayors – four Conservative and four Labour – will call on the government for greater devolution of powers and funding over skills.

All eight have signed up to a joint statement calling for further reforms to the skills system, including more control over Apprenticeship Levy funds to boost skills in their areas.

Present at the meeting will be Tim Bowles, West of England; Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester; Sadiq Khan, London; Ben Houchen, Tees Valley; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region; Andy Street, West Midlands.

James Palmer, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, and Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region, are unable to attend but signed the joint statement.

All of the mayors present will attend the International Festival of Business, currently taking place in Liverpool, and supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The morning will see a panel discussion featuring a number of the mayors, while Sadiq Khan will address the Festival in the afternoon, followed by an “in conversation” session with Steve Rotheram.

A focus for discussions will be the Government’s flagship Apprenticeship Levy, which is intended to fund new apprenticeships through a levy of 0.5% of their paybill for employers with salary costs of more than £3 million per year.

Funding can then be drawn down by employers to pay for apprenticeships.
Since the levy was introduced new apprenticeship starts have dropped by 24%, and businesses are finding it difficult to provide the apprenticeships our regions need.

The metro mayors agreed the following joint statement: “As the UK approaches Brexit it is of vital importance for our future growth and prosperity that businesses have access to a workforce with the range of skills necessary to be competitive in the modern global economy.

“As Mayors representing every corner of England we know we would be letting our residents down if we failed to provide them with the opportunities to gain the skills and experience they need to fulfil their potential.

“Between the eight of us we account for nearly 42 per cent of all British growth (GVA). We know our local economies and the needs of the labour market in our areas and we are committed to developing innovative ideas to create a step change in skills and training provision.

“We recognise the Government’s efforts to reform the skills system and applaud its ambition to see three million apprenticeships by 2020. However, the reality is that the number of apprenticeship starts has dropped sharply, with the number of starts falling by 24% since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy last year.

“With that in mind, we call on the Government to give us the flexibility we need to address these issues, specifically by granting city regions control of the Apprenticeship Levy funding which levy payers do not spend, and by further devolving control of 16-19 skills policy.

“We also call on the Government to provide additional funding for us to ensure that there are enough quality providers in our city regions, and to drive the quality of apprenticeships.

“If Government allow us these flexibilities and worked with our city regions, we would ensure that it is used to deliver the gold-standard apprenticeships and skills training that our residents, employers, and the country as a whole, so desperately need.

“We call on the Skills Minister to meet with us to discuss how we can work together to drive apprenticeships and technical education in our regions.”

Dates announced for brand new Constituency Forums

Local residents now have a new way to engage even further with Sefton Council and its partners.

Constituency Forums are being introduced as a more relaxed way for residents to talk to agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

The forums will be held twice a year in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “After consulting about the old and aged style of Area Committees, we decided to take a look at how we engage with our communities and came up with the idea of the Constituency Forums.

“The format of the Constituency Forum will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for ward Councillors, internal Sefton departments and partners to attend.

“This will give our valued residents the opportunity to arrive, get a drink and talk to agencies, councillors and departments about any issues they have, moving from table to table depending on the resident’s particular needs.

“We hope that this new format will remove the formality of the old Area Committee process and attract residents to a more relaxed public meeting at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the forums have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Constituency Forum across Sefton are:

• Bootle – Thursday, June 21 at 6.30pm in Bootle Town Hall’s Ball Room
• Central Sefton – Thursday, June 28 at 6pm to 7.30pm in Crosby Lakeside
• Southport – Thursday, July 5 at 6pm to 7.30pm in The Atkinson’s Studio Room

 

Council leads call for more domestic abuse support

Sefton Council is calling for more support to tackle domestic abuse and to be addressed at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation in its response to the Government’s latest consultation.

The consultation has been seeking views nationally on both legislative proposals for a landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill and a package of practical action to tackle domestic violence.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:  “Domestic abuse is an absolute priority for the Council and our partners and we have embraced the opportunity to feed into such important proposals for a Domestic Abuse Bill.

“As a society, we need to challenge the acceptability of any sort of abuse.

“We need ensure that domestic abuse is at the top of everyone’s agenda, break the silence and encourage people to talk more openly about the issue, particularly young people, and reduce the stigma for children and young people to access services.

“In Sefton, we already have in place a robust strategy for tackling domestic and sexual abuse. It is based around partners working effectively together, the provision of educational and awareness raising programmes, providing vital victim support and perpetrator programmes, and protection through the criminal justice system.

“Any proposed measures to tackle domestic abuse are welcome but it will take more than new laws to help victims and survivors rebuild their lives, we need more support and to do as much as we can to raise awareness, support victims, and ensure perpetrators are stopped.

“We are determined to ensure victims feel safe and supported and will continue to work closely with our partners to address the needs of survivors and victims, and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Lord Street to temporarily close overnight for maintenance

Lord Street, Southport will undergo essential carriageway maintenance works from June 11, which will last for approximately five days.

Sefton Council’s Highways team will be issuing letters to residents and businesses on Lord Street, to let them know about the upcoming carriageway resurfacing project.

Work is due to commence on Monday June 11 and will take approximately five working days to complete.

The works will take place on isolated areas of the carriageway between Duke Street and Manchester Road.

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said:”Sefton is a borough on the move and making sure Lord Street’s carriageway is maintained is a key priority for us.”

“Due to the location of the site and the amount of surrounding properties and businesses, we are intending to carry out the works of an evening after 6.30pm to minimise inconvenience and disruption as much as possible.”

It is planned for the night works to end at midnight, followed by a site safety procedure which will be completed on each occasion by 1am.

Pedestrian access to shops and amenities will be available at all times, as well as access for emergency vehicles.

Diversions will be in place via Duke Street, Victoria Way, Esplanade, Seabank Road and vice versa.

Works nearing Eastbank Street and Nevill Street junctions will be signposted accordingly.

For further information on road closures across the borough visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

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