Sefton Council has revealed plans to help migrant schoolchildren get a better start at early years education.
In May the local authority announced that it was successful in securing a £244,000 grant to help Sefton schools increase their already impressive levels of educational support to migrant children who come to live in the area.
Work has already begun on a two year English Language Support project which will be rolled out to primary schools across the borough.
As part of the project, migrant schoolchildren who are learning English as an additional language will now have access to weekly support sessions, while their families will receive access to linguistic lending libraries.
Teachers and support staff in primary schools across Sefton are also undergoing additional training to help them further improve their skills to support new migrant children who move to the borough.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The legacy of this amazing project will leave schools across Sefton with specially trained staff, a sustainable English Language network and a bank of key resources for staff to build upon in years to come.
“Not only will this project help support migrant children in learning English, but it will also foster an inclusive ethos which our schools pride themselves in, welcoming everyone as equal, valued members of the community.
“Sefton has a proven track record of being an incredibly welcoming borough for all and this project will further our efforts in making sure children from all backgrounds have the best start in life, learning equally with their friends and peers.
For more information about Sefton schools and learning opportunities, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning.
Summer Reading Challenge launches in Sefton with a wonderfully, wet performance!
Children from schools across Sefton were treated to a hilarious and energetic story telling performance at Crosby Library to celebrate the launch of the Reading Agency’s, Summer Reading Challenge.
The challenge is a national scheme which Sefton libraries actively take part in every year, with around three thousand children getting involved. Statistically the borough is the number one performer in the North West for people completing the challenge successfully.
During the summer holidays literacy for children tends to drop because youngsters are not in school being actively encouraged to read. The aim of the challenge is to tackle this by encouraging children aged 4-11 to read books for fun during break.
After signing up to your local library you can complete the challenge by reading a total of six books. Children can read what ever they like – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. Young people receive a special reward every time they finish a book and there is a certificate for everyone who finishes.
This years theme is Mischief Makers and it coincides with 80 years of the Beano comic. To kick off the event children got to watch a modern telling of Dennis the Menace and his adventure to find the Mythical Pea Shooter.
Storyteller John Kirk brought the story to life with various wigs, accents and props. The interactive experience got all the children involved and the mere mention of the word water, led to a soaking from one of John’s many spray guns sending the young spectators into a frenzy.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“It’s brilliant that schools in Sefton actively encourage children to take part in the challenge year on year and the library staff do a brilliant job in keeping that going over the summer holidays.”
“It’s also great to have storytellers performing at the library. The energy and encouragement is a reminder to the children that reading can be one of the best things to do over the summer holidays and this always get the children exited for the challenge.”
To find out more information about the Summer Reading Challenge visit summerreadingchallenge.org.uk
To get information about your local library visit www.sefton.gov.uk/libraries
Metro Mayor Announces Bus Discount Scheme for Apprentices, Saving £420 a year
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, will today announce one of the country’s most generous discounted bus travel schemes for apprentices, as part of a speech exploring the future of bus services in the city region.
The scheme, brought in after working with Bus Alliance partners Stagecoach and Arriva, will introduce half-price weekly and four-weekly bus passes for all apprentices aged 19 to 24.
Prices will be in line with Merseytravel’s already great-value Solo bus tickets for under-19s, which means that any apprentice up to the age of 25 will get half-price travel on buses, saving up to £420 per year.
The announcement is part of a major speech in which the Metro Mayor will talk about the importance of buses to local people, businesses and the economy as a whole.
He will emphasise that the Liverpool City Region has some of the best bus services in the country, bucking the national trend to increase bus use by 16% to 147 million journeys a year, last year, with 92% of users happy with their experience.
However, he will warn that in spite of this high performance, the city region cannot afford to rest on its laurels and will set out how he will use additional powers over bus services granted to areas with a Metro Mayor through the Bus Services Act to deliver the best possible service.
The Metro Mayor will announce a significant big bus conversation with the public and all stakeholders with an interest in bus services to help shape the future of buses in the city region.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Buses are the backbone of our public transport system, with more than 400,000 journeys in the city region every day, making up 82% of all public transport journeys.
“More than £40 million has been invested in our bus fleet, making it as good as any outside London. We know that we have one of the highest satisfaction levels in the country, with 92% of people happy with their bus journeys last year, but we know there are areas where we can do better.
“For example, the cost of travel has been putting some young people off taking-up apprenticeship opportunities, which is why I am so pleased that we have been able to introduce this new discounted scheme, which will provide apprentices up to the age of 25 with half-price bus travel, potentially saving them up to £420 a year.
“Devolution gives us the opportunity to do things differently, to take greater control of our buses, and deliver a better bus service. We want the people of the city region to be part of that process, which is why I am announcing a big conversation about bus travel, to help us lay the foundations of a 21st century public transport system.”
Iain Finlayson, Business Performance Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “We know that bus travel is essential to our customers and staff and to the retail industry in the Liverpool City Region. 7.6 million customers a year visit Liverpool ONE by bus and a quarter of our 4,200 staff depend on the bus to get to and from work.
“That’s why we fully endorse the Metro Mayor’s initiative to deliver the very best bus services possible and will be contributing to the Big Bus Debate over the coming months.”
Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School restaurant and Co-Chair of the Hospitality Association, said: “The city region’s bus network is particularly important for its restaurants, pubs and cafes, enabling our staff to get to and from work, and our customers to get out and about and enjoy themselves. While we have seen significant improvements in buses locally in recent years there is always room for improvement and I would encourage everyone to have their say in the Big Bus Debate. I’m also very pleased to hear about the discounted tickets for apprentices – it is vital that we continue to attract young people into our industry and anything that removes barriers to people taking up apprenticeships is to be applauded.”
Marcus Magee, General Manager of the Liverpool One Hilton Hotel and Co-Chair of the Hospitality Association, said: “Hotels are a vital part of the city region’s visitor economy, which brings in £4.3 billion and is the city region economy’s second biggest sector. Buses are vitally important to our sector, whether by enabling visitors to get around, or getting staff to work and back home, and we are committed to supporting this attempt by the Metro Mayor to ensure that we have a bus network that works as well as it can for everyone.”
Sue Higginson, Principal, Wirral Met College, said: “Transport costs can be the first barrier to success and this initiative will ensure that by offering discounted bus travel for young apprentices, we remove that barrier and ensure that young people who learn through a vocational route get the same level of support that is already available to those who have chosen an academic route.”
Howard Farrall and Rob Jones, the Area Managing Directors for Arriva and Stagecoach, said: “Liverpool City Region is blazing a trail with the Bus Alliance, a voluntary partnership with operators and Merseytravel that has invested more than £52 million in the bus network since it was formed, leading to real improvements for passengers. Bus patronage has bucked the national trend with a 16% increase to 147 million journeys a year and with independent surveys showing that 92% of bus users are satisfied with their journeys and 93% of 19-21 year olds being satisfied, up over 10% in 2017.
“As bus operators we are pleased to see bus travel being given the level of priority it deserves by the Metro Mayor and are committed to taking part in the ongoing debate about how we can make bus the best it possibly can be.”
Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station
School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.
The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.
It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.
Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.
A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:
St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018. To be opened 11th July 2068.
The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.
Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.
Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.
Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.
“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”
Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.
“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”
“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.
“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.
“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.
“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”
The new Maghull North station is 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.
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.
Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.
Sefton Council’s current Home Care/Domiciliary Personal Care contracts have been in place since 2012 and will come to end with some new providers running services from August 1, 2018.
A fair and open tendering exercise was undertaken to retender these contracts, and the outcome of this process was approved by elected members.
Sefton Council will continue to ensure a range of good quality home care support services are provided for vulnerable people across the borough and the new contracts will provide better, more flexible services
Every effort is now being made by the Council and new providers to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for services users and their families.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “While some service users will soon receive care from different providers, we feel in no way should it affect the quality or standard of care. In fact the new contracts will deliver a number of improvements to the service provided in Sefton.
“The transfer of existing work to a new provider is covered by TUPE legislation, so that where appropriate care workers can transfer to the new provider and the relationship between service user and care worker can continue.
“We will continue to work closely with new and existing providers to ensure as little disruption as possible during this transition period.”
Anyone who requires further assistance in relation to this should call 0345 140 0845.