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Formby Library echoes with Whaling Stories

Visitors to Formby Library will have a whale of a time next month with a special talk by lecturer Simon Hill.

The Liverpool John Moores academic will visit the Duke Street library on Tuesday March 13 from 2pm to talk about Liverpool’s involvement in the 18th century Whaling trade.

A spokesman for Formby Library said: “In the words of one author, Georgian ‘Liverpool’s whaling trade has received little attention from historians’.

“This stands in sharp contrast to the port’s association with trans-Atlantic slavery. So, it is not surprising that we should want to learn more about Liverpool’s association with whaling during that period.

“The presentation begins in 1750, when the first Liverpool whaling vessel sailed to Greenland, and concludes when the trade effectively ended in 1823.

“Among the issues that shall be discussed are the financing of Liverpool’s whaling industry, patterns of trade and life on board a Liverpool whaling vessel.

“Guests will also be given a fascinating insight into what impact the whaling industry had across Liverpool and Merseyside.”

The talk is free but places are limited and booking is essential. To book or for more information call 01704 874177 or email Formby.library@sefton.gov.uk.

Court grants Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into flawed Highways England consultation

The courts have granted Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into the flawed Highways England consultation over Rimrose Valley.

Leader of Sefton Council Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I’m pleased that the court has granted us permission to proceed with our application for a Judicial Review to look into what we believe is a flawed consultation by Highways England when they decided that their preferred option was to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.

“When Highways England first announced that they would only be taking forward two options to ease traffic on the A5036 – a revamped A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road, which is already one of the busiest roads in the north, or a new £200m road through Rimrose Valley Park in Litherland – we told them that neither option would deliver the necessary benefits for our communities and to consult on a third option to build a tunnel.

“Yet they completely disregarded this approach and ploughed on with a flawed consultation which is why we had no alternative but to apply for a judicial review.

“Getting to this next stage means that the legal system clearly recognises that we have grounds to challenge the way the whole process has been handled.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view – which is why we want to take action.

“Our case has been deemed to have enough evidence to take legal action and we’ll now prepare a strong case for the Judicial Review.

“We will fight this to ensure that that Highways England is ordered to re-open the consultation again, and give our communities a proper opportunity to be consulted on the tunnel option.

“Of course it is not too late for Highways England to reconsider their position, start their consultation process again including the tunnel option and avoid the need for ongoing legal action.

“We hope that common sense prevails.”

Sefton confirms purchase of James Dixon Court

Sefton Council has successfully purchased a residential care home based in the borough.

Following discussions with owners Your Housing Group, Sefton Council has bought James Dixon Court in Netherton with all 24 staff transferring over to service provider Sefton New Directions (SND).

SND will now operate the facility and all staff, residents and their families have been kept updated throughout the process.

Located in Harrops Croft, Netherton, James Dixon Court is a purpose built residential care home that provides accommodation for people aged over 65 and currently provides for 15 residents.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Through the transfer into Sefton Council control, we have been able to protect the future of the current residents at James Dixon Court.

“Staff at the home have transferred over to Sefton New Directions and we believe through this process we can ensure James Dixon Court provides quality and fit-for-purpose care now and into the future.

“I would like to thank Your Housing Group and Sefton New Directions for their professionalism during the transfer and look forward to working closely with SND in enhancing this excellent facility right in the heart of our community.

“I would also like to thank staff and residents for their patience while the future of the home remained uncertain. SND will work with staff, residents and families to ensure the home goes from strength to strength.”

John Cogbill, Chief Operating Officer for Your Housing Group, said: “We can confirm that we have agreed to transfer the ownership and management of James Dixon Court to Sefton Council.

“We have been very impressed by the plans that Sefton Council has for the management of James Dixon Court and are sure that the home has a bright future under their stewardship.

“The welfare of the scheme’s residents remains everyone’s top priority and we’d therefore like to reassure the occupants that both parties have been working in partnership to make sure the transition period will be as smooth as possible.”

Sefton New Directions was established 10 years ago as the first local authority social care trading company and remains at the forefront of the care sector in the borough and beyond with a team of more than 350 enthusiastic and caring staff.

Bob McDonald, managing director at Sefton New Directions, added: “We are going from strength to strength as the organisation prepares to accept the residential care home James Dixon Court into our extensive range of social care services which are provided locally.

“We are very much looking forward to James Dixon Court residents and staff joining the portfolio of services that we offer to Sefton residents.

“New Directions staff support clients to get the best out of life, our commitment is to provide personalised care where and when it’s needed. We work closely with commissioners to constantly review, develop and improve our services to ensure that they provide the support and life-enriching opportunities that our clients and their families want and deserve.”

Panel endorses police precept proposal

A proposal to increase the precept payable for policing in Merseyside was “reluctantly” endorsed by the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel at their meeting on Tuesday 6 February.

The panel, which is made up of councillors from all Merseyside local authorities, has a statutory obligation to review the Commissioner’s Police Precept Proposal each year.

Having considered the evidence presented by the Commissioner, the Deputy Chief Constable and their support staff, the panel reluctantly agreed unanimously to endorse the Commissioner’s proposal for a 7.23% increase in the precept. However, in doing so, the panel asked that a number of recommendations/ comments be placed on record and brought to the Commissioner’s attention.

Cllr Carla Thomas, Chairperson of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel, said:

“We endorsed this rise extremely reluctantly, because we recognise that the only alternative would be for resources within Merseyside Police to be reduced even further . This would have an extremely detrimental impact on the level of service being provided to the community.

“The panel very much felt that the Commissioner was left with no alternative but to request this increase, due to the woeful shortfalls in Government funding for the police.

“However we were also in unanimous agreement that, whilst this rise does represent the only option currently available to prevent further reduction in officer numbers, it highlights how inequitable the current system is. By relying on council tax precepts to plug gaps in funding for policing, those who struggle already with their monthly outgoings – of which their Council Tax bill is a significant part – are hit the hardest.

 “In reluctantly endorsing this increase we’d also urge the Government to urgently reconsider their approach to police funding and how shortfalls are impacting on both service provision and on the wallets of those least able to afford to pay.”

 You can read the Police and Crime Panel’s formal response here.

Sefton fund knife wands to make nightlife safer

Knife wands are the latest piece of equipment being funded by Sefton Safer Communities Partnership to ensure the local night time-economy in the borough is as safe as it can be.

Thanks to the funding, Merseyside Police Community Officers and Targeted Police Teams, as well as local bars and clubs in the Sefton area, will be supplied with knife wands to help them identify people carrying dangerous weapons and keep club-goers from harm.

The wands will go towards enhancing safety in the area and cracking down on the number of serious and fatal stabbings that happen on our streets.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“I’m delighted that through the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we have acquired these extra security measures.

“The purchase of knife wands will help reassure our residents and visitors that Sefton is not only an enjoyable place to experience our vibrant night time economy, but also a safe one too.

“Many of our wonderful bars and nightclubs already have very good security in place but these wands will be of great benefit as both a deterrent and a symbol of reassurance.

“These wands and the wider Op Sceptre national campaign will compliment tactics already in place including weapon sweeps, knife arches, test purchasing and high visibility police patrols.”

Superintendent Matt Boyle said:

“These wands will act as a deterrent to those carrying weapons and a reassurance to the community that we’re doing everything we can to prevent knife related crime in the area.

“Liverpool City Council have already funded a roll out of the wands towards the end of last year following the tragic death of Sam Cook. Reports show these tools have been received really well and are key in keeping our communities safe.”

Merseyside is one of a number of police forces across the UK taking part in a week-long operation (Op Sceptre) aiming to highlight the work regularly being done across the county, and nationally, to combat the issue of knife crime.

As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives in the hope this ensures people can safely enjoy being out and about in the Sefton town centre and surrounding areas. I’m proud to be supporting Sefton Safer Communities Partnership as they roll out a further 45 wands and I hope this gets the message across that it isn’t acceptable to carry a knife.”

 

•Anyone that would like to report any forms of knife crime is asked to contact us via our social media desk @MerPolCC or call 101. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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