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Sefton stands by veterans in need with £45,000 donation

Sefton Council is continuing its support of ex-armed forces personnel across the borough with a £45,000 contribution to the Veterans in Sefton (ViS) charity.

As part of the local authority’s ongoing commitment to reducing homelessness, Sefton has agreed to provide this funding to help assist ex-armed forces personnel who are homeless, or who are threatened with homelessness, to find accommodation.

£30,000 will now be handed to the charity in two stages, with £15,000 contributed in 2018-19 and £15,000 in 2019-20.

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This follows an initial £15,000 which was donated earlier this year from Sefton Council’s Combating Homelessness Budget.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through its incredible work, Veterans in Sefton (ViS) have given immeasurable physical and mental support to ex-armed forces personnel and their families.

“ViS mentors are all ex service personnel and have a high understanding of Armed Forces culture and can understand all the difficulties that are presented in the transition from military to civilian life.

“So far mentors have been able to help 46 veterans to find a home, improve their accommodation or save them from eviction.

“This additional funding will go a long way in helping ViS continue in their efforts to combat homelessness within the veteran community. As a borough we have over 25,000 veterans living in Sefton and we want to do as much as we can to help them in any way possible.”

Dave Smith, CEO of Veterans in Sefton, added: ““We are very proud to be chosen by Sefton Council to deliver a solution to veterans’ housing issues and it is a privilege to be working together to help those in need.

“We would like to thank Sefton for all their help and continued support going forward.

For more information about the Veterans In Sefton charity and the work that they do visit www.veteransinsefton.org/

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Sefton Council loses judicial review against Highways England

Sefton Council has lost its legal fight to order Highways England to re-consult on proposals to ease traffic on the A5036  (Dunnings Bridge Road) by building a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Following a High Court hearing in Manchester on October 23, a judgement was issued today (November, 16) dismissing the application. Mr Justice Kerr ruled that he would not order Highways England to re-consult and include the tunnel option for the proposed Port Access route through Rimrose Valley.

Despite the strong case the Council made that Highways England had failed to include the tunnel option in its consultation or in any event failed to include it in a lawful way, the High Court ruled in favour of Highways England.

The Council believes the judgement was lost because the Government and Highways England failed to make adequate financial provision for the full range of options including a tunnel. The judge was clear in his statement that the budget for the scheme was a political decision and not a decision for the courts.

Sefton Council’s decision to apply for a judicial review was agreed to be valid by Mr Justice Kerr.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “I’m really disappointed by this decision and I will be seeking legal advice to see if there’s anything else we can do as I firmly believe that the tunnel option is the only option which could balance the need for improved access to the port with the needs of the local community.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view and this is wrong. It is also completely at odds with the Government’s agenda to improve air quality and a slap in the face for local residents who suffer the resulting implications including the loss of a much loved urban green space.

“This ruling is a further blow to us, especially after learning that Highways England has backed a multi-billion-pound tunnel crossing under the River Thames between Essex and Kent. They have agreed to spend billions on a tunnel under the River Thames but ruled out building one in Sefton because it cost too much. It just smacks of double standards and reinforces my belief that we are treated as the poor relation in the North.

“Throughout this process it seems that all Highways England has been concerned about is the cost of the scheme and not one thought has been shown towards the detrimental impact on our communities. In his judgement Mr Justice Kerr said the scheme and allocated finances was ultimately a political decision so I call on the Government to now show some steel and really reconsider this, make the money available as they have done in the South and start to put the health and wellbeing of our communities first.”

Pregnant women in Sefton urged to get their flu jab

Pregnant women across Sefton are being urged to make sure they get the flu jab this winter by Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.

While you are pregnant you are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge at any point during your pregnancy. Getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of complications and potential harmful consequences for both you and your baby if you were to catch the flu, such as premature birth, pneumonia and reduces the risk of your baby getting flu in the first few months of their life.

The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu as it reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk – including expectant mothers.

Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result mothers may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming seriously ill as a result of flu.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing, said: “Flu is a highly contagious illness that spreads rapidly. It can cause serious complications for at risk groups, such as expectant mothers and people with long term health conditions.

“Despite us having a relatively mild autumn so far, the flu jab may be the last thing on people’s minds, especially expectant mums.

“However, for many people flu is an unpleasant illness but for pregnant women it is extremely dangerous and can be lethal. My advice for anyone eligible for the free flu vaccination is to get it now before flu starts to circulate in the Sefton community.”

Dolly Loftus, a Sefton resident, said: “This is my first pregnancy and I think it’s so important to be vaccinated as it protects both me and my baby, It’s great that the NHS is offering the jab for free to pregnant women like me and that the vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy.”

Free flu vaccinations are being offered to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over. People who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice or participating pharmacies.

Dr Wendy Hewitt, clinical lead for children and maternity at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, added: “You can have the flu vaccine at any point in your pregnancy and not only is it safe for you and your baby, it’ll reduce your chances of becoming seriously ill as a result of flu from things like pneumonia, premature birth or even miscarriage.

“The added advantage is that your baby will continue to be protected from flu for the first few months of their life. Talk to your GP, practice nurse or midwife if you have any questions and they’ll be happy to help.”

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice or pharmacist to get it.

You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign and see whether you are eligible at: www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine  if you have any further queries simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacist.

Crosby’s Festive Switch On: All You Need To Know

Details have been revealed for Crosby Village’s annual Christmas Lights Switch on and Festive Fair.

Taking place on Saturday November 24, the incredibly popular fun day starts from 11am with a children’s funfair that runs throughout the day and into the early evening, while 24 local market stalls from across Sefton will be selling a selection of Christmas treats and presents until 6pm.

At 3pm Merchant Taylor’s Saxaphone Ensemble will start serenading the crowds before Bliss Radio take to the local airwaves with special guests from 4pm.

A performance from Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company follows at 4.50pm and they will introduce members of the Liverpool Ceilidh band at 5.15pm.

The music continues with the Voice Pop Choir and Another Place Choir taking to the stage from 5.30pm and 5.45pm respectively. 

Make sure you find the best spot for 6pm when the big Christmas Switch on countdown begins and Crosby Village is bathed in the glow of festive lights!

Children from Sefton get involved in anti-bullying awareness workshops

This week, November 12 – 16, is National Anti-Bullying week focusing on the theme of Respect. During the week, the Bullybusters team will be completing workshops and assemblies around schools in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. Conferences will also be held for secondary school children to attend and get involved in the education and awareness regarding anti-bullying.

The theme of this year’s national anti-bullying week is to ‘Choose Respect’, as respecting yourself and others both face to face and online is a vital message for young people.

‘Respect for me is one of the most important qualities to have and show. If we can’t respect ourselves then how are we supposed to respect others. I feel it is something we should all have and work on daily, not only learning to love and respect ourselves but also showing this to fellow peers and professionals.’ – Fran

The Bullybusters team work hard all year round to spread the anti-bullying message and help young people affected by bullying. The work they carry out within schools around Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley is recognised and praised by school children, teachers, governors, parents and carers.

Bullybusters offer lessons, assemblies and workshops for young people and parents in primary and secondary schools, as well as providing anti-bullying peer mentor training for children to appropriately act upon issues of bullying within their peer group. As well as this, Bullybusters also provide a free and confidential helpline service for young people, parents or teachers available 3pm – 6pm weekdays. For anyone being affected by bullying, or know someone who is, they can call the helpline on 0800 169 6928.

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