Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, is delighted to release this year’s Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) which focus’s on children and young people growing up healthy and happy.
Presented for the first time in video format, the report explores how children and young people from across the borough approach mental health and wellbeing. Using real-life stories, the film looks at how young people deal with issues such as exams stress, anxiety, worry and looks at the support available throughout Sefton.
While there is no single reason why children and young people experience problems with their mental health, growing up in challenging home environments; having a disability; being a looked after child or a young carer; not being in education, employment or training; being exposed to domestic abuse; or having a parent with mental health problems can have a negative impact on mental health.
In Sefton, the number of people from some of these vulnerable groups is higher than the national average.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “In Sefton we are dedicated to creating the right conditions and environments to promote and improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
“The report gives us a chance to consider the opportunities and challenges ahead as Public Health continues to be at the forefront at Sefton Council.”
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Sefton and Knowsley, said: “I am pleased to be able to share this year’s annual report, which covers the pressing issue of mental health in young people.
“Evidence shows that experiencing mental health problems before the age of 14 can affect educational attainment, physical health and impact on social relationships; therefore, leading to poorer outcomes in later life.
“For this reason, Sefton Council continues to work with partners to develop early intervention programmes to promote emotional resilience which will enable children and young people to be able to cope better with difficult circumstances and do well in school and in life.”
The PHAR and a short supplementary document can be viewed online at www.sefton.gov.uk/PHAR
Counterfeit cigarettes worth more than £40,000 have been seized following a raid by Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police.
Officers acted on information from the public which identified a residential premise in Southport Town Centre being used to store illicit tobacco for a nearby retail unit.
More than 200,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after both premises were visited by Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.
The seizure included counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This incredible discovery would not have been possible without the hard work of our Trading Standards team and partners in Merseyside Police.
“We hope this seizure serves as a stark warning to others that we will always take action against anybody who chooses to trade in illegal tobacco.
“Sales of illicit tobacco is completely unfair on those traders who sell UK tobacco products legitimately.
“The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes like this needs to stop and we are determined to protect legitimate traders, consumers and the general public.
“We actively encourage anyone who may be aware of or suspects that counterfeit cigarettes are being sold in the borough to let us know confidentially.”
Community Policing Sergeant, Andy Dentith said: “A concerted effort between Merseyside Police and our partners at Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team has led to this fantastic result and a large quantity of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes will now thankfully not reach the public.
” Any breaches of licenses or criminal offences that we find will be dealt with robustly. Our message is simple: we will visit, search and prosecute any businesses which put the health and safety of the community at risk.
“The recovery of more than 200,000 cigarettes will have significantly disrupted the activities of those involved and we ask anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in the area to contact us.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners to target dangerous and substandard business premises using all our available law-enforcement powers.”
Anyone who does suspect the sale of counterfeit products or any form of fraud should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Southport is set to host the latest in a series of small outdoor culture festivals appearing across the Liverpool City Region.
Grass-roots, multi-arts festival Threshold have teamed up with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson, Southport to deliver a free, family friendly outdoor mini-festival on Saturday, July 28, coinciding with the launch of Sefton Open 2018.
The event is one of the Independents Biennial’s five special commissions taking place during the visual arts festival, which runs until October 28 in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral and St Helens. The sister festival to Liverpool Biennial, it champions and supports emerging and grassroots art and artists on Merseyside.
The day of events by Threshold, including a mix of visual arts, performance, storytelling and music, will take place at the renowned Atkinson arts centre from 11am – 3pm.
The line-up of offerings, open to all, includes the following:
Interactive performance and theatre shows from ‘Funny Looking Kids: Comedy Club’ and Storytelling from the magically talented Gav Cross.
A visual arts programme including interactive live sculptural and drawing workshops, using live performances on the day for inspiration from: Pamela Sullivan (creator of detailed and fascinating installations); and Jazamin Sinclair (creator of satirical acerbic storyboard illustration series Illustrated Prosody).
Music entertainment will come from: ‘Operation Lightfoot’, a music and arts collaboration directed by composer Luke Moore; stand-out, powerful country rock & roll from Amber Stone; and folk-punk sounds with biting lyrics & harmonies from Jazamin Sinclair.
“Threshold has grown up in the creative boom of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle as a multi-arts festival, which is fiercely independent and inclusive-roots. We deliver quality above all from grass-roots, brilliantly talented artists.” Chris Herstad Carney, Threshold Festival Director.
“Working with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson is really close to our hearts. The main focus of the day, as with all Threshold events is to enrich people through art and music, but most importantly for it to be a fun experience for all!” Jazamin Sinclair, Threshold Festival Visual Arts Curator.
Location: The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB.
Threshold Festival: http://thresholdfestival.co.uk
The Atkinson: www.theatkinson.co.uk
Sefton Open 2018: www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/sefton-open-2018
Independents Biennial: www.artinliverpool.com/independentsbiennial2018
Controlling money, always criticising and being purposely isolated from friends and family are just some of the signs being highlighted as ‘coercive control’ in a new campaign on Domestic Abuse.
The ‘Escape the Control’ campaign, launched across Sefton and Knowsley, is a joint initiative between the two Local Authorities to help people understand how extreme controlling behaviour is Domestic Abuse and what signs to look out for.
Coercive control is an act, or a pattern of acts such as threats, humiliation and intimidation that is used to punish or frighten the victim. This can include things like controlling where they go and what they do, or exaggerated expressions of love such as they ‘can’t live without you’.
In 2015, coercive control became a crime in England and Wales, punishable by up to 5
years in prison and/or a fine.
Posters and leaflets explaining the signs to look out for will be available from next week in GP and Health Centres, Leisure Centres, Dentists, Hairdressers and many more everyday locations where victims and those worried about others can access them without having to go through official channels.
‘Escape the Control’ will also be featured across buses, taxis and fire engines in Sefton directing people to more information on the Escape the Control website.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The number of people accessing domestic abuse support services continues to increase, with the number of high-risk clients being supported increasing by 63% between 2013/14 and 2014/15.
“Extreme controlling behaviour or coercive control often begins very slowly and can
be hard to understand. We want people to be aware of the signs, both for themselves and for friends and family and to know what to do in that situation.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside, Emily Spurrell, added: “I welcome this new campaign to highlight the signs of controlling behaviour and how
individuals can help themselves or others.
“Everyone has the right to live free of fear. If you are unreasonably under suspicion from your partner or a member of your family to the point where you are unable to remain in contact with your circle of friends; if you are constantly questioned about who you were talking to or who you were texting; perhaps you have no access to money, even the money you earn.
“This is coercive control which is domestic abuse and that is a crime. Merseyside Police take coercive control extremely seriously and would urge anyone with concerns to report it.”
More information about the Escape the Control Campaign, including stories from people who have lived through it, is available at: www.escapethecontrol.co.uk.