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Sefton Council pledges support to Orange the World campaign against gender-based violence

Orange the World 2021, from 25 November until 10 December Sefton Council will be joining the 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violenceToday, Thursday 25th November, Sefton Council is pledging its support to the United Nation’s ‘Orange the World’ campaign to raise awareness of gender-based violence in the UK.

‘Orange the World’ officially starts today, 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and runs until Friday 10th December, which is international Human Rights Day.

This period is known as the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, where landmark buildings are lit orange to show solidarity and support of those facing violence.

Gender-based violence and abuse is a fundamental human rights violation, and it affects women and girls around the world.

Working alongside Savera UK and Zonta Club London, the Council is committed to raising the awareness of the different forms of violence women and girls face. These include, domestic violence and abuse, rape and harassment, as well as more hidden harmful practices like ‘honour’-based abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “Women, girls and all those affected by gender-based violence have the right to live free of fear and discrimination. Death or abuse should never be the price to pay for your freedom and right to choose, or for simply walking home, as Sarah Everard was.

It is vital that we reassure people who are silently suffering or concerned for their safety that they are not alone, and that people in their communities care about them and are looking out for them.

“There are support services in place to help and we urge anyone who is experiencing abuse, or who knows of someone who is, to get in touch immediately.”

Over the next 16 days, Sefton Council will be sharing videos, myth-busting information, and crucially, the support available for residents living in Sefton and wider North West region. The Council will share the various ways people can get involved in the campaign, through attending online events and becoming an ally.

People can follow the campaign coverage over the next 16 days by visiting Sefton Council’s social media channels and by following the hashtags #NoExcuseForAbuse and #16Days.

Twitter @Sefton_Council

Instagram @SeftonCouncil

Facebook @OneSefton

Useful contacts

If you, your child or anyone in your family are at immediate risk of harm from any kind of abuse you should contact the police urgently on 999.

If you are a Sefton resident and are experiencing domestic abuse, or believe someone you know is, contact Sefton Council’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Team on 0151 934 5142 or email IDVA.Team@sefton.gov.uk

You can also contact Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid on 0151 922 8606 or visit www.swaca.com

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is staffed 24 hours and can be reached at 0808 2000 247.   

‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ exhibition launching Friday 26th November

photograph of destruction caused to buildings in Bootle during the May Blitz of 1941On Friday, (26th November) Sefton Library Service are unveiling a new exhibition titled ‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ at the town’s Strand Shopping Centre.

Seven-night Blitz

Bombing during the Second World War reached its peak in the seven-night Blitz of Thursday 1st to Wednesday 7th  May 1941, also known as the ‘May Blitz’. It was during this week that the town of Bootle became one of the most bombed places in Britain.

People are invited to attend the exhibition launch event, taking place this Friday, 26th November, from 2 pm to 3:30pm at The Esplanade, Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle.

Destruction

‘The Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ features the archive collections of Stewart Bale, who was employed by The Bootle Corporation to photograph and record the destruction, as well as notes from Bootle Air Raid Precaution Officer Major Salt’s diaries.

Additionally, renowned photographer Jon Turton has been working with the children from Bedford Primary school and members of Bootle Library’s Local History Group to create exhibits that feature both historical and contemporary photographs of the former bomb sites. The launch event is open to everyone and people are invited to come along and explore the exhibition.

Planning and preparation

In his diaries, Major Salt recorded the planning and preparation undertaken by Bootle corporation prior to the Second World War. His diary also contains notes recording the destruction caused by the Blitz as it happened.

Stewart Bale was employed by The Bootle Corporation to record the destruction wrought on the town, so that war reparation claims could be made to re-build once the war was over.

Unyielding

Cllr Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Hundreds lost their lives in Bootle during the unyielding May Blitz of 1941 and this exhibition is a tribute to the people of the town and what they endured.

“I encourage everyone to visit the exhibition and explore Bootle’s wartime history.”

The ‘Blitz in Bootle: 80 Years On’ exhibition will be open at The Strand Shopping Centre on between 10:00am and 3pm on Monday 29th November, and Wednesday 1st, Thursdays 2nd and 9th, Friday 10th December. The exhibition is free, no pre-booking is required and people are welcome to drop-in during opening times.

Resilience

Cllr Hardy added:  “This exhibition is a reflection of the resilience and spirit that Bootle people showed back then and which they have again exhibited over the past 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sefton Council backs Flood Action Week 2021

Sefton Council is backing this year’s Flood Action Week, taking place from Monday 22nd November to Sunday 28th November, to ensure that the Borough’s residents and businesses are aware of the potential risks and are prepared to act in the event of flooding.

Risk

Over 5 million people in the UK are at risk of flooding and in Sefton approximately 63% of properties could be impacted by flood events.

The Environment Agency, which is spearheading the awareness week, is urging everyone to take action to protect themselves, their families, homes, and businesses from potential flooding.

With backing from Sefton Council’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) officers, people are being asked to look at ways to manage their own personal risk.

Solutions

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services and Chair of Strategic Flood Resilience Group, said: “Flood risk is a serious issue for residents and businesses across the Borough and our officers are dedicated to finding both short and long-term mitigation and solutions to it. This ranges from routine maintenance of gullies to seeking investment for coastal defences.

“Raising awareness and educating communities about the role they have to play in flood prevention and preparedness is another incredibly important part of their work.

“This year’s Flood Action Week is even more important off the back of weeks of talk globally about the climate emergency that we are all facing. Extreme weather events are predicted to become more frequent, but as the Lead Local Flood Authority for Sefton, we are doing all we can to manage these risks and to ensure our communities are equipped with the information they need to be prepared for such instances.”

Alerts

People can research if they are living in an at-risk area by visiting the Environment Agency website where they can also sign-up for flood alerts and warnings: https://www.gov.uk/browse/environment-countryside/flooding-extreme-weather

Those living near watercourses can monitor river levels online and are recommended to do so during periods of heavy rainfall: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/river-and-sea-levels

Sefton residents and businesses can prepare a personal plan of action that includes knowing where medications are, insurance documents, and how to turn off gas, water and electricity in their properties. The North West Flood Hub website provides a one stop shop for all information and advice regarding flooding, including planning toolkits: https://thefloodhub.co.uk/household-flood-planning-toolkit/

Forecasts

People are also reminded to bookmark weather and flood forecasting websites, such as the Met Office. This enables them to check rainfall radars and forecasts, particularly during the wetter autumn and winter months, to be prepared for any instances of flooding.

Finally, residents are urged to protect their own properties by clearing and maintaining drains and grids to prevent blockages and to consider using water storage systems that could reduce the amount of flooding during heavy rainfall.

The Council has recently ended a public consultation on a new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy. The new Strategy takes into account recent climate change predictions and outlines the actions that will be undertaken to reduce the risk and impact of flooding and coastal erosion on Sefton’s communities. It is expected that the new Strategy will be adopted in early 2022.

The Strategy also outlines the clear roles and responsibilities of not only the Council, but other risk management authorities including the Environment Agency, United Utilities, Highways England and the Canal and River Trust.

Positive outcomes

Cllr Fairclough added: “We continue to work with our key partners to manage flood risk across Sefton.

“We’ve already met a number of times this year under our new working group and I am confident that this collaborative approach is already resulting in positive outcomes that will benefit all of our communities.”

Approaches already being undertaken by the FCERM team includes assessing planning applications to ensure future climate predictions are considered in designs, to designing in sustainable drainage systems within Council sites.

Anyone concerned about flooding can find further advice on flood risk and what to do to protect their property on the Sefton Council website: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/flooding

Reporting

Residents can report flooding on a public highway or any blocked road gullies on the Sefton Council website using an online reporting form.

Should anyone end up with flood water in their property, they should report this to flooding@sefton.gov.uk with any photos to accompany the report.

Reporting incidents will ensure that the Council can understand the extent and location of properties impacted by incidents of flooding and allow officers to work with other flood risk management authorities to help reduce the risks and consequences of future flooding.

Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre redevelopment update

A Sefton Council spokesperson said:

“Unfortunately, owing to Crossfield Construction Limited’s unacceptable delays and failure to satisfactorily progress the works on the redevelopment of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, the Council has terminated its employment under their contract.

“This is a difficult decision, which we realise may have a knock-on effect on local firms subcontracted to Crossfield. We understand and share the frustrations that those subcontractors may have. Disappointingly, it will also delay until next year, the completion of the refurbishment of this tourist and leisure facility in one of Sefton’s most beautiful locations and the creation of new jobs and training opportunities it will bring.

“The Council has worked proactively with the contractor to try to resolve its issues and ensure progression of the project. This decision has been taken after much consideration, but is in line with the Council’s duty to protect the interests of local Council Tax payers and its assets. The decision could not have been communicated earlier, due to the legal and commercial nature of negotiations with the contractor.

“Sefton Council is implementing its contingency plan to complete the scheme and ensure delivery of a first-class asset and the benefits it brings, for residents and visitors, as safely, quickly and economically as possible.”

Ends/

To learn more about Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and the refurbishment plans, people can visit sefton.gov.uk 

Sefton Council’s Active Workforce training praised for raising awareness on menopause in the workplace

Active Workforce have been recognised for their work on raising awareness of menopause in the workplace this week in an article by the Daily Mail.

Active Workforce work with local organisations across Sefton to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. Menopause has been high on the agenda since World Menopause Day in October 2020 when Sefton UNISON launched their menopause policy for employees of Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and New Directions, two participating organisations of Active Workforce.

The menopause seminars provide employees with information on how to recognise the symptoms and what treatments and support is available. The one-hour recorded sessions are delivered online and are available to watch any time. The seminars are tailored to four groups; managers, women experiencing the menopause, women who are yet to experience the menopause, and colleagues, particularly men, who want to learn more. In addition to this, Active Workforce facilitate monthly Menopause Groups for employees to listen to specialists in this area and share their experiences.

Dwayne Johnson, Sefton Council’s Chief Exec attended a group session for men and said: “I found the seminar very enlightening and educational. This has been a great session and well worth the hour of my time. I encourage all staff at Sefton Council and organisations across the Borough to get involved and continue to raise awareness of the menopause in the workplace.”

Peter Moore, Head of Highways and Public Protection at Sefton Council, also attended the session for men and said: “I don’t think the impact of the menopause is fully understood by many people, particularly men, I can’t recall any previous workplace conversations where this has been discussed but I know that I must have worked with women who’ve been through the menopause, or are going through it now, and I guess they’ve mostly suffered in silence. This is a life-course event that all women go through. As an employer and as a society we need to recognise this and be prepared to adapt accordingly.’

Active Workforce are encouraging all employees of participating organisations to attend the seminars and group sessions which are now available to employees of local organisations across Sefton.

To find out more about the seminars and how Active Workforce can help your organisation, please contact the team at active.workforce@sefton.gov.uk

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