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We want the views of parents and carers of young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND), to help shape support services

Parents and carers of young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND) are being encouraged to share their views about the services they receive in their local area.

Working with the Sefton Parent and Carer Forum, Sefton Council has launched the ‘SEND Parent and Carer Spring 2021 survey’, to gather information about services in health, education and social care.

This follows the ‘SEND Parent and Carer survey’ that was carried out in November 2019, which gave an insight into whether people are seeing an improvement in the help and support they are receiving.

The 2021 survey will help us continue to understand what is going well, where improvements can be made and enable the SEND Continuous Improvements Board to monitor experience, involvement and satisfaction.

We are encouraging as many people who are involved with SEND services to complete the survey. Entries will also be put into a prize draw to win one of three £50 shopping vouchers.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools & Safeguarding, said:

“The views and experiences of parents and carers are invaluable in making sure that children and young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND) receive the education, health and social care that they deserve.

“We want to make sure we are delivering the best services possible and I would therefore, encourage people to fill in the survey to make their voices heard.

Cllr. Paul Cummins, Chair of Sefton’s SEND Continuous Improvements Board said:

 “Our main aim is to continue to improve the lives of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities (SEND), as well as their families and support networks.”

“The information taken from the survey is vital as it will help us shape how we deliver our services to them, even more effectively.”

Follow the link to complete the survey which is open until the 26th March 2021: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/business-intelligence/sefton-parent-carer-send-survey-2021

Sefton landlord ordered to pay back money after operating premises without a licence

A Sefton Landlord who had been previously prosecuted in 2019 for operating a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without the required licence and fined £5,000.00,  has now been ordered to pay back the housing benefit and universal credit that they received for a year whilst the premises was operating without the licence under a “Rent Repayment Order”. This equates to a further £13,293.27 . This follows an unsuccessful appeal by the landlord, against the “Order”, to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in February 2021.

Landlords who fail to licence their properties in line with the relevant legal requirements will be at risk of prosecution or receiving a Civil Penalty Notice (up to a maximum of £30,000) and potentially a Rent Repayment Order.

68 Civil Penalty Notices have so far been issued on Landlords, for failure to licence houses that are privately rented, since Sefton’s licensing schemes began. The average level of fine for each has been £3,500.00

Sefton’s Housing Standards team are actively seeking out any properties that do not have the required licence and enforcement action is being stepped up by the team. To check if your property requires a licence visit Sefton’s website https://www.sefton.gov.uk/housing/private-housing/

Anyone can check if their property has the required licence by visiting the Council’s public register of housing licences https://housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk/online-application/public-register/

Licensing schemes aim to improve the conditions and management of privately rented properties across the designated areas of Sefton. A well-managed privately rented sector plays an important role in meeting the Borough’s housing needs.

 

Residents urged to continue to follow lockdown rules prior to schools opening 24/02/2021

Residents in Sefton are strongly urged to continue stay at home to help reduce COVID-19 infection rates even further prior to schools opening. All schools and colleges will open on 8th March in the first stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, however infection rates are still high in  Sefton and local hospitals continue to be under pressure.

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health for Sefton, said:

“Over the next two weeks, it’s really important that residents abide by the current lockdown rules and play their part in reducing infection rates. Although schools and colleges are as safe as they can be, there is the potential that high rates in the community could mean a rise in COVID rates in school/college settings. By starting at a low number of infections on 8th March, we can reduce the risk of rates going up rapidly, as we have seen following previous lockdowns. It is vital that we do everything we can to help our children and young people continue with their education uninterrupted. With lower rates, we can also look forward to the gradual easing of restrictions over the coming months as set out in the Government’s roadmap.”

Under current lockdown rules, people should continue to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as work, education, shopping and medical appointments. A full list of what is permitted is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

A combination of the vaccine rollout and testing will help control the virus. The vaccine programme is running well with good uptake among priority groups and those who cannot work from home can access regular testing even if they do not have symptoms. Details on asymptomatic testing centres can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid-19-in-sefton

If residents experience symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell or other symptoms that may be related to COVID) they can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If the test is positive, residents must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

For those who need support during this difficult time please visit www.kindtoyourmind.org which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.

Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards crowns the Atkinson in its 2020 awards

The winners of the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards have been revealed in a unique online ceremony to celebrate the outstanding contributions to the industry in what has been a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hosted by Coronation Street and Emmerdale actress, Huyton-born Eithne Browne, the ceremony was broadcast live into over 300 homes where the finalists were standing by waiting for the winners to be announced.

Guest presenters from across the city region including the Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet Matthew Ball, music artist and international DJ Yousef, actress Leanne Best and chef Paul Askew helped distribute the accolades by video link in the 15 categories.

The People’s Choice award which saw 2,300 of votes cast from across the Liverpool City Region, was awarded to The Atkinson Sefton while the Lifetime Achievement award, recognising an individual’s lifelong creative contribution to the Liverpool City Region, was bestowed on photographer, independent filmmaker and visual artist Sandi Hughes.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:

“I always like to say that the Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural capital; that creativity is in our DNA and we’ve really seen that on full display during this past year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our region has continually responded with imagination, creativity and generosity to keep us all connected and our spirits high.

“I’d like to congratulate everybody who has been nominated for an award and give a special congratulations to our award winners. I know that all of these fantastic organisations and people will play an integral role in the region’s recovery after this pandemic – I can’t wait to see what they will produce.”

A panel of judges including Co-Chairs of the Culture Partnership Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll, chose the finalists from more than 700 nominations this year.

Maggie O’ Carroll said:

“Despite the region’s museums, art galleries, theatres and music venues having to close their doors for the best part of the last year, it was heartening to see how many nominations we still had for this year’s awards and the quality of work we received which made the judging all the more difficult!”

The cultural and creative sector has been responsive and has shown to be a lifeline for many communities. It has proved invaluable in supporting people in their own health and well-being during these extraordinary times.”

Phil Redmond said:

“Congratulations to all the winners tonight at what was a dynamic digital ceremony. I’m delighted we could still get together using the power of technology to celebrate this year’s achievements in what has been a crippling year for many cultural organisations. It just shows the resilience of the people of the Liverpool City Region who even now are making a significant impact to culture and creativity.”

During the ceremony, the Borough of Culture title was handed from Sefton to Halton, the next of the city region’s six boroughs to hold the title.

Sefton Councillor and Cabinet member for Communities and Housing Trish Hardy said:

“I’m incredibly proud of how everyone took up the challenge to think differently about how we could present this year’s Borough of Culture in Sefton. Covid-19 has had a massive impact in all areas and I am grateful for all the hard work that went into what has been a difficult year for the cultural and creative sector.”

Councillor Eddie Jones, Portfolio Lead for Visitor Economy, Heritage and Events, and Lead Member for Borough of Culture at Halton Council said:

“As we move forward into 2021 and into Halton’s Borough of Culture year, hopefully with the ongoing vaccine roll out there will be the opportunity to enjoy some of the culture and creativity the borough has to offer in more normal circumstances. We are looking forward to celebrating Halton’s Borough of Culture year and to further build on the fantastic work we have seen in previous years.”

Liverpool Designer Mary Lamb, Head of Liverpool based costume and fashion production space fabricationstudios, also announced the winner of the Dress it Up competition which was awarded to Velma Von Bonbon in the amateur category and Emma Russell in the professional category.

They have both taken away a prize of bed and breakfast at the soon to open INNSiDE by Melia Liverpool Hotel, cocktails in the Sky Lounge at the INNSiDE by Melia Liverpool Hotel, dinner for 2 at Luban Restaurant with a bottle of Drappier Champagne, and 2 x tickets to a Liverpool City Region located theatre show and the chance to exhibit the winning creation at the INNSiDE hotel.

The Culture and Creativity awards were created as part of the Metro Mayor’s Percent for Culture initiative, to recognise the value and power for change that the arts, cultural and creative sector can bring in reinforcing the city region as one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business. The 2020 awards are delivered in partnership with Sefton Borough of Culture 2020 and sponsors including LuBan Restaurant, LuBan Kitchen, INNSiDE by Melia Liverpool, Davies Partnership and Accountable Recruitment.

This year’s awards covered arts and cultural events, innovation and creative activity that took place within the Liverpool City Region during the period 1st April 2019 to 12th November 2020.

Sefton Youth Worker Sue Logie speaks about the importance of LBGT+ History Month

Sue Logie and Sefton’s Chief Exec, Dwayne Johnson, attending Pride in Liverpool

LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history, which raises awareness of prejudice against the LGBT+ community while celebrating its achievements and diversity. During the month we’ve been celebrating some amazing people who form part of the LGBT+ community’s past and present.

We caught up with one of Sefton Council’s youth workers Sue Logie. She is the lead worker for New Beginnings, Sefton’s LGBT+ youth group, which provides a safe space for young people to socialise and share experiences. Sue was also winner in the prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019.

We asked Sue about her experiences as she continues to support young LGBT+ people and why LGBT+ History Month is important to her.

“So, another year passes, and we are bang into February 2021 with no warning, I sit wondering where has the year gone, it cannot be time to run LGBT+ History Month again, however it is here, it’s back and it’s time to educate again as February marks LGBT+ History Month.

 I’m a believer in educating, in all areas of life, some of the ethos of youth work is the fact that we are informal educators. We work with young people in an environment that is not a traditional education setting. We provide insight and guidance, fact and figures and sometimes, we just tell it how it is, we are ‘real’. Young people are developing into adults, and while the internet is great, the things they research is not always the correct information – in we step to give advice from Sexual Health to Exploitation.

 LGBT History month is an important time for me, so many people are not aware of the LGBT Community who have made so much difference to peoples lives. We all get to learn about Henry 8th, World Wars and now children and young people in years to come will learn about the effect COVID had as this is for sure a historic event. Young people who are questioning their identity or knowing that they are part of the community or even adults need visible LGBT+ people and even LGBT+ Allies, to know that it’s ok, to see that amazing people have achieved and done amazing things, and being LGBT+ or indeed an LGBT+ Ally doesn’t make a difference to their achievements, this also extends across all of the minority groups.

 Alan Turing: most people will now know his name, his story has been made into a film with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead role of Alan.  He was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. Turing played a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic, and in so doing helped win the war. Alan was also a gay man in a time when it was illegal, he was arrested and charged, he was given Gay Cure Therapy, he died, an inquest says Alan committed suicide. Despite these accomplishments, he was never fully recognised in his home country during his lifetime due to the prevalence of homophobia at the time and because much of his work was covered by the Official Secrets Act.

 So now I ask was Alan Turing and his work pivotal and should I have learnt about him in school – absolutely YES! Does the fact he was gay have an impact? In my opinion Absolutely YES. Just because of who he wanted to fall in love with does not change that fact he was amazing at what he did, Alan being gay didn’t impact on the fact he helped us win the war! In 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”. Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous pardon in 2013. The “Alan Turing law” is now an informal term for a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts

 Alan Turing is just one of many LGBT+ People who have shaped history and have been persecuted, Martha P Johnson a prominent figure in the Stonewall riots, Mark Ashton who co-founded LGSM supporting mining communities during the strikes,  without them, their activism and for some of them the suffering the took,  would LGBT+ people have the rights they do now and let’s remember that is not world wide – probably not. The fight is not over, and we are also lucky that we have so many LGBT+ Allies who fight for the community something we must not forget either, so it’s important to also celebrate our allies people like Maya Angelou.

LGBT+ people have been around for 1000s of years, it’s not a new thing, it is also very much not a choice. Therefore, our LGBT history is just as important be celebrated and learnt like every other bit of history.

And just like Coronavirus will be a piece of History, LGBT+ people will continue to be part of history while we are still fighting for rights and amazing people create, do or become standout representatives while being proud of who they are.

Working alongside ‘The Proud Trust’ and other organisations like ‘LGBT History Month’, who together put amazing resources out for us to use to educate, I’m proud that I do this, we as youth team do this and as a Local Authority we do this, to do our bit to educate not just young people in Sefton, but the people of Sefton and beyond, even with the negative comments we receive.

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