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City Region launch action plan to boost employability skills

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has today published an action plan setting out 12 priorities for improving employability skills across the city region.

Set out in its Employability Skills for Growth Action Plan, launched at an event hosted by Knowsley Council, priorities identified include:

• Identifying any gaps in existing employability skills provision across the city region
• Increasing support for residents already in work to improve their employability skills
• Developing routes to high-level employability and English, Maths and digital skills for those in lower level roles to ensure the city region is ready for the development of further technical and professional jobs.

The Employability Skills for Growth Action Plan draws on existing evidence and primary research with key stakeholders across the city region to identify actions to address existing employability skills gaps and potential future demands from employers.

It sets out actions for the Combined Authority, local training providers and employers to address current and future employability skills needs in the city region.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Lead for Skills and Apprenticeships, said: “The priorities identified here are challenging and will require input from many partners to deliver. In some cases, they will require public sector reform, and we will use the Ways to Work programme to provide vital intelligence and learning to help us do that effectively.

“Working together we have made great strides in recent years, and there is more to be done to drive collaborative working across providers and employers for the benefit of us all.

“A sustained collaborative effort is required to see our ambitions realised.”

The report also identifies ways in which providers and employers across the city region are tackling the employability skills gap through schemes including:

The Ways to Work programme – delivered by the six Local Authorities across Liverpool City Region, this programme provides a range of services to residents across the Liverpool City Region to enhance their employability skills and assist them in gaining employment. The project is designed to assist unemployed people, and people not in education, employment or training, aged 16 plus.

The Working Futures programme – delivered by a partnership of 13 not-for-profit training providers based in Liverpool City Region, Working Futures supports people aged 16 to 29 who are not currently in employment, education or training (NEET) to take control of their own lives and move towards a better future.

Sefton cycling route in first phase of a 600km City Region network

Work is set to begin on the first phase of a potential 600km key network of cycling and walking routes across the Liverpool City Region.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority ratified the £8.3m funding for the first 55km phase of the network– including a Sefton route– at its meeting on Friday (December 14).

The 15km route between Southport and Seaforth will link into a wider strategic cycling route into Liverpool City Centre. The route links major growth areas with new areas of housing and completes the Sefton Coastal cycle route.

The proposed 600km cycling and walking network is based on upgrades to around 31 key routes across the Liverpool City Region over the next 10 years.

The network will be planned on a whole city region basis, both improving links to the public transport network and between residential areas, employment, training and retail sites.

Meanwhile, work is already underway on bidding for funding for the next phase of the network with the launch of a questionnaire on people’s cycling and walking habits to help shape what a wider network would look like. It can be accessed here .

Two thirds of all journeys in the city region are less than five kilometres but half of those are made by car. Through the Local Journeys Strategy, Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority recognise that getting the infrastructure right is key to encouraging people out of their cars, particularly for shorter journeys.

The cycling and walking network is one of the first actions bringing the Local Journeys Strategy to life.

Making places walking and cycling-friendly not only reduces congestion, improves air quality and brings significant health benefits, it also has wider economic benefits – boosting inward investment and attracting new talent by helping create the places that people want to live and work in.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“This route will mark the beginning of a much-awaited era of clean travel in Sefton that will give our residents better access to walking and cycling opportunities, cleaner air and an infrastructure that supports alternative travel.”

The programme will also see the management of new wood and grassland areas and the planting of trees alongside the routes.

In addition, the funding will support a new pilot project by Liverpool John Moores University, trialling innovative methods of collecting cycle and walking trip data and the development of a cycling app and journey planner.

The LCR Transport Partnership was successfully awarded £8.3m ERDF Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) funding for the first phase of the cycling and walking network, with the LCR Combined Authority giving approval to draw down this funding. Match funding for the project is being sought from the

Transforming Cities Fund and other contributions will come from the LCR CA’s constituent local authorities.

Antonio Street war heroes honoured 100 years after end of WW1

Nineteen soldiers who never returned home to a single Sefton street from World War One have been honoured with a special commemorative stone, one hundred years after the conflict ended.

The Mayor of Sefton has today (Wednesday, December 12) officially unveiled the permanent tribute on Antonio Street, Bootle, to honour those residents who fought and died during the 1914-1918 war.

Throughout the geographical area now known as Sefton, nearly 4,000 men and women perished in World War One, but the impact of the conflict was perhaps felt strongest in the small terraced row of houses of Antonio Street, where it is often claimed every household lost somebody close to them as a result of the war.

Brothers John & Frederick Palethorpe of Antonio Street, Bootle, were killed in action during World War One

The tribute was commissioned as part of Sefton Council’s ongoing commemorations to mark the Centenary of the end of World War One and the Local Authority’s emotional Beyond The War Memorials project.

Sefton’s Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “We wanted to make sure Antonio Street has a permanent and lasting memorial to honour the incredible sacrifice those nineteen men made for their families, their neighbours and their country.

“There are so many heart wrenching stories from behind the doors of this street. At number Four, a couple lost two sons.

“Their first son, John George, was just 30 years of age and married with two small children, when he was killed at Ypres. His younger brother Frederick was in the navy. He sadly died age 22, when his ship HMS Laurentic struck a mine off Ireland in January 1917.

“Two family members were also lost at number 19, when cousins Joseph Sloey and Joseph Kane were both killed.

“To be able to permanently honour these brave men, on the street they grew up on, is incredibly important and I hope that many future generations of Antonio Street residents pause to learn of the great sacrifices that were made.”

As part of Sefton Council’s Beyond The War Memorial campaign, 2,000 households in Sefton have received special information packs in the post, which include the details of those who lived at that address and died in action.

For more information about Antonio Street and to read more about the Beyond The War Memorials project, visit

Sefton cracks down on festive flytippers at Recycling Centre

Sefton Council has taken extra steps this festive period to combat Christmas flytipping outside South Sefton Recycling Centre.

Working in partnership with Veolia and the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Sefton Council’s Environmental Enforcement team want to deter those who flytip outside South Sefton Recycling Centre on Irlam Road, Bootle when it’s closed during the festive season.

Despite only being closed for three days during the Christmas and New Year period (December 25, 26 & January 1) irresponsible people will leave their rubbish outside the centre.

Last year this resulted in 16 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) being issued to fly tippers.

This year CCTV cameras will be in place to catch flytippers in the act and anyone caught will face a £400 FPN.

Failure to pay the penalty will result in a prosecution and those found guilty will face significant fines.

Signage will also be erected near to the site and regular messages will be circulated via the council’s social media to remind residents of their rubbish responsibilities.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “There is no excuse for this kind of irresponsible behaviour and most residents are well aware that leaving waste like this is flytipping.

“Information on collection services and recycling services during the Christmas holidays, as well as recycling centre opening times, is readily available to residents via both the Council and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority websites.

“South Sefton Recycling Centre will be closed for just three days during the Christmas and New Year period so there is no need for irresponsible people to flytip their rubbish outside on the public highway.

“Any act of flytipping is not only illegal but also extremely disappointing and we are taking proactive steps to deter anyone from doing this.

“Those that still ignore the many warnings run the risk of prosecution and significant fines.

“We actively encourage people to play their part in keeping the local area clean and green and everyone has a responsibility for maintaining the environment where they live.”

Residents can report any instances of flytipping across the borough easily online via

Wirral take on Borough of Culture title From St Helens

St Helens’ year as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture enjoyed a fitting finale as the title was handed to Wirral at a spectacular event on Saturday 8 December, as a dazzling light projection brought St Helens Town Hall to life.

Speaking about the handover, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It is very exciting to see Wirral officially take over as our Borough of Culture for 2019. I know that they have a very exciting programme of cultural events planned for the year ahead.

“It has been a great year for St Helens, as they have celebrated their 150th anniversary, and this event was a fitting finale.

“Culture and creativity are an integral part of our city region’s DNA. They are what we are known for and integral to achieving our vision for a prosperous, fair and exciting place to live, work and invest. The Borough of Culture celebrations are just one element of boosting culture and creativity across the whole of the city region.”

Speaking at the event, Phil Redmond, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Cultural Partnership, said: “The beauty of the Borough of Culture programme is that, as well as giving all areas of the city region the opportunity to showcase their cultural highlights, it also stimulates creativity by giving people the chance to join in and get involved.”

Commenting on the past year, St Helens Council Leader Derek Long said: “We’re proud to have been Liverpool City Region’s first Borough of Culture.

“Our 150th anniversary year has been packed with award winning cardboard castles, a tribute day to commemorate the unsung heroes of the borough, and a tasty International Food and Drink Festival attended by thousands of residents, as well as a 70 strong delegation from Stuttgart to celebrate 70 years of a successful twinning partnership. I’m sure our friends in Wirral will have as great a year.

“This experience will certainly leave a lasting legacy in St Helens, and as a council that is looking to capitalise on the borough’s growing reputation as a centre for excellence for arts and culture, we will now build on this success and lay the foundations for a thriving future.”

Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, said: “We are thrilled that Wirral has been awarded the title of Borough of Culture for 2019. We’ve had a fantastic response to the highlights we’ve revealed so far but we know that there is so much more to come and we’re looking forward to unveiling the full programme in the new year.

“We have set ourselves a high bar following the success of this year’s Imagine Wirral programme but I am confident that 2019 will be bigger and even better.”

The Borough of Culture title is awarded by the city region’s Combined Authority to one of its six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) on a rotating, annual basis.
The title is part of a £300,000 funding package to support cultural events through the year, delivered as part of the city region’s pioneering 1% for Culture programme.

The 1% for Culture programme saw Liverpool City Region become the first in the country to commit to spending the equivalent of 1% of its annual £30 million devolution funding from government to support cultural activities.

A competition has just been launched to find a winning design for the official logo for the Borough of Culture to be used by each borough in their year of the award.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 years or over, amateur or professional, living in the Liverpool City Region. More details on the logo competition and how to enter are available at

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