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Transgender Employability Course to be piloted in Sefton

A bespoke initiative to help unemployed transgender and transitioning people back in to work is being piloted in Sefton.

The Butterflies Programme, the first ever Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)-funded transgender eligibility course, will be held in Southport in July.

The course has been commissioned by DWP following feedback from members of the transgender community and people undergoing transition, and will provide support and advice to address additional barriers faced by transgender people when looking for work.

The free two-week programme involves one-to-one and group sessions to offer support with:

  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Employment skills and tools
  • Handling difficult questions and situations
  • Preparing for interviews

It is open to any Merseyside resident, aged over 18, who is unemployed and in receipt of one of the following benefits; Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance. The course begins in July 2019 in Southport and all travel costs will be covered.

For more information or if you are interested in joining contact Jan Morrell on 0788 027 5733 / Janice.morrell@dwp.gov.uk or Gary Bell on 0755 725 4010 / gary.j.bell@dwp.gov.uk Alternatively you can approach your JobCentre Work Coach.

Sefton invests £320k to keep borough’s communities safe from crime

Sefton Council continues to help keep communities across the borough safe from crime and anti-social behaviour, a recent report has revealed.

Throughout the past twelve months, Sefton’s Safer Communities Partnership (SSCP) have invested in a number of initiatives, programmes and activities designed to disrupt and prevent disorder.

Key targets for the SSCP include:

Investing in community infrastructure projects
Working with victims
Combating domestic and sexual abuse
Tackling serious and organised crime
Improving youth offending services

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “In the last financial year we have spent over £320,000 on helping to reduce crime, supporting victims and working with partners to provide resilience to our wonderful communities.

“Through the SSCP we identify a number of areas where there is a need for a project, scheme or event which can often deter crime and anti-social behaviour as well as provide a platform of education.

“The impact that the SSCP have had, from our park night sessions to our scrambler bike partnership work with Merseyside Police, has been incredible and we are constantly receiving positive feedback from our initiatives.

“We are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour in Sefton along with partners in the Sefton Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership (SSCP), and this is shown we’ve seen an incredible reduction in anti-social behaviour incidents since we started our invaluable work.

“We will continue to build a positive future for our thriving communities and work tirelessly to combat any crime and anti-social behaviour in Sefton.”

For more details on the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership, or to read the latest report, visit www.sefton.gov.uk

Appeal for witnesses following firearms discharge at house in Bootle

Police are appealing for witnesses following an incident in Bootle in the early hours of this morning, Monday 10th June.

We were called at 12.15am following reports of damage caused to the windows of a house in Simons Croft.

An examination of the damage to the living room window confirmed that it was consistent with a firearms discharge.

Nobody was injured during the incident.

An investigation is underway and house-to-house and CCTV enquiries are being carried out in the local area. Police officers remain at the scene this morning.

Detective Inspector Cat Walsh said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Simons Croft at around midnight last night who may have seen anyone or anything suspicious to contact us.

“We are particularly keen to trace a male who was see on a pedal bike close the scene at the time it happened.

“I would also ask for anyone who was in the area and who may have dash-cam footage to contact us as they may have captured something significant.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Works Starts on New Motorway Junction

Work has just started on a multi-million pound M58 improvement scheme in Sefton.

The project involves the construction of the ‘missing’ slip roads at Junction 1 of the busy motorway, providing a northbound off slip and a southbound on-slip.

As well as improving journey times between Maghull and North Liverpool, it is hoped the scheme will reduce traffic on the A59 and some residential roads and facilitate potential future development in the Maghull area.

Sefton Council received an offer of funding from the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Fund for £5.5m toward the scheme in 2016 which was formally approved a year later at Sefton Council’s Planning Committee.

Early in 2017, Sefton Council appointed John Sisk and Sons to complete the design and construction of the scheme. They appointed Atkins Ltd as their design partner.

Works began on site on May 20 with the early activities include the construction of the site compound and farm access track for the benefit of Guest Farm. Once this exercise is completed, the section of Giddygate Lane parallel to the motorway will be stopped up as per the Order granted in 2018. Works will then be focussed on the earthworks associated with the slip roads.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “It’s great news to hear that initial work has started on this important scheme.

“Once complete we believe it will really improve the junction by providing additional slip lane facilities to accommodate all possible traffic movements.

“It will also support commercial and residential development in Maghull, increasing employment and facilitating new, more accessible development helping Sefton remain ‘open for business’.”

Sisk’s Managing Director for UK Civils, Paul Brown, said: “We have been working closely with Sefton Council since early 2017 to design and develop this project. We are delighted that it has now started on site.

“We are committed to delivering this project to a high standard and on time, and will be working with the local communities and stakeholders to ensure we leave a positive legacy.”

If the scheme goes to programme, then the new slip roads should be open and operational by Spring 2020.

Bruce Parker, North West Head of Planning & Development at Highways England, said: “The M58 provides a vital motorway link from Merseyside to connect businesses, families and friends across the north of England and beyond.

“We’re pleased that work has now started on the new slip roads at junction 1, which will help to improve the flow of traffic and provide quicker and more reliable journeys for drivers.”

For more information on the scheme visit www.sefton.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and progress. Sisk will provide regular updates on Twitter @M58J1.

Council Tax payments – help is at hand

Sefton Council remains committed to collecting all debts and continues to offer help and advice to residents struggling to pay their Council Tax.

Currently, Sefton Council’s Council Tax collection rate is 96% and the local authority continues to be serious about collecting any outstanding debts.

However, if residents are finding it difficult to pay their Council Tax and fall behind in their payments, help is available and residents are urged to please contact the Council as soon as possible.

Personal assessments can be made to assist with future payments with help, advice and signposting to organisations like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau all available.

Sadly, some people fail to contact Sefton Council with any debt problems and last year, more than 23,000 people were issued with a court summons for failing to pay their Council Tax.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “We will always do our best to collect what is rightly owed to us and feel we offer many valuable services through the income we receive from our Council Tax and Business Rates.

“However, we also recognise that some people struggle to pay their Council Tax bills. If this is the case, please don’t suffer in silence and contact us as early as possible.

“Help is available and the earlier people get in touch regarding their debts, the quicker we can assist them in meeting those payments.

“The last resort is prosecuting people for not paying their Council Tax and often this could be easily avoided.

“For every 1% of Council Tax we collect results in about £1.5m being spent on vital services that support our communities. It makes sense that the more we collect then the more we have to have to spend in the future.”

For more information, including help and advice on paying your council tax, please call 0345 140 0845 or visit www.sefton.gov.uk/counciltax

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