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Sefton launches SEND evaluation to seek out parent’s views

Sefton Council  have commissioned researchers at Edge Hill University to undertake an evaluation of Special Education Needs and Disability services in the borough.

The evaluation, funded by Sefton’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, will involve a sample of parents and carers with children and young people who have SEND and will help shape and improve the services Sefton can offer.

Key partners including schools, and health and care services will also be asked to give their views in the evaluation.

The results will then be used to inform policy, strategy, prioritisation and development of activities and services related to the needs of young people aged under 25 years with a special educational need or disability.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools & Safeguarding, said: “We have asked Edge Hill University to help us better understand Special Education Needs and Disability provision throughout Sefton.

“This is a very important project to undertake and we need parents and carers who are involved to give their views, both good and bad, so that we can positively shape how we deliver and develop services in the future.

“The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to help our children and young adults with SEND needs, as well as their families and support networks.”

Participation in the evaluation is completely voluntary and those who contribute will be given complete anonymity.

The evaluation is expected to be completed before April and a final report will be shared widely and posted on the local offer.

To find out more email public.health@sefton.gov.uk.

Ping Pong Parlour launches in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre

Visitors to Bootle Strand Shopping Centre will soon be able to enjoy free ping pong in between their shopping sprees.

A pop up Ping Pong Parlour, set up by Active Sefton in conjunction with Table Tennis England and Bootle Strand, will officially open on Wednesday February 13 for all to enjoy.

The parlour can be found on the shopping centre’s Palatine level and will be open during normal shopping hours and Active Sefton’ experts will also be running free coaching sessions throughout the year.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is a fantastic and exciting addition to The Strand and we encourage everyone to drop in to play on one of the two table tennis tables we have.

“Simply grab a bat and play – absolutely free of charge!

“Through our incredible Active Sefton offer we have teamed up with Table Tennis England, the sport’s national governing body, as well as Bootle Strand Shopping Centre to offer this innovative and fun free service.

“The Ping Pong Parlour reiterates our continuing commitment to inspire our residents and communities to be active, healthy and happy.”

Rowland Parry, Bootle Strand Shopping Centre’s manager, added: “We are delighted to welcome The Ping Pong Parlour to The Strand and hope our shoppers will use the facility to engage in some table tennis fun.”

To find out more about the Bootle Strand Ping Pong Parlour or for more information on all that the shopping centre has to offer, visit www.strandshoppingcentre.com.

Two men arrested following seizure of suspected stolen quad bike in Formby

Police have arrested two men and seized a suspected stolen quad bike following an incident in Formby the early hours of this morning, Thursday 7 February.

At around 1.05am, officers supported by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) were called to Formby to reports of a suspected stolen Honda quad bike being ridden in the area.

Following enquiries, local policing and Matrix officers attended an address in Ryeground Lane, detained two men and seized the quad bike.

A 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old man, both from Formby, were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and taken to a police station for questioning.

The bike is believed to have been stolen from the Ainsdale area earlier in February and will be reunited with its rightful owner.

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or has information on the anti-social or criminal use of any vehicles, particularly where they are being stored, is asked to contact @MerPolCC, call 101 or @Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Funding approved for Heritage Lottery Project in Southport

Further funding has been approved by Sefton Council to allow a second round application for Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for a major project in Southport town centre.

Development funding of £70K was awarded by the HLF last year to enable Sefton Council, in partnership with Southport BID, to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m. With contributions from Sefton Council and property owners it could be worth up to £2.36m in total.

At Cabinet on February 7, £200K of match funding was approved to enable Sefton Council and Southport BID to submit a second round application in June, 2019.

The Southport Townscape Heritage Project aims to enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront so that the two become more integrated.

The project aims to increase the levels of economic activity within a target area and reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “We initially beat off fierce competition from 23 other bids to be one of only 5 areas within the UK to be awarded the grant.

“This match funding will allow us to apply for a full National Lottery grant worth about £1.6m which we will submit in June with a final decision made in the autumn.

“If approved we really believe the money will enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.”

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work , involving structural and external repair of historic buildings, the reinstatement of authentic architectural features and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added: “Working with partners like Southport Civic Society and other education and training providers, we hope the project will bring community, volunteering and educational benefits to local residents.

“Lord Street and the Promenade conservation areas provide a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings and landscaping. We firmly believe preserving this heritage for residents, businesses and visitors alike will contribute greatly to the town’s economy while providing a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.”

Part of the initial development funding has allowed for the recruitment of a dedicated Project Officer, Paul Crowther, who joined Sefton in November 2018 from the successful Townscape Heritage Project in Winckley Square, Preston. Paul has been busy working on developing the second round application and liaising with Southport BID.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great step forward for our town. The success of our joint application for first round funding demonstrated the effectiveness of the private and public sectors working together for the greater good of our town. We’re confident that continuing this collaboration will now help ensure a successful second round application resulting in £1.6m grant funding to improve a core area of our town centre and is an example of how such collaborations are important in encouraging future investment in Southport.”

For more information please visit our webpage www.sefton.gov.uk/townscape alternatively get in touch on 0151 934 3155 or e-mail Paul.Crowther.sefton.gov.uk

Learn more about where you live through a Community Chat

Local residents are being encouraged to learn more about their communities through the new Community Chat events.

Residents can now engage even further with Sefton Council and its many different partners through the Community Chat events that replace the Constituency Forums.

Led by Sefton Council, the Community Chats are a more relaxed way for residents to talk to community groups, agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

They will be held in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Corporate Services, said: “The Community Chat events are designed as an opportunity for local residents to really learn more about their communities.

“The format will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for community groups, partners, ward Councillors and internal Sefton departments to attend.

“People can move around from table to table depending on their particular needs and learn more about things that affect their community.

“We really hope that this format will benefit our valued local communities so that they can attend in a more relaxed way at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the Constituency Chats have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Community Chats across Sefton are:

• Southport – Wednesday, February 13 at 6pm in The Atkinson Studio Room
• Bootle – Wednesday, February 27 at 6pm at Bootle Town Hall
• Sefton Central – Thursday, March 7 at 6pm at Formby PDC

Each forum is expected to finish around 8pm.

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