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HMS Mersey Parade in Bootle on Sunday 16th April – All You Need To Know

mayor of Sefton and members of HMS Mersey's crew at Bootle Town Hall.Naval officers from HMS Mersey will parade through the streets of Bootle this Sunday with ‘drums beating and bayonets fixed’ as the ship celebrates being bestowed with the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton

Freedom of the Borough

The historic Freedom of the Borough award was presented to the ship’s command on Thursday evening (April 13th) during a special ceremony at Bootle Town Hall, reaffirming Sefton’s historic links with the Royal Navy and HMS Mersey.

HMS Mersey, a naval patrol vessel, is currently moored in Liverpool as part of a four-day public celebration. Events began with the Freedom of the Borough ceremony and will end with Sunday’s historic 100-sailor-strong parade through Bootle.

Historic

HMS Mersey’s affiliation with Sefton was granted partly in honour of Captain Frederic John Walker, a World War Two officer who led command of escort ships from Bootle’s Gladstone Dock, during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Captain Walker also played a huge role in the D-Day landings of 1944, helping set up an impenetrable wall of escort ships to stop German U-Boats from attacking allied boats going to and from Normandy. This two-week blockade contributed massively to the Allied invasion’ success.

Commemoration

On Thursday Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, HMS Mersey’s commanding officer of, and crew from the ship,joined  representatives of the Royal Navy and civic leaders to commemorated the Borough’s naval links which date back over 80 years.

And on Sunday more than a hundred sailors and Naval personnel will parade past Captain Walker’s house on Trinity Road, Bootle in a salute to his heroic exploits as part of the parade.

Route

The public are being encouraged to turn out in huge numbers for the once-in-a-lifetime parade, which will see HMS Mersey’s crew exercise their newly-awarded right to march through Sefton with ‘colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’


Mayor of Sefton Clare Carragher said:
“Our Borough, and Bootle in particular, has longstanding links with the heroism and dedication of our Royal Navy.

“It is poignant that the parade will pass the house of Captain Walker and I encourage as many people as possible to line the streets of Bootle to pay tribute to HMS Mersey, the Royal Navy and Captain Walker’s memory.

“I am humbled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and those who serve in our armed forces today. To be the Mayor who bestows the Freedom of the Borough upon HMS Mersey is an honour.”

HMS Mersey’s Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell said: “I am delighted that HMS Mersey is returning to spend time ‘at home.’

“On Sunday 16th April, we’ll be parading through Bootle and from all of the Ship’s company of HMS Mersey, we look forward to seeing everyone soon.”

The Freedom Parade will leave Bootle Town Hall from the Trinity Road entrance on Sunday morning from 10.30am and march via Stanley Road, Merton Road and Oriel Road before returning to Bootle Town Hall.

A special open day is also being held on board HMS Mersey at the Pier Head, Liverpool on Saturday 15th April, during which the public will be touring the ship.

You can find out more about HMS Mersey here.

HMS Mersey sails into Sefton for historic Freedom ceremony

  • Naval officers will parade through the streets of Bootle
  • Historic Freedom of the Borough award will be presented to the ship’s command
  • Public are invited to see inside HMS Mersey

Sefton’s proud historic links with the Royal Navy are set to be reaffirmed later this month as HMS Mersey is bestowed the Freedom of the Borough.
 
HMS Mersey is a River-class offshore patrol vessel and the fifth Royal Navy vessel to carry the name. She will visit Sefton and Liverpool in mid-April, during which time the ship and her crew will be given the honorary Freedom of the Borough of Sefton. 
 
This will take place at a special ceremony on Thursday 13th April.

Civic Ceremony
 
Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell, the commanding officer of HMS Mersey, will be joined by crew from the ship, representatives of the Royal Navy and civic leaders to mark the special occasion, officially commemorating the Borough’s naval links which also date back over 80 years.
 
HMS Mersey’s affiliation with Sefton was granted partly in honour of Captain Frederic John Walker, a World War Two officer who led command of escort ships from Bootle’s Gladstone Dock, during the Battle of the Atlantic.
 
Captain Walker also played a huge role in the D-Day landings of 1944, helping set up an impenetrable wall of escort ships to stop German U-Boats from attacking allied boats going to and from Normandy. This two-week blockade contributed massively to the Allied invasion’ success.

Captain Walker
 
A portrait of Captain Walker, along with a series of wartime naval memorabilia, adorns the walls of Bootle Town Hall, which is where HMS Mersey will receive freedom status.
 
Mayor of Sefton Clare Carragher said:  “Our Borough, and Bootle in particular, is synonymous with the heroism and dedication of our Royal Navy.
 
“It is poignant that just a few hundred yards from our council chamber still stands the former house of Captain Walker and battle worn ensigns from dozens of naval ships hang proudly within Bootle Town Hall.

Humbled
 
“I am humbled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and those who serve today across our armed forces. To be the Mayor who bestows the Freedom of the Borough upon HMS Mersey is an honour.”
 
HMS Mersey’s Lieutenant Commander James Mitchell said:  “I am delighted that HMS Mersey is returning to spend time ‘at home.’
 
“During that period, we’ll be receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Sefton and on Sunday 16th  April, we’ll be parading through Bootle. 
 
“From all of the Ship’s company of HMS Mersey, we look forward to seeing everyone soon.”
 
The Honorary Freedom of the Borough will grant HMS Mersey, as a Service Unit, the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Borough on all ceremonial occasions with ‘colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’
 
HMS Mersey will be exercising their Freedom of Entry during their parade, which everyone is encouraged to attend.
 
The Freedom Parade will leave Bootle Town Hall on the Sunday morning and march via Trinity Road,  Stanley Road, Merton Road and Oriel Road before returning to the Town Hall.
 
A special open day will also be held on board HMS Mersey at the Pier Head, Liverpool throughout Saturday 15th April, during which the public will be invited to tour the ship.
 

Sefton Council makes ‘Care Experienced’ a protected characteristic

At a full Council meeting last night, Sefton Council voted to make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic, putting it on equal footing with race and gender when it comes to fighting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for all.

It follows England’s Independent Review of Children’s Social Care which recommended care experience be a protected characteristic following lobbying by people with experience of the system.

The move is the latest in a line of changes aimed at strengthening the voice and needs of cared for and care experienced children and young people in Sefton and strengthens the council’s role as a corporate parent.

Care experienced includes all children who have had prolonged contact with our social care team; some may have been fostered, some placed with family members or others may have received support in a placement. This cohort face significant challenges upon leaving the care system and are statistically more likely to struggle across a range of areas including education, employment and housing.

In recognising ‘care experienced’ as a protected characteristic, the Council will actively seek out and listen to the voices of care experienced people in the same way they would ensure voices across the spectrum of age, gender, race and disability are heard. It will ensure that all decisions the Council make, the policies they set and the services they commission always consider the specific needs of care experienced young people and the impact on them.

 

Speaking at the Council meeting last night, Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:

“Care experienced people face some of the greatest inequalities in life and the biggest hurdles. There are invisible barriers that hold care experienced children back. Instead of the love and care they need and deserve, they can face discrimination, stigma and prejudice.

“We as councillors our officers and partners are all corporate parents of care experienced people and we need to give them a voice and consider their needs in everything we do. We call upon other bodies to adopt corporate parenting principals such as signing up to our Caring Business Charter and join us in ensuring that our Care Experienced people are supported and have the tools to build a happy, healthy future

“Good parents continue to support, champion, care for, and be ambitious for their children throughout their life and the council and our partners have a responsibility to ensure that children in its care have the same opportunities and outcomes as children in more traditional families.”

 

The move to make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic was inspired by the work of Terry Galloway, a campaigner who has care experience and was in over 100 different placements as a child.

Speaking after the motion was agreed last night, Terry Galloway said:

“I am delighted to see Sefton Council make ‘care experienced’ a protected characteristic. It is encouraging to see local authorities willing to listen to care experienced people, learn from our experiences and commit to improving their services.

“When I left care, my life was chaotic and I was not well supported; it did not feel like anyone had a responsibility to care for me. I campaign for the rights of those leaving care to ensure that no one in my position feels like they are on their own when they reach adulthood.

“Recognising ‘care experienced’ as a protected characteristic will give a voice to those most in need and represents a lifelong commitment to cared for young people who are approaching adulthood; it signals that they will be supported, listened to and valued.

“The next step is to engage with care experienced people of all ages to find out what discrimination they have face, both direct and indirect. It has to be deep and not just through the lens of what services local authorities provide, but go right out into the community in places like prisons, education, DWP and Health because discrimination is everywhere.  When we hear that voice and understand it, then change will happen.”

 

ENDS

Southport Market review lauds tireless efforts of traders and staff

Southport Market is going from strength to strength after being buoyed by the growing ‘staycation’ holiday market.

Since reopening in July 2021, the hugely popular food and drink hall in Southport town centre has already served over a quarter of a million meals and 100,000 pints to tens of thousands of visitors.

It has also directly led to a transformation of the surrounding area with a number of new shops and businesses opening up due to increased footfall. 

Performance

In a report to Sefton Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s November 8th meeting, a One Year Review of Southport Market shows that the venue has continued to perform very well despite industry-wide challenges.

Tireless work by the traders and Sefton Council staff since the opening are among the factors the report says are behind the market’s success. The support of the local community to the unique investment, which provides a new reason to visit this part of town, has also been important.

Growth

Southport market’s success is expected to grow even more in 2023 with significant changes to the public realm space around Market Street and King Street, which are designed to increase footfall in the area.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: 

“When it was  first launched I made a promise that the new look Southport Market would be a great success and a year in, despite the effects of a worldwide pandemic and the hard-hitting cost of living crisis, we are already seeing the fruits of our labour come good.

“This is in no small part down to the work and creativity of our traders who have come together with their culinary skills to produce an international smorgasbord of tasty treats.

“Their own successes have been bolstered by an incredible events calendar put together by Sefton Council’s Tourism team who have transformed our flexible events space time and time again for a series of amazing shows, conventions and fayres.”

One of the key objectives of investing into the new Southport Market was for it to be a catalyst for further investment in the area and Sefton. 

Cllr Marion Atkinson continued: 

“Most traders in the market are from the local area and have either established new businesses or expanded current businesses, creating over 30 new jobs. The increased footfall has led to several long-term vacant units have become occupied by new independent businesses in both Market and King Street.

“This continued investment is showing no signs of slowing down and a number of large vacant units within the wider Market Quarter are now currently on the market and contracts are being exchanging at a rate. 

“Local commercial agents have told us the area is one of the top investment locations in Southport currently and we firmly believe this is down to the success of the Market.”

Challenges

The report also looks at future challenges faced across the hospitality industry, which Cllr Atkinson says will be monitored closely by Sefton Council as it continues to grow the Market space.

Cllr Atkinson added: 

“A rise and fall in the popularity of staycations will have an effect on footfall, as does the ever increasing cost of goods and services as we all feel the impact of a cost of living crisis. 

“While some of these pressures cannot be fully mitigated against, we have put in place and will continue to develop a series of measures to encourage footfall in the area, ensuring that the Market remains a focal attraction for many years to come.”

People can find more information about Southport Market at www.southportmarket.com, follow southportmarket on Instagram, @spt_mkt on Twitter or Southport Market on Facebook.

/Ends

‘A real honour’ says Bootle superstar Alex Greenwood as she unveils huge hometown mural

Alex Greenwood with Cllr Ian Moncur & Cllr Trish Hardy“It’s a real honour and if I can inspire just one girl from Bootle to play football then I feel like my job is done!”

That is the message from Bootle Lioness and England Women’s Footballer Alex Greenwood as she officially unveiled a huge mural celebrating her successes.

Proud

The 29-year-old Euro 2022 winning Lioness said she was extremely proud to have a mural commemorating her sporting successes painted onto the front of 320 Stanley Road in Bootle, thanks to joint funding from Sefton Council and REPT Sports.

At the official unveiling on Monday, October 25th crowds of youngsters gathered alongside Alex’s family and national media to officially unveil the mural, painted by artist John Culhsaw.

While all eyes are now on the 22ft mural, Alex is keen to use it as an opportunity to push for greater support for young girls in sport.

Inspire

Alex said : “It’s a real honour to have this mural and if I can inspire just one girl from Bootle to play football then I feel like I have done my job!

“I used to walk up and down this street as a kid and it’s fantastic to know young girls and boys will walk past [the mural] and hopefully be inspired.

“I’ve seen a massive shift in mentality towards female sport and women’s football since the Euros.

“As a collective we are going to keep asking questions of those higher up and demand more opportunities for little girls and boys in the future.

“I really hope there’s another young girl standing here in however many years to come telling the same story.”

The mural sits pride of place on the busy Bootle town centre thoroughfare and be seen by thousands of schoolchildren, shoppers and commuters every day.

Hometown roots

Alex, a former St Monica’s and Savio Salesian pupil, has remained true to her hometown roots and has long been a major influence in the advancement of women & girls football within Sefton, ensuring she takes time out of her busy footballing career to motivate and inspire future generations of sporting stars throughout the borough.

She said: “I would like to thank Sefton Council for this mural.

“It’s really important for me to be able to send a message to young girls in my area that anything is possible.

“Many of the dreams I had while walking the streets of Bootle and playing on the pitches have come true through hard work and perseverance.

“Characteristics that were formed in Bootle.”

Amazing

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Alex has always been an inspiration to our sporting youngsters and we were over the moon when she, along with the other amazing Lionesses, brought home the European Championship.

“To be able to honour Alex in this way with a permanent mural in the heart of her hometown is fantastic and I know that the thousands of schoolchildren who will pass by it every day will be inspired just by seeing it.

“I want to take this opportunity to urge all our young sporting stars to take a look at Alex’s hard work and dedication to getting where she is today as one of the world’s best female footballers. Her progress is a testament to the excellent school and sports facilities we have within Sefton.”

Real honour

Popular Liverpool artist John Culshaw, who rose to fame with his incredible murals of Ringo Starr in Toxteth and Mo Salah in Anfield, designed and painted Alex’s mural said: “It was a real honour to be asked to create this mural.

“I think we have a way of getting behind our stars in Liverpool and for a Bootle girl to bring home our nation’s first piece of international silverware in 56 years is definitely something to be celebrated!

“What better way to show how proud we are than to have this mural in Alex’s hometown.”

Sefton Council, through its Active Sefton team and continued work with sports partners, strives to actively promote, support and improve football facilities in the borough to allow future generations the opportunity and access to the beautiful game.

You can find out more about how to get involved in sport and  leisure in Sefton here.

 

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