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Metro Mayor marks first year in office by celebrating Auhority’s achievements

Steve Rotheram has marked the first anniversary of his election as the first Metro Mayor and the creation of a Mayoral Combined Authority by celebrating the achievements of the Combined Authority over the last year.

Elections for the new role were held on 4 May 2017, with Steve officially taking up the role on Monday 8 May, 2017.

The city region has had a Combined Authority since 2014, bringing together the political leaders of the six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral – along with the Local Enterprise Partnership.

With the election of a Metro Mayor, that body became a Mayoral Combined Authority with additional powers over key priorities including employment and skills, strategic housing and planning, transport and highways, economic and business growth, energy and environment, culture, finance, European funding, information sharing, constitutional and governance issues.

Commenting on the one-year anniversary, Steve Rotheram said:

“This has been a very exciting first year as Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region and, working with the leaders of our six local authorities, we have already achieved so much.

“Devolution means that we can make our own decisions here, rather than having them taken for us in Whitehall.

“We’re using that power to deliver an investment programme of over £1bn in transport, skills, economic development and housing.

“Whilst transformational change will inevitably take time, today is an opportunity to assess our progress to date. Some of the key achievements over the last year include: our £5m Households into Work programme, helping 800 families into new jobs; building a new station at Maghull North; and securing £234m in additional government funding to modernise our transport network and connect the City Region to HS2.

“This is just the start. I stood as Metro Mayor because I believe that devolution can be a game changer for our region.

“One year on I’m more convinced than ever that we are making real progress towards a brighter future. “

The 15 Combined Authority achievements over the last year highlighted by the Metro Mayor are listed below:

1. Launched our pioneering Households into Work initiative to support 800 families with two or more people in long-term unemployment back into work

2. Secured £5m to support the growth of digital and creative businesses through the LCR Activate programme

3. Invested £3.4 million in Alstom, for a state-of-the-art train maintenance and repair facility, creating hundreds of local jobs and apprenticeships.

4. Started work on a city region full-fibre network, providing ultra-fast digital connectivity across the whole of the Liverpool City Region

5. Building a new £13m station for Maghull North and a £19m interchange scheme, new station building and park and ride facility at Newton-le-Willows

6. Constructing a new £19m railway line connecting our region to North Wales via the Halton Curve

7. Established a Mersey Tidal Power commission to harness the power of the River Mersey

8. Providing £12m funding for the Paddington Village development – an integral part of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter

9. Providing cleaner public transport where low emission buses make up 70% of bus fleet, with one fifth of those powered by electricity

10. Introducing a “1% for culture” programme to support cultural activities across our region and naming St Helens as our inaugural “Borough of Culture”

11. Delivering £5m to support the Liverpool 2018 cultural programme– the celebration of the 10th anniversary since it was European Capital of Culture.

12. Investing in initiatives to support the creation of 5,000 local jobs, 2,000 apprenticeships and 25,000 new homes by 2020.

13. Securing £234m in additional government funding to modernise our transport network and connect the City Region to HS2.

14. Establishing FASJAB (the Fairness and Social Justice Advisory Board), the first of its kind in the country, to ensure fairness and social justice is at the heart of decision-making across the Liverpool City Region.

15. Securing a share of £28m from government to deliver a ‘Housing First’ approach to homelessness.

Shop till you drop in fabulous Sefton

Sefton is booming with business and it’s easy to find a world of shopping wonders across our beautiful borough.

Whether it’s the hustle and bustle of South Road, the bargains of Bootle Strand, the boutiques of Lord Street, Formby’s Chapel Lane or Central Square in Maghull, Sefton is a huge shopping spree waiting to happen all year round.

So why not sample just some of our shopping delights during the sunny weekend?

If it’s sartorial elegance you’re after, be sure to check out the fantastic array of clothing retailers along Lord Street in Southport.

Or how about Wesley Street? Southport’s very own ‘Village In The Town.’

A microcosm of shopping, eating and entertaining delights, the colourful street is nestled away between Eastbank Street and Tulketh Street.

Awash with independent boutiques, barbers, cafes and shops, with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, there is something for everyone.

 

In Formby, Chapel Lane is a haven for the relaxed shopper with an array of stores and restaurants to suit every need.

Book lovers will find a haven of literary wonders in Crosby Village with Pritchard’s Book shop on Moor Lane or if you’re feeling peckish, sample  foods of the world on South Road, Waterloo.

But if you’re a baragin hunter, Bootle Strand Shopping Centre is the place to be with a treasure trove of deals, sales and a vast array of stores and outlets to pick from.

For more suggestions and ideas on where to visit and what to see in Sefton, visit the council’s instagram @sefton_council.

A new Merseyside Approach to Child Exploitation and Missing Children

Merseyside Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the five local Safeguarding Boards, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Liverpool and St Helens are coming together to continue the fight against child exploitation and tackle the issue of missing children.

On Tuesday, 1 May the partners will launch new Pan – Merseyside Child Exploitation and Missing Children Protocols, to ensure a consistent approach to tackling these issues right across the region.

Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney explains: “As individual Safeguarding Boards across Merseyside, we have always worked to our own individual protocols around child exploitation. Last year we decided to build upon this existing work to launch a pan-Merseyside approach. The aim of these protocols is to continue and improve the work already done in individual areas to protect children from exploitation – be that sexual or criminal.

“Exploitation of children exists in lots of different forms and it is not always obvious to the victim or their families, when it first starts happening. We want this joined up approach to not only tackle the problem but also to change culture and opinions. A lot of children involved in crime are actually victims of exploitation and organised crime groups are grooming, coercing and abusing children and young people to work for them. Our new protocol includes pathways and assessments tools that can help all agencies to identify those children who are at risk and help put a stop to this behaviour – offering support to victims, disrupting criminal groups and prosecuting those involved.

“Similarly the new Missing Children Protocol will ensure all missing children are reported and identified at the earliest opportunity to reduce their risk of exploitation and offer the support at the right time.”

The launch event will take place at Everton Football Club and representatives from the local five Safeguarding boards, strategic services such as children’s homes and referral units, alongside representatives from the voluntary sector will be in attendance. Key note speakers such as Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney, PCC Jane Kennedy and Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, will talk about the issues faced and give details on the implementation of new protocols, and how they will work practically to streamline and improve the processes. Delegates will then be invited to visit stalls, staffed by representatives from the local Safeguarding Boards.

Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Alongside our partners, we have a duty of care to protect young people from harm and this new innovative, multi-agency approach will mean a consistency across the board.

“The introduction of the new protocols shows how, as a partners, seriously we take these issues and that we are leading the way in putting a stop to child exploitation. Sadly we know child exploitation can affect any young person and have a devastating impact on their lives – that’s why it’s so important for us to work together to ensure we provide the best possible quality of service for those most vulnerable in our communities.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Keeping our young people safe must be a priority for all public agencies. Today’s launch demonstrates that this responsibility is taken very seriously by all the partners here in Merseyside.

“As a region we are committed to working together to deliver a consistent, high-quality service that prevents exploitation of all kinds and protects young people, no matter where they live. Sadly, we know that some young victims do not recognise that they are being exploited. That means we need all professionals to know how to spot the signs that a child may be at risk and take the appropriate steps to keep them safe. These pan-Merseyside protocols provide the tools, the risk assessments and referral pathways to ensure the right response at the right time for young people who may be vulnerable.

“I thank everyone who has worked so hard to get to this point today and to all the partners for their on-going commitment to improving the protection and care we provide for young people in Merseyside.”

Ellie Fairgrieve, Senior Service Coordinator, Catch22 Pan Merseyside Child Exploitation Service: “Catch22 believe there should be no barriers in responding to Child Exploitation, and our team are excited to continue our work with all five local authorities and Merseyside Police to keep children safe. The launch of the revised exploitation protocol, referral forms and risk assessments mean that all forms of exploitation will be considered and that more professionals will understand the risks of criminal exploitation. Merseyside are leading the way in fighting child exploitation and, as practitioners, it’s wonderful to know that young people will receive a consistent response- no matter where they are on Merseyside.”

Aim for greater impact with new adoption support service

Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) recently commissioned After Adoption to deliver adoption support services across the region. 

Recognising the impact adoption has, After Adoption, with over 28 years’ experience of supporting to all parties affected by adoption, will offer a proactive and flexible service.

This will include support for adopted adults seeking to trace their birth families, including search services and counselling, and counselling for adopted adults seeking to access their records post adoption.

It will also provide information, advice and support for birth parents and birth relatives who have had their child adopted – helping them navigate the complexities of the adoption process through a combination of information and advice and face-to-face counselling. This approach aims to help them deal with grief and loss, explore their own life story as part of this, and negotiate and maintain appropriate levels of post adoption contact. For birth parents and relatives who want to reconnect with adopted children who have reached adulthood, there will also be the ability to access search and intermediary services.

Iain Moore, Head of Business Development at After Adoption, commented: “We are passionate about ensuring everyone affected by adoption can access the support they need, so are delighted to have won this contract. We are confident that our expertise in this area will ensure we deliver a high quality service and make a real difference.”

The full list of services to be offered on behalf of the Adoption in Merseyside includes:

  • Support for adopted adults seeking to trace their birth families
  • Information, advice and support for birth parents and birth relatives who have had their children adopted
  • Counselling for those seeking intermediary services
  • Counselling for those seeking to access their records post adoption
  • An intermediary service for birth relatives
  • Access to Letterbox to maintain contact agreements (delivered on behalf of Liverpool by After Adoption and internally for other local authorities).

The service will be available in the geographical area covered by the newly formed Adoption in Merseyside (AiM), a regional adoption agency covering Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral.

Jenny Ness, Head of Service for AiM commented: “We are delighted that AiM will be working in partnership with After Adoption. This is a new contract covering the city region and will ensure adopted adult’s, birth parents and birth relatives will receive the advice and support needed with a prompt and empathic approach.”

To find out more or make a referral, call the After Adoption action line on 0800 056 8578 or email actionline@afteradoption.org.uk

No Parking on Southport beach

Southport beach is temporarily closed to vehicles due to poor ground conditions.

This year, the combination of wet weather and estuary silt deposition has combined to create conditions where it is not currently safe to access and park within the normally defined area.

The beach is expected to reopen to vehicles for parking once drier conditions are in place and we will release details when this happens.

Residents and visitors are advised that there is alternative parking available locally and across Southport.

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