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Sefton reaffirms commitment to tackling homelessness with updated strategy

Sefton Council’s commitment to tackling homelessness has been reaffirmed with an updated Homelessness Strategy for 2018-23.

The Homelessness Act 2002, requires every local authority to carry out a homelessness review in its borough every 5 years and use the results of this to develop and publish a Homelessness Strategy.

This is Sefton’s fourth review and builds upon the work of the first three carried out in 2003, 2008 and 2013.

homeless

A consultation was also carried out in 2018 including involvement with other statutory and voluntary organisations.

Today (January 10), Sefton Council’s Cabinet agreed to the Homelessness Strategy 2018-23 and will now develop an action plan with a number of key objectives.

This includes how Sefton Council will:
1. Monitor the current and future likely levels of homelessness
2. Resource a variety of activities to tackle homelessness
3. Do more to prevent homelessness
4. Secure accommodation for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness
5. Support people who are, or have been, homeless

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “After several years of hardship to Sefton residents as a result of the Conservative austerity agenda, tackling homelessness is one of our key priorities and the updated Homelessness Strategy will go a long way in tackling this very emotive issue.

“A stark reality affecting our communities shows that just under a quarter of all children in Sefton are living in poverty.

“Similarly, just over a quarter of all people aged 16-64 years living in Sefton are economically inactive.

“What really concerns me is that future levels of homelessness are likely to increase due to wider social, economic and housing market factors. A particular concern is that many people will not be able to afford to buy a home, putting further pressure on an already limited supply of affordable housing.

“The Sefton Homelessness Review paints a picture on homelessness issues locally, and the Sefton Homelessness Strategy sets out how to address these issues.

“From this we will now work on and develop an action plan to tackle this very worrying matter.”

If you have nowhere to stay or if it is unsafe for you to return home, or you will be homeless within the next 56 days, you should contact Sefton Council’s Housing Options Team on 0151 934 3541.

The team will assess your case and will be able to provide housing options advice for you and your family.

For emergencies out of hours contact Sefton Council’s Emergency Duty Team on 0151 934 3555.

Council to support those affected by decision to close Sand Dunes Nursery School

Sefton Council has vowed to ensure pupils and staff are fully supported following the decision that Sand Dunes Nursery School in Seaforth will close this summer.

The nursery has faced financial challenges for several years and the governing body at Sand Dunes felt they had no alternative but to formally ask Sefton Council to begin a statutory consultation to close the nursery.

After carefully considering all the information, Cabinet, at its meeting on Thursday, January 10, took the difficult decision to approve the closure of Sand Dunes Nursery.

Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said:

“I understand that this conclusion will be very upsetting for all those involved. It has been a very emotive time for everyone involved as it’s clear that it is a very much-loved nursery. I have been moved by the passion shown from parents and staff who have shown a huge amount of support for Sand Dunes remaining open.

“After spending a lot of time with the governing body and officers to explore every other option, there was just no other alternative to address the financial crisis the nursery is in. With no foreseeable increase in pupil numbers, increasing costs, and no way to balance the budget there was just nothing else that could be done.

“Our biggest priority now is to make sure parents are fully supported and that there will is no disruption to the education of the children who attend. I know that a small number of the children who go to Sand Dunes are vulnerable or have a special educational need or disability and we will make sure that their needs will be met when helping them to find alternative nursery places.”

To ensure everyone is fully supported when Sand Dunes closes on August 31st 2019, a closure project group will be established to address the many issues associated with a school closure. Support will also be provided for parents seeking alternative nursery places.

£6m Combined Authority Funding Could Create More Than 500 Jobs

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has agreed to provide £6 million funding, from its Single Investment Fund, for two developments that could create more than 500 jobs.

£5m was approved for a new Digital Innovation Factory on the University of Liverpool’s campus, which will serve as a centre of excellence in virtual reality.

Through collaboration between business and academia, the Digital Innovation Factory is forecast to create approximately 400 jobs over a ten-year period, while boosting the city region economy by £44.5 million.

More than £750,000 was also approved for the construction of Project Olympus – a 105,000 square feet distribution and logistics facility on a 1.6 hectare brownfield site within the Atlantic Park Business Park in Sefton.

The facility is expected to create 104 jobs and boost the economy by £39 million over a ten year period.

Sefton honours victims of Holocaust with special ceremony

Sefton will once again remember victims of the Holocaust during a special memorial ceremony open to everyone.

This years’ service will be attended by the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson and takes place on Sunday, January 27, at Christ Church, Lord Street, Southport at 1.30pm.

Partners including Sefton Council, the Association of Jewish Ex Service Men & Women, Sefton Equalities Partnership, Sefton Unison, students from local schools and colleges and Christ Church all help organise the annual service.

The service will be the 19th tribute paid in Sefton, with the ceremony held on Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

Councillors and council officers will attend the memorial ceremony in Southport as well as members of the public.

All will take part in a minute’s silence.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “”Each year we join others around the world to take a moment of reflection on Holocaust Memorial Day.

“It’s a time for us all to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides.

“At the annual service in Southport, we unite the many diverse strands of our communities and demonstrate how the lessons of the past can inform our lives today for a safer, better future.

“The service is an important event in our calendar and if you have the time, please join us to mark this day.”

The service in Southport is open to everyone, with refreshments served at the end.

For more information visit www.hmd.org.uk

Memory Cafe is heading to Bootle

elderly womanThe Orrell Trust is launching a Memory Café later this month to help support people living dementia or memory loss and their carers’.

The group will enable people who are living in similar circumstances to meet on a regular basis to take part in gentle exercise, games, sing-alongs, arts and crafts and memory box workshops.

As Sefton begins its Year of Friendship, groups like this are a great way to provide social interaction and the chance to make new friends.

The group will begin Friday, January 25 and will run on the last Friday of every month from 10am-12pm at St John and St James Church and Community Centre, Bailey Drive, Bootle.

The Orrell Trust also runs a number of other Over 55’s projects:

  • The Wednesday Club (every Wednesday 1.45pm-3.45pm)
    A weekly group to meet new friends, take part in gentle exercise, learn new skills and most importantly have fun!
  • Soup in a Basket (the last Thursday of the month 12pm-2pm)
    A monthly luncheon club where you can enjoy homemade soup, sandwiches and cake, socialise with friends and play traditional board games.
  • Bootle Buddies befriending service
    This project supports people living in Bootle. Volunteers can visit you at home offering a friendly ear and chat, or support you to get out and about.

All projects are delivered from St John & St James Church and Community Centre, 71 Bailey Drive, Bootle, L20 6EX.

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