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Sefton Council lights up civic buildings to support awareness of event production industries

Crosby Library lit up redSefton Council lit up Bootle Town Hall and Crosby Library in red last night, Wednesday 30 September, in support of the Global Industry Awareness Day for the Production Services and Live Events sector.

Buildings across the City Region were illuminated red as part of the event to highlight to the public and the government what the industry does and its huge economic and cultural value. It was part of a global campaign to draw attention and gain government recognition that the industry still urgently needs support. The campaign is supported by Sefton, who are the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2020.

As part of the event, organised by #WeMakeEvents,  60 beams of white light were pointed into the sky across the UK, each beam representing 10,000 jobs at risk.

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “These ‘back-stage’ production-related industries are hugely important to our cultural life and to our economy but are largely unseen. We are proud to be the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2020, despite the impact of current circumstances on our programme, and Sefton Council is pleased to be able to join this event and support them.”

Jane Dawe, Community Partnership Manager at SAFE Regeneration Ltd said: “Live music events are not just about the economic impact and how they contribute to the visitor economy. They can be optimised in order to achieve economic, social and cultural goals, by increasing social capital, encouraging public engagement and help create a sense of identity and belonging. They contribute to a thriving cultural environment, enhancing musical creativity, cultural vibrancy and developing and nurturing talent.

“They are the beating heart of a community and support for those directly and indirectly affected is essential.”

Find out more about the event.

Council leader responds to speculation on Government plans for further Merseyside COVID restrictions

Responding today to speculation that the Government is going to announce further COVID-19 restrictions across Merseyside Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher said:

“As a result of the continued rise in numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections, both regionally and nationally, we understand that the Government is planning on imposing further restrictions across Merseyside.

“This could mean that households will not be able to mix and we await clarification about any other possible restrictions. This is despite the further measured introduced across Merseyside on 22 September.

“While, along with other Merseyside leaders, I would have liked to have seen enforcement of current restrictions before new ones are added, I will support any measures that will protect vulnerable people in our communities.

“However, I have joined Merseyside leaders in writing to the Government to seek clarity on what resources they will make available for us and the Police to enforce these measures.

“We want the Government to extend the furlough scheme, and to provide further financial support for our businesses and their employees, particularly in the leisure, hospitality and sport industries.

“We will await the government’s guidelines on mixing and we have highlighted the potential effects of separating children from key workers in school and early years settings as we as stressing the importance of maintaining resilience in the health and public sectors to minimise isolation.

“Once again, I would like to thank Sefton’s residents and businesses for all the efforts and sacrifices they have made during the pandemic.

“I would also stress how important it is that people stick to the current guidelines and any new regulations, not just to avoid the heavy fines they could face but to protect our communities, our vulnerable, our economy and our future.”

Sefton businesses need to create and display test & trace QR codes

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health Team is reminding some of the Borough’s businesses that they need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national COVID-19 app.

Businesses required by law to display QR code posters include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades and close contact services such as hairdressers, barbershops and tailors.

Council facilities such as community centres, libraries and village halls are also covered as are places of worship, community organisations with a physical location and events taking place at a specific location.

All of these businesses and organisations need to use the Government’s simple process to create a unique QR code required for their premises. Visitors can then scan the QR code with the COVID-19 app when they enter the premises, as part of the drive to trace and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

To create their QR code poster, business owners and managers should visit www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and follow the instructions.

To complete the process, they will need their email address, the physical address of each location plus an email address and phone number for the manager of each.

Applicants will receive their QR code poster or posters by email soon after submitting their information. They should then print the poster and display it prominently where visitors can see it upon arrival.

Businesses without a printer should show the QR code on a display screen, such as a TV or tablet, making sure it’s within reach so that visitors can scan it with their mobile phones.

Supermarkets, where customers generally move around the space rather than congregate, and are expected, by law, to wear face coverings, are not required to display QR code posters.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “Creating these Test and Trace QR code posters is a vital, yet incredibly simple way of helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and we need the businesses across Sefton displaying them now.

“Displaying posters, will be protecting Sefton’s businesses and their customers by enabling them to receive important public health messages and keep a digital diary of the places they’ve visited.”

Create your Test & Trace QR code poster now.

Ellen’s inspirational website helps give young people in Sefton a voice

Sefton’s Early Help team are delighted to help an inspirational young person, who struggles with a communication disorder, to make her voice heard and support others through her own website.

Sixteen-year-old Ellen from Crosby has been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) which is a type of speech, language and communication need that affects the way children understand and use language. It is more common than autism with up to two children in every classroom having the disorder.

Living with DLD has meant that through her life Ellen has struggled to express herself and process complex sentences and to feel heard, preferring to communicate by writing words down or making videos.

Hannah Howard from Sefton’s Early Help team said: “Like many other young people with a similar condition, Ellen feels that she is not heard because she can’t communicate easily, and people’s patience, belief in her and understanding is varied and often limited.

“This has had an effect on her education as well as her social and emotion

Ellen’s website ‘This is DLD’ gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves.

al wellbeing, however Ellen has said that having the support from people who have really listened has made a massive difference.”

“I have been absolutely inspired by Ellen. As a professional I have always strived to listen and put every child at the centre of what I do.

“Ellen has reminded me of the importance of us all taking the time to increase our understanding and knowledge around individual needs and that taking extra time to ensure a child has a voice is paramount.”

Ellen’s mum Roisin said: “Ellen has received support from Sefton’s Early Help team who have been there to help stop us getting to crisis point and their support has been immeasurable.

“The way they put Ellen first shines through, and they always come back to ‘what does Ellen want’. They have been Ellen’s voice and she really feels they have enabled her to be heard.

“We have also received amazing support from the Venus Centre in Sefton (which provides counselling), her head teacher at Holy Family Catholic High School and Speech and language therapists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

“They are helping to empower Ellen so she can achieve her full potential by continuing to promote communication and give practical advice and encouragement while     putting Ellen’s voice at the centre of everything they do.”

With her support network on board, Ellen has used her own experiences to help others by developing a website.

‘This is DLD’, not only gives a personal insight into Ellen’s experience of living with the disorder but also gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves.

The website contains videos and pictures giving advice to practitioners and teachers on how they can help a child with DLD, such as taking enough time to respond and using pictures sometimes instead of words.

Ellen said: “When you struggle with communication life can be hard for you and your family as you need words for everything.

“Often, I have felt invisible. However, over the last year I have had Alison from Sefton Speech and Language therapy, Paula from Venus and Hannah from Early Help supporting me and my family.

“They listened and followed things through. They believed in me and helped me find my voice and speak out about the things that mattered to me.

“I wanted to help give a voice to all those children and families in the same situation as us. It is important that they too are seen and heard, so with my Uncle’s help I have created a website to try and get the message out to the right people so things can change.

“I want people to understand what it is like growing up in a place without a voice and how they can help make life easier. None of this costs money, only time. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”

Ellen’s ‘This is DLD’ website can be found at https://sites.google.com/view/thisisdld/home

Council leader responds to cycle lane comments

Sefton Council’s leader, Cllr Ian Maher, has responded to a number of comments regarding the installation of central government required cycle lanes in the borough.

Earlier this year the Government announced its Emergency Active Travel Fund, and called for Councils to reallocate road space urgently to produce cycling and walking facilities.

Explaining the background to the schemes, Sefton Council Leader said: “Working with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Sefton Council submitted a bid to the Government fund and was successful in securing funding for two schemes, in Bootle and Southport Town Centre, which met the Government’s criteria for the fund.”

These two schemes are based on key routes previously identified in the Liverpool City Region Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and make it easier and safer for people to visit town centre shops, workplaces and other facilities in Bootle and Southport by bike or on foot.

Cllr Ian Maher, continued: “In May during what was and still remains an incredibly difficult time for councils across the country, the Conservative Government, through their Emergency Active Travel Fund, placed significant pressure on Sefton Council to urgently reallocate road space to produce cycling and walking facilities.

“To further compound these pressures, the Government then stipulated that these schemes had to be started within four weeks and completed within eight weeks of funding being approved.

“This, unfortunately, meant it was not possible to carry out a consultation in the way we normally would with our valued communities, due to the incredibly restrictive nature of Mr Moore’s Conservative Government’s timescale and requirements.

“We are wholly aware of the continued need to make savings and recoup income to help cope with ongoing and ever increasing Government cuts in funding and Mr Moore is correct in saying this Central Government scheme will indeed further cause Sefton Council to lose out on much needed revenue.

“The Council will be monitoring these routes closely and will keep them under review over the coming months, so that we understand how we can both improve them for people who walk and cycle as well as further support our local economy at this crucial time.”

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