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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Publishes Clean Air Proposals

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to endorse an interim air quality action plan at its meeting next Friday (November 1).

 The interim plan, developed by its Air Quality Task Force, which includes representatives from partner organisations across the city region, makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • Development of a 600km walking and cycling network
  • Investigating scrappage schemes such as a Taxi Scrappage Scheme
  • Working towards a zero emission bus fleet by 2040
  • A commitment to work closely with partners across all six of the Combined Authority’s constituent local authorities, who are all represented on the Air Quality Task Force
  • Rolling out a network of alternative fuel facilities across the region, such as hydrogen fuelling facilities, linked to a £6.4 million scheme to pilot hydrogen buses in the city region
  • Investigating alternative models of bus delivery to best serve the needs of the city region and improve air quality
  • Potential of a boiler scrappage scheme to help address domestic consumption and fuel poverty
  • Investigating measures to reduce heat loss from homes, potentially through retrofitting insulation, to reduce energy use – around 25% of the heat produced by a boiler can escape through an uninsulated roof
  • Procuring new cleaner, greener Mersey Ferries vessels to replace the existing, 60-year old vessels
  • Making the case to Government for long-term funding certainty to support the delivery of measures that support clean air

 Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Ensuring that everyone can breathe clean air is one of the most fundamental issues facing us today and an issue that we must address together.

“Earlier this year the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority declared a climate emergency and addressing poor air quality is at the heart of responding to it.

“As is so often the case, it is our most deprived communities, who already have to cope with multiple health problems, who suffer most from the effects of polluted air.  Public Health England has calculated that air pollution contributes to 700 deaths a year in our city region and we know that we have areas where men have a life expectancy seven years lower than the national average. 

“We have had some notable successes in tackling air pollution. Seven-out-of-ten buses in the city region are now low emission, we are home to pioneering work to develop trains that run on hydrogen and we’re building on our strength in offshore wind with the development our potentially world-leading Mersey Tidal Power scheme.

“And this action plan sets out how we can work together with partners across the whole of our city region to tackle this ongoing public health emergency.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Air Quality and Transport, said: “Clearly no single organisation or individual can address poor air quality alone. That’s why our Air Quality Task Force is made up of elected and other representatives from across the six local authority area of the city region. And it’s why this plan, the first result of its work, contains actions for the Combined Authority, for our constituent local authorities and partners, supported by the Combined Authority, for residents, communities and businesses and actions we need from central government and its agencies.

“We all need to change the way we live, work and do business if we are to improve our air quality for ourselves and for future generations.  And we need to make those changes now.” 

One Vision Housing, Retirement Housing Scheme customers, raise £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

October 1 marked International Older Person’s Day which works to bring our older community together and highlight their contribution to society.

 In celebration of the day One Vision Housing hosted a number of events across their seven Retirement Housing schemes to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 In addition to donating home-baked treats, customers had fun playing games and holding raffles all in an effort to raise as much money as possible for charity.

With help from One Vision Housing’s customers and staff, an amazing £2,663.65 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Suzanne Meylan, Independent Living Manager said: “I’m so very proud of the Independent Living Team, our customers, friends and family in our seven Retirement Housing Schemes who have raised a fabulous £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the last few weeks.

“Every year the Independent Living team and our customers work hard together to put on a celebration to acknowledge International Older Person’s Day and raise much needed funds for Macmillan. The continued generosity from those who make up our communities never fails to disappoint. A huge thank you to all involved!”

Have your voice heard by joining an NHS patient group

Sefton residents interested in getting involved in how local health services are delivered are invited to two public events next month.

 The special events, organised by the two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Sefton and  Healthwatch Sefton, are open to anyone wanting the chance to support their local NHS to improve and develop services by joining their local Patient Participation Group (PPG).

 Helen Graham is chair of a local PPG group and says: “I joined our PPG group over four years ago and now chair the meetings. For me, it’s important that we think about all patients at the surgery rather than just those present at the meetings so we’ll think about all age groups and different health needs to help the practice support its patients.

“The meetings are a chance to get involved in changes and have your say, for example our practice has recently developed a new website, which we were all able to feed into and make suggestions on that were then taken forward.

 As a result of discussions in the group, the practice also set up social media accounts and we’ve recently had a new PPG member join as a result of seeing our Facebook page. It is so worthwhile being a part of your PPG and making changes for the better in your local practice.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “PPGs support GP practices and are a way for you as a patient to have a voice about services at your surgery, as well as the wider health sector in your area.” 

Dr Craig Gillespie, GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “By coming along to these special events, you will gain a better understanding of what PPGs do and how you can become a part of the one at your GP practice.” 

Diane Blair, manager of Healthwatch Sefton, added: “As a local Healthwatch, we recognise the importance of the patient voice being heard when local health services are being delivered or developed. That is why we want as many people as possible to come along to the events to hear first hand the difference being a member of a PPG can make.”

At the events there will be a marketplace of health and wellbeing stalls at both events giving people the chance to chat with health professionals as well as representatives from the CCGs and Healthwatch. People can hear from current PPG groups and how they engage with their patients.

A light lunch will be served during each event, the first of which is on Tuesday, November 12 at SING Centre, Cambridge Road, Seaforth, L21 1EZ and the second is at Lord Street West United Church, off Lord Street, Southport, PR8 2BH on Tuesday, November 19. 

Both events run from 10am until 2pm.

To book on for the south Sefton event on November 12, please register by calling: 0151 317 8456 or emailing: southsefton.ccg@nhs.net

For the Southport event on November 19, please register by calling 01704 395785 or emailing: southportandormby.ccg@nhs.net

Speak up this World Mental Health Day

sefton in mindIn conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, health experts in Sefton are encouraging people to look after themselves and open up about any issues they may be dealing with.

Most people will confront some sort of mental health difficulty in their lifetime. The state of your mental health can be affected by factors such as drugs and alcohol, work-related stress and grief – among other things.

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We need to look after our mental health just like our physical health. It’s really important that you speak to someone if you notice a change in your mental health or a change in someone else such as feeling or acting more stressed, being unhappy or disengaged. “

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “Sharing how you are feeling by speaking to a friend or family member can help you to feel better. Activities such as meditation, exercise and breathing techniques have also been shown to enhance your mental health. There are also local services that can help you should you feel you need more support.”

People in Sefton have access to a number of resources including Access Sefton, a service that provides guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling for anyone aged 16 and over.

Ryan Forrest at Access Sefton added: “World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague to ask them how they’re feeling. Opening up the conversation around mental health will encourage those around you to be more aware of how they’re feeling and reach out for support.”

Patients looking for support can refer themselves to Access Sefton. You can contact them directly by telephoning 0300 303 2708 or visiting www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton. You can also ask your GP practice for information.

For young people aged 11 to 18 years old there is a free online service called Kooth which offers self help materials and a safe online community 365 days a year. This can be accessed at www.kooth.com  

In extreme circumstances, people will experience a mental health crisis. This often means that you no longer feel able to cope or feel in control of your situation. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, can’t cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hear voices.

In these cases, you should contact NHS 111 for help.

To find out more about the help available for anyone struggling with their mental health, visit the NHS website

Catch the train to your happy place for free this Sunday!

sefton in mindSefton Council is delighted to be working with Merseyrail to offer a free travel day this Sunday, 6 October to support 30 Days of Sefton in Mind.

30 Days of Sefton in Mind uses the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and World Mental Health Day (10 October) to highlight local activity taking place and the variety of services available aimed at improving mental health in Sefton.

A map of Sefton’s ‘happy places’ here highlights some of the best places in the borough to promote positive mental wellbeing. Many are a short walk from a Merseyrail station, so hop on the train with your free travel voucher on Sunday 6 October and visit somewhere new in the region.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Merseyrail for supporting 30 Days of Sefton in Mind, this free travel day has the opportunity to make a positive impact on residents who may be lonely or socially isolated.

“Sometimes something as simple as getting out and about can have a big impact on mental health and wellbeing. This free travel day is a great way for people to explore the borough, meet friends or try something new, all at no expense to themselves.”

To register for a free travel pass please visit www.merseyrail.org/freetravel  

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