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Year of the Volunteer hailed a huge success

Sefton’s incredible Year Of The Volunteer campaign has seen volunteers give over 118 thousand hours of their time to helping improve the borough – an impressive increase of 12% over the last twelve months.

As part of the local authority’s 2018 Year Of The Volunteer campaign, the Mayor’s Office and Volunteering Sefton recorded an official 118,689 thousand hours of volunteer’s time being given throughout the borough.

southport festival

It shows an inspiring 12% rise in community volunteering compared to the same period in 2017.

However the final figure is believed to be even higher, with many informal volunteers hours being untracked.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since I had the honour of launching the Year of the Volunteer as we set about celebrating the impact volunteers make in our communities.

“While celebrating 2017 – the Year of Sefton’s Coast – what became very apparent during a busy 12 months was the impact volunteers make in our communities.

“That inspired us to celebrate those volunteers who really make a difference in and around our wonderful borough.

“They touch people’s lives in so many positive ways, providing comfort and support, fostering community development, and actively helping to keep Sefton clean, green and beautiful.

“The figures speak for themselves and we cannot thank our incredible communities enough for giving 118,689 volunteering hours toward helping improve our communities and the areas in which we live.

“This is a truly remarkable figure and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who got involved, as we as a borough celebrated the vital work that volunteers do and encouraged hundreds of other people to get involved as well.

“We are eternally grateful to everyone who embraced this wonderful Year.”

Following the culmination of the Year of the Volunteer, Sefton Council can reveal that 2019 has been officially dedicated as the Year of Friendship

More details on the Year of the Friendship will be revealed in due course.

City Region launch action plan to boost employability skills

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has today published an action plan setting out 12 priorities for improving employability skills across the city region.

Set out in its Employability Skills for Growth Action Plan, launched at an event hosted by Knowsley Council, priorities identified include:

• Identifying any gaps in existing employability skills provision across the city region
• Increasing support for residents already in work to improve their employability skills
• Developing routes to high-level employability and English, Maths and digital skills for those in lower level roles to ensure the city region is ready for the development of further technical and professional jobs.

The Employability Skills for Growth Action Plan draws on existing evidence and primary research with key stakeholders across the city region to identify actions to address existing employability skills gaps and potential future demands from employers.

It sets out actions for the Combined Authority, local training providers and employers to address current and future employability skills needs in the city region.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Lead for Skills and Apprenticeships, said: “The priorities identified here are challenging and will require input from many partners to deliver. In some cases, they will require public sector reform, and we will use the Ways to Work programme to provide vital intelligence and learning to help us do that effectively.

“Working together we have made great strides in recent years, and there is more to be done to drive collaborative working across providers and employers for the benefit of us all.

“A sustained collaborative effort is required to see our ambitions realised.”

The report also identifies ways in which providers and employers across the city region are tackling the employability skills gap through schemes including:

The Ways to Work programme – delivered by the six Local Authorities across Liverpool City Region, this programme provides a range of services to residents across the Liverpool City Region to enhance their employability skills and assist them in gaining employment. The project is designed to assist unemployed people, and people not in education, employment or training, aged 16 plus.

The Working Futures programme – delivered by a partnership of 13 not-for-profit training providers based in Liverpool City Region, Working Futures supports people aged 16 to 29 who are not currently in employment, education or training (NEET) to take control of their own lives and move towards a better future.

Sefton cycling route in first phase of a 600km City Region network

Work is set to begin on the first phase of a potential 600km key network of cycling and walking routes across the Liverpool City Region.

Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority ratified the £8.3m funding for the first 55km phase of the network– including a Sefton route– at its meeting on Friday (December 14).

The 15km route between Southport and Seaforth will link into a wider strategic cycling route into Liverpool City Centre. The route links major growth areas with new areas of housing and completes the Sefton Coastal cycle route.

The proposed 600km cycling and walking network is based on upgrades to around 31 key routes across the Liverpool City Region over the next 10 years.

The network will be planned on a whole city region basis, both improving links to the public transport network and between residential areas, employment, training and retail sites.

Meanwhile, work is already underway on bidding for funding for the next phase of the network with the launch of a questionnaire on people’s cycling and walking habits to help shape what a wider network would look like. It can be accessed here .

Two thirds of all journeys in the city region are less than five kilometres but half of those are made by car. Through the Local Journeys Strategy, Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority recognise that getting the infrastructure right is key to encouraging people out of their cars, particularly for shorter journeys.

The cycling and walking network is one of the first actions bringing the Local Journeys Strategy to life.

Making places walking and cycling-friendly not only reduces congestion, improves air quality and brings significant health benefits, it also has wider economic benefits – boosting inward investment and attracting new talent by helping create the places that people want to live and work in.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“This route will mark the beginning of a much-awaited era of clean travel in Sefton that will give our residents better access to walking and cycling opportunities, cleaner air and an infrastructure that supports alternative travel.”

The programme will also see the management of new wood and grassland areas and the planting of trees alongside the routes.

In addition, the funding will support a new pilot project by Liverpool John Moores University, trialling innovative methods of collecting cycle and walking trip data and the development of a cycling app and journey planner.

The LCR Transport Partnership was successfully awarded £8.3m ERDF Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) funding for the first phase of the cycling and walking network, with the LCR Combined Authority giving approval to draw down this funding. Match funding for the project is being sought from the

Transforming Cities Fund and other contributions will come from the LCR CA’s constituent local authorities.

Free bus services on Christmas Day

Merseytravel is once again offering free bus services on Christmas Day, to help people make hospital visits or to spend time with their friends and family.

Buses will operate a limited service from around 12 noon until around 6pm on routes serving hospitals across Merseyside.

Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “We are one of a very few areas that operate services on Christmas Day, which can be a lifeline for people who would otherwise not be able to see their loved ones in hospital on this very special day.

“Although these services are provided primarily for hospital visiting, anyone who can use them to visit friends and family along the routes is very welcome to do so.”

Christmas Day Services are listed below:

10A between Queen Square Bus Station, Page Moss, Whiston Hospital and St Helens Bus Station.

12A between Queen Square Bus Station, Stockbridge Village and Huyton Bus Station.

21A between Liverpool ONE Bus Station, Walton Vale, Black Bull and Kirkby Bus Station and Kirkby Tower Hill.

44 Between Formby Duke Street, Southport Hospital Town Lane and Crossens Rufford Road.

62A between Crosby Islington, Bootle The Strand Stanley Road and Aintree University Hospital.

102 Between Broadgreen Hospital, Alder Hey Hospital, Croxteth Park Stand Farm and Aintree University Hospital.

201 between Queen Square Bus Station, Royal Liverpool Hospital and Speke Morrisons Bus Facility.

410 between New Brighton Kings Parade, Woodside Bus Station and Clatterbridge Hospital.

H1 between Mill Park Clifton Avenue, Arrowe Park Hospital and New Brighton Kings Parade

St Helens Bus Station.

H2/3 between Whiston Hospital and St Helens Bus Station.

No other bus services will operate. No trains will operate. Mersey Ferries will not operate.

For further information check Merseytravel Christmas & New Year Transport Guide, www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travel-updates or ring Customer Services on 0151 330 1000.

Antonio Street war heroes honoured 100 years after end of WW1

Nineteen soldiers who never returned home to a single Sefton street from World War One have been honoured with a special commemorative stone, one hundred years after the conflict ended.

The Mayor of Sefton has today (Wednesday, December 12) officially unveiled the permanent tribute on Antonio Street, Bootle, to honour those residents who fought and died during the 1914-1918 war.

Throughout the geographical area now known as Sefton, nearly 4,000 men and women perished in World War One, but the impact of the conflict was perhaps felt strongest in the small terraced row of houses of Antonio Street, where it is often claimed every household lost somebody close to them as a result of the war.

Brothers John & Frederick Palethorpe of Antonio Street, Bootle, were killed in action during World War One

The tribute was commissioned as part of Sefton Council’s ongoing commemorations to mark the Centenary of the end of World War One and the Local Authority’s emotional Beyond The War Memorials project.

Sefton’s Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “We wanted to make sure Antonio Street has a permanent and lasting memorial to honour the incredible sacrifice those nineteen men made for their families, their neighbours and their country.

“There are so many heart wrenching stories from behind the doors of this street. At number Four, a couple lost two sons.

“Their first son, John George, was just 30 years of age and married with two small children, when he was killed at Ypres. His younger brother Frederick was in the navy. He sadly died age 22, when his ship HMS Laurentic struck a mine off Ireland in January 1917.

“Two family members were also lost at number 19, when cousins Joseph Sloey and Joseph Kane were both killed.

“To be able to permanently honour these brave men, on the street they grew up on, is incredibly important and I hope that many future generations of Antonio Street residents pause to learn of the great sacrifices that were made.”

As part of Sefton Council’s Beyond The War Memorial campaign, 2,000 households in Sefton have received special information packs in the post, which include the details of those who lived at that address and died in action.

For more information about Antonio Street and to read more about the Beyond The War Memorials project, visit www.seftonwarmemorials.org.

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