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Sefton Council receives accreditation for excelling in customer service delivery

Sefton Council is delighted to have been awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Quality Mark.

The accreditation is a unique tool designed to promote and encourage continual improvement and maintaining standards when dealing with customers.

Gaining this award demonstrates the Council’s commitment to maintain a first-class customer experience, ensuring that residents are at the heart of everything the Council does.

Since 2013, revenues and benefits services and front-line customer services such as ‘One Stop Shops’ and Contact Centres, have successfully achieved the CSE accreditation following an annual independent assessment.

The council received the accreditation based on 5 key categories; Customer Insight, The Culture of the Organisation, Information & Access, Delivery & Timeliness and Quality of Service.

A dedicated team coordinated the accreditation process over the period of six-months leading up to the award in December 2018. The team are now working towards repeating this success in 2019.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “We are very proud to have received such a highly recognised accreditation. During the assessment, the Council stood up to rigorous scrutiny in order to achieve it. This involved gathering evidence and examples of how we have excelled in service delivery and customer service, a visit to the site from an independent assessor and interviews with staff and partner organisations.

“We are extremely pleased that several areas were highlighted to have shown a real commitment to customer service delivery, based on a good understanding of our residents needs and preferences. Staff politeness, friendliness, professionalism and knowledge were commended as being a core strength of the culture of the organisation. The assessor also emphasised the high levels of customer satisfaction with the quality information and accessibility across our front-line services.”

Recognition and thanks goes to the team of CSE champions: Mike Mooney, Kim Leggett, Steve Woods, Helen Pritchard and Alex Blundell.

Detective to run half marathon in memory of murdered friend

The sister of a man who was fatally stabbed in Bootle is taking her campaign to end knife crime into schools across the North West, and running a half marathon to raise awareness.

Colin McGinty, from Crosby, was just 21 when he was killed after being chased by four men who detectives believed may have mistaken him for someone else.

Since his death in 2001, his sister Laura Hughes has dedicated herself to trying to spare other families the same heartache.

This year, to mark what would have been Colin’s 40th birthday, Laura has organised a team of more than 60 people to run the Liverpool Half Marathon in May in his memory and to raise awareness about knife crime. They are also taking donations for Radio City’s ‘Cash for Kids’ charity.

Laura said: “I have spoken with an academy trust, E-ACT, which operates 28 schools around the country, to deliver knife crime awareness days. The first will be at Oldham Academy North and for that day, every lesson will have a knife crime theme – so in drama they may be acting out a scene, in art they might be designing posters, and in English they could write a letter or even an obituary.

“The hope is that this will impact the children who go to Oldham Academy North as well as the local community.

“We have also had the backing of Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler and on Saturday 13 April, Oldham Athletic AFC will wear ‘In Memory of Colin McGinty’ t-shirts during the warm up ahead of their game against Swindon Town.

“The match will also be dedicated to what we are doing, and we’re thrilled that they have shown such great support for what we are trying to achieve. I’m sure it will all help spread the message that we must all do our bit to end knife crime.”

The runners in the half marathon will include Colin’s friend Detective Inspector Andy McCourt as well as Sergeant Jon Hannan, Constable Kelle Hannan and Detective Constable Emma O’Toole.

Last month a number of the runners got together and completed a 5km run in the city, starting and finishing at the knife angel at the Anglican Cathedral.

DI McCourt said: “As a police officer I am passionate about making our streets safer, and the fact one of my close friend’s died at the hands of people carrying a knife only strengthened my resolve to do everything I can to make sure we rid our streets of knives.

“Two men received life sentences for Colin’s murder, and his death shows the impact the carrying of a knife can have not just on the victim and their family and friends, but also on the offenders.

“This week Merseyside Police, alongside forces up and down the coutnry, is tkaing part in a national week of action to tackle knife crime. But the impact of knife crime on families and the wider community can last 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. It cannot be understated – it is destructive and toxic, and we must do everything we can to raise awareness from an early age and reduce incidents in Merseyside. As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives.

“We know we cannot tackle the issue alone and I would urge the community to support and help us by spreading the message that it is never acceptable to carry or use a knife and remind people the devastation it causes.”

LCR Pride Foundation to lead Liverpool City Region bid for Gay Games 2026

LCR Pride Foundation has revealed its intention to bid for the Liverpool City Region to host the 2026 Gay Games, a move that has been backed by the region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.

The news also comes alongside the announcement of British Paralympian, Claire Harvey MBE, as its newest Patron. Recognised as a world leader in diversity and inclusion and culture, the former LJMU student is now the Director of Culture and Inclusion for EDIT Development.

The Gay Games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that takes place every four years, welcoming more than 10,000 athletes competing in 30+ sports. It attracts tens of thousands of spectators who also attend to take part in the event’s extensive cultural programme, which includes music, visual arts and mass participation events such as fun runs.

Speaking of the announcement of the intention to submit a big for the 2026 Gay Games next year, LCR Pride Foundation Co-Chair, Andi Herring, said: “The Gay Games is a globally recognised sporting and cultural event that empowers and celebrates the LGBT+ community, as well as supporting local regeneration in its host cities.

“The Liverpool City Region has a proven record for delivering large-scale, world-class sport and cultural events, as last year’s wildly successful Liverpool 2018 programme demonstrated.

“We believe that this experience, combined with the foundation’s commitment to collaborative working and making the city region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK, makes Liverpool City Region the perfect host city for the 2026 games.

“Our bid as the Liverpool City Region will encourage relationship building with local authorities, community groups and sports organisations throughout the six boroughs, as we work together towards a unified goal.”

Co-Chair, John Bird, added: “Welcoming Claire Harvey MBE as a Patron as we embark on this journey will only strengthen our offer to the Federation of Gay Games. We are extremely grateful for her support and recognise how invaluable her expertise will be to creating a bid that we believe could bring the 2026 games to our region.”

To date, only Brisbane in Australia has highlighted its intention to bid for the 2026 Gay Games. Bids will be submitted in 2020 and the successful city will be announced by the event’s sanctioning body, the Federation of Gay Games, at its Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2021.

Speaking in support of the bid, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Diversity, respect, equality, and solidarity for all are the foundation blocks on which the Games are built, and they are values we share.

“Our region is well accustomed to holding sporting events that attract a worldwide audience.   The Merseyside Derby, Rugby Super League, The Open and the Grand National are regular features in our sporting calendar but never before have we held anything on the scale of the Gay Games.

“I relish the opportunity to build on our strong track record of supporting LGBT+ rights, empowering communities and creating lasting social change. And that is why I am proud to support this bid.”

New LCR Pride Foundation Patron, Claire Harvey MBE, said: “Becoming a Patron of the LCR Pride Foundation as they make this exciting announcement is incredibly special for me, not least because I attended university here.

“I know first-hand the power and benefit that sport can have on a person’s life and on a community. Sport is a vehicle that can bring people together and bridge differences to start a culture change.

“I am backing this bid to enable more people to see the breadth and depth of LGBT+ people who already love sport, as well encouraging more people from the community to access its benefits. I also want to showcase the Liverpool City Region as a diverse and inclusive LGBT+ friendly area, with a strong and positive LGBT+ community.

“One of the great things about being part of London 2012 was the ability to break down fears and myths about disability and, as a participant, feeling like a member of a huge family. I am keen to ensure Liverpool has the opportunity to do the same for Gay Games.”

For more information visit www.LCRGayGames.com or  follow us on Twitter @LCRGayGames or Facebook at LCR Gay Games 2026.

 

Merseyside Police warn drivers to ‘buckle up’

Merseyside Police will be supporting a national seat belt campaign that commences today, Monday 11th March.

The two week campaign will see the Force conducting increased levels of enforcement to address one of the so called ‘fatal’ four’ causes of road death in Great Britain. Nationally, of the 787 vehicle occupants who died in 2017, 212 were not wearing seat belts. This represents a 7% rise on 2016 figures and indicates that non-seat belt use is increasing.

Last year (2018) in Merseyside, 2962 seat belt-related offences were detected including 2,245 drivers, 502 passengers and 127 offences relating to children being unrestrained or not carried in a correct child seat. 2019 drivers completed an online educational course for the offence.

Chief Inspector Tony Jones from Matrix Operations said “Whether a driver or a passenger in a vehicle, using seat belt greatly improves your chance of avoiding serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Our officers enforce this particular offence all year round but we will be re-doubling our efforts during the next two weeks. I would particularly appeal to parents carrying babies and young children in vehicles to ensure that they are securely fastened inside the vehicle, using the correct child seat where appropriate.”

Paul Mountford from the Safer Roads Unit said “Modern car manufacturers invest millions into their making their vehicles as safe as possible. Air bags are a ‘secondary restraint system’ (SRS) and will only be effective if a seat belt is worn.

“It only takes a matter of seconds to ‘buckle up’ but injuries caused by not wearing a seat belt may be life-changing”.

Phased improvement works on Buckley Hill Lane

Phased improvement works are set to start at the junction of Buckley Hill Lane and Edge Lane, Netherton to benefit traffic flow in the area.

The improvements will include the installation of a new left hand turning lane on Buckley Hill Lane and general works to help enhance pedestrian facilities at the junction.

Contractors will undertake the works from March 11 and are expected to take up to two weeks to complete the first phase of the improvements.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “This will require the installation of temporary traffic lights to be used during off-peak hours between 9:30am and 3:30pm so we are kindly asking motorists to make sure they plan their journeys accordingly.

“The second phase of improvement works is expected to begin on March 25 and this will necessitate the closure of the southbound carriageway of Buckley Hill Lane, between Almonds Turn and Edge Lane, for up to ten weeks.

“However we are making sure that adequate diversions and signage are to be in place during this closure to help reduce delays and northbound traffic should remain unaffected throughout.”

Residents and businesses in the area have already been made aware of the works.

For more information about roadworks or diversions across Sefton, visit www.roadworks.org

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