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Liverpool City Region residents back new walking and cycling network plans

New research released by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority reveals that new walking and cycling plans for the region could help convince more people to leave their cars at home.

More than three quarters (75%) of those surveyed indicated that ‘safe, well-lit and well maintained footways and cycle routes’ would help encourage them to travel by bike or on foot.

The survey was undertaken by the Liverpool City Region Transport Partnership as part of the Arrive Happy campaign, which aims to encourage more people to take local journeys by bike or foot.

The researchers spoke with people across the city region about their cycling and walking habits and asked how they thought local infrastructure should be improved, ahead of work beginning on new and improved bike and footpaths.

The survey found that whilst people do already travel by cycle or on foot, that they can be put off by a lack of safe and properly linked routes.

Whilst over three-quarters of respondents (76%) said they owned or had access to a bike, only 35% said they felt safe cycling on roads. And although more than 70% of those surveyed said they walked most days for at least 20 minutes, but only a quarter (25%) felt very safe walking at night.

Two thirds of all journeys in the city region are less than five kilometres but half of those are made by car. Encouraging more of these journeys to be taken either by bike or on foot would help to improve public health and have a positive impact on air quality by reducing congestion, as well as helping to boost the local economy by increasing footfall at key retail and leisure sites.

In December of last year, Liverpool City region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram announced the first tranche of funding for a 600km network of new and upgraded walking and cycling routes across Haltion, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

The initial £8.3m of funding will be used across the city region, to create safe and improved links between residential areas, employment, education and training and leisure and retail sites.

Work is now ongoing with designers to explore how the new infrastructure will look and how it will operate, with more detailed proposals due later this year.

The full survey report on Walking and Cycling in the Liverpool City Region can be accessed here

Little Squirrels in Formby, honoured for changing the lives of children with speech and language difficulties

Little Squirrels at Redgate Community Primary School, has been highly commended in the Early Years Setting of the Year category for their excellent work developing children’s communication skills at the UK-wide 2019 Shine a Light Awards organised by learning company Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust.

The Shine a Light Awards, which took place at Pearson’s headquarters in London, celebrate innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s speech, language and communication development. They also recognise the hard work and determination of children and young people who have some form of long-term and persistent speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Language and communication abilities in the area have historically been of concern and in response to this, Redgate Community Primary School developed their own nursery provision, Little Squirrels, recognising the vital importance of early intervention. Two years on and due to their outstanding work in speech and language development, children are  achieving great heights!

Thanks to the early years team, which comprises of specialist trained language champions and teachers, Little Squirrels has become a sought-after early years provision. With children being assessed during home visits, transition visits and on starting nursery and reception, all children are offered appropriate support from the outset with the early years provision itself providing an environment that ensures all children make progress. Little Squirrels at Redgate has even been awarded ELKLAN’s Communication Friendly Setting accreditation.

Thinking outside of the box using different strategies and ideas, children at the early years provision develop their skills in a fun and interactive way with staff also dedicating time and resource to support parents and carers. Together with providing informative posters on how they can support their children’s learning and communication development, the team sets special family learning challenges such as trips to the local beach.

Louise Dean, Early Years Lead from Little Squirrels at Redgate Community Primary School said: “We are thrilled and honoured to be awarded highly commended for the Shine a Light Early Years Setting of the Year Award. A child’s earliest years are a crucial stage in their language and communication development, and so our early years team are dedicated to ensuring that our youngest learners are equipped with the language and communication skills they need to become successful lifelong learners and skillful communicators. Winning this award has empowered our team to truly believe that our child centered ethos, along with skillful interactions from adults is having a positive impact on the lives of our children.”

Sally Phillips, Host of the 2019 Shine a Light Awards, said: “Little Squirrels at Redgate Community Primary School provides fantastic childcare. As a nation, it is vital that we ensure that all children have the opportunity to express themselves, particularly when this ability has a profound impact on our future life chances.

“The amazing winners and highly commended finalists of the Shine a Light Awards prove what a difference we can make if we become informed, impassioned and engaged in the speech language and communication needs of those around us. Little Squirrels at Redgate isn’t just changing the lives of their children in their community but also across the UK. I have seen for myself the huge difference expert intervention and support provides for children, like my son, Olly, particularly at a time where we face a nationwide shortage of speech and language therapists.”

For further information about the Shine a Light winners and highly-commended finalists, visit www.shinealightawards.co.uk and follow us on Twitter #awards_SAL.

Roll-out of new 24/7 £1 Mersey Tunnel toll begins

Today is the first day Liverpool City Region residents will benefit from the new  24/7  £1 Fast Tag toll for the Mersey Tunnels. The reduced rate is now available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Figures released today by Merseytravel and the Combined Authority reveal that more than 57,000 people a day in the city region will benefit from the new lower toll – which could save regular tunnel users living in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral more than £400* a year.

The cash toll for cars will be frozen at £1.80, still 20p less per journey than the rise authorised by the Tunnels Act. The tolls for all other vehicles – including large vans, coaches and HGVs – will also be held at 2018 rates.

 

Would you benefit from a ‘Bootle Buddy’?

Throughout the Year of Friendship, Sefton Council are celebrating specialist groups who are tackling loneliness by promoting friendship throughout the borough.

The Orrell Trust is a small grass roots charity based in Orrell, Bootle and has been running since 2002. It is committed to supporting people who may be isolated or vulnerable living in our community. Several activities and projects are run from St John & St James Church and Community Centre as well as outreach work thus bringing the community together.

Their aim is to provide encourage community cohesion and bring benefits to individuals and the wider community.

Three main areas of focus are:

  • Developing work with Older people
  • Community cohesion
  • Developing work with children and families

The Orrell Trust is currently managed by a team of 8 Trustees who volunteer their time, skills and knowledge to support the charity. The trust also employs 5 members of staff who manage, develop and deliver projects with the vital support of team of 20 volunteers.

Bootle Buddies is one of The Orrell Trusts newest projects. It is a free befriending service that provides support to local people in their own homes, offering a friendly face and ear. The project where possible encourages participants to attend social activities, working to reduce barriers such as mobility, lack of family or friend support and lack of confidence or motivation. The project aims to improve physical and mental well-being and reduce loneliness and social isolation for some of our most vulnerable community members.

If you would like to know more about Bootle Buddies or any other projects at the Orrell Trust please get in touch with Tanya McGibbon – 0151 933 2116

Bootle Buddies are also looking for local people to become a volunteer befriender to socially isolated people living in the community. You don’t need any previous experience as full training will be provided. For more information please call Mary – 0151 933 2116

Appeal after dog attack on Ainsdale beach

Merseyside Police have issued an image of a man they believe may be able to assist detectives investigating an incident involving dogs on Ainsdale beach in February.

At around 3pm on February 19, a woman was walking her dog on the beach when she was knocked to the ground by a dog off its lead which then attacked her own dog. The woman attended hospital for treatment for a knee injury, and her dog required veterinary treatment including surgery.

Inspector Beth Blake said: “We are asking the man pictured to come forward as we believe he may have information that could assist our investigation into this incident.

“It is a criminal offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control, and in this case both a dog and its owner were left requiring treatment for injuries caused by the dog.

“Anyone walking their dog in Merseyside needs to be mindful of their dog’s behaviour at all times and keep their pet on a lead if it is liable to be aggressive towards people or animals. We will not tolerate irresponsible dog ownership here in Merseyside.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 19100064022 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

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