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Can you make a difference to a vulnerable teenager’s life?

Sefton Council has launched a recruitment campaign to attract foster carers interested in looking after teenagers.

The Council has created new specialist teen foster carer roles and is looking for people who can provide intensive one-to-one care to some of Sefton’s most vulnerable young people who would otherwise be placed in residential care.

A package of support has been developed to reflect the complexities of this challenging but rewarding role, which includes a bespoke training package, peer support and competitive pay.

Council John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“There are many different reasons why a teenager has come into our care. Most will have had a difficult start to their life, often including problems related to drugs or alcohol, physical or emotional abuse. Young people may appear angry, resentful or stressed, when really what they need is the love, stability and support of a good caregiver.

“Because we recognise the complexities of fostering a teenager we have created these new roles as foster carers could really help to make a difference and re-write a teenager’s story for the better. We’re looking for carers who can build and maintain a meaningful relationship with young people, and understand the impact of a young person’s past experiences and how that affects their behaviour. There is a misconception that teenagers can be a handful, however, what we have to remember is that the behaviour of each individual has been influenced by their past. We need carers to help them develop and provide them with a sense of belonging.”

A job advert has been launched and is targeting professionals who have some prior experience of working with young people in a structured environment, such as policing, emergency services or youth work/probation.

If this sounds like a role for you, visit; http://ow.ly/qXLG30myBH for more information, together with a job description and application process.

Sefton Council loses judicial review against Highways England

Sefton Council has lost its legal fight to order Highways England to re-consult on proposals to ease traffic on the A5036  (Dunnings Bridge Road) by building a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Following a High Court hearing in Manchester on October 23, a judgement was issued today (November, 16) dismissing the application. Mr Justice Kerr ruled that he would not order Highways England to re-consult and include the tunnel option for the proposed Port Access route through Rimrose Valley.

Despite the strong case the Council made that Highways England had failed to include the tunnel option in its consultation or in any event failed to include it in a lawful way, the High Court ruled in favour of Highways England.

The Council believes the judgement was lost because the Government and Highways England failed to make adequate financial provision for the full range of options including a tunnel. The judge was clear in his statement that the budget for the scheme was a political decision and not a decision for the courts.

Sefton Council’s decision to apply for a judicial review was agreed to be valid by Mr Justice Kerr.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “I’m really disappointed by this decision and I will be seeking legal advice to see if there’s anything else we can do as I firmly believe that the tunnel option is the only option which could balance the need for improved access to the port with the needs of the local community.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view and this is wrong. It is also completely at odds with the Government’s agenda to improve air quality and a slap in the face for local residents who suffer the resulting implications including the loss of a much loved urban green space.

“This ruling is a further blow to us, especially after learning that Highways England has backed a multi-billion-pound tunnel crossing under the River Thames between Essex and Kent. They have agreed to spend billions on a tunnel under the River Thames but ruled out building one in Sefton because it cost too much. It just smacks of double standards and reinforces my belief that we are treated as the poor relation in the North.

“Throughout this process it seems that all Highways England has been concerned about is the cost of the scheme and not one thought has been shown towards the detrimental impact on our communities. In his judgement Mr Justice Kerr said the scheme and allocated finances was ultimately a political decision so I call on the Government to now show some steel and really reconsider this, make the money available as they have done in the South and start to put the health and wellbeing of our communities first.”

Children from Sefton get involved in anti-bullying awareness workshops

This week, November 12 – 16, is National Anti-Bullying week focusing on the theme of Respect. During the week, the Bullybusters team will be completing workshops and assemblies around schools in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. Conferences will also be held for secondary school children to attend and get involved in the education and awareness regarding anti-bullying.

The theme of this year’s national anti-bullying week is to ‘Choose Respect’, as respecting yourself and others both face to face and online is a vital message for young people.

‘Respect for me is one of the most important qualities to have and show. If we can’t respect ourselves then how are we supposed to respect others. I feel it is something we should all have and work on daily, not only learning to love and respect ourselves but also showing this to fellow peers and professionals.’ – Fran

The Bullybusters team work hard all year round to spread the anti-bullying message and help young people affected by bullying. The work they carry out within schools around Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley is recognised and praised by school children, teachers, governors, parents and carers.

Bullybusters offer lessons, assemblies and workshops for young people and parents in primary and secondary schools, as well as providing anti-bullying peer mentor training for children to appropriately act upon issues of bullying within their peer group. As well as this, Bullybusters also provide a free and confidential helpline service for young people, parents or teachers available 3pm – 6pm weekdays. For anyone being affected by bullying, or know someone who is, they can call the helpline on 0800 169 6928.

A consultation on the proposed closure of Sand Dunes Nursery School has ended

A consultation regarding the closure of Sand Dunes Nursery School, Seaforth has now ended.

Following a request from the governing body of Sand Dunes, a statutory consultation process on the proposal to close the Nursery School, was agreed in July.

Sand Dunes Nursery School has been struggling financially for a number of years. Sefton Council and the school had explored every available option before Sand Dunes formally proposed the closure.

The consultation was the first part of a 5-stage statutory process Sefton Council must follow. During this time, it was critical that all those affected could express their views and opinions.

The consultation which was originally planned for 8 weeks, was extended to a period of 9 weeks, to allow enough time for people to submit their comments and ran from July – October.

Meetings were also held with staff, governors, and parents/carers of pupils at the school.  A consultation document and forms were handed into the school and collected. Comments could also be submitted by email, via Sefton Council’s website, by letter or via the Sand Dunes Facebook page.

At its meeting on 1 November, Cabinet considered a report on the outcome of the consultation process.  There was a huge amount of support for Sand Dunes but no viable options to address the financial shortfall came forward and Cabinet agreed to publish the statutory notice.

Cabinet are also asked to agree to continue exploring alternatives with the school and to report on this and any representations received to the public notice in the new year.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Sand Dunes Nursery has been a crucial part of the community for many years. This has been demonstrated with anonline petition which has had more than 900 signatures.

“I understand that this is a difficult time for all those involved and want to thank everyone who took the time to tell us how they felt through the consultation.

“It is extremely regrettable that the governors at Sand Dunes Nursery school have had no alternative but to request a formal consultation to close, because it is no longer financially viable.

“We will now consider the responses to the statutory consultation process and will continue to make sure the community are continually updated throughout this difficult and emotive process.”

Young Liverpool City Region boxers fly to Louisville as part of Cultural Exchange

Metro Mayor Boxing

A group of six young boxers, representing all six of the local authorities which make up the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, are jetting off to Louisville today, as part of the next stage of a sporting and musical exchange between the Liverpool City Region and Louisville, Kentucky.

 The exchange celebrates and strengthens cultural links between the Liverpool City Region and Louisville, Kentucky, exemplified by the iconic photograph of The Beatles meeting Muhammad Ali on 18 February 1964.

 In the first part of the exchange, Carly Johnson, an up and coming singer from Louisville, travelled to the Liverpool City Region to play gigs at the legendary Cavern Club and the influential Liverpool Sound City festival.

 Now, the young boxers, aged between 15 and 17,  will travel to Louisville to train at the TKO gym and visit the Muhammad Ali Centre, whose mission is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

 Talking about the exchange, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “In The Beatles and Muhammad Ali, Liverpool City Region and Louisville produced two of the biggest cultural icons of the 20th century.

“More than half a century on from the famous photo that brought these icons together, we are determined to build on those links to create a strong cultural and sporting partnership that will bring our two regions together, paving the way for future cultural and commercial collaborations.”

 Greg Fischer Mayor, Louisville Metro Region, said: “This exchange builds on the Transatlantic connection that Louisville and Liverpool established through the meeting of world-changing artists and a barrier-breaking athlete.

“The Champ and the Fab Four were committed to making the world a better, more compassionate place —  a common bond that’s always worth celebrating.”

 The young boxers have been brought together by the Amateur Boxing Association, which will also provide two coaches to lead the Liverpool City Region team.  

 Paul King, of the Merseyside and Cheshire Amateur Boxing Association, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these talented young boxers as they represent the Liverpool City Region.  They are really excited at the prospect of training in Ali’s home town and visiting the Muhammad Ali Centre, as well as going into local schools to meet young people from Louisville.  In addition to the benefits to the individual young people, this sort of exchange will also help to build bonds between our two areas.”

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