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Police Commissioners seeks your views on funding for frontline policing

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today launched her annual consultation on police funding, asking local people if they would be willing to pay a little more to protect frontline policing.

The consultation follows the Government’s announcement last week which confirmed Merseyside would receive an extra £23m in direct grant to cover the costs of recruiting 200 new officers this next year, including providing items such as uniforms, vehicles, and additional office space and infrastructure as promised by the Prime Minister.

However, the Government have not provided any additional money to cover the increase in the force’s day-to-day running costs, in particular last year’s pay rise. Instead ministers expect Police and Crime Commissioner to raise the local council tax to cover such costs to ensure the budget can be balanced for the next financial year.

The increase in council tax would see the majority of householders on Merseyside – those living in a Band A household – pay an extra 13p per week or £6.67 a year. This would generate an extra £4.8m for Merseyside Police for the year ahead.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It is my duty to ensure Merseyside Police has the resources to protect you and serve our communities. In recent years this has been difficult and the Government have cut their financial support to police forces.

“During austerity Merseyside Police had its funding reduced by the Government every year, leading to the loss of more than 1,100 officers and many departments being cut to the bone. This has led to a greater reliance on the money local council taxpayers contribute.

“The funding settlement announced last week shows that the Government has listened to Police and Crime Commissioners, police leaders, trade unions and staff associations and finally recognised the damage they have done with 10 years of cuts to policing.

“However, funding pressures still exist and even with the officers promised by the Prime Minister, Merseyside Police will still be short of the number we had in 2010.

“If I don’t take the opportunity to increase the police precept, as expected by central government, Merseyside Police will be left struggling to cover the inflationary pressures it faces, such as meeting the increased pay for officers approved last year.

“I have launched this snap survey to get the feedback of local residents. This is a chance for local people to voice their views and say if they would be willing to support an increase of 13p a week to protect frontline policing. This increase would give the Chief Constable an extra £4.8m to police Merseyside. It does not compare to what we have lost, but it is essential if the Chief Constable is to keep up with the increasing demands he faces.

“I am keenly aware of the impact on local people of an increase to their council tax and I will be taking the public’s opinion into account when I make my final decision.”

Since 2010 Merseyside Police has had to make cuts of £110m. In that time, the size of the organisation has reduced by a quarter, with 1,120 fewer police officers now patrolling the region’s streets.

People are invited to have their say through a short online survey available at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MerseysidePoliceFunding by midnight on Thursday 6th February.

Meet new friends at a special Tea Dance, and get hot tips on keeping warm this winter

Residents across Sefton are invited to come along to an event where they can get advice on keeping warm and healthy in their homes, meet new friends and take part in some fun activities.

The ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ Tea Dance will be held in The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport on Nov 25, 2019, 10.30am – 12.30pm.

The Council have organised the information open day in partnership with Sefton OPERA (an older persons charity), with funding from National Energy Action (NEA). There will be stalls from a variety of other local organisations including welfare rights and Merseyside Fire & Rescue, as well as activities such as chair based exercises.

Fuel poverty is a growing concern, as it contributes to excess winter deaths and has a negative impact on both physical and mental health conditions. Thus, increasing the strain on the NHS and social services. It is a particular concern in Sefton due to a high level of hard to treat properties, an ageing population and high levels of unemployment and ill health.   

Christina Chislett, Sustainability Officer for Sefton Council said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is so important to us. We urge people to come along and gain some valuable advice on keeping warm and well at home, especially over the winter months.”

Adam Scorer at National Energy Action said: “It is a tragedy that so many people die or suffer the health impacts of living in a cold home when they are largely preventable. This is why NEA committed to provide funding to so many different organisations across the country. We anticipate that the funding will make it possible for Sefton Council and Sefton OPERA to provide much needed support for residents within the local area”.

If you need advice but can’t make the event, please call the Affordable Warmth Team on 0151 934 2222.

Officers descend on Southport to tackle criminality

Operation Target officers in Southport have taken to the streets this morning  November 7, to target those involved in drug and other serious and violent crime.

 We conducted four warrants in the Bootle and Southport areas targeting those suspected of being involved in the supply of Class A and B drugs. We also conducted roadside operations, plain clothes deployments and high visibility patrols as part of our ongoing #OpTarget disruption. 

 During the activity on the Coastal Road, Southport, four people were arrested for offences including possession of drugs and drug driving. Officers also seized class B drugs and a car that had no insurance.

 Inspector Andy Bragg said: “We’re working very closely with our partners at Sefton Council to put a stop to drug dealing as well as serious and violent crime that often follows this. 

“A key focus of the Op Target campaign has been on tackling serious and violent crime and raising awareness of the dangers of gun and knife crime as well as the seizure of Class A drugs and weapons, recovering stolen goods and apprehending known offenders.

“With the support of our partners, we will continue to carry out this activity which includes warrants, stop searches, roadside checks and open land searches to keep those living, working and visiting Merseyside safe.

“I would continue to urge people to come forward with information about all types of criminality in their area. Passing on information about where weapons are being stored, who is carrying them and who is dealing drugs in your community is essential to allow us to take action.

“Supplying, dealing and taking drugs can be fatal and we must educate young people of the consequences of their actions. We will continue working proactively with other emergency services, various partner agencies and our ambassadors to reassure the public and disrupt those actively involved in criminality.”

 A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We know the vast majority of residents living in our beautiful borough are upstanding citizens who are proud of where they live. 

“Serious crime of any type has a real impact on our communities and we are committed to ensuring residents across the borough are kept safe and live without the fear.

“We are committed to working closely with Merseyside Police and other partners to deter criminal activity and make sure the minority of people who do break the law are brought to justice.”

 Anyone that wishes to report a criminal offence, or suspects that any wrongdoing is taking place or feel they or someone in their community is at risk, please DM @MerPolCC or call 101, and in an emergency call 999. 

Remembrance Day Services: All you need to know

As many people as possible are encouraged to join Remembrance Day services taking place across the borough next week, to remember those who died in conflict.

 The Mayor of Sefton, Councillors and other Sefton Council representatives will be present at a total of 11 services being held on Sunday, November 10.

 The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, will attend a morning service at the War Memorial, Five Lamps, St George’s Road, Waterloo at 10.30am.

 Other services are to be held in Aintree, Ainsdale, Crosby, Bootle, Hightown, Ince Blundell, Litherland, Maghull and Southport.

 As with previous years members of the public are asked to arrive at a service in plenty of time. This is due to the high volume of residents expected to turn out to pay their respects.

A spokesperson from Sefton Council said: “Every year councillors and council officers from Sefton make every effort to be present at the many services taking place across the borough.

“Hopefully as many people as possible will join one of the services happening across the borough to take time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women.”

Services

Aintree: Sefton Parish Church, Sefton Village, L29 (10.30am)
Ainsdale: Village Green War Memorial (10:30am)
Bootle: King’s Garden’s War Memorial, Stanley Road (10.25am)
Crosby: Alexandra Park War Memorial Garden, Coronation Road (10:45am)
Formby: Holy Trinity Church, Rosemary Lane (2.50pm)
Hightown: St Stephen’s Road War Memorial (10:35am)
Ince Blundell: Lady Green Lane War Memorial (12:05pm)
Litherland: Sefton Road War Memorial (10:30am)
Maghull: St Andrew’s Church, Damfield Lane (9.50am)
Southport: Lord Street War Memorial (10:25am)
Waterloo: Five Lamps War Memorial, Gt George’s Road (10:30am)

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.” 

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