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Sefton leads the way in protecting Heritage At Risk sites

Sefton Council is leading the way in protecting the borough’s most culturally and historically important sites for generations to come.

Working closely with English Heritage and other partners, the local authority has created a proactive and contemporary approach to taking care of Sefton’s Heritage At Risk sites.

This approach led to the creation of a dedicated Sefton Heritage At Risk Officer and, although originally planned as only a temporary position, approval has now been received to make it a permanent fixture of the local authority.

Stuart Barnes, Sefton Council’s Head of Economic Growth and Housing, oversaw the creation of the role and outlined the authority’s ambitions to better manage the borough’s incredible heritage sites.

Stuart said: “We really stepped outside the ‘planning box’ in our bid to protect our Heritage At Risk sites.

“Firstly we had to address what could be done to keep our assets from the ‘At Risk’ register. What were the root causes and could potential problems be headed off before sites became at risk?

“We know heritage assets are important to our communities, providing a historical context to neighbourhoods and townscapes.

“But due to increasing pressures on resources it was necessary to look at different ways of tackling risk, which is why we created the Heritage At Risk officer’s position.

“The wide scope of the role allows us to focus on innovative partnership work, improved community understanding and exploring possible future savings and funding streams.

“Our work has been so beneficial that Southport, one of our key heritage sites, was chosen as a pilot project for Historic England’s national ‘Heritage Action Zone’ scheme.

“This led to a number of fantastic initiatives including the Southport Development Framework, the Lord Street Verandah Project and community led Heritage Trails.”

“A number of key buildings and spaces within Sefton – listed buildings and other buildings in conservation areas – have been targeted for intervention, investment and re-use.

“This is a complex, large scale and long term project, particularly so with the resources at our disposal, but nevertheless is a key priority for Sefton Council”.

Daniel Longman, Sefton’s dedicated Heritage At Risk Officer, added: “My role is to make sure our heritage sites are at the forefront of any work we do while continuing to encourage community resilience.

“I put a lot of focus into working closely with our communities and partners, using our combined knowledge to identify future projects, potential ‘At Risk’ sites and finding new funding streams.

“We want our communities and visitors to be better informed of the history and character and value of the borough and this has a positive knock-on effect on tourism, the economy and housing.”

Sefton Council is now working alongside partners and community groups in the delivery of the Southport Townscape Heritage Project, with the explicit aim of enhancing the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the seafront.

It will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the previous HLF restoration of King’s Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Communities funds for the pier.

Can you give a loving home to a child in Sefton?

During Foster Care Fortnight (May 13-26), Sefton Council is asking people who live in the borough, to think about giving a loving home to a child who is unable to live with their birth family.

As with most councils, with less people coming forward to foster within the area, this means children have to live in a residential home or with a foster family a long way from their home. They are sometimes split up from their brothers and sisters, or may have to move from family to family and school to school.

Some of these children have experienced abuse or neglect prior to coming into care. Fostering is often their first positive experience of family life. Despite their difficult start to life, living in familiar surroundings with a nurturing foster carer can help to transform their lives and enable them to flourish.

Sefton Council wants to hear from people of all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Couples, single people, disabled people and people from all cultures are welcome. As long as you have room in your home and the time, compassion and energy to dedicate to children who need it.

The Council is committed to offering support to our carers every step of the way. This includes specialist and peer support, training and a competitive financial package.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Recent estimates show nationally, over 8,000 foster carers are required to meet the needs of children and young people who need placements, the picture in Sefton reflects this. With the number of children and young people across the borough coming to around 500, the need for more foster carers has never been greater.

“We need more foster carers with the right skills and qualities to make it more likely for the right homes to be found for children, giving them the best chance of a happy and stable childhood and a successful future.”

If you want to know more about fostering, why not come along to our next information evening on May 28, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Vincent Hotel in Southport? Alternatively call; 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonfostering.co.uk.

Additionally, if know someone who you think will make a great foster carer, please help us spread the word!

 

Cllr June Burns has been appointed as the new Mayor of Sefton

Cllr June Burns has been installed as the new Mayor of Sefton for 2019/20.

She was officially appointed as the new Mayor at a special meeting held at Bootle Town Hall (May 14) and replaces outgoing Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson.

Cllr Burns has served as a Sefton Councillor for five years, representing the Park Ward. She has also been a Maghull Town Councillor and Mayor of Maghull for two terms in 2016/17.

She has had a very varied career having qualified in all aspects of hospitality at Southport College and going on to work as a cook in various establishments.

After having her three children she decided to change direction and trained as a counsellor, specialising in child bereavement.

In her spare time, she loves tending to her garden and having leisurely walks.

Following her appointment Cllr Burns said: “I am very honoured to be Mayor of Sefton. I am looking forward to representing the borough on a local and national level.

“I always pride myself on putting people at the heart of everything I do and I believe my background shows this. As a counsellor working in child bereavement I worked closely with families at Alder Hey Hospital.

“From this I learnt the true importance of listening to people and allowing their voices to be heard. I intend continue with these values as Mayor of Sefton when engaging and representing our diverse communities.

“I know this wonderful borough has so much to offer and I’m so excited for the year ahead. As we celebrate 100 years since women were given the right to vote, I’m proud to be the first female Labour Mayor of Sefton.

“I would like to thank the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson, for all his efforts in this civic role and hope my term will be as busy and successful as his.”

Dwayne Johnson to be Sefton Council’s new Chief Executive

Sefton Council has formally approved the appointment of Dwayne Johnson to be its new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.

The appointment, confirmed during last night’s Full Council meeting at Southport Town Hall (April 25) followed a rigorous selection process.

Dwayne, who is currently Director of Social Care and Health at Sefton and has been in post since 2014, will replace Margaret Carney when she retires on May 31 after 10 years at the helm.

Following confirmation of his appointment, Dwayne said: “I’m very proud and honoured to be appointed to the position of Chief Executive in Sefton. Having worked here for the last five years, I can see how much Sefton has to offer in supporting existing and attracting new businesses into our area, how engaged our communities are in what we are trying to deliver, and we have such a talented workforce to match. I am really looking forward to working with the Leader and Elected Members on delivering the vision of this wonderful Borough and so looking forward to starting the role in June.”

Congratulating Dwayne on his appointment, Sefton’s current CEO Margaret Carney said: “I am delighted that Dwayne has been appointed as my successor.  He has an excellent track record in local government across a wide range of services and has always been committed to improving outcomes for our communities.”

With an extensive background in social care, Dwayne started his career working with disabled and older people as a care assistant in Durham, before going on to manage a care home. After qualifying as a social worker, Dwayne held a number of roles in the sector before climbing the ladder to strategic director in Halton where he was responsible for social care, housing, waste, libraries, community safety, before joining Sefton.

Nationally, Dwayne sits on the Association Directors Adult Social Services (ADASS) which aims to further the interests of people in need of social care by promoting high standards of services and influencing the development of social care legislation.

Dwayne has been the forefront of influencing many legislation changes around improving older people’s services and safeguarding and protecting adults. He is also Vice Chair of Directors Children Services in the North West. On a more personal level, Dwayne is also a strong advocate for the role of foster carers having seen the benefits himself because of his mother, who herself was fostered as a child.

Dwayne takes the leadership role at Sefton a time when the vibrant local authority is on a journey of ambition and change as it works towards its exciting Vision 2030 with partners to ensure Sefton is a confident and connected borough – focussing on what is important for the borough and its communities in the future.

Earlier this year, the Council was also praised for demonstrating real ambition for Sefton, for its strong track record of partnership working, place leadership and for having such a dedicated, passionate workforce by the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer review team. This, Dwayne says, is a high standard to start the next chapter of his career on.

National Allocation Day for Primary School Places 2019

Tuesday April 16, 2019 is the national allocation day where all children who are due to start Reception in September 2019, find out which primary school they have been allocated.

94% of Sefton residents have been allocated their first preference Sefton school.

98% of Sefton residents have been allocated one of their three preferred Sefton schools.

98% of all those who applied for places at Sefton Schols were allocated one of their three preferred schools.

For more information about school admissions, please follow this link;

https://www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning/school-admissions.aspx

 

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