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Merseyside PCC thanks Chief Constable for 36 years of exceptional public service

MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has released an open letter, on Friday, 9 April 2021, to Chief Constable Andy Cooke QPM on his final day in post, thanking him for his exceptional public service over nearly 36 years. The letter read as follows:- "I write as your term of office as Chief Constable of Merseyside Police is coming to an end to thank you for your exceptional public service. For nearly 36 years you have been committed to driving excellence in policing on behalf of the communities of Merseyside, setting the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct and you have been a true Ambassador for our Region. Although your career has been described often in recent days, it bears repeating that you have served with distinction at every rank, honing your skills tackling serious and organised crime while overseeing the robbery squad and targeted operations at the Major Crime Unit. This gave you the experience and insight to set up Merseyside's nationally recognised Matrix unit, who continue to this day to be at the very forefront of the fight against gun and gang crime. For a short time you left the force to take on a leadership role as ACC at Lancashire Constabulary before returning to Merseyside four years later at the same rank and quickly being promoted to Deputy Chief Constable. 3 years later you became Chief Constable. From there on you have led the fight against serious and organised crime, as the National Police Chiefs' Council business lead in this crucial area of policing, and the Home Secretary's closest professional advisor on these issues. Your qualities have also been recognised more formally through commendations on no less than 10 separate occasions and when you received the Queen's Police Medal in 2014."

Jane Kennedy, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside's letter continues:- "As Chief Constable you have lead the Force through some of the most difficult and potentially demoralising times ever faced by the police service. The Government's austerity programme forced some exceptionally difficult decisions on you, but in spite of this you have been an outstanding leader, professional and clear sighted, and one who has truly embodied your own motto for the force:- 'Community 1st.' A motto which I believe will continue to carry the Force forward to the benefit of officers, staff, but most particularly the public. You have spoken often, and with great passion, of your pride at leading your local Force. Thanks to your 1st class leadership of Merseyside Police it remains a Force of whose professional achievements you can be justifiably proud. It is continually graded as the best performing urban force in the country by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary and that is, in great part, due to your vision, integrity and determination to make the Force the very best that it be can. I'm very pleased that you are going on to play what will be a very significant role, continuing to drive the professionalism of policing across England and Wales. I offer you my heartfelt thanks for your service over the last 36 years and wish you every success and happiness in your future endeavours."

North West employers leading the way in support for disabled workers

MORE than 3,000 employers in the North West have signed up to the Government's flagship Disability Confident scheme to date, leading the way and showing their commitment to supporting disabled people in the workplace.

New figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveal that 3,054 in the North West have signed up to the scheme so far. The initiative champions inclusive employment and encourages businesses to recruit and retain disabled people.
One of these is Wirral based AdviserPlus, a provider of specialist HR services.

Pat Ashworth, Director of AdviserPlus said:- "Adviser Plus is proud to be recognised as a Disability Confident leader and has been proactively involved in the promotion of the scheme, both within the business and more widely in partnership with our clients. We offer sound HR advice and guidance for managers across our client base. By developing the skills and competence of our HR professionals, we can ensure that we deliver strong, appropriate and relevant Disability Confident messages; providing practical disability specific resource materials and toolkits to help ensure that disabled people are treated fairly and equally, enabling them to reach their full potential."

The number of Disability Confident employers across Britain now exceeds 20,000, benefiting more than 11 million people, and comes at a time when the Government has announced it is redoubling its efforts to help more disabled people into work. An extra 315 Disability Employment Advisers are also to be recruited at jobcentres across the country by May 2021.

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson said:- "I know the value of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, so it is fantastic to see so many employers across the North West become Disability Confident. I would encourage other organisations, big or small, to follow their example and help disabled people unlock their full potential. Disabled people will not be left behind as we build back fairer. We are committed to seeing 1 million more disabled people into work by 2027 and as we recover from the Pandemic we are redoubling our efforts to boost the support for disabled jobseekers."

The recruitment drive of new Disability Employer Advisors builds on the 13,500 new Work Coaches across Britain taken on by the department over the past nine months to support Britain's recovery effort.

The additional 315 DEA roles will start to be filled from this month. They will bring total numbers to 1,000 once recruitment is complete by the end of May 2021.

DEAs cover every jobcentre in the country and working alongside Work Coaches, specialise in finding the right support to help clients who have a disability or health condition into work.

Brian Thompson, a DEA based in Bolton said:- "My role is to help disabled customers or those with a health condition reach their full potential. As a DEA, I want to go that extra mile by providing a service tailored to the individual, so they are properly supported to take the next steps whether that's through employment or training, irrespective of any barriers they face."

All of the interventions from the UK Government's Plan for Jobs can also utilise the support offered through Access to Work. The scheme, now available to those who work from home, includes grants worth up to ₤62,900 and can cover the cost of the workplace adjustments that disabled people need to do their jobs, including sign language interpreters, as well as services such as mental health support.

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