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News Report Page 9 of 11
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Liverpool marks Merchant Navy Day

LIVERPOOL will mark Merchant Navy Day, on Sunday, 6 September 2020, with a special service and wreath laying ceremony. The annual celebration raises awareness of past, present and future Merchant Navy seafarers and also remembers the 36,000 men who died at sea during World War 2.

A public service of celebration will take place in the grounds of Liverpool Parish Church in the City Centre, from midday. As well as commemorating the history of the Merchant Navy, there will be a focus on seafarers, and in particular their role during the Covid19 pandemic.

John Wilson, CEO of the Liverpool Seafarers' Centre, will speak to the congregation about life on board for mariners who have kept cargo moving in and out of the Port of Liverpool.

Also, in attendance will be civic dignitaries from across the City Region, including the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Anna Rothery, along with current and retired seafarers, as well as others who represent the work of the Merchant Navy.

Traditionally, a procession to the Merchant Navy memorial located at the Pier Head would form part of the commemorations. This will not take place this year, and instead civic dignitaries will take part in a private act of remembrance and wreath laying immediately after the service. Liverpool’s Lord Mayor will also lay a wreath in Falkner Square at the Black Merchant Seaman War Memorial.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Anna Rothery said:- "I am honoured to represent Liverpool as we remember the sacrifices made by many thousands of seafarers who supported the fight for our freedom. This year we are having to do things differently, but I’m pleased we still have the chance to come together safely and reflect on the vital role the Merchant Navy played, and continue to play, in our lives."

The Rector of Liverpool, the Reverend Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, who will lead the service, said:- "The last few months have been challenging for everyone, but essential supplies and much of the food in our shops, are there thanks to the work of the Merchant Navy. We continue to commemorate those who have served in conflict, but we must give thanks as well for today’s seafarers who are supporting the nation through its greatest challenge for a generation. The future of this City continues to be the door we hold open for those who arrive on the banks of the Mersey."

The service at the church starts at midday and all those with a connection to Liverpool’s maritime community are welcome to attend and are asked to wear face coverings if possible. Throughout the service, social distancing will be in place, hand sanitizer will be available and contact details will be taken to enable the track and trace system if necessary.

MP hails "hidden gem" facing Brexit uncertainty

BILL Esterson MP visited what he called a "hidden gem" in his Sefton Central constituency, a manufacturing business which employs 140 people.  Sykes Seafoods was established in 1862. It uses the latest food production equipment to process prawns and other shellfish for supermarkets and restaurants across the UK.

Bill Esterson MP said:- "Sykes is a hidden gem in Maghull. Most residents don't realise that they have a factory on the Sefton Lane Industrial Estate. Sykes employ 140 people, mostly from East Sefton and produce high quality shellfish for our supermarkets and restaurants. They have invested in the best quality production methods so that they can guarantee the quality and safety of the food they produce. They are an example of the best of British, right here in Sefton Central and I was delighted to have the chance to look round the Maghull factory and see how they operate. It was a pleasure to meet Commercial Director Dan Wright and the Finance Director, Jaclyn Birch. The Covid19 crisis has been a big challenge for Sykes Seafood and I am working with them to make sure that they have the support they need in these uncertain times so that they can continue to trade successfully in Maghull. Jaclyn and Dan told me of their frustrations about the lack of clarity about tariffs on imports of shellfish at the end of the transition period, which followed the UK's exit from the EU. Sykes need to know what those tariffs are, so they can plan. I have written to the chancellor of the exchequer to ask him to clear up the confusion so that Sykes can continue to invest in high quality British manufacturing and jobs in my constituency."

Commercial Director Mr Wright added:- "It was great having Bill on site to show him the factory and discuss the challenges Sykes faces as we move closer to Brexit. We reached out to Bill and to other MPs seeking clarity on UK tariffs post Brexit; without these, continued investment in UK manufacturing is a challenge for all UK based producers. Hopefully we can work together to find a solution that allows us to continue to invest and grow with the fantastic Sefton based team that we've built over the past 50 years."

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