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News Report Page 11 of 12
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News reports located on this page = 4.

Community group seeks your help in bid to transform Formby's alleyways


AMONG local grot spots now being targeted are the 8 alleyways which run between Chapel Lane in the centre of Formby Village and car parks. Imagine Formby is seeking imaginative ideas on how these can be transformed into community assets that will help to attract more people back into the Village. ImagineFormby has recently been formalised as a Community Interest Company with Patricia Wordley, Kevin Haygarth and Blair Hilton as Directors. Other members include Sean Brady, local film maker Lynne Harwood and Danish designer Karsten Erikson. ImagineFormby Director Patricia Wordley, who owns Woodwards Wine Bar in Formby Village, said:- "Imagine Formby Village with safe, green, and artistic alleyways… Did you know that there are 8 entries connecting car parks with Chapel Lane? Some look just plain dull, however several are dark, neglected, and prone to vandalism. The only green to be seen is in the form of weeds! 1 of the top comments that came out of the survey that took place earlier this year was the need to improve the appearance of the village. ImagineFormby will transform these alleyways into safe, green, and interesting spaces for the community to enjoy.A more attractive village will encourage more trade, so local businesses will benefit too. The work is planned to commence in May 2021. We are seeking help from people of all ages from the community, particularly our younger members. If you would like to be part of this exciting project, please email:- and help us to #saveyourhighstreet."

Trio of High Sheriffs take on Air Ambulance challenge

THE North West's High Sheriffs have joined forces to raise vital funds for the North West Air Ambulance Charity (NWAA). In celebration of the lifesaving local charity's 21st year, the High Sheriffs of Cumbria, Merseyside and Lancashire will be taking on the Go21! Challenge, trekking a total 136km over the course of a few days.

Go21! encourages people to set a fun physical challenge related to the number 21, to help raise the vital funds needed to keep the charity flying to save lives. Julie Barton, High Sheriff of Cumbria, is taking on a 21 mile walk on 18 December and 19 December 2020 to follow the path of the Air Ambulance from Coniston to Furness General. John Roberts, High Sheriff of Merseyside, will be covering the Wirral Way twice over.

Catherine Penny, High Sheriff of Lancashire, will be walking 63km of the Ribble Way in Lancashire. Starting in Paythorne Moor on 12 December 2020, Catherine will reach:- Gisburn, Sawley, Mitton, Ribchester, Brockholes, Preston Docks, before finishing the final stretch in Longton, on 28 December 2020. Along the way, they will be joined by staff, supporters and patients of the charity.

Aiming to raise ₤6,000 in total, the Sheriffs are already on track with over ₤4,900 raised so far, with Eamonn O'Neal, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, and Nick 'Hoppy' Hopkinson, High Sheriff of Cheshire, also showing their support. The funds will support the lifesaving work of the Air Ambulance crew, who work 365 days a year to provide enhanced pre-hospital care to the most critically ill patients across the North West.

The service is solely dependent on public and corporate donations, needing to raise ₤9.5m a year to keep in the skies.

John Roberts, Merseyside's High Sheriff, commented:- "The North West Air Ambulance Charity has been there for so many people in Merseyside and beyond, and working with my High Sheriff peers, we wanted to do something to say thank you and support the charity in its 21st year. Thank you for all who have donated so far, as these funds could prove lifesaving for many patients."

Jon Ward, Head of High Value Giving at the charity, commented:- "On behalf of the entire NWAA team and crew, I want to say a big thank you to Catherine, John and Julie. To have their support for our Go21! challenge is incredible, and their fundraising has been fantastic. All support, particularly this year, is absolutely vital for our organisation. It means we can ensure people across the North West have access to advanced medical support no matter where they are in the Region, with our crew often providing care during some of the worst moments of patients' lives."

To support the High Sheriff's challenge, visit:-

To take on your own Go21! Challenge, visit:-

Work on an important new ₤1.3 million Community Learning Hub in Seaforth is underway

FUNDED by Sefton Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through the Skills Capital Fund, the refurbished community learning hub will provide enhanced access to skills training for residents who are currently unemployed. Investment in the Grade II Listed building will include a complete refurbishment of the ground floor facilities, a new reception area and café. The work will also include repairing and enhancing the building's original features, with external improvements to the roof, windows, brick and stonework. Learning Hub users will also benefit from investment in new IT infrastructure, the school hall will be reconfigured as a new, flexible teaching area and the building will be fully WiFi enabled. Following a competitive tendering exercise, Liverpool based contractor Cunard Construction has been appointed to carry out the work. The company has extensive experience in the refurbishment of important listed buildings, while also providing social value to the users of the centre and the immediate community.

Cllr Ian Maher, Sefton Council Leader said:- "Sefton Community Learning Hub provides a fantastic community resource for adult learners to access skills and bridge the gap to employment. These refurbishment works will breathe new life into Cambridge Road, securing its future for the long term and helping us to attract more learners in an inviting, stimulating and connected environment. This will be particularly important in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic's impact, which will see more local residents relying on community learning services. As well as improving learning opportunities at the Cambridge Road centre, the refurbishment will also reduce its day to day running costs and create the potential to generate income."

Until the redevelopment is complete services will continue to be provided by the Council's Community Learning Service at alternative nearby venues. Cllr Maher added:- "This investment unlocks the potential of Cambridge Road and safeguards the future of an iconic building. Sefton Community Learning Hub is a well used asset but can play an even greater role in the community. This is an important milestone in enabling more learners and service users to access Cambridge Road."

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Even as we deal with the immediate impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to invest and plan for our future so that our economic recovery begins as quickly as possible. Education and training will be at the heart of our recovery as we ensure that the people of the Liverpool City Region have the skills and learning they need to thrive. By investing in infrastructure schemes such as this Learning Hub in Cambridge Road we are investing in the future of our city Region."

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said:- "The Sefton Community Learning Hub already provides stellar education and training services. The refurbishment of the Hub, backed by a ₤1.15m Local Growth Fund investment, will safeguard this important service, as well as improving the facilities for staff and learners alike. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we equip people with the skills they need to succeed."

James Flannery, Construction Director at Cunard Construction, said:- "We are delighted to be chosen as the preferred bidder for the Cambridge Road Project. We as a business have a track record of refurbishing historic, listed and locally important buildings across the Liverpool City Region and the North West. We will work in partnership with Sefton MBC, and the immediate community, to create a stimulating Community Learning Hub in Seaforth. It's imperative we work with clients to maximise the best possible social value as part of the construction process. Sefton and the Combined Authority have a track record of including Quality elements of the tender process which demands that construction contractors deliver a range of benefits for the community were projects are delivered. We will work the Council to deliver a full suite of Social Value elements for the project aimed at creating opportunities for the residents of Sefton, whilst supporting the Hubs social enterprise business who do fantastic work in Sefton."

The Community Learning Hub in Seaforth is being funded by the Skills Capital Fund element of Local Growth Funding, which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's Strategic Investment Fund.

Southport MP Damien Moore calls for Business Rates and parking charges to be reformed, and cycle lanes scrapped

BUSINESS Rates must be reformed to help local businesses on UK high streets compete with online rivals, says Southport Conservative MP Damien Moore. Mr Moore has also asked the Government to intervene and stop parking charges from:- "undermining the vitality" of Southport and demanded the removal of controversial pop up cycle lanes in the Town centre.  In the days following Small Business Saturday, the MP is calling on local people to ensure that supporting local firms becomes a way of life.  Speaking in a debate on The Future Of The High Street, Mr Moore said:- "1 thing that we all know; this is absolutely clear; is that the internet is the biggest challenge to our high street. It has already been said that a ⅕ of sales and a third of retail sales during the pandemic have been online. If we were to reverse that trend, there are things that we need to do. We need to have a look at Business Rates. Business Rates need recalibration because it is absolutely clear that, under the current model, businesses will not be sustainable. If we get to grips with Business Rates, it gives those businesses on our high streets a thriving chance."

Local businesses should also be helped by ripping up controversial pop up cycle lanes which Sefton Council introduced in Southport in August. Queens Road was blocked off to traffic, while parking spaces along Hoghton Street were removed to accommodate new cycle lanes.  People are currently being consulted over plans for more cycling and walking access, and reduced traffic, in a large area of Southport between Lord Street and Cemetery Road.  Damien Moore said:- "When we look at the future of our high streets, we have not only to look at Business Rates, but to increase footfall. Getting people into our Towns, villages and cities is absolutely vital to their survival. The mess that we see in London, where roads are closed and people are prohibited from going down streets, is happening elsewhere. It is happening in my local area as well. My local Labour Council is stopping people from going down streets, from getting to the high street and from getting into the places that they want to get to. People want ease of access. Having worked in retail for 20 years, I know that ease of access is the best way to get people into our Towns and Cities."

Parking charges is another area which needs urgent reform, says Mr Moore. The MP recently called for parking charges in Southport and the rest of Sefton to be suspended during the Covid9 Pandemic to help local businesses to get back on their feet.  Now he wants the Government to intervene and stop Sefton Council from imposing charges which he believes deters shoppers from supporting local high street businesses. He said:- "I say to the Minister that we do need to intervene when it comes to parking charges. The biggest issue for every retailer in my Town is parking charges. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says that parking charges should be proportionate, and not undermine the vitality of our Towns.  In my Town, those charges do just that, and I want this Government to intervene on that."

Southport's Town Deal board, which includes Damien Moore, submitted proposals worth ₤50million to the Government, on 31 October 2020, which aim to transform Southport's fortunes.  The wish list includes funding for a new waterside events centre for the Southport Theatre site, a new immersive light and sound show for the Marine Lake and support for Southport Pleasureland to become an all year round attraction.  Mr Moore said:- "We have a Town Deal, which is great. Not just Conservative Towns, but Labour Towns, too, will benefit from this significant funding stream. In our Town, this will be matched by the private sector, which has committed more than ₤300 million if we get the ₤50million that we put in for. Last week, we all went out, I hope, to celebrate Small Business Saturday. That should not be an annual celebration; it should be a way of life, and we should all support our local businesses weekly."

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