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Issue:- 12 January 2010

Safe havens lock out fear

AN innovative scheme which will create places of safety for people who feel threatened or vulnerable is being launched in North Liverpool.  The CitySafe Haven initiative involves shopkeepers, community centres and business owners offering their premises as places of safety where people who feel threatened, vulnerable or intimidated can go to seek shelter.  Staff will then take positive action to help. This may include locking their premises, calling a family member or the police.

The ‘Disarm’ group of CitySafe, Liverpool’s Community Safety Partnership, is launching the initiative. CitySafe Havens will operate across four wards - County, Anfield, Kirkdale and Everton.

Local young people from the ‘CAKE’ youth consultation group have had the final say on the locations of all CitySafe Havens. This group is made up of young people from across all four wards who regularly frequent these areas, particularly after dark.  35 premises have signed up for the first phase of the initiative. All will display a highly prominent, illuminated sign, visible from a distance.

Each CitySafe Haven has been subject to a security assessment by Crime Reduction Officers and brought up to a high security standard free of charge. This ensures that anyone seeking refuge, once inside, will be safe. Detailed Police checks have been conducted on all premises to ensure they are fit and proper places for inclusion in the initiative.

Training is under way for all staff, which includes, operating a CitySafe Haven, child safeguarding and first aid. All local schools will hold a CitySafe Havens assembly over the coming weeks to raise awareness of the initiative. In addition to this, all local sheltered accommodation will be visited to inform them of the scheme.

Liverpool is the first city outside London to set up a Safe Haven initiative. Across London there are currently 200 premises designated as Safe Havens.  The London initiative was a response to the death of Jimmy Mizen, a 16 year old murdered in a bakery near his south London home in 2008.  His father, Barry, will be speaking at the official launch of the initiative on behalf of the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.

Speakers at the event included Councillor Ann O’Byrne, City Council Cabinet member for Community Safety, Assistant Chief Constable, Susannah Fish, the national strategic lead for the Tackling Knives and serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP), representatives from the local business community and a member of the youth consultation group ‘C.A.K.E.’

Councillor O’Byrne, said:- “This is a very important initiative in which the community can take responsibility for providing protection for those people who feel threatened.  We are building a network of CitySafe Havens in the heart of the community. Nobody should feel afraid when they are out and about in their Neighbourhoods and the knowledge that there is always somewhere they can go if they feel threatened will take away that fear.  I am pleased so many shops and other organisations have come forward to become CitySafe Havens.”

Superintendent Simon Irving, the lead Officer for TKAP in Liverpool said:- “We are delighted to be involved in the CitySafe Haven initiative. The agencies working together on the ‘Disarm Group’ were inspired by the approach taken by the Jimmy Mizen Foundation in establishing Safe Havens in London. We have used their learning in developing our approach to CitySafe Havens and I am convinced that they will prove to be invaluable for members of our community when feeling vulnerable and in need of help.”

Cash Convertors are one of the businesses who are taking part in the initiative. Damian Tart, store manager, who will be at the launch event , said:- “We are pleased to be a part of this new initiative for Liverpool. Although shops and businesses throughout the city would already go out of their way to help people, this scheme clearly identifies those safe places that are equipped to provide assistance, creating a stronger and safer community.”

Wayfarers Shopping Arcade Bucking the Trend

SOUTHPORT'S Wayfarers Shopping Arcade is bucking regional business trends.  Recent reports revealed that the numbers of empty town centre shops in the North is rising, but the arcade on Lord Street is proving that quality retail space is always in demand. Wayfarers Shopping Arcade has maintained consistently high occupancy levels over the past two years and 10 of its retailers have been established there for 10 or more years.  In addition, 3 of its tenants, Vintage Home, Sweet Memories and Rohan, have been so successful that they have been able to relocate to larger units within the arcade, despite the deepest recession for decades.   The latest addition to Wayfarers’ eclectic mix of shops is beauty salon De Lovely, which opened in August.   Yvonne Burns, arcade manager, said:- “Wayfarers has an ongoing appeal to shoppers because of our wide variety of outlets and it is clear that quality retail locations are still sought after in this economic climate. It is great news for Southport that the arcade is bucking the national trend.”  Martin Connolly, partner at commercial property specialists The Antony Hill Partnership, Southport, which acts as agents for the arcade, commented:- “It’s not all doom and gloom ‘up North’, so let’s not talk ourselves back into a recession.  It’s tough out there, but I feel that the success we have had with the Wayfarers Shopping Arcade shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”  Wayfarers opened its doors on Lord Street back in 1898 and has been a favourite with shoppers and tourists ever since.


UNISON, who are the largest public sector trade union with over 1.4 million members on 11 January 2011 decisively rejected the NHS employers proposal to freeze all increments for lower graded staff in return for a no compulsory redundancy agreement. Earlier the North West Region of the union unanimously rejected the proposal and mandated its National representatives to vote against. The North West Regional Health committee said that the offer was divisive and unworkable. In addition it would be discriminatory especially against low paid women workers. Delegates also expressed scepticism that the employers could or would be able to deliver on the no redundancy promise. Following the regional meeting Paul Foley NW UNISON Lead officer for health said:- "Delegates to the North West UNISON Health Committee debated the employers proposal and the unanimous view was that the proposal was unfair and loaded against low paid staff. NHS employees are already facing a two year pay freeze. This coupled with inflation running at close to 4%, VAT now at 20%, and from April workers face a further hike in National Insurance. A two year incremental freeze on top of that would make a massive dent in NHS employees earnings. Given the total abdication of the government towards tackling bankers huge bonuses, it is a disgrace that dedicated caring workers should bare the brunt of the financial sectors disastrous impact on the economy. The time has come for the government to make those responsible for the financial crisis pay, not those who deliver essential life saving services to the community." The committee agreed that if any Trust moved to unilaterally impose the freeze a major campaign would be mounted to resist the devastating attack on health workers pay and conditions of service.

St Georges Hall, Liverpool Tea Dance

THE magnificent surroundings of St Georges Hall will be the setting for an old fashioned tea dance next week. On Monday, 17 January 2011, from 1pm, anyone wishing to waltz away their cares for a while is invited to come along and take to the floor. Liverpool City Council cabinet member for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said that:- “This is a lovely event for both young and old to take part in. With the rise in popularity of all things vintage I can’t think of a better way to see St Georges Hall brought to life.” As well as dancing and, of course, tea, there will be a raffle and other refreshments available. Tickets are £5 each and are available by calling:- 0151 724 2803 between 4pm and 8pm. Doors open at 12.30 and anyone is welcome to join in.

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