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Issue:- 17 March 2010

Green assets at heart of Liverpool’s future

CAREFUL planning of a city’s green assets can deliver enormous social, economic and health benefits, a groundbreaking report for Liverpool City Council has revealed.

Mersey Forest was recently commissioned by Liverpool’s Planning Service and the city’s PCT to carry out a comprehensive audit of the city’s green infrastructure - everything from individual trees and private gardens to the city’s parks and open water.  And the results, contained in Liverpool’s Green Infrastructure Strategy, reveal a city brimming with green assets. Nearly two thirds of land has been identified as green infrastructure, an asset worth £8billion to the local economy.

The strategy which was funded by an area based grant from Liverpool’s Local Strategic Partnership is being seen as an important part of the evidence base for the development of statutory planning policies and to inform strategies for health.

Councillor Tim Moore, Liverpool’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said:- “This is an innovative and important report which has the potential to influence the way we think about the green assets of all our cities, and how it can be used to reduce the effects of a changing climate, and make the city a better place to live, work, invest and enjoy life.   The Strategy provides comprehensive data on Liverpool’s green infrastructure, where it is, the function it performs and how it is being managed and it sets out a detailed action plan which will help us make the best use of green infrastructure in the future. That means better managing what we already have, as well as ensuring green infrastructure is ‘planned into’ future developments such as new housing estates.”

The Green Infrastructure Strategy reveals:-

► Liverpool is already a green city with 62% of land having a green infrastructure function, often multiple functions.

► Green infrastructure is worth £8billion to the local economy.

► Green infrastructure is unequally distributed with 80% concentrated in just less than a quarter of the city.

► The city’s most affluent areas currently have 18 per cent more green infrastructure than the poorest.

► A correlation exists between areas with low green infrastructure and those with high levels of heart disease, poor mental health and poor air quality.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT, says:- “Well managed and accessible green space has a big part to play in promoting a healthier city, as it can provide opportunities to improve many issues including mental health, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. We look forward to working with our partners and communities across the city to implement this strategy and action plan during the Decade of Health and Wellbeing which we launched in January.”

The strategy will assist in supporting the sustainable development of the city. It considers that green infrastructure is a key asset for the city which can contribute significantly to Liverpool’s continuing economic, social and physical regeneration.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, says:- “This strategy represents a step-change in the way we understand the value and importance of green infrastructure in Liverpool. By maximising the benefits of these assets we can create a safer, more inclusive, and more enjoyable city in which to live, work and do business. As the city undergoes housing growth and further regeneration in the years ahead, this report will ensure green infrastructure contributes to creating sustainable neighbourhoods where people want to live.”

Paul Nolan, Mersey Forest Director, said:- “This report provides real evidence for the ways green infrastructure can benefit a city. This is especially important in the tough economic times we all find ourselves operating in. Ultimately, high quality, well managed green infrastructure can help a city to thrive and prosper. It can do this by promoting better health and well being, attracting inward investment and helping the city adapt to climate change.  It’s an investment which can pay huge dividends for a city through lower running costs and better management of risks such as flooding and air quality. All the evidence suggests that businesses are attracted to places with a high quality environment, good quality of place and good quality of life.  We’re proud to be able to support Liverpool’s lead with the production of this report for Liverpool City Council. No city in the UK has taken such a comprehensive and forward thinking approach to the auditing and future management of its green infrastructure.”

The strategy recommends improvements to the city’s green infrastructure including better management and improved accessibility.  Examples of actions recommended in the strategy are:-

► Targeting green infrastructure actions in the main areas for housing growth and regeneration across the city.

► Require detailed green infrastructure plans for all major developments which show how the development will contribute to the strategy, and should be prepared alongside the planning application.

► Support for the temporary use of vacant/derelict land for food and fuel growing, as part of the Greening the City Project.

► Ensure planning applications for new developments always prioritise the need for people to be physically active as a routine part of their daily life, and where possible to use GI to enable this.

► Promote green roofs, particularly in areas of the city centre that are undergoing redevelopment. Green roofs, along with street trees offer the best opportunity to create new green infrastructure in these areas to mitigate the effects of projected climate change, by providing cooling functions as well as contributing to surface water management.

► Use street trees and planting schemes at strategic gateways, and along key routes in the City which will help promote a positive image and can also contribute to addressing pollution issues.

► Use of Section 106 policy to support green infrastructure across the City, and a fund is developed that is used to implement critical GI and in particular focus on addressing the health and wellbeing actions set out in the Strategy.

Liverpool’s Green Infrastructure Strategy can be viewed at:-


TRADING Standards officers in Sefton are reiterating a message warning residents to be on their guard in relation to a computer scam.  Calls are still being made to Trading Standards from concerned residents who have been contacted by traders offering to solve computer faults.  The calls are made out of the blue and the traders offer to fix computers that are running slow or have other faults.  In all instances the cold callers try to gain remote access to the computers to take personal information. This information can often be used for illegal purposes at a later date.  A number of calls have been made to premises in Southport and Trading Standards officers are asking residents across the borough to be on their guard. Some of the traders are becoming more aggressive in their sales pitch and are calling residents on a regular basis.  Sefton Council Trading Standards manager, Andrew Naisbitt, said:- "These types of calls are not genuine and consumers should not provide personal or financial information to the callers.  Please don't keep personal financial passwords or information on your PC. This applies to everyone.   In situations like these, always use a reputable trader when installing any new software or updates on your PC. Check the trader's validity and if possible ask a friend or a neighbour for a recommendation."  For help and advice on all consumer issues, call Consumer Direct on:- 08454 040506.

New Mersey Ferry Cruise launched for 2011

MERSEY Ferries have a new port of call, the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum.  For the first time ever there will be special Manchester Ship Canal Cruises this summer between the museum and Salford Quays.  Councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel which owns and operates the Mersey Ferries, said:- “This brings together the perfect combination for a fabulous day out.  The award-winning Ship Canal Cruises feature commentaries which explain how the canal shaped the industrial heritage of our region. The National Waterways Museum brings together a unique fleet of historic boats with rich collections and archives to tell the story of Britain’s canals and waterways.”

Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel, said:- ”This is a logical extension of our Ship Canal cruises which are ever increasing in popularity. The Mersey Ferries are in fact the most popular paid-for tourist attraction in the region.”

There will be 12 cruises sailing between 23 June and 25 September, with Adult tickets priced at £35.00 and Seniors & Children at £33.00 all including return bus transfer to original destination.  For passengers embarking at Telford Quay (Ellesmere Port), there’s the opportunity to visit the Boat Museum beforehand as well as enjoying a 2 and a half hour stopover at Salford Quays, with the chance to visit:- The Lowry, Imperial War Museum, or Lowry Outlet Mall in Salford Quays.  On cruises departing Salford Quays, there's the chance to enjoy two hours at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port (additional cost). Tickets are only available by advance booking. National Waterways Museum Admission prices - Adult £6, Concession £5, Child (5-16) £4 Under 5s free.   For further information please visit:- or contact Mersey Ferries on:- 0151 330 1444.

Let’s get ready to Zumba!

WHY not bring out the Latino in you and raise money for charity at the same time?  Lifestyles Tennis Centre, in Wavertree, is embracing the latest fitness trend and is hosting a special Zumba event to raise money for Comic Relief.  On Friday, 18 March 2011, a 3-hour Zumba class will shimmy into action, with enough places for 700 people to shake their thing during the marathon session. Everyone will be presented with a Red Nose when they arrive to wear with pride throughout the evening.   Tickets cost just £5 and participants are encouraged to raise personal sponsorship for their involvement. The Centre is hoping to help raise nearly £25,000 in total.  Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- “Zumba is a craze that has swept the nation, so it’s great that we can make the most of this popularity, all in the name of charity!   The team at the Tennis Centre have set themselves an ambitious target, but I’m sure they’ll achieve this, especially if each person encourages their family and friends to sponsor them.  And, not only will people be raising money for important projects at home and aboard, but people will be able to have fun and get fit at the same time.”

The event starts at 6pm and doors will open at 5.30pm. Anyone who doesn’t want to take part in the full 3 hour session can join at 7pm.  Children from the age of 8 to 15 need to be accompanied by an adult and comfortable clothes and suitable footwear should be worn.  For more information or to book your place, call Lifestyles Tennis Centre on:- 0151 233 8850.   Anyone who would like an individual sponsorship pack should visit:-

Free fitness fun!

FANCY a day out which is not only guaranteed fun for all the family but is FREE?  The fourth annual Festival of Health and Activity takes place on Sunday, 20 March 2011, at Lifestyles Tennis Centre in Wavertree and is packed full of activities which will not only keep you entertained but will also get you thinking about taking up a healthier lifestyle.  From 10.30am to 4.30pm, families can try out a whole range of sports, from football and rugby right through to handball and golf and the city council’s sports development team will be on hand to give advice on how to keep fit and have fun at the same time.  And why not get to grips with some more unusual activities such as Water Balling and Bungee Trampolines. Throughout the day there will also be a series of demos including BMX, karate and cooking which will give hints on how you can make healthier meals that are packed full of flavour.  And, every visitor will get a wristband which entitles them to a free swim at the Aquatics Centre.  Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- “Every year this event grows in popularity, with more than 1,500 people making the most of the activities in 2010. It’s the Decade of Health and Wellbeing so it’s important we do as much as we can to promote how easy it is to make positive lifestyle changes – whether it’s taking up a new activity or eating more healthily. This is a really successful event which has the perfect balance of fun and fitness, and best of all everything on offer is free! It’s a fantastic day out for all the family and I encourage as many people to go along on Sunday and have fun.”  There will also be more than fifty exhibitors taking part, including Sportslinx, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Healthy Homes and Liverpool Football Club Action for Health.

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