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Issue:- 25 October  2012

Merseytravel offer training to'Get Britain Working'

MERSEYTRAVEL, in partnership with Warrington Business School and Stagecoach Merseyside, have supported the governments'Get Britain Working' measures by creating a Sector Based Work Academy for bus drivers.

Working with Job Centre Plus, Merseytravel invited applications to attend a 5 week training course at their Mann Island HQ with 12 successful applicants being selected. Designed with input from employers and Merseytravel, and focussing on the customer journey, the training was delivered by Warrington Business School.

In addition to the classroom element of the training the students spent a week at the Stagecoach depot and received practical driving training, they were also given a tour of the busy Queens Square bus station and heard lectures from key Merseytravel staff to support their learning experience. Upon completion of the course Stagecoach will interview each of the students, giving them valuable job interview experience and they will also be considered for any current vacancies.

One of the students on the course, Brian Jones from Kirkdale said:- "This is a great opportunity to get real knowledge and experience of the job before we even apply. Obviously nothing's guaranteed but this course has put me in a really strong position to get a job with Stagecoach in the future."

Merseytravel's Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) funding will support the successful applicants with their Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) training so that they are truly job ready.

At the class Celebration of Achievement Merseytravel's Director of Corporate Development, Liz Chandler said:- "Merseytravel want to put Merseyside people first. We are working with our partners to provide quality job opportunities and training with the focus throughout the learning being on supporting the passengers."

Only 10 of the 12 students finished the 5 week course as two of the original students secured employment before completing their training.  Merseytravel hope to roll out this initiative by working with other transport sector employers and Job Centre Plus to offer further job specific training in the future.


MERSEYSIDE Police confirmed that its officers had attended an incident, at around 10.20am, on Friday, 19 October 012, near the the Switch Island interchange where the M58 meets the M57, A5036 and local roads. Following the report of a mans body being found, patrols from the force attended and found a male body, thought to be in his 40s. The body was declared dead at the scene and the area was sealed off for forensic examination. A closure was then put in place on the Eastbound carriageway of the M58, from Switch Island whilst the body was removed. The man is yet to be formally identified and a post mortem examination is taking place to establish the cause of death. Police are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area and has seen or heard anything that might be relevant to their investigation to call:- 101.

Merseytravel reviews are published

MERSEYTRAVEL reveal the findings of 2 reviews into the running of the organisation.  The new Chair of Merseytravel, Cllr Liam Robinson, commissioned the reviews to make sure that past issues regarding the organisation were fully examined; and actions taken to address any shortcomings.

"I believe it's important that we identify past challenges and examine them thoroughly, and then take steps to make sure all our future practices are of the highest possible standards.  Many of the issues identified have already been dealt with, and we are taking decisive action on the others.  It's important to keep perspective on these matters, and remember that the reviews identify many areas where past performance is recognised as first class." said Cllr Robinson.

Accountancy firm Mazars carried out an independent review of issues raised in a dossier earlier in the year, while Merseyside local authorities carried out a'peer review', led by Carole Hudson, Chief Executive of St Helens Council.  That review said that Merseytravel can be commended for good work on public transport, including successful partnership working, transport planning, focus on the long-term Local Transport Plan, encouragement of smarter travel options and asset management.  However, it also confirmed a number of challenges to be addressed in relation to the way decisions have been made in the past.  Cllr Robinson said that actions already under way to address these challenges include:-

A new 3 year Corporate Plan.

The implementation of a new Customer Strategy.

Revised governance, committee decision making structures, including a new elected member and officer protocol being approved.

A shift to'zero based' budgeting, where all budgets require a business case before funding is allocated each year.

Improvements in financial reporting and budgeting.

A new communications strategy.

The Mazars review identified issues around:-

Lack of challenge on key decisions.

Failure to tackle internal audit issues.

This review added:- "It's apparent that the authority is taking measures to deal with the issues raised… and to improve corporate governance at Merseytravel generally."

Cllr Robinson added:- "As we examine the reports in detail, any further areas where action is required will be dealt with thoroughly and firmly. New actions I have instructed to get under way immediately from are:-

The drafting of a new Constitution for Merseytravel, carried out with support from legal officers from our district partners

A redefining of what constitutes a key decision, to give greater clarity for approval processes for important decisions and investments and allow more robust forward planning.

This will mean that the public and our partners will be able to have full confidence in Merseytravel and its central role working with the districts and other partners to deliver the world-class integrated transport network that is so vital to the success of the city region.  We will not be afraid to take the tough decisions required to ensure we deliver a World Class integrated public transport system for the economic, social and environmental benefit of the people of Merseyside." 

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