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News Report Page 16 of 26
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Steve Rotheram Announces "1 Front Door" for the Liverpool City Region

LIVERPOOL City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, on Thursday, 18 October 2018, announced a new approach to attracting more investment and major business relocation into the Liverpool City Region, by establishing a single, initial point of access for people who want to do business here. This "1 Front Door" approach will create a single, complementary team to act as a place marketing and inward investment focal point for the whole of the Liverpool City Region, with the Combined Authority and the districts working in partnership with each other. The team will help potential investors understand the City Region, provide high quality data and information and support the efforts of existing local authorities and major institutions. It will also commission the City Region's participation in trade fairs and events, marketing our unique assets across the whole Region to a global audience.

Steve Rotheram said:- "When I was elected, I promised to attract more investment and major business relocations through a single, properly resourced agency for the benefit of every borough, every community, every person in our City Region. Today, I am delivering on that promise.
We know that, when we work together as 6 boroughs, we are significantly more attractive to investors. This concept is part of a more collaborative approach that recognises that, for example, bringing jobs to Knowsley can benefit those in St Helens and Halton, and investing in skills in Sefton can benefit people in Wirral and Liverpool. This new agency will work with all of our partners to add co-ordination, capaCity and expertise, to build on the existing good work, and ultimately benefit everyone in our City Region, by helping to build a bigger and better economy that works for us all."

The new agency will work by co-ordinating existing resources, engaging with local authority teams, as well as the private and 3rd sectors, account managing the investment process, and commissioning place marketing activities. The approach has been developed following a review by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's Investment Team and the Local Enterprise Partnership. It will contribute to the Liverpool City Region's wider growth targets of creating 5,000 new jobs, 800 new businesses, and growing the economy by ₤1 billion, every year.  These services will be delivered by a small core team, overseen by a mixed, public private investment board. The 1 Front Door Team is designed to increase the number of investment enquiries overall and to improve the chances of those enquiries becoming new investors. The team will also provide a centralised evidence base and access to the Combined Authority's Research and Intelligence Team, to provide additional support to individual authorities and enable them to be more effective in securing investment.

Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said:- "The LEP is about creating, driving and sustaining a dynamic Regional economy. To do this we need to simplify the landscape for potential investors to the City Region and make it a competitive place for profitable business. The announcement of a 'One Front Door' approach is a fantastic opportunity to get the kind of joined up services that businesses in the City Region have been crying out for, enabling us to compete on the global stage more effectively and realise our full potential. Going forward the LEP will work with the Combined Authority on the development of the business plan to deliver this approach."

Sue Grindrod, Chief Executive, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, said:- "Royal Albert Dock Liverpool welcomes over 6 million visitors each year, and the power of brand Liverpool plays a major part in our success. However, there is still work to be done and we must remain focused on building the City Region's profile through a public and private sector partnership in support of the 1 Front Door approach. It is vital we continue to work together to fuel new international markets as a key driver for the growth for the waterfront and the wider City Region."

A of Northern workforce faces financial worries, harming wellbeing and performance

FINANCIAL worries are plaguing more than 1 in 3 working people in the North, harming work performance and mental health, according to a major study of the UK workforce. The survey by Salary Finance saw 36% of workers in the North of England reporting financial worries, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole. 46% report suffering stress, 28% feel prone to panic attacks, and 22% report feeling depressed. Northerners are spending 2 hours worrying about their finances each week, and sleeplessness is also a problem for 31% of those questioned.

In the wide ranging study of over 10,000 people from 8 UK Regions, respondents in the North of England reported lower rates of financial worries and associated problems than the national average. The North actually fared best in the country on several counts, with stress levels here lower than in any other part of Great Britain, including London. Employees here also suffer the lowest rates of depressed mood, and the joint lowest propensity to panic attacks.

Worryingly, however, 18% of employees in the North feel the quality of their work is affected by financial worries, and 20% report not being able to finish their daily tasks as a result. Salary Finance has created a short video to demonstrate the impact of financial worries in the workplace.

Surprisingly, the research showed little correlation between rates of pay and levels of financial worry, meaning that higher salaries don't necessarily mean fewer money troubles. 49% of those earning over ₤100,000 a year had money worries, compared with 40% of people overall.

The study identified that how people spend, save and borrow are key to whether or not they have financial worries. Respondents were asked 10 questions about their money habits, resulting in a financial fitness score from 1 ('Not in Control') to 5 ('Financial Freedom'). 82% of those with a score of 1 had money worries, versus only 8% of those with a score of 5. Those scoring lower were more likely to run out of money before being paid, causing reliance on short term, high interest borrowing including payday loans. 52% of working people questioned in the North scored '3' or below.

A short video by Salary Finance shows what the different scores mean.

People also admitted to low levels of financial knowledge, with ISAs, pensions and income protection named as the products they least understood. Having 'no money to plan' and 'no-one to trust' were the most common reasons given by people for not getting to grips with understanding finance.

Salary Finance has used this research to develop a Financial Fitness Score Calculator that members of the public can freely access here. It gives them their own Financial Fitness Score, and also the ability to register for a personalised Financial Fitness Score report. This allows individuals to see how 'financially fit' they are versus others in their peer group. The report has a number of case studies with useful tips to help anyone improve their financial fitness.

Asesh Sarkar, co-founder and CEO of Salary Finance, said:- "This research shows that many people working in the North of England are struggling under the weight of money worries, with a real impact on their wellbeing. However, it also suggests that higher levels of financial literacy and access to responsible finance have the potential to improve the situation. People in the Region can increase their financial fitness and ultimately get their finances in shape, with the help of employers who can provide support through financial education, salary deducted savings and loans. This approach would mean employees become healthier, happier and more productive as well."

Interestingly, 61% of Northern workers:- 'feel that their employer cares about them and their wellbeing,' while 76% 'trust their employer to keep their personal financial situation private from their colleagues and manager.' Also 44% 'would value a low cost loan from their employer.'

Salary Finance partners with employers to offer employees a range of salary linked benefits designed to help them get their finances in shape by improving financial wellbeing, saving money and borrowing responsibly.

Deputy PCC joins forces with Region's Councils to pledge commitment to tackling modern slavery

MERSEYSIDE is at the forefront of the fight against modern slavery; that's the message from the Region's Deputy Police Commissioner and 5 local authorities as they join forces to pledge their commitment to tackling the issue. To mark 'National Anti Slavery Day,' Cllr Emily Spurrell has united with representatives from the Region's 5 local authorities to sign the Charter against Modern Slavery aimed at ensuring that exploitation has no place in Council supply chains. The Global Slavery Index estimated earlier this year that in 2016 there were up to 136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. This compares to a figure of 13,000 estimated by the Home Office in 2013.

Collectively, local authorities in England spend more than ₤40bn per year procuring goods and services on behalf of the communities they serve. The Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery goes further than existing law and guidance and commits Councils to proactively vet their own supply chain to ensure no instances of modern slavery are taking place. It also encourages Councils to ensure they challenge any abnormally low cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon a potential contractor practising modern slavery and refer on for investigation any contractors who cause concern.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and Liverpool City Council Cllr Emily Spurrell, who is Chair of Merseyside's Modern Slavery network and has led Councillors across Merseyside to sign up to the Charter, said:- "Slavery was abolished more than 180 years ago in this country. Yet we know it's still happening today right across the UK and sadly in our own communities, here in Merseyside. Slavery's hidden nature means it can be difficult to ascertain the extent of the problem, but we know the number of identified victims is continuing to rise. We also know it is an issue we all need to face. Local authorities have the ability to implement changes at a community level that can make a real difference. By taking this pledge, the Councils in our Region are showing just how seriously they take this issue and that they are the forefront of the fight against modern slavery."

Wirral Council's Cabinet Member for Law and Order Cllr Paul Stuart said:- "I welcome the opportunity to sign up to the Charter against Modern Slavery, and do so with pride. Modern Slavery might not always be obvious, but its exploitation of vulnerable people can be happening all around us. I am working with Wirral Council and its partners to ensure modern slavery has no place in Wirral. We will do our best to protect victims and push for the prosecution of those who commit this crime."

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:- "It is vitally important that we all work together as a community to identify, raise awareness of the horrors of modern slavery."

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, added:- "We all have a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our society from these criminals who are willing to exploit them. We must all be vigilant for signs of this happening in our communities and this Charter is an important part of that. It is estimated that there are 13,000 victims and survivors of modern slavery in the UK and there are some tell-tale signs to make it easy to identify. That's why we've launched a dedicated page on our website to help identify these signs and signpost people to the right organisations who can help put an end to modern slavery."

St Helens Council Leader Derek Long said:- "By signing this pledge it shows we stand 4 square against abuse of vulnerable people by unscrupulous profiteers."

Merseyside's Modern Slavery Network alongside the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and Merseyside Police is also hosting an exhibition to mark the awareness day. The immersive walk through exhibition, named:- 'Journey to Freedom,' will see visitors walking through different rooms listening to the stories of 3 different victims, provided by Lee House Centre for Mission Awareness. All visitors are welcome between 10am to 4pm, to the exhibition that will be in Church Street, Liverpool City Centre.

Anti Slavery Day was created by the Anti Slavery Day Act 2010, a Private Members Bill which introduced a national day to raise awareness of the need to eradicate all forms of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation.

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