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News Report Page 8 of 21
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Liverpool to invest in residential care for children

Liverpool's new children's homes will be discussed at this week's cabinet meeting in the Cunard Building.

AT this week's Cabinet meeting, on Friday, 19 July 2019, Councillors will discuss the proposal to open 2 Council run children's homes that will enable vulnerable children to continue to live in their home City. Over recent years, the number of children and young people who need to live in a residential setting has increased. Since 2017, there has been a year on year increase of 32% of children who need residential care, with the City currently responsible for 137 children. Due to these pressures, the Council often has to place children in homes outside of Liverpool, where the Council also faces competition from other local authorities for suitable placements with external providers.  The Council plans to buy 2 to 3 bedroomed properties which will be adapted and refurbished to become home for up to 6 children. Funding will be secured from the Public Works Loan Board. With more children being able to live in the City, it is expected that money will be saved on expensive out of City placements which also require travel by Liverpool City Council social workers to visit the children. The City's commitment to developing its own children's homes is set out in the Looked After Children Sufficiency Strategy, which was approved by Cabinet in January 2019.

Cllr Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for children's services said:- "We are re-opening Council children's homes, because we don't have enough residential care places in Liverpool. Liverpool's homes are mainly run by private providers over whom we have little influence and we find that usually 50% of the places in the City go to children from outside.  This means that we reluctantly place Liverpool children outside the City, which is not good for them or their families. Children tell us they want to stay in or close to Liverpool so they can maintain the important relationships that they have with family and friends, and also the relationships that they have with the professionals who work with them. Directly providing services as a Council means we can improve the outcomes for children, create good quality social care jobs in the City, and have value for money. The fees that we are being charged by private providers are increasing year on year, and are well above inflation, and our social workers and our contract monitoring team have to make regular, often lengthy, visits to the children.  Developing these 2 residential homes will help us in our ambitions to keep as many of our children as possible living and being educated in the City and to support them to have a stable, safe and happy childhood."

Damien Moore MP meets families with disabled children at charity awards

DAMIEN Moore MP joined families, from Southport, in Parliament to celebrate the amazing work families do when caring for a disabled child. The event was organised by Contact, a national charity that supports families with disabled children. At the event Damien Moore MP met Caleb Cunningham, a 13 year old, from Southport, who was runner up in the Sibling category, the award recognised the outstanding care he has shown for his 15 year old brother Noah, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Commenting, Damien Moore MP said:- "It has been an extremely moving afternoon and I want to applaud Caleb and all the families with disabled children at Contact's awards ceremony. It is important to remember that families with disabled children give back to our community and economy in so many different ways, and it was fantastic to be able to celebrate this."

Commenting, Amanda Batten, CEO at Contact said:- "It is wonderful to be able to celebrate all the positives that come along with being a family with a disabled child. At Contact we are all about families and, because of the nature of the services we offer, we naturally hear a lot about when things go wrong for families; struggling to get the right services and support for their child, public attitudes to disability or pressure on relationships for instance. We established our unique awards to recognise when things go right too. We were overwhelmed by the 500 nominations we received and the inspiring stories families told us. Well done to all our finalists; they are all champions in our eyes!"

Mayor of Liverpool appoints Climate Change champion

Climate change champion: Councillor Laura Robertson Collins is to take up a historic role for the City of Liverpool

THE Mayor of Liverpool is to appoint the City's 1st Climate Change champion to the City Council's Cabinet. Councillor Laura Robertson Collins has been chosen to take up the role on the day the City is set to declare a Climate Change Emergency at a special debate in Liverpool Town Hall. Councillor Laura Robertson Collins, who is also a board member of the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, will become Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability. And her very 1st task will be to vote tonight, along with every City Councillor, on passing a motion that will require the City Council to cut its carbon output to zero by 2030.  In a cross party motion, the leaders of all 4 political parties will also pledge to commit the City Council to work with individuals and partners across Liverpool to support them in reaching a net zero carbon position by 2030. A major challenge to the City will be reducing waste. The Council annually collects 176,000 tonnes of waste, of which approximately 1 third is recycled, with the remainder costing ₤25 million to treat.

The evening's Full Council will also involve a vote on creating a dedicated Climate Change Select Committee with a remit of developing and implementing a comprehensive work programme across 4 key areas:-

►  Transport and Air Quality.

►  Buildings and the Built Environment.

►  Waste, Recycling and Energy.

►  Low Carbon Economy.

Following the special debate the Council will also seek an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for the Environment to seek a review of national funding for carbon free energy initiatives, with a view to achieving national net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and help prevent a global temperature rise of 1.5c by 2100. It is estimated Liverpool has already cut 840,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere since 2005 and has planted more ½ a million trees within the past 25 years, with Liverpool City Council currently on target to cut its carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.  Key to this achievement includes a policy of only buying green energy, installing 27,000 LED street lights across the City, investing in solar panels in major venues such as at ACC Liverpool and introducing ultra low emission vehicles into its fleet.

The Council is also a major partner in the URBAN GreenUP project and as 1 of the lead Cities Liverpool will be investing ₤4m into a range of new green infrastructure to tackle climate change impacts; including a new phase of tree planting in the City Centre, with 12 new trees to be planted over the coming weeks as part of the new City Bus Hub at Old Haymarket. It is also investing in cycling and has already installed 100 bike stations, with the Mayor pledging to match fund a ₤2m programme creating new cycle routes across the City.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "If we are to make a real difference to the threat posed by Climate Change we need to act now and lobby national Government to help cities like Liverpool achieve these carbon reduction targets. We've radically cut carbon emissions over the past decade, but that is just the start. We can do so much more and the new Cabinet member and select committee will have a wide remit to ensure we do. Laura has a fantastic track record as an environmental campaigner and will bring a real dynamism to this new role. She has a great awareness of the challenges the City faces and has an acute sense of how everyone has a part to play in this historic challenge."

Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins said:- "I'm extremely honoured and excited to be asked to be the City's 1st Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability. This role carries a huge responsibility to ensure the City Council delivers what will be a radical programme to achieve a net zero carbon position by 2030. The decade ahead is going to shape the rest of this century in how we tackle climate change; and the only real way to achieve that is for everyone to play their part. We all need a complete overhaul of how we think about air quality and transport, from getting to work and to School to how we take holidays. Cities like Liverpool also need to improve bio diversity and our natural environment; be it through more wildflower meadows to how we Promote community gardening and producing more locally grown food. The key to all of this is about reducing waste especially at home, from food packaging to composting.  Tackling Climate Change is going to be a long journey and we're just at the beginning. The City Council and its partners can achieve a lot, but we need the people of Liverpool to be with us every step of the way to avoid this emergency becoming a full blown catastrophe."

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