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Prominent Southport personality and former Mayor of Sefton, Tommy Mann has died

THE death has been announced Tommy Mann (1935 to 2022) who has passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on Thursday, 28 April 2022, in a Southport Care Home. Tommy's association with Southport dated back to 1960 when the Mann family; his father Tommy Mann Snr, mother Annie, wife Edie and baby daughter Karen, came to the Town, to take over the lease on the Marine Lake, soon to be joined by a new daughter, Alyson.

Tommy's father had established many successful leisure businesses especially in New Brighton where young Tommy spent much of his childhood… even driving his father's miniature railway train. This childhood on the banks of the Mersey developed Tommy's fascination for all things marine.

On arrival in Southport Tommy and his father soon developed the Marine Lake into one of Southport's major leisure attractions with a large flotilla of pleasure boats, many built in the boathouse opposite the, then, Promenade Hospital.

1 of the most exciting additions to the lake was the introduction of a fleet of high powered speedboats that thrilled riders and spectators alike.


The family also established the Marine Lake Café to provide refreshments for eager boaters.

The family also established Southport Sailing Club in the small wooden building above the boathouse. This then became the Lakeside Sailing Club, and is now the Lakeside Inn, acclaimed in The Guinness Book of Records as:- 'The Smallest Pub In Britain.' 

In its heyday the Lakeside club became the post-show venue of choice for many of the top stars of the day appearing at the Floral Hall and Southport Theatre.

After 23 years at the Marine Lake, Tommy and Edie decided to look for pastures new and they moved to the Isle of Man where they had a leisure business in Port Erin. However, missing their growing family back in England they returned to Southport in 1988 where they soon enjoyed their new roles as grandparents.

In 1992 tragedy struck when Edie passed away from cancer. Tommy coped with his loss by devoting himself to his family, but a new life pathway was soon to emerge for him.

He became involved in local politics and was elected a Councillor for Southport's Cambridge Ward, a post he held for many years. He was always there when people needed advice or support and he added to his civic duties by being on the board of Southport Partnership and as a governor of Stanley High School in Marshside in Southport.

Tommy's consummate devotion to his civic duties soon led to him achieving his highest public role; in 2006 he became Mayor of Sefton. It was a role he fully engaged with and, supported by his friend Jean Lilley who became Mayoress, he committed to an exhausting programme of engagements over the Mayoral year even, representing the borough in Gdansk, Poland, which was officially twinned with Sefton.

As Mayor of Sefton he supported many good causes and welcomed members of the royal family to the borough including Princess Anne. His devotion to the role led to him being given the:- 'Mayor of the Year' award by The Co-Operative Bank in 2007.

Throughout the whole of his civic duties Tommy was a devoted family man; and a growing family it was! Apart from daughters Karen and Alyson, he'd welcomed 11 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren into his life.

Tommy eventually retired from local politics, but this did not stop him devoting his life to the service of others in the community including duties for the Merseyside Fire Authority, and The Samaritans, amongst others. He also supported lifeboat charities as a result of his love for the sea and sailing.
Tommy's daughter, Karen has summed up the family's feelings about their loss. She said:- "My Dad was the centre of our family, always there with unconditional love and support whenever we needed it. We have been so lucky to have him in our lives… he's irreplaceable."

Southport MP Damien Moore said:- "I'd like to pay tribute to Tommy Mann who was an outstanding public servant and gave a lot to Southport over many years both as a Councillor and tireless community champion. I send my deepest condolences to his family who will be in the thoughts of many at this very sad time."
Former Southport Councillor and Southport Parliamentary Candidate Brenda Porter said:- "Tommy was an exceptional human being. He was kind, caring and a gentleman but most importantly to my husband Ken and I he was our friend of longstanding. You will be missed my friend. RIP.Brenda and Ken Porter." 

Funeral arrangements are yet to be confirmed..

Inclusive Places Charter Mark launches in Liverpool

AN 'Inclusive Places' Mayoral Charter Mark was launched on Tuesday, 3 May 2022, to recognise visitor attractions, hotels and hospitality venues that ensure equality of access for all. It is designed to help businesses across the hospitality and visitor economy sectors understand the requirements of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent individuals, by building equality into all elements of the experiences for guests and visitors. The scheme shows the individual features of each location, focused around communication, physical and sensory access.

 The aims are to: -
 Highlight and improve accessibility and inclusive practice within the hospitality, culture and events sectors.

 Raise awareness of the barriers that exist.

 Highlight and encourage training for staff.

 Ensure new buildings and planned refurbishments have good access.
Each organisation signing up to the charter mark, will commit to creating and implementing a plan to achieve best practice accessibility in the most appropriate way.
The scheme has been trialled by National Museums Liverpool (NML), which operates the:- Museum of Liverpool, the International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Sudley House, Walker Art Gallery, World Museum Liverpool and the Maritime Museum.
They already offer sensory tours and inclusion days, are about to launch tours for people who would prefer to access venues out of hours, have a dedicated programme for babies at several museums and galleries and have developed a breastfeeding charter.  
The 1st have where presented with their Charter Mark, on Tuesday, 3 May 2022, at the Museum of Liverpool.
By signing up to the charter, organisations agree to operate to the following principles:-
 Welcoming people regardless of their differences in age, agility, mobility, senses or perception.

 Welcoming people with children in buggies, prams, and pushchairs.

 Welcoming mums who want to breastfeed.

 Recognising that people with certain conditions are excluded by poor design of places and systems.

 Committing to equality awareness staff training.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Cllr Harry Doyle, said:- "Liverpool attracts millions of visitors every year and we want each one of them to have the best possible experience while they are here, including when planning visits to the City. We want our City to become a model of best practice accessibility, through our community and business leaders advocating for places and spaces that are accessible for all."

Cllr Pam Thomas, Cabinet lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said:-  "It is not always obvious who disabled people are; inclusion and access is about more than just things like level access. It is a win win for everyone because inclusive and accessible spaces attract a bigger customer base, which is good for business, economic development and tourism. If someone has a good experience, they will tell other people about it and visit again."

Director of National Museums Liverpool, Laura Pye, said:- "National Museums Liverpool is very proud to have earned the 'Inclusive Places' Mayoral Charter Mark for our venues. The Charter Mark is a very important recognition of our commitment to inclusively, and ensures that this remains central to all of our work. We're thrilled that our museums and galleries are the first venues in Liverpool to be recognised in this way."
Liz Stewart, Interim Head of the Museum of Liverpool, added:- "The Museum of Liverpool is honoured to be hosting the launch of this important initiative for the City. As a museum for everyone we place inclusively at the heart of our work, and we're very proud to have earned not only the Mayoral Charter Mark, but to have also been recently voted the most accessible museum in the UK for people with mobility issues."

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