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News Report Page 7 of 18
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Damien Moore MP hails "seismic change" to Southport's fortunes during Queen's Speech debate

THE Queen's Speech, this year delivered by Prince Charles, sets out the Government's legislative agenda for the forthcoming year. Following the speech, MPs are given the opportunity to highlight what is going well, and what needs improving, in their areas.

Mr Moore began his speech by highlighting the excellent work being done on the Southport Town Deal, which was awarded by the Government last year, saying:- "Since the last Queen's Speech, Southport has begun the process of seismic change, with our £37.5 million Town Deal being met with hundreds of millions in pledged private funding. The Town Deal will ultimately help create more than 1,300 new jobs and bring in over a million extra visitors each year."

Town Deal funding has already been used to provide the much-welcomed tree lighting along Lord Street, and fund the refurbishment of the popular Indoor Market.

The Southport Town Deal Board, of which Mr Moore is a member, is continuing to work through the details on how the Government-allocated funding will be spent. Whilst the funding has been universally welcomed across the Town, focus is shifting to more practical issues, such as where all of Southport's new visitors will park.

For this reason, Mr Moore also spoke in this Queen's Speech debate on the need for improved local rail links into Southport to help address some of these concerns, saying:- "We need the Burscough Curves rail link to re-open, which would enable stronger connectivity not only within the region, but as far afield as Scotland and the south of England. We need to maintain the direct link from Southport to Manchester Piccadilly, which is crucial for jobs, business, and leisure."

The Burscough Curves would link Southport to both Preston and Ormskirk by rail, allowing for more convenient inward travel for visitors to Southport, alongside outbound travel for our Town's residents.

Mr Moore has previously spoken directly to the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Rail Minister about this proposals, and recently hosted a roundtable between local political leaders, key local stakeholders, and Transport for the North to discuss both the Burscough Curves and the direct line to Manchester Piccadilly in more detail.

Damien Moore, MP for Southport, said:- "Our Town's best years are ahead of us. We have a number of exciting new projects lined-up in Southport, with our Town Deal serving as a catalyst for hundreds of millions in private investment. Whilst I am championing investment into Southport from the private sector, I am also calling for more public investment into key transport infrastructure projects, which will help increase Southport's visitor capacity and bring more people into our Town spending money. As a resort Town, having good rail links is crucial. I was delighted to use my speech in the Queen's Speech debate as an opportunity to praise the work that has been done so far, and to outline my determination to get this opportunity right."

Alan Fantom, Chair of the Ormskirk, Preston, and Southport Travellers' Association, said:- "I would like to thank Damien Moore MP for again raising in Parliament the opportunities that exist to improve Southport's rail infrastructure, which will complement and are critical to the success of our fantastic £37.5 million Town Deal. We have worked closely on transport issues over the past 5 years, and on Burscough Curves we are seeing more constructive dialogue towards some tangible progress being made. Alongside Damien, OPSTA will do all we can to support both this project and getting the Manchester services we need."

PCC responds to launch of Race Action Plan: Improving Policing for Black People

MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner has responded to the NPCC and College of Policing's:- 'Race Action Plan - Improving Policing for Black People' that has just been published.

Emily Spurrell said:- "The launch of the national 'Race Action Plan - Improving Policing for Black People' is very welcome and an important step in the efforts to improve the Police's relationship with Black people and communities. Released by the College of Policing and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), this document is an honest reflection of the challenges policing faces. It recognises that some communities still view policing as institutionally racist and 'have grounds for this view.' Importantly it also highlights the action still needed to rectify the mistakes of the past. It recognises, as I do, that as a starting point we need to acknowledge that societal racism exists and policing, like all our institutions, still faces a battle with inequality, discrimination, and bias. This is clearly evidenced by the outcomes for people from Black and minority communities in education, in health, in job prospects, and in policing and in criminal justice. When my comments from a panel discussion with Policing TV aired 2 weeks ago, there was understandably a strong, and very divided, response. It was clear this is an emotional and difficult subject for everyone. But it also brought into sharp focus what a critical conversation it is and how vital it is that we bring it to the fore. This is an issue that reaches far beyond any 1 Police force and affects all our criminal justice agencies, and indeed all our public institutions. Merseyside Police have already taken positive steps forward in this work, including:- reducing disparity in stop search, taking action to root out officers who demonstrate racist behaviour and improving representation within its ranks. I am very proud of Merseyside Police and the work they do. I've seen 1st hand the excellent work that officers and staff in Merseyside do to keep the public safe under incredibly difficult circumstances. Putting themselves in harm's way daily and sadly, all too often, being abused, threatened, and even injured as a result. My comments were not intended, in any way, to undermine that work. Instead, they were intended to talk about the issues more widely within policing. I want all of our communities to have trust and confidence in the Police. This can only be achieved when we are honest about where we still have work to do As the Race Action Plan sets out, much has already been done to tackle these issues, but simply put, we are still not there yet. Our focus must be on ensuring all Police forces are actively and wholly anti racist. I know a huge amount of work has already been undertaken here to ensure Merseyside Police is in the best position to drive this work forward. I am hopeful this Plan will further empower policing to take real action to ensure policing is diverse and proactively tackles racism and unconscious bias. We know there are areas that need a closer focus and the key pillars and accompanying actions outlined in this plan will be crucial in driving these improvements. My role as PCC is to support and challenge the Chief Constable to make sure we do not take our foot off the gas to build a truly anti racist Police force and reduce disproportionality across our whole criminal justice system. That means continuing to challenge and root out racism, unconscious bias, or prejudice wherever it exists. Acknowledging structural racism is not a sign of weakness. Far from it. We have seen that in the way Liverpool has recognised the legacy of slavery in this City and its on-going impact on Black Communities today. I am proud to live in a City that admits where communities have been let down but, importantly, commits to putting it right. As a City we have been able to move forward - investing in the world class International Slavery Museum to ensure we always remember and reflect, learning from the lessons of the past and recognising where the legacy of slavery has still left its mark.I have had numerous conversations over the last 2 weeks about the term 'institutional racism' and whether this language is still relevant. Should it be 'structural racism?' Or maybe it would be better referred to as prejudice or unconscious bias? I do not have any lived experience of racism, but I am elected to be the public's voice in policing, and I listen to those that do. It is my job to reflect the views of all our communities. Communities who tell me they still experience racism in their lives on a regular basis. What they want is action, not words. In all walks of life. I hope the Race Action Plan will be the driver for that tangible action across policing; driving inclusively, increasing representation, reducing racial disparity in misconduct and complaints processes, ensuring Black people are properly supported as victims of crime and improving the engagement of Black communities in policing activity and governance. There's no time to waste. I will join the Chief Constable today to meet with key community stakeholders to discuss how the actions in this plan can be best delivered and I will be recruiting a representative from Merseyside's Black community to sit on my public Scrutiny Meeting to join me in holding the Chief Constable to account on the force's progress on this plan. I know the Chief Constable is committed and determined to create a truly anti-racist Police force here in Merseyside and I will support her wherever I can to make this a reality. As Chair of the Merseyside Criminal Justice Board, I will also ensure we continue to focus on and take action against disproportionably in the criminal justice system. It is our shared responsibility to drive change. The release of this Plan is just the start. The conversation will be on-going, and I want to listen to all members of the community to make sure we get it right. In the 1st instance, I would encourage people to share their views through the national survey website:- SmartSurvey.Co.UK It is only by working together; Police, partners, and community; that we will truly eradicate racism for good."

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