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News reports located on this page = 3.

Metro Mayor backs calls for sustainable alternatives to port access

LIVERPOOL City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, has written to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, asking him to reconsider the controversial £250m Port of Liverpool Access Road proposal in favour of sustainable alternatives. It follows similar requests made by Sefton Council Leaders and constituency MPs.

The letter highlights the City Region's efforts to tackle the climate emergency, references the need to protect public health and green spaces and reiterates the Metro Mayor's desire for Government to provide greater investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail, reducing reliance on road haulage.

In it, Steve Rotheram writes:- "The elected representatives for the area believe they are best placed to understand the unique issues associated with a port operating amongst and alongside residential communities; and the negative impacts of HGV traffic accessing the Port of Liverpool. They are on record as stating that they do not believe another road is the answer, and are of the opinion that their views are not being fully considered."

He goes on to write:- "I am of the view that the money allocated to this project could and should be spent on sustainable solutions to port access such as rail freight capacity; not least because of the climate emergency we are facing, the public health crisis associated with air pollution and the substantial loss and degradation of green space."

The letter concludes with an offer to facilitate discussions between the key parties and an invitation to Grant Shapps to visit the Port of Liverpool to discuss the matter with local politicians.

Commenting on the latest development, Stuart Bennett of Save Rimrose Valley said:- "We welcome this important intervention from Steve Rotheram. We now have our Council, our MPs and our Metro Mayor all saying that sustainable solutions to port access must be prioritised. The Department for Transport and National Highways can't keep burying their heads in the sand and hoping that this issue will go away. It won't. Opposition to these plans continues to grow by the day. We sincerely hope that Grant Shapps takes up Steve Rotheram's offer. It's high time that 'levelling up' and 'building back better' become more than just soundbites to those of us living in Merseyside."

What are your thoughts on this very controversial topic?  Please do email them to us via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Monkeypox is now a notifiable disease in law

NEW legislation has been passed on 7 June 2022 that has made Monkeypox a notifiable infectious disease under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.

This means any cases after 8 June 2022 that, in England, all suspected cases of Monkeypox found by Doctors now require those Doctors to notify their Local Council or Local Health Protection Team (HPT). Laboratories must also notify the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) if the Monkeypox virus is identified in a laboratory sample.

Wendi Shepherd, Monkeypox incident Director at UKHSA, said:- "Rapid diagnosis and reporting is the key to interrupting transmission and containing any further spread of monkeypox. This new legislation will support us and our health partners to swiftly identify, treat and control the disease. It also supports us with the swift collection and analysis of data which enables us to detect possible outbreaks of the disease and trace close contacts rapidly, whilst offering vaccinations where appropriate to limit onward transmission."

Anyone and the NHS stresses ANYONE, can get Monkeypox, particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact with an individual with symptoms.

Sadly, it is true that gay or bisexual people seem to remain disproportionately affected at this point, but it isn't a virus that only affects that community.

You must contact a Sexual Health Clinic if you have a rash with blisters and you've been either:-

In close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has or might have Monkeypox (even if they've not been tested yet) in the past 3 weeks.

If you have been to West or Central Africa in the past 3 weeks and now have a rash with blisters.

For up-to-date information on the Monkeypox Virus, please visit the NHS website.

Proposed £2.2 million investment could be the 'final piece of the jigsaw' for Kirkby Town Centre revival

THE Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to approve the final instalment of its £15 million rejuvenation of Kirkby Town Centre, on Friday, 10 June 2022, which would see a prime site refurbished into a sustainable 'travel hub.'

A decision is set to be made on a £2.2 million investment to support the redevelopment of a multi storey car park into a new gateway for the Town. Plans include long stay parking, electric vehicle charging, and cycle storage.

The funding is part of a wider investment by the Combined Authority to support employment and redevelopment in Kirkby Town Centre.

Speaking about the proposed investment, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Kirkby's revival over the last few years has been something of a renaissance. Having grown up in the area, I know the real, positive difference this investment is having on the Townie; and on people's lives too. Thanks to devolution we've been able to invest in places like Kirkby. From the transformation of the Town Centre to the opening of its 1st supermarket in nearly 40 years; and the new railway Station we're building at Headbolt Lane, we're making things happen It's proper levelling up in action: creating local jobs and opportunities, and bringing greater prosperity to local people."

The Combined Authority initially provided £10 million alongside Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council's investment of £33.8 million to acquire the Town Centre and develop a retail and leisure scheme, that has transformed the centre of the Town, creating a:- 45,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore, a petrol Station, car park, a 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains and Taco Bell and KFC drive thru restaurants.

The Combined Authority then approved a further allocation of £2.8 million to support the development of a multi-screen cinema and further leisure provision in the Town Centre.

It is hoped that this final instalment will create an attractive gateway to the Town Centre, and improving the condition of the car park will increase the chances of attracting a new tenant to the former Barclaycard building.

Dependent on use, this building could provide between 350-500 jobs in the Town Centre and support both employment in Kirkby and additional economic activity in the Town Centre.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:- "I'm delighted that the remaining £2.2m has been recommended for approval for us to accelerate our plans to enhance the Kirkby gateway site. It's many people's 1st impression of the Town so it's essential that we create the right image for residents, visitors, businesses and investors alike. Since purchasing the Town Centre in November 2019, we have delivered a retail development, created more free car parking spaces, attracted more businesses into the Town and our multi screen cinema scheme is also progressing. I'm delighted with what has been delivered in such a short space of time and we will continue to build on these achievements and deliver even more for everyone who lives, works, visits or invests in Kirkby."

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