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News Report Page 12 of 25
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Girlguiding members in Sefton lit Beacon to Celebrate Queen's Platinum Jubilee
Photographs by Wendy Graham

ON 2 June 2022, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and Girlguiding volunteers in Sefton and West Lancashire joined hundreds of Girlguiding members across the UK and beyond in lighting a Beacon to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, on Thursday, 2 June 2022.  

The Beacon lighting event held on Crosby beach saw over 400 Girlguiding members of all ages come together to enjoy a special evening of Jubilee celebrations which included games, a picnic, and a 'make a (sand)castle fit for a queen' competition. They were delighted to be joined by their guest of honour, Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Clare Louise Carragher, who was once a Guide herself.

Before the Beacon lighting, Scott MacLean, a piper from the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Association played Die Regnare, a tune especially written for this historic Jubilee. Then the Mayor was joined by Elizabeth Rothwell, 1 of Girlguiding Sefton's longest serving volunteers to light the Beacon.

Green Sefton, who manage Crosby Coastal Park, helped to facilitate the event.

Girlguiding members lit an impressive 70 community Beacons in total on the night, marking each year The Queen has been on the throne. Girlguiding was 1 of several charities to take part in the event, with a total of 1,500 Platinum Jubilee Beacons lit across the UK and Commonwealth, with a Principal Beacon lit at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen has a long standing personal history with Girlguiding 1st joining as a Guide in 1937, at 11 years old alongside her 7 year old sister, Princess Margaret as a Brownie.

At the direct request of the Queen Mother, then Queen, a new Guide company, The 1st Buckingham Palace Brownie Pack and Guide Company was set up to include:- Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret with 14 Guides and Brownies recruited from cousins, friends and children of the staff at the Palace. The unit met in the summerhouse in the Buckingham Palace Garden.  

In 1952, the same year she succeeded to the throne, HM The Queen became Joint Patron for Girlguiding with Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother).

You can see our photographic and video coverage of this event within the previous edition by clicking on this link now.

It is worth adding that 1 of the 2 gentleman who set up the Beacon was awarded the British Empire Medal, in the Jubilee Honours Lists.  John Cadman, is also a leader with Merseyside Scouts, Merseyside Scouts.

Full steam ahead as Fire and Rescue Authority approves construction of state of the art training academy and 'Super-Station'

MERSEYSIDE Fire and Rescue Authority has approved progressive plans to create a state of the art training facility and multi pump 'Super-Station' in the heart of the community on Long Lane, Aintree.

The green light on the project signals further investment in an already 'Outstanding' Service.

In June 2021, the Authority approved the Service's innovative Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2021-24 which included proposals to increase the number of fire engines and the creation of specialist fire Stations across Merseyside despite austerity. The construction of the new facility is the keystone of the Authority's vision to be the best fire and rescue service in the UK for the people of Merseyside.

Since being proposed, operational and support staff across the Service have worked together with partner organisations, architects and construction companies to develop and hone its plans, consulting staff, representative bodies and the public to ensure the project lays the foundation for the future. Despite rising build costs, and through prudent management and innovative practice, the Service continues to deliver improvements in its frontline services, meeting its ambitions to be the best, whilst better protecting its fire fighters and the public.

The project received consent on 3 May 2022, when Liverpool City Council granted planning permission for the 12 acre site, on Long Lane, Aintree.

With this approval, a date can be set for the work to commence, with the build expected to be complete by mid 2024. The contract for the build has been awarded to Wates Construction, who have proven themselves worthy of the contract having produced 1st class fire and rescue service facilities at Prescot and most recently St. Helens.

The development will provide a centre of excellence for all staff but particularly those in operational roles, where they will hone their skills.

The facility will include immersive, realistic training zones that can be adapted to train for any foreseeable risk including:- high rise, marine, flooding, motorway and train incidents. The site will include a 4 bay Fire Station offering 24 hour emergency response to the surrounding area, a secondary Fire Control facility and a National Resilience Centre of Excellence.

The new Super-Station will see response times reduce significantly across the area.

Designed to be accessible to all, the new location will hold staff well being facilities, youth engagement facilities and meeting rooms for community use.

The environmental impact of the site has been considered carefully, with no fossil fuels used on site. Air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels will provide energy, with an ultimate commitment to achieving zero carbon for the site moving forward. Twenty-three electric vehicle charging points will be included within the car parking spaces and a number of green measures have been incorporated into the site including biodiversity improvement measures and the planting of over 150 mature trees on site.

Speaking following the Authority's approval of the land deal, Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said:- "The approval of this project will now enable us to turn our vision for the future into reality. The new facility will reduce response times in the local area, whilst ensuring we are equipped to meet the demands placed on a modern fire and rescue service. Our fire fighters respond locally, nationally and internationally so it is vital that we equip them for every eventuality; train hard; (fire) fight easy has never been so true. The tragedy of Grenfell Tower and the horrific terror events in Manchester and London emphasise just how challenging this job can be. However, we are not immune to such events, and our response to the terror attack at the Liverpool Women's Hospital is a real reminder of the type of incidents we can be called upon to respond and how vital it is that we are trained and equipped to meet those challenges when they come. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service sets the highest standards, and this investment reflects the risks we face and the commitment and professionalism of all our staff."

Cllr Les Byrom, Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, said of the approval:- "This is fantastic news for the people of Merseyside, ensuring we have state of the art training facilities to prepare our operational staff for every possible scenario. The hard work and vision of all those who have contributed to this project should be applauded and will ensure Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service is able to cement its stated aim to be the best Fire and Rescue Service in the UK."

For free fire safety advice, or to request a home fire safety check, call:- 08007315958.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for those over 65 or meeting certain criteria.

CLA response to planning measures announced by UK Government

THE Country Land and Business Association (CLA), who have has 28,000 members across rural England and Wales, has issued a response regarding the measures announced to ease planning restrictions on the conversion of disused farm buildings into residential property, which is a big WIN for the CLA. Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President, Mark Tufnell, said:- "Rural communities everywhere see talented people forced to leave because of the lack of housing. This brain drain holds back the rural economy, depriving our small villages of workers, entrepreneurs, and consumers. Making it easier to convert thousands of redundant farm buildings into homes on farmland and in designated landscapes, including:- National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a key policy of our Rural Powerhouse campaign and a step in the right direction. These reforms will create new jobs, encourage more people to live and work in rural areas and allow rural businesses to grow for the benefit of communities across the country. There is tremendous untapped economic potential in the countryside. With the right policies, rural businesses could add another £43bn to the national economy. We encourage the Prime Minister now to be bold, and bring forward a robust and ambitious plan to create new growth in our rural communities."

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