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Damien Moore MP brings together over 50 Parliamentarians in support of Drowning Prevention Week

THIS Week, Mr. Moore brought together in Parliament the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) CEO and Charity Director, lifeguards, Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, and over 50 other Parliamentarians to discuss the importance of spreading water safety awareness, as well as what practical steps could be taken in Southport to address the issue.

As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Water Safety, Mr. Moore hosted the RLSS UK, the national charity and leader in lifesaving and life guarding training across the UK and Ireland, in order to bring its Drowning Prevention Week campaign to Westminster and help raise awareness around water safety.

At the event, Mr. Moore saw this guidance 1st hand, including how to use throw lines, and tested out the cutting edge equipment that is now being used to keep our shorelines and lakes safer than ever.

The RLSS UK also showed Mr. Moore and other Parliamentarians the charity's brand new animation aimed at educating parents and their children about water safety and starting conversations over how families can enjoy the water safely this summer. Over 400 people die every year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning, yet every drowning is avoidable. Of those who drown, some 40% had no intention of entering the water in the 1st place. Yet people should still feel free to enjoy the water, as with the correct education and awareness, this can be done safely.

Drowning Prevention Week, which began on the 18th June and continues until the 25 June 2022, encourages the public to be ready to enjoy being in, on, or around water this summer by ensuring that they and their families have a good understanding of water safety.

Damien Moore, MP for Southport and Chair of the APPG on Water Safety, said:- "Every drowning is a tragedy, many of which are preventable, and so as Chair of the Parliament Group on Water Safety, it was a privilege to this week bring together 50 of my colleagues, alongside Olympians and the Royal Life Saving Society charity, to raise awareness around water safety. The RLSS's resolute mission for Drowning Prevention Week is to help people across the United Kingdom enjoy bodies of water safely and to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable on water safety. It is a mission that I feel passionately about and1 that I will give my utmost effort to support and spread. I believe that only through greater understanding can we help prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries, and ultimately save lives. I encourage everyone in Southport to learn more about water safety using the RLSS's resources. You never know whose life you could save."

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said:- "With June, July, and August 2022, proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone understands water safety, especially during the summer months. We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy their summer break and enjoy being in or around water, but be safe in the knowledge that they, and their children, have the skills and understanding about water safety, which could potentially save a life. It is fantastic to have Damien supporting our Drowning Prevention Week campaign and highlighting the issues surrounding water safety education and helping to educate communities in Southport."

Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, said:- "I have been privileged to work with the Royal Life Saving Society for many years, as we strive to spread awareness around water safety and help people to enjoy water safely. Every MP who came along to our event, and who helps us spread the message and awareness of this important campaign is helping us reach our ultimate goal of zero water deaths, and for that I am grateful."

Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, said:- "While swimming ability is of course crucial, far more worrying is the statistic that some 40% of people who drown had no intention of entering the water in the 1st place. Only be spreading greater awareness of water safety can we help people to enjoy water safely and reduce fatalities."


Liverpool is about to land a major transfer coup

LIVERPOOL is about to land a major transfer coup potentially worth 10's of millions of pounds. No, this is not an exclusive on Jurgen Klopp's next signing! This is about a transfer policy of a different kind.1 that could lead to a grassroots revolution, not on the football pitch, but in the community.

Voluntary groups in the City are set to be given the keys to unlock long held dreams of breathing new life into run down areas or buildings, creating new businesses and homes and generating jobs for years to come.

Liverpool City Council's cabinet has today approved what has been described as a game-changing boost to regeneration in its neighbourhoods, by adopting a Community Asset Transfer policy.

At the heart of the policy is the radical concept of converting the "social value" of a community group's business plan into a monetary value which can then be used to offset the cost of using Council owned land or buildings.

The aim is to support third sector groups whose primary purpose in using a Council asset is to offer Liverpool residents social, community or environmental benefits. Council buildings or land may be leased at less than market rent in return for delivery of such social value outcomes.

The passing on of ownership and/or management to voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises and other not-for-profits could be done on either a long term or a short-term basis. And by adopting this policy it will allow these groups to then use the commercial market value of the land or property to support their bids for loans or external funding.

The thinking behind the policy goes to the heart of Mayor Joanne Anderson's triple lock programme (on equality, inclusion and environmental sustainability) which is aimed at placing social value at the heart of the Council's decision making process and how it evaluates the non-financial benefits of a scheme.

The policy also underpins 2 key ambitions of the Council's City Plan:-

1. To help create thriving, empowered and compassionate communities for all.

2. To assist community and voluntary organisations to provide services and support for the City's most vulnerable people.

The Community Asset Transfer policy has also been designed to respond to the Best Value inspection which found the Council's support and leasing of properties to 3rd sector organisations was ad hoc and lacked a consistent and clear direction.

Another major benefit of this new approach is that it will also offer a solid base for community organisations to work from, allowing them to plan with security and to attract new revenue streams which could help improve the skills and capacity of staff and volunteers.

How will the Community Asset Transfer policy work?

Applications will be subject to the City Council's due diligence checks and processes. Potential projects will be assessed for strategic fit, deliverability and impact (economic, social and environmental), and affordability.

The City Council will provide 2 primary means of affordability support:-

   Rental or transfer of asset at less than market value in return for the delivery of social value outcomes or in kind advice and support.

   For disposals where the receipt inclusive of associated fees is over £250,000, the highest tender will be referred to Cabinet for approval.

   For disposals under £250,000, the highest tender may be approved and accepted by the Director of Finance and Resources - in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.

What are the next steps?

The process will be advertised on the City Council's website in the near future, once the new process and a delivery plan has been finalised.

Following publication, the City Council will also seek to work with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the third sector to identify any additional capacity building and feasibility funding for potential applicants with regards to community transfers.

And following today's Cabinet approval, the City Council will now seek to embed the principles in a forthcoming community led housing policy, which will support community based organisations wishing to acquire sites for the provision of affordable local housing.

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said:- "There are so many buildings or pieces of land in Liverpool that are simply being left to rot because the Council does not have the finances to resurrect them - while at the same time the City's third sector is full of ideas on how they can be used to rejuvenate a community. This Community Asset Transfer policy is going to right that wrong. This is going to kick-start a grassroots revolution by giving the power to the people to realise their ambitions, hopes and dreams for a plot of land or a building and unlock its potential. I said when I ran for Mayor that the Council needed to embrace the triple lock principle of embedding social value in our thinking and decision making process. It's taken time for that idea to be turned into a reality, but 12 months on here is a policy that is literally going to change the face of a neighbourhood and improve the life opportunities of countless people right across the City for years to come; with social value right at the heart of that."

Councillor Sarah Doyle, Cabinet member for Development and Economy, added:- "This is the Council seeking to deliver on the City Plan commitment to empower communities to tackle problems and shape their own neighbourhoods. There's scope for some really exciting projects to emerge which could improve delivery of crucial services as well as the places we live. I'm really excited by the potential of this as it could have a huge impact on the quality of life of the most vulnerable people in our communities, as the third sector plays a major role in supporting them. Once fully adopted it will also make a big difference to community led-housing and another plus for the City is that by transferring the asset, the Council will be saving money in the long term be it on maintenance costs, utility bills or security fees. And we know all of these funds could be better invested elsewhere."

Paul Kelly, Director of Breaking Ground, which supports community-led regeneration by providing advice on maximising the use of assets across the Liverpool City Region, said:- "We are really excited to see the development of this policy by Liverpool City Council,1 which demonstrates real leadership and vision. This places Liverpool at the forefront of this work on a national level and is a true game changer in the way the City aims to enable local communities play a part in their own regeneration. This is a really important moment for transparent approaches to community led regeneration in our Region and Breaking Ground will do all we can to support the Council deliver on this exciting agenda."


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