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Liverpool City Region's local Councils invited to showcase their small business support credentials at new FSB awards

THE Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a new awards to recognise Local Government support for small businesses. For the 1st time, all 6 local Councils in Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) have been invited to nominate themselves against Local Authorities and Councils across England to celebrate their small businesses support credentials. The FSB, the UK's leading small business membership organisation, will host the inaugural FSB Local Government Awards, on 14 October 2022. The awards ceremony will be held at DRP Group in Worcestershire, a state of the art venue which has hosted events such as the Gadget Show, and will be jointly produced with students from Kidderminster College, giving them hands on experience at a high profile professional event.  Local Government is vital to supporting small firms and sole traders, helping to boost local economies create employment.  The aim of the awards is to highlight outstanding partnerships and projects, so that:- 'best practice' examples can be shared and developed, and increase knowledge among Local Government organisations of the types of projects and programmes that work best to empower the small business community.  In turn, small firms themselves will have the opportunity to find out more about the types of support available to them.

The 2022 awards will cover 4 main categories:-

  Covid19 Support and Recovery; how Councils supported local businesses in innovative and proactive ways during the Pandemic.

  Programme of Business Support; what is on offer to local businesses, including:- a small business focused procurement programme, schemes to help high streets, crime reduction, and help on:- 'ESG' (environmental, sustainability, and governance) issues.

  Future Ready; what Councils and Local Authorities are doing to address skills gaps, adapt high streets to shifting consumer habits, help local firms on the way to net zero, nurture future entrepreneurs, and more.

  All Round Small Business Friendly; to recognise an overall outstanding contribution to the life and health of the local business community.

Local Authorities and Councils can nominate themselves for the awards, which are free to enter, and are invited to contact the FSB for more information or visit:- FSB.Org.UK.

Michael Sandys, FSB Merseyside and Cheshire Area Leader (Liverpool City Region), said:- "Small businesses are at the heart of our communities across Cheshire and Warrington, providing employment and driving local economies. Local Councils which recognise and support their part in the fabric of community life should be rightfully celebrated. There is so much fantastic work being done by Local Authorities and Councils in partnership with small firms and entrepreneurs that deserves more prominence, and our inaugural FSB Local Government Awards will shed light on this vital area of partnership between the public and private sectors. Innovation and imagination will be needed from Local Government bodies and from small businesses alike as we face up to the challenges ahead, from reaching net zero to improving productivity in all of England's areas and Regions. By working together, we are all better off, and will build a stronger basis for growth and positive development."

£1.3m windfall secured by Merseyside's PCC to cut crime and build safer communities in Huyton and Picton

A £1.3m windfall has been secured by Merseyside's Police Commissioner to improve safety and tackle anti social behaviour in 2 communities blighted by crime and to expand a powerful campaign to tackle Violence against Women and Girls across the Region. Emily Spurrell has successfully bid for the huge cash investment from the Government's Safer Streets Fund for 2 projects focused on reducing crime in hotspot areas in Knowsley and Liverpool, and for extra funding to expand the successful Safer Streets Liverpool campaign aimed at preventing sexual violence particularly around the public transport network. Working with Knowsley Council, £367,000 of funding will be used to improve the safety of residents in Primrose Court, a housing estate which has suffered from high levels of crime and anti social behaviour in recent years.

The new funding will be used to put in place a raft of measures aimed at preventing crime and making residents feel more secure in their homes, including:- the installation of new CCTV, street lighting and fencing. The funding will also be used to provide security devices for homes on the estate, tackle fly tipping and improve local green spaces with the aim of rejuvenating the area and creating a healthier environment for residents. A similar community safety project will also be undertaken in Picton in Liverpool, an area which has a large student population and has seen a high number of burglaries in recent years. With this major new investment of £390,000, Liverpool City Council will work with the PCC and Merseyside Police to improve and upgrade street lighting, repair alley gates, redeploy CCTV and introduce security equipment to improve the safety of residents. The project team will also work with the Universities on a communication campaign focused on increasing crime prevention awareness and helping to integrate the student population with residents' associations and community groups.

A further £576,000 has been secured to expand the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and improve women's feelings of safety, particularly around the public transport network. The campaign, which was launched in partnership with Liverpool City Council in March, will be expanded to see an increased uniformed presence around transport hubs in Liverpool City Centre and dedicated student nights on the main bus route used by young people, as well as the introduction of 21 CCTV cameras along the route. Student volunteers similar to:- 'Street Pastors' will provide support to those who need it, such as helping people get home or providing emotional support. An education programme targeted at Primary Schools across will be used to help change attitudes and influence behaviour, as well as a programme targeted at adults to change and challenge misogynistic and stereotypical language. The new funding will also be used to roll out the campaign's educational programmes and marketing campaign to all areas of the Region.  The announcement brings the total funding secured by the PCC's office from the Safer Streets Fund to almost £3m.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:- "I am overjoyed we have secured this huge cash investment totalling £1,336,490 for these 3 much-needed projects aimed at improving safety in key areas across our Region. I visited both Primrose Court and Picton last week as part of ASB Awareness Week and saw for myself the issues these communities are facing. Knowsley is 1 of the most deprived Boroughs in the country, yet it didn't receive a penny in the Government's so-called:- 'levelling up' announcement. I'm determined to do what I can to address that, so it's great news that we have secured this major cash investment to focus on putting a stop to the issues which have afflicted Primrose Court for so long and to create a safer, cleaner, healthier environment for people living there. Picton is another area of our Region which has unfortunately been plagued by issues in recent years, particularly burglaries. Using this major cash boost, we can look to put some long term measures in place relatively quickly and easily that will make a genuine difference, helping to cut crime and improve the safety of local people. No-one should feel unsafe in their home or the area where they live. We've seen the success previous Safer Streets projects have had in other parts of Merseyside, like Birkenhead and the Flower Streets of Kirkdale, so I'm really hopeful we can change things for the better in Huyton and Picton too. I'm also thrilled that we've secured such a huge investment to expand our very successful Safer Streets Liverpool campaign across the whole of Merseyside. Women and girls told us they feel most unsafe using public transport at night, and this two-pronged campaign is really focused on responding to their concerns. Using practical solutions such as CCTV, a text message reporting service and bystander training, as well as education programmes and a high profile marketing campaign, we want to prevent and tackle sexual violence and ensure every woman feels safer and is safer."

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said:- "We know crime and anti social behaviour in Primrose Court is an ongoing issue and 1 we and our partners have been continuing to address for some time. I'm delighted that we have secured this funding to tackle the area's problems and the funding will be used to help to address a number of priority issues including:- highways, street lighting and CCTV. We now look forward to working with our community safety partners including:- Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner to implement the positive plans we have developed in order to create long term change."

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said:- "Improving safety in our neighbourhoods and tackling violence against women and girls are both huge priorities and I am delighted we have secured this funding. We have already had success tackling offences due to the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign, and the additional work we are planning will provide a reassuring presence to students on the way home. It is vital that we don't just challenge behaviour, but also seek to change it, which is why the education element is so important."

Merseyside Police's Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley said:- "This funding will help us continue our work with our partners to make our streets safer for women and girls, as well as tackle anti social behaviour and burglary in 2 areas that have sadly suffered at the hands of criminality in recent months. The expansion of the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign will build on efforts to ensure women feel safe as they move around the City, with more officers and CCTV coverage in key areas. Crucially, the next generation, as well as adults, will benefit from a programme to influence and challenge damaging behaviour. We have increased patrols and engaged targeted operations following reports of anti social behaviour in Primrose Court in Huyton, and this funding will mean lasting physical changes can also be made to the area. It will be used to improve the appearance of the area, and street lighting and CCTV will be installed. It is hoped this will restore pride in the area, help us detect criminality and bring offenders to justice, and ultimately deter anti social behaviour. In Picton earlier this year, we investigated a number of reports of burglars entering unlocked doors and taking electrical equipment, with students among those targeted. We increased patrols in the streets affected and officers staffed a mobile police Station in the area, providing residents with home security advice and handing out smart video doorbells, marking property and registering electrical items. This funding means this work can continue with new residents, and that alley gates can be repaired alongside efforts to help students feel more involved in the local community."


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