Everyone has a role to play

TODAY (Wednesday 18 March) is National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day. Along with councils and other agencies across the country we’re doing all we can to help – and we’re urging everyone else to follow suit.

Everyone has a role to play. It can take up to seven years for a victim to come forward - either because they are ashamed, they have no-one they can trust to believe them, or no-one actually asks in the first place.

Councils across the country are supporting the awareness day. And in Merseyside local authorities will be working closely with the police to use 18 March as a springboard for a 12 month campaign – Listen to My Story – that will see posters distributed to schools, wallet cards given to young people and professionals working with children.

Residents can show their support for national CSE Awareness Day by writing a personal pledge on their hand and posting it to their social media account with the hashtag #HelpingHands. This is designed to help raise awareness of child sexual exploitation nationwide - reaching a network of friends, family and social groups.

The new Thunderclap website can also be used to Tweet or Facebook message your support - all on the same day at the same time – to achieve the maximum effect.

All you have to do is go to http://tinyurl.com/lpgf6bo and chose either ‘support with Twitter’ or ‘support with Facebook’ – or both. Then, add your name to the Thunderclap and on National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day (18 March) everyone who has signed up will automatically post on Facebook and Twitter – with a link to the campaign.

WE’RE making it easier for people to get around the borough by bike and on foot. In total, around 22 kilometres of track have been constructed over the last three years.

The finishing touches are now being added to a new section of cycleway – which will eventually link the full length of the Sankey Canal route through to Widnes via Warrington.

Meanwhile a section near Wagon Lane in Haydock, long prone to flooding, is the subject of extensive work to restore culverts, ditches and silted up ponds.

Local Sustainable Grant funding is being used to carry out the work, due to be completed by April. It’s some of the most significant funding of its type that we’ve able to bring to bear on this issue – and will enable us to open up places in Haydock, Newton-le-Willows and Rainford – for both cyclists and walkers - that weren’t easy to get to in the past.

They’re well worth a visit – and I’d urge everyone who’s able, to go out and enjoy these much improved rural walks!"

COMIC Relief is always something to look forward to – and this year’s event didn’t disappoint.

A staggering £78 million was raised during Friday’s Red Nose Day, the highest ever total in its 30 year history.

I know many people throughout the borough gave up their time to raise money and made generous donations to the cause – so a big well done to everyone.

And, of course, one of the highlights of Friday night’s spectacular was our own Johnny Vegas lining up with other celebrities for the hilarious One Direction tribute. Priceless!


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