Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new role - and a big thank you for the help and support last year

At last night’s Liverpool City Council AGM I was elected as Chair of Finance and Resources Select Committee, an exciting new role for me with a focus on scrutinising the council and its plans and policies around finances, budgets, HR and staffing amongst others. There will be a huge amount of detailed learning to do, understanding the new changes in Local Government finance whilst ensuring that we have absolutely the right policies in place for our workforce, but I am keen to take up the challenge.

This will of course mean however that I relinquish the role I have held this year of Assistant Cabinet Member for Equality and Diversity and Community Cohesion supporting Councillor Ann O’Byrne in particular in her role as Cabinet Member for Community Safety as well as Councillor Paul Brant looking at E&D as employers.

I have really enjoyed the work, more than you can possibly imagine, working alongside some great people on some very important issues for our city

We have done really good things to help tackle hate crime, and as the Chair of the Liverpool Hate Crime Reduction Forum I was very proud at our last meeting to hear from the national co-ordinator, Stephen Brookes MBE that Liverpool is held as a beacon of good practice in this area. With the RSLs agreeing Minimum Standards to tackle hate crime and the launch of LCCs Hate Crime Policy, to name but two of our achievements this year, as well as the good work developing further partnership working across all the agencies, we have achieved some really positive work this year.

We have worked really hard on the anti-homophobic bullying strategy across Liverpool, with a real partnership approach including LCC, GYRO and YPAS, Aerial Trust, Homotopia and Project Triangle, Armistead, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and Merseyside Police, Liverpool Youth Service and our Schools. This work which I hope will continue to be built upon should also see us leading the way nationally in this field as we have a very good story to tell.

The community cohesion action plans for the city have been closely monitored with the involvement for the first time of councilors as Community Cohesion Champions across the neighbourhoods working directly with officers and partners on very local issues of cohesion and tension monitoring in their area.

We had a wonderful inaugural Liverpool Pride, supported by the LGBT network, the council, police, fire-service, RSLs, Victim Support, Sigma and many different groups and organisations, bringing a wonderful day for the community, I look forward to 2011, see you all there!

I had huge support and help with Holocaust Memorial Day and Liverpool Remembers – again I believe we lead the country in drawing the analogies between Hate Crime and Holocaust and using the opportunity to look at today’s community cohesion issues in conjuction with reflections upon historical and current holocaust and genocide.

I was also delighted to play a small part in the support of the launch of the Liverpool Women’s Network through the good work of LCVS.

I could go on, and I am sure there are many great things we have done together in Liverpool over the last 12 months to further develop and grow the strength of our communities.

I want to thank everyone I have worked with who have offered me tremendous support and encouragement, and achieved some wonderful results for our city. My interest in this work has always been personal as well as professional so I don’t intend to walk away entirely, if I can help to support any projects or initiatives in the future in a personal capacity, I will of course do so.

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