Knowsley Council has tonight (Wednesday, 6 March) endorsed the recommendation at its Council meeting to invest almost £5m to address a number of key priorities across the borough. These include:
Investing to tackle anti-social behaviour
It was agreed that a dedicated, multi-agency local response team be established to tackle anti-social behaviour in Knowsley. This new team will complement and strenghten existing arrangements that are in place in Knowsley and will include representatives from the council, Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service, working alongside key partners from Villages Housing and Knowsley Housing Trust. The new team will ensure agencies are working together even more effectively to tackle issues around anti-social behaviour.
In addition, the investment will be used to purchase mobile CCTV cameras to address fly tipping issues, helping to identify and prosecute offenders, especially in hot spot areas such as local green spaces.
Councilllors also agreed to work towards the demolition of Reeds Court, Huyton, with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour in the area. Plans to redevelop the land will then be brought forward.
Investing to aquire land, support business and create jobs
Funding has been agreed to allow the council to work with existing businesses, offering support to help them expand and create jobs locally – bringing many benefits to the local economy.
The Council also plans to aquire some of the empty or obsolete properties which are holding up positive development in the borough. This will include the purchase of land in Huyton Village Centre to help progress its re-development.
And investment will also include the expansion of Whiston Cemetery to help provide greater capacity for burials as well as supporting the Halsnead Garden Village development.
Investing in education
Councillors have agreed that money should be allocated to improve the identification and assessment of special educational needs.
The investment will also fund the establishment of a new, dedicated education centre in Knowsley for learners aged 19 and above who have special educational needs and / or disabilities. This will be developed in partnership with parents and carers to ensure it properly addresses the needs of the young adults.
Knowsley’s school improvement service will also be redesigned so that the council can continue to do everything within its own limited powers to help the education system to improve outcomes for local children.
Investing in leisure facilities
Funding has been agreed to help support the delivery of leisure services in Knowsley. This will help ensure the current level of services across the borough continue without the need to reduce opening hours. It will also cover the cost of essential maintenance in a number of leisure centres, including boiler replacement and swimming pool improvements in Halewood and heating improvements at Stockbridge Village neighbourhood centre.
These investments will have a positive impact on local communities in Knowsley
Cllr Jayne Aston, Cabinet Member for Resources, said:
“Whilst we are facing some particularly challenging budget cuts from central Government, our effective budget management process has enabled us to invest in initiatives that will have a positive impact on our local communities.
“Addressing anti-social behaviour, improving educational outcomes for our children and young people as well as accelerating investment and growth in our borough are all key priorities for the council, our local residents and businesses.
“I’m delighted that an investment package to address these issues has been approved and I look forward to seeing the impact this investment has over the coming months and years.”