Is Sefton on the up? – Seems so from these official JSA stats

The report below on Sefton’s Job Seekers Allowance Claimant count for August may well be of interest. Whilst stats can be useful (and easily misused) they do seem to show a developing positive picture for the Borough. Some of the references throughout the report are to Borough Council wards i.e. Birkdale, Linacre etc.


There has been continued positive movement in the Sefton’s claimant count this month (August). The youth claimant rate is at its lowest recorded level and Sefton continues to close the gap with the UK.

The current claimant rate in Sefton is now 2.7%.
There are now 4,417 JSA claimants in the borough, a further fall of 443 on the previous month.
The claimant count is now 39.2% lower than it was 12 months ago.

JSA Claimant Rate August 2013 – August 2014

The claimant rate in Sefton continues to fall and is now just 2.7%. The gap with the UK narrowed again this month.

Claimant Count Changes August 2013 – August 2014

Sefton has seen the biggest % improvement across its City Region neighbours, and is also greater than both regional and national figures. Can’t help noticing here that Lancashire/West Lancashire as our most significant neighbour is not spoken of! It’s as though it does not exist.

Claimant Count by Area and Age Group August 2013 – August 2014

With the continuing fall in the claimant rate across the borough, many areas are moving closer to, or beyond the UK rate of 2.3%.

Annual improvements amongst Sefton’s wards range from 27.7% in Birkdale to 60.4% in Meols.

Short Term Changes in Claimant Rates August 2013 – August 2014

Over the last 6 months the biggest fall was again in the Linacre & Derby area, down by 1.6%.
Claimant rates in Sefton range from 0.6% in Harington to 7.6% in Linacre.

JSA Claimant On -Flow and Off-Flow

The off-flow from JSA continues to exceed the on-flow, with a difference of over 400 this month.

Claimants Moving Off JSA and into Employment August 2013 – August 2014

In August 2014, of the 1,204 people moving off JSA, 530 (44%) were known to have found employment.

JSA Claimant On-Flow by Age and Gender August 2013 – August 2014

August 2014 saw a 4% rise in the number of new JSA claimants. The last couple of months has seen the on-flow stabilise a little.
30% of new claimants were aged 18-24 years, 51.6% were 25-49 years and 18.3% were aged 50+.

Age and Duration of Claims August 2014

The figures show that over the last 12 months, the biggest falls have been amongst those who have been claiming JSA for the shortest time.
Long term unemployment still persists, with 36% of claimants claiming for over 12 months.

Claimant Count and Rate for 18-24 year olds August 2013 – August 2014

Another large fall in the claimant rate for young people in Sefton this month, with the rate falling by almost 1%.
The number of 18-24 year olds claiming JSA has fallen by just over 47% in the last 12 months.

Young Claimants as a Proportion of All Claimants August 2008 – August 2014

The number of new young claimants has slowed significantly in recent months.
However we should remain aware that those who are claiming for the longest time struggle to move into employment, and the long term claimant rate remains high at almost 22%.

Southport Airshow 2014

Some nice shots via the two links above from the Liverpool Echo and the Flickr site of George C1.

I used to go to this show every year but have not been for 2 or 3 years. The weather was great for it yesterday and it looks set for another nice day today.

Here’s a link to a shot I took at the 2006 Southport Airshow:-

This show draws thousands of folk to the North West’s best seaside resort and the vast expanse of sand is perfect for such an event. Now if only the rail links east and north from/to Southport were better people would be able to get to the Town more easily! Oops, on soap box again!!

Child fall – Hilton Liverpool – BBC & Echo have the worrying story

The BBC covers it via the link above:-

The Liverpool Echo covers it via the link above:-

Let’s hope the child gets well again as a priority but how on earth could this have happened?

Japanese Knotweed – Foxhouse Lane, Maghull

This troublesome plant has been causing problems in Foxhouse Lane, Maghull for some time; at least 15 to 18 years to my knowledge. The plant is on Network Rail land which forms the embankment of the Liverpool – Ormskirk railway line just north of Maghull Station.


Click on the photo to enlarge it

My old chum and former Maghull Town Councillor Charles Walker (see photo above) was tackling it over 15 years ago and he got what was then Railtrack to take action to try to eradicate it. I recall Charles, now a young 93, reminding Railtrack for some years to continue the treatment because I am told it can take 5 or more years to eradicate it. Sadly, the work did not see its demise and it is now getting out of control again and growing under the pavement in Foxhouse Lane causing Sefton Council to try to address the problem as well.

The redoubtable Maghull In Bloom Volunteers are also on the case.

The link below to a wikipedia page gives more information about this invasive plant.

Echo – Ambitious 30 year plan to expand rail network around Liverpool

The link to the Echo story is above:-

The test of this will be delivery of it as my previous postings, looking at Merseytravel’s aspirations over many years, led to the inevitable conclusion that it was good at the talk but mediocre on the delivery.

A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station

A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station

I really do want this latest plan to work but forgive me if I remain just a little sceptical for two reasons. Firstly the one above – a poorish track (no pun intended) record of delivering rail improvements on and around Merseyside. Secondly, it still beggars belief that I had to put a motion before Sefton Council before the City Region would take the Southport, Wigan, Manchester line seriously.

I look forward to my sceptical outlook being proved to be ill-founded.

Calls for more powers for English regions – Liberals have been saying that for generations!

This piece is from prior to the Scottish referendum result, although let’s face it that result was never in doubt despite the tedious incessant media hype of recent weeks.

Graham Allen MP, chairman of the House of Commons political and constitutional reform committee, has said that English regions should get the power to spend the tax collected from local residents in the wake of further Scottish devolution. He said that devolution should not just be for Scotland if it is to be credible. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “Devolution isn’t just for Scotland. This week I’d like to see Miliband, Clegg and Cameron issue a statement saying very clearly that we are in favour of both union and devolution, and perhaps to be credible, it can’t apply only to Scotland, it must also find a way to apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

The Guardian ran this piece

Some people take a long time to catch on, don’t they. For what it is worth Mr Allen Liberals have been championing this cause for generations, it’s Tories and Socialists who have been keen to hold tight to the reigns of power in Westminster!