Mayoral leads reflect on 2018 (part one)

As the end of the year approaches, three of our Mayoral Leads reflect on the last 12 months and look ahead to 2019. 

New Year – Back to Sport? – Councillor Tim Moore Mayoral Lead for Organised Sport

In any year, January is a great time to get fit and active. Many people will join a gym, and you can see the fantastic value Lifestyles offer here, or if the new year is a time to save a few pounds as well as losing them, then it costs nothing to go for a run in one of our beautiful parks – complete with distance markers to keep a check on where and how far you are going, and a dedicated track in Sefton Park.

However if a sport rather than the gym or a recreational run is your thing, then there are a wealth of options for you to look at. You can find out some of these at Liverpool Sports forum or and with the Mayoral Active Sports Fund helping secure a legacy from our 2020 Commonwealth Games bid that enthused so many people about Liverpool’s Sporting Offer, Liverpool Council is pleased to be supporting thousands of people across the city to get involved, and hopefully at this time of year even get back to taking part in regular organised sport.

In 2018, the programme was expanded to include sports that don’t feature in the Commonwealth Games, with many new clubs successful across the city. And great as it is for those successful clubs, in an echo of Pierre De Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics famous view that it was “not the winning but the taking part that counts” even those bidders who didn’t win out this time have been guaranteed a meeting or advice from City Council sports development colleagues about what other avenues might be available to progress their ambitions for their sport.

2019 though is set to be a special year for Liverpool and one sport in particular as we host the 2019 netball World Cup. Many will have seen the England Team triumphantly bring home gold from the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, but not all will be aware of the growing grassroots success story that netball is becoming. Netball is already the UK’s number one female participation sport. Approximately 1.4 million women and girls play netball at some point in a typical season, according to England Netball, and we want 2019 to be the year that Liverpool drives this progress even further.

Liverpool City Region has 54 teams playing across five divisions in the highly competitive Liverpool league, plus others in the commercial social league. Development of netball in Liverpool is supported through a number of weekly accessible and inclusive Back to Netball and Walking Netball Sessions in community facilities, and many players have been inspired to come back to the sport.

We’ll be sharing their stories on a regular basis over the coming weeks, and especially in the run up to International Women’s Day. However, we’ll let Sarah take the 2019 Centre pass to start our exciting year…

I was nervous, unsure of the rules and worried about how unfit I was prior to attending my first netball session as a 30 (something) year old woman, who last played when I was a fit, young 16 year old. “All my fears were completely dispelled at the first Back to Netball session where I was met with a reassuring coach, friendly faces and achievable warm-ups!”. Since joining over a year ago, Sarah has made new friends whilst developing a real love for the game. Each week we learn new skills and I feel like my coach has been determined to ensure I improve and develop as a player. Sarah added “I am now at the stage where I would like to join a team and play competitively because I have been coached so well and my confidence has grown. Thank you to all at the Back to Netball team for encouraging women back into such a great team sport!”

In Liverpool, all types of opportunities are available on a daily basis to become active Netball. Do you fancy getting back into the game with our Back to Netball programme or, as one player puts it, even if it’s a milder ‘wiggle’ for you – why not try some Walking Netball? England Netball’s community development coach for Merseyside, Karen McVeigh, delivers these sessions on a daily basis and in her own words ‘’is inspired to see women challenge themselves every day.’’ She claims, ‘’it makes my job so fun and I am passionate to get up and go every morning.’’ On the ground Karen is accompanied by her colleague Louise Moss, who is the sports development officer for Merseyside, and has been working for England Netball for six years. For further information please contact: or

The City of Liverpool is aiming to being the most active core city in England by 2021 and Liverpool City Council alongside a number of partners and stakeholders has committed to their Physical Activity & Sport Strategy. We are encouraging as many inactive people as possible to include as little as ten minutes of physical activity in their daily routine and be motivated to have an active lifestyle. The strategy is supported by the Fit for Me campaign which provides advice on how to fit activity around your life and making yourself feel good.

The sport of netball is a key recreational activity which will allow girls and women to start being active or get back into sport. For more information about the Fit for Me campaign and netball opportunities, please visit

If you are reading this and have any ideas about how we could bring netball closer to you, your friends or where you live and work, please email

Goodbye 2018 – and thank you to everyone who made sport happen

Fantastic as 2019 is shaping up to be, New Year is also an opportune time to reflect on the year before.

With this in mind, on behalf of Liverpool City Council, as Mayoral Lead for Sport I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved in grassroots sport across Liverpool. If you’ve played, then thanks for being part of what makes us such an Active City. But if you’ve been part of that incredible volunteer infrastructure; Refs, Umpires, Coaches, Club Secretaries, League Administrators, Grounds and Clubhouse volunteers, or even if you’ve made the after match teas, then we’d like to offer a special thank you. Grassroots sport would not happen or function without everything you do. A lot of it is unseen, too much of it can go without thanks, and almost all of it is done for free. So thank you for what you do and best wishes for, you, your club and your sport in the New Year.

On a final note – just one example of the above is the story of the VI Cricket Team at Wavertree Cricket Club. It is of course just one story, and the passion, commitment and support from those who take part is reflected and shared by many other clubs, players and sports across the city – but we thought we’d share it as an inspiring example of what can be achieved when clubs, governing bodies and others work together. We are proud to have played a small, but we hope supportive part as a council in helping the club to grow. Here’s to doing the same for many more in 2019.

Mayoral Lead for Mental Health – Councillor Roz Gladden

Since becoming Mayoral Lead for Mental Health, I have been busy meeting various organisations and will continue this into 2019. Our organisations are doing their best to keep their heads above water but do an excellent job supporting and assisting those with poor mental health to keep going. This could mean dealing with substance misuse, homelessness, poverty or a loss of access to mainstream services. Most of our organisations that operate in the city are in the voluntary sector and it is now evident that decreased funding is severely impacting the work that they are able to do. However, I am committed to ensuring that their concerns are listened to and that I can advocate on their behalf.

To this end, we are due to hold the inaugural meeting of the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Forum on Wednesday 19th December. This body will meet six times a year and report on progress being made and how we can best support our organisations while encouraging and sharing best practice in the field. Members of the Forum, which will be chaired by me, are taken from a broad spectrum of organisations across the city including the police, fire service, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Housing, Trade Unions and particularly those who provide direct support.

We are also working towards providing Ambassador of Hope training to Councillors and officers so that those within our employ can access support within the workplace.

Finally can I ask any organisation or individual who would like to discuss mental health and wellbeing to contact me by e-mail to arrange a visit or appointment?

Abdul Qadir, Mayoral Lead for Youth and Citizen Engagement

As part of my Mayoral Lead role, I’ve been visiting schools and Youth centres across the city, talking to the children about what I do as a city councillor and I ask them two questions: what they would like to change about Liverpool and what like about Liverpool. Some of the answers are the best I’ve heard throughout my political career! As Christmas is all about the children, for this blog, I wanted to share some of the answers and to show the importance of listening to our children’s views. Believe me, you’ll be astounded by how articulate and intelligent the children are.

What would you like to change about Liverpool?
I don’t like how the teenagers hang around the park, they make me scared to go there. S (aged 9)

The streets need to be more safe, kids are getting hurt by knifes. We need more cameras and police. It stops me going out after school and I’m not allowed to go to certain places. E (aged 10)

I would do more recycling and stop people from dropping litter. J (aged 10)

I would build more houses with gardens to play in. My family live in a flat and I have to share a room with my little sister. Sometimes we get rats, we want to move but we can’t. S (aged 7)

No thanks – Liverpool is great! J (aged 8)

People are silly – they do drugs or drink then speed, even by the zebra crossing by school.

Cars don’t stop and the lollipop man is not always there. G (aged 10)Too much swearing and smoking!

People should have to sign a register if they want to buy cigarettes. (E aged 8)

Shops selling guns but not the bullets. Too many people have guns. M (aged 10)

The cost of uniforms – it’s really dear for my mum to buy. B (aged 7)

Scrambler bikes, they drive them too fast outside my school. C (aged 6)

What do you like about Liverpool?

I like how Liverpool is really quiet and safe, there’s no bombs going off at night like in my old country. S (aged 7)

I like how the people come together, like after Hillsborough, when everyone stuck together and boycotted The Sun newspaper. J (aged 10)

Lots of clean toys. My old country didn’t have any toys, I have lots of fun in this city. M (aged 8)

Lots of different religions. No-one judges each other and everyone is nice to each other. L (aged 9)

Sports! Especially Liverpool and Everton. I like going swimming and to gymnastics in Park Road. E (aged 5)

Good communities, everyone is really friendly and our neighbours are really kind. We all look after each other. E (aged 8)

The scouse accent! I love how we talk, it’s the best! D (aged 7)

It’s really big, and there’s always something to do or visit. I really liked the Giants, Xolo the dog was my favourite and we had a picnic with them in the park. W (aged 6)

I like going to all the parks, my mum takes me when I’m good. It’s always fun, I can play there and walk the dogs. A (aged 7)

The docks and all the history, we have loads of heritage and nice buildings and you can do lots of sightseeing. T (aged 9)

One of my priorities is to make sure that their voices are heard by local councillors, cabinet members and officers I hope that young people will be at the heart of decision-making in Liverpool city council.

I would like to thank the young people of the city for playing a positive role in their community.

I would also like to thank the schools and youth centres for giving me the opportunity to visit and engage with young people.

Last but not least I would like to thank those ward councillors who accompanied me on my visit and to my support staff who are working tirelessly to make things happen.

Liverpool Waterfront