Barrie Grunewald: Abuse is never acceptable

Council leader 'Barrie Grunewald
Council leader 'Barrie Grunewald

We’re renewing our efforts to end domestic abuse in support of the national White Ribbon Campaign - and inviting local people to pledge their support.

The White Ribbon campaign was devised by an entirely male group to end violence against women, but the council wants to expand on that aim and our message is simple - domestic abuse knows no age, gender, race or religion.

The White Ribbon Campaign follows the well-received ‘Be a Lover, not a Fighter’ campaign, which aimed to stimulate conversation about domestic abuse - eliminating the associated stigma.

We’re one of many local authorities supporting the White Ribbon campaign – who all want to ensure that victims have access to appropriate services and feel effectively supported.

So, no matter what the circumstances, everyone who has suffered or who is currently suffering abuse - whether physical, emotional, sexual or even financial - should come forward and report the crime to the Independent Domestic Violence Advocate on 01744 743 200.

For more information about the campaign and to make your pledge, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/whiteribbon

Great to see one of our most popular attractions again shortlisted for the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.

Everyone at the Darkstar laser arena deserves special praise for the tremendous job they do in bringing visitors to St Helens.

The fact that they are looking to win this award again speaks for itself – and I’d like to wish them the very best of luck in the finals at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, on 22 May, 2015.

The pre-election rules around publicity kick in later this week, which means that I’ll be signing off for a while.

But before I do, a quick word about the importance of using your vote – whichever political party you support.

Thankfully we live in a democracy – which means we have the right to vote for whoever we want to in free and fair elections. In many other countries, citizens simply cannot do this.

By voting, we give the government legitimacy - meaning they have the people’s support to make decisions.

And it’s vitally important that young people use their vote too. The more who do, the more likely it is that politicians will come up with policies that benefit them.