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Morecambe Town Council aims to set up 'Training Centre'

Morecambe Town Council could become a 'training centre' offering courses to local people who are unemployed.

The town council is looking to deliver training on 'green skills' and other subsidised courses to residents who are struggling to find work.

The idea of becoming a local training provider was agreed by councillors at a meeting on Thursday night.

It was explained that a Morecambe Town Council Training Centre would also potentially save money for the council, and therefore Morecambe taxpayers, and could also raise more funds for the council.

Currently the council spends £1700 per delegate, plus additional travel costs, on training its new employees who work in its 'public realm' team - whose duties include weeding the local area.

But following Thursday's talks at Morecambe Town Hall, two council officers will be trained up, at a cost of £650 each, to become trainers themselves - so all public realm training can be delivered 'in-house'.

The council would then become a registered trainer with LANTRA, one of the leading awarding bodies for land-based industries in the country.

LANTRA develops training and qualifications in a wide range of areas, including forestry, horticulture, agriculture and landscape.

Luke Trevaskis, the town council's proper officer, told the meeting that if four courses were to be offered to the public each year, £28.680 could be generated for the town council.

Councillors agreed to a recommendation to approve two of its officers to be trained as trainers, and also to produce a list of possible courses to offer to the public in 2023. These would be approved at a future meeting.

Also at Thursday night's meeting, the town council declared a local biodiversity emergency and agreed to form a group to find ways to tackle it.

Reports suggest that 15 per cent of species in the UK are now threatened with extinction, so any council can declare a biodiversity emergency to find ways to improve nature conservation and support local wildlife.

Councillors also voted to contribute £1,000 to help tackle a shortage of young people and school leavers entering employment in local government. The money will go to a Society of Council Clerks scheme to fund training for residents.

It was also announced at the meeting that Morecambe Town Council has been awarded 'Quality Gold Status' in the National Association of Local Councils 'Local Council Award Scheme'.

The council has become the first parish/town council in Lancashire to achieve the recognition, for "its exceptional high standards in transparency, governance and community impact".

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