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There is more than meets the eye with local war hero

An heroic centenarian was recently recognised for his exploits during World War Two in a special ceremony at Bootle Town Hall.  

Cyril Askew, 100, late of the King’s Regiment, now the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, holds the very rare distinction of having serving in two theatres of war during the same conflict.

He was hosted by The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Dave Robinson in the Council Chambers on December 5 as he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for serving at Normandy in World War Two.

Cyril, who hails from Litherland, was typically modest in his account of his exploits:

“I returned home in 1944 having served 7 years as a regular soldier in the 1st Battalion of The King’s Regiment in India.

“I was then attached to the 2nd Battalion of The Lincolnshire Regiment. I was in France from 6 June to 22 July 1944, where I took part in the successful capture of the chateau at Lion-sur-Mer and liberating Caen.

“I was then involved in Operation Goodwood until 20 July, where the Battalion suffered 250 casualties.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Dave Robinson said:

“It is very humbling to spend time in the company of Cyril and other members of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. It was a great privilege to present him with his medal for his selfless role in Normandy.

“While it has rightly been an honour to recognise Cyril for his role in France, it is only one part of the story. He was also a Chindit as part of the 1st Battalion of the King’s Regiment in India. To have done both is a very rare feat in indeed, in what was a remarkable military service.

“We really are proud to say that a man as rare and brave as Cyril is one of our own.”

Cyril is the latest Sefton recipient of the Legion D’Honneur. Former flying ace Len McNamara was honoured with the same accolade at Southport Town Hall earlier this month.

Below: Cyril receives his medal from Cllr. Dave Robinson, Mayor of Sefton 


Sefton Council reviews Family Centres proposal after community feedback

Sefton Council has listened to its communities and is recommending not to create three Family Wellbeing Centres at this time following overwhelming public feedback.

The Council had been consulting on proposals to have three integrated family and children centre bases for children and young people from 0 to 19 and their families.

More than 1,600 people gave their views during the consultation and the Council held 15 public engagement events. While the majority were in favour of a more joined up approach for a new service through a whole family approach to cover ages from pre-birth to 19 year olds in order, they were not in favour of having three main centres.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to every person who has taken time to respond to this consultation.

 “We have taken great care in listening to our communities and all along we have been clear that we would listen to people’s views. As a result of this valuable feedback, we will consider changing our plans and are recommending that all the existing children and family centres remain open, but will cover support for 0-19 year olds, expand outreach and provide early help services. This will allow us to be more joined up and still make the most of the money that we have available to ensure support for those most in need. It will complement the work we’re doing to transform the way we provide early intervention and prevention services.”

However, due to significant reductions in Government funding over the last few years, the Council has had to make some tough decisions. In order to retain the centres within their current bases and to keep within the available budget, the Council acknowledges it will not be possible to provide the same level of activity within the centres. 

In a report going to Cabinet on December 7, the Council is highlighting this issue and is recommending to change the way it provides funding to the children’s and family centres going forward.

This proposal would mean that the allocated monies will be prioritised on providing services that support parents, carers and all children regardless of age.

If the recommendations are approved, the Council will work closely with schools on the impact of the funding changes, as there would also be likely implications for employees of both the Council and those employed by schools.

Read about Sefton Council’s decision in full at the Agenda for Cabinet on 7 December.


Make Christmas special for children with the Mayor of Sefton

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, is asking as many people as possible across the borough to get behind this year’s Christmas gift appeal. 

The annual request asks all residents in Sefton to try and provide presents for some of the borough’s most deserving children and make this Christmas extra special for them.  

Gifts, for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library or leisure centre by Wednesday, December 20.

Gifts can also be dropped at the Asda store at Central 12 in Southport. Gift tokens are particularly welcome to be given to older children. 

All presents collected will later be distributed to children and young people throughout the borough by volunteers from Sefton Council and Sefton Children’s Trust on behalf of the Mayor. 

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “I am urging anyone who lives or works in Sefton to try and donate a present for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal.

“Every year the generosity of people is amazing and I’m hoping 2017 will be no different as we make Christmas that little bit special for those less fortunate. 

“Any donation is welcome and we are looking for gifts for all ages from babies and toddlers to teens. To ensure we can get the right gift to the right child may I please ask that the gifts be new and are left unwrapped.” 

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal please call 0151 934 3359. 

Safely does it for children in Formby and Southport

Sefton Council is telling local residents the one about the child who crossed the road safely. School crossing patrol

The local authority is launching a drive to recruit School Crossing Patrols to help school children in Formby and Southport. They will be replacing those who are retiring from the role.

Marie Gosling, School Crossing Manager at Sefton Council said:

“People underestimate what an important role our school crossing patrol plays. Patrols are highly respected members of the community and provide a vital safety service for children and parents alike.

“This is a fantastic role for anyone looking for part time hours, looking for flexibility in their working life. Typically you can expect to work up to 8 hours per week, at £8 per hour with all of your travel expenses paid.

“It is also a good way to meet new people and make new friends.”

If working as a school crossing patrol is something that would interest you, contact the Senior School Crossing Supervisor, Marie Domville, on 0151 288 6153.

You’ve used your vote, so take good care of it

A guest blog by Joanne Lee, Sefton CVS

So, I wake up and send my mate Richard a Snapchat story from last night, even though we went see Derren Brown together.

Take care of your vote
It’s boring I know, but make sure you’ve had one of these!

Then a quick scroll through the craziness of Twitter, as I do every day, see that the world is completely mad, but 2017 has been one of those hasn’t it? Has it always been like this?

Anyway, I digress. There is a point to all this!

Like any routine, and being starved of tech for nearly three months, I slipped straight into my social apps when I touched down on my flight from Liberia* in May.

It turned out I had the small matter of a general election to vote in. Britain, I can’t leave you alone for 3 months!

Before I voted I had to deal with a major comedown – Liberia was monumental, life changing, all of those clichés!

The buzz of seeing my mates, a promotion at work, jaunts to Scandinavia and Hamburg, soon wore off (I still can’t get Michael Jackson’s Liberian Girl out of my head though).

While all this was going I was sorting out somewhere to live.

Oh, and that general election. I voted in 2015 so I didn’t have to worry about registering. Right? Wrong! The electoral register still had me at my old address and I hadn’t signed the papers on my new place.

I actually panicked (for five minutes), which probably seems weird to you. I’m not one of the disaffected millennials that you read about in the press, but even my mates who aren’t politico geeks were fired up for this election, so no way was I missing out.

It turned out I needn’t have worried and my details were updated as soon as I signed my rental papers and could confirm my new address details. Phew!

Yes that’s right, if you’ve changed address without updating your records on the electoral register, or haven’t updated your details at your current address in the last 3 years, you won’t be able to vote when the next election comes around. And who knows when that will be?

If you’re at uni, you can be registered at two addresses, but if you want to vote in a general election, need to decide which of those addresses you will vote at and stick to that polling station. 

Updating your records is really easy to do online. If it’s only to confirm that the details haven’t changed, just send a text to 80212 or call 0800 197 9871 Make sure that you use the reference number on the mail out you have received in the post, which I am clearly overjoyed to be holding (see picture above).

If you haven’t received the form, contact Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845 or by email

So, that point I wanted to make? If, like a lot of my friends you were finally fired up to get off your backsides in June, a vote is for life not just for elections. You need to take good care of it. If you don’t look after it, you won’t have a voice.

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