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Football Pitches

Following discussions with the managing agents from the district leagues, matches on all Sefton Council playing fields have been postponed this weekend (Saturday, February 10, and Sunday, February 11, 2018).

The decision has been taken due to the current ground conditions caused by the recent poor weather and the present forecast.

The managing agents will notify relevant clubs and leagues affected.

£115,000 waste prevention fund for Merseyside and Halton community groups

A share of £115,000 is up for grabs to help make the region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19, which has been running annually since 2006.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

The impact of the 2016/17 Fund saw 10 projects deliver 23 full time equivalent jobs (created or safeguarded), participation by 136 volunteers, 25,970 people directly engaged, 1345 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £134,500 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

– creating a sensory learning garden from re-used materials in St Helens

– the development of a shop in Wirral to sell used clothes

– the repair and re-use of unused furniture for redistribution to the local community in Halton

– cookery skills clubs to help reduce food waste across Merseyside and Halton

– sewing classes in Knowsley

– timber waste re-use at a local community farm in Liverpool

– improving online retail skills for a charity shop in Sefton

This year bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in Merseyside and Halton in 2016 highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card and metals.

The Liverpool-based Neighbourhood Services Company Ltd (NSC) – which operates Home Farm at Croxteth Park – is one organisation to have benefitted from the Community Fund. The project used money to rescue old and unwanted wood to renovate animal dwellings, as well as enlisting the help of adults with learning difficulties to transform the raw materials into new products which are available to buy in the Craft Shop at the farm.

 

Lisa Jennions, NSC Manager, said: “The ongoing support from MRWA has been invaluable in enabling us to deliver recycling and reuse activities at Home Farm. The project is extremely popular with visitors and it’s great to see new life breathed into what was previously ‘waste’.”

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.

“Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.”

 

Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry. Projects will have ten months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started by June.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

Trees in Formby

Vital tree works will take place this week (commencing January 29) along Chapel Lane, Formby.

Chapel Lane will be temporarily closed to vehicles while the works take place each day. The road will reopen to traffic during the evenings.

The works will also allow for the planting of seven new trees before the end of March 2018, with replacement trees expected to be a mix of species including non-fruiting horse chestnut.

A study of the Chapel Lane trees by Sefton’s Parks and Greenspaces team has found that five existing trees are in need of pruning works, while five large and one small horse chestnut trees were found to have severely declined in recent years.

The 6 dying trees must be removed before they pose a significant health and safety risk.

Three large and one small tree are planned to be removed this week and the remaining two will be monitored and removed over a phased process.

Local residents and businesses nearby have been fully informed throughout this process.

Link Road Success

The A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has been praised through a top industry award.   

At the start of the Broom’s Cross Road contract, Sefton Council registered the scheme with CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental QUALity scheme).

CEEQUAL is the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering. It promotes and celebrates the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping, and public realm projects.

The whole A5758 scheme was assessed, from original concept, through design, construction and completion. Following a detailed assessment against the CEEQUAL award criteria, the scheme was awarded the ‘excellent’ standard.

A certificate to celebrate ‘excellence’ was recently presented to Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, at a Full Council meeting at Bootle Town Hall.

The 2.8 mile link road opened in the summer of 2015 and was constructed by main contractors Balfour Beatty. Broom’s Cross is the site of a medieval wayside cross near Thornton.

The road provides a faster, more direct link between the A565 in Thornton and the motorway network at Switch Island. It has also helped reduce ‘through traffic’ in the community of Netherton.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “It was a great honour to receive the award from CEEQUAL for a scheme that has made the whole of Sefton more accessible.

“It demonstrates the Council’s ability to deliver high quality infrastructure schemes across the borough.”

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “The road took a number of years to develop and construct and the fact it has been recognised through a top industry award goes to show how the time was well spent in planning and building a wonderful link road.

“Thousands of vehicles use the road every single day because of the improved links to the national motorway system at Switch Island.

“Construction of the road particularly resulted in environmental improvements to the area, including the creation of four new wildlife ponds and the planting of 39,000 new trees and shrubs.”

The total cost for the road was £20.4m – with £14.5m from the Department for Transport and £5.9m from Sefton Council.

Chris Broadbent, CEEQUAL Managing Director, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to present a CEEQUAL Award to this project to recognise the significant environmental and sustainability achievements of the Thornton to Switch Island Link Road team.”

Paul Weaver, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s North & Midlands regional business West Delivery Unit, added: “We are delighted that the A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has achieved the ‘Excellent’ status from CEEQUAL.

“It recognises our on-going commitment to the environment throughout the construction of this new ‘link’ road. At Balfour Beatty we strive to leave a positive footprint on the local environment including the integration of environmental and sustainability initiatives throughout the project lifecycle from conception to construction.”

For more information about the scheme and the Sefton case study visit: www.ceequal.com/case-studies/a5758-brooms-cross-road-thornton-to-switch-island-link/

Merseyside Police Dismantle Cannabis Farm Worth Over £1 Million a Year at House in Bootle

Merseyside Police have discovered a cannabis farm worth more than £1 million per year in Bootle today, Friday 12 January 2018.

At around 7.10pm yesterday (Thursday, 11 January), officers were called to a house on Hawthorne Road after reports of squatters in the premises.

Officers from the force’s specialist Cannabis Dismantling Team (CDT) attended and made the property safe. A large cannabis farm with 271 plants was found across four floors of the property. The electric supply was found to be have been bridged. Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.

Sergeant Gary Sorrell from the CDT said: “The excellent result shows the scale and organisation that some criminal groups are capable of. But more importantly, it demonstrates that we can and do identify such significant farms on a regular basis, taking away the harm and risk that they bring to our communities.

“If anyone has seen suspicious activity in or close to the South Park end of Hawthorne Road in recent days, please pass the information on, which may prove vital in tracking down those responsible and bringing them to justice.

“Criminals who set up these farms cause considerable misery for hard-working people who just want to earn an honest living, and attract violence including knife and gun crime to those communities in which they operate.

“Nobody wants to live near a magnet for crime. And as in this case, electricity is often bypassed, causing a huge fire risk to neighbours. If you are aware of cannabis being grown in your communities, please let us know and we can remove these potential death traps. If you recognise some of the signs, you can report any concerns and we will do the rest.”

Some of the signs that cannabis is being grown are:
• Strange smells and sounds
• Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
• Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting
• Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
• Heat from an adjoining property
• Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather
• Individually these activities may seem common place, however, together may indicate something more sinister

Anyone with information on the cultivation of cannabis can call police on 101. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111 or via their online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.

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