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Ofsted Delight

Sefton Community Learning Service is celebrating its latest Ofsted report.

The Sefton Council run service offers a diverse range of high quality courses for Sefton residents aged 19 and above that are funded by the Education and Skills Funding Association (ESFA).

Following an Ofsted inspection, the service is now a Grade 2 (Good) provider in all four areas of Ofsted’s common inspection framework; Quality of Teaching Learning and Assessment, Outcomes for Learners, Leadership & Management, Personal Development, Behaviour & Welfare.

Courses are run at more than 30 venues throughout the borough and are developed in response to the needs of Sefton residents to improve their prospects and raise achievement in the wider community.

Courses range from non-qualification courses for beginners up to accredited Level 2 qualification courses. Courses include English and Maths, ESOL, Employability, Family Learning, Leisure, Health and Well-being, Horticulture, Hospitality and Catering, Food hygiene, Hair and Beauty and many more.

Ofsted defined the service as a good adult education provider that has ‘highly effective relationships with a range of partners ensuring the service meets the needs of the community’.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the Service and I would like to thank everyone who played a part in the successful outcome.

“Ensuring and encouraging further education opportunities for adults is key to enhancing skills for residents across the whole of the borough. It is also an important part of our growth agenda and by developing skills for local residents it helps provide opportunities when they are applying for jobs.

“The service offers so much and if you are looking to learn something new and develop your skills, you can easily find a course to suit you.”

 The full report will be posted on the Ofsted website and for further details on Sefton Community Learning Service visit

Chancerygate Granted Planning for £20m Mersey Reach Logistics Development

Leading industrial and logistics developer, Chancerygate has been granted planning permission for a new 212,000 sq ft development at Dunningsbridge Road in Sefton.

The 13.5 acre site is close to Peel Ports’ recently launched Liverpool 2 deepwater port and was the former Peerless Edible Oils factory, which closed more than 20 years ago.

The new £20 million development, known as Mersey Reach, will comprise six self-contained industrial and logistics units ranging from 12,000 sq ft to 60,000 sq ft. A 36,000 sq ft unit has been pre-let to Grafton Group Plc to trade as a Selco Builders Warehouse.

Chancerygate has also pre-sold a two-acre plot on the front of the site to Euro Garages, which will build it out as petrol filling station and a convenience store plus a drive-thru Starbucks coffee store.


Mike Walker, Development Director for Chancerygate in the North West, commented: “We have taken a collaborative approach on working with Sefton Council to provide a scheme that will deliver much needed employment space in the area.

“The two occupiers that we have already secured will create 130 new jobs and we anticipate that the scheme as a whole could ultimately provide over 375 jobs, which should come mainly from the immediate surrounding area. The site was identified as a strategic Employment Site in the Sefton Local Plan and together with Sefton Council, we have created a scheme on a key gateway site that meets both their and our aspirations.”

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “We have worked closely with the developer to enable the proposals to come forward and with the planning consent for Chancerygate’s Mersey Reach development scheme on Dunnings Bridge Road now in place, this scheme will regenerate a site that has been vacant for over 20 years, creating hundreds of new jobs.”

“We appreciate the input and support we have received from all parties and look forward to Chancerygate starting the scheme in the near future. This is a significant step forward for delivering the ambitions of Vision 2030 for our businesses and residents supporting our position that Sefton is open for business.”


Planning consultants for Chancerygate was Savills and the appointed architect is Fletcher Rae.  CBRE and B8 Real Estate are the retained agents.

Restaurant Plans Approved at Former Pumping Station

Sefton Council has today (July 7) granted Planning Permission for a change of use of a former pumping station in Southport to a restaurant.

The building, located on the Promenade by King’s Gardens, is situated in a prominent location at the southern end of the popular gardens and is within the promenade Conservation area.

The plans will convert the building into a restaurant and will bring back into use a historic building located in a key tourism area of Southport.  

Cllr Darren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “We believe this development will really build upon the recent investment in the King’s Gardens area.

“The restaurant will inject vitality and vibrancy into the area while at the same time respecting the historical nature of the building and surrounding area. 

“This exciting development is a welcome investment in an important tourism area and Sefton Council looks forward to the project developing.”

‘Open’ For Refuse Collections

Bin collection days for residents who live near Royal Birkdale golf course in Southport will not change during the Open Golf Championship.

Letters have been issued to more than 888 properties near the course informing them that their brown bin collection and food caddies will take place as usual on Thursday, July 20. 

The prestigious Open Golf Championship runs from Sunday, July 17 with four practice days followed by the actual tournament which is scheduled to finish on Sunday, July 23.

Residents are asked to leave their brown bins and food caddies within their boundary wall and collections will take place between 8pm-10pm on July 20.

Normal kerbside collections will continue after the golf championship and any green bin collections scheduled on Monday, July 17 should not be affected.

For further information on the Open Golf Championship and bin collections, visit

Tobacco seized in North West

An operation to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco across Greater Manchester and Merseyside uncovered nearly two million cigarettes and more than 80 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, all believed to be illicit.

Around 120 officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), with support from local council trading standards, police, and British Gas, visited 82 retail premises and eight self-storage units on 28 and 29 June.

The visits, as part of HMRC’s Tobacco Taskforce activity, led to suspected illegal tobacco being seized and other potential offences being detected at 26 premises. This included:

  • 1,815,960 cigarettes, with an estimated £453,241 duty and VAT evaded
  • 83.3 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco, with an estimated £21,343 duty and VAT evaded

Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.4 billion a year. By combining intelligence and resources with other agencies we are able to disrupt suspected criminal activity including but not exclusively tax evasion. These offences undermine legitimate traders and we want to level the playing field for all businesses.

“We encourage anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco or alcohol to contact us on 0800 788 887.”

In addition to the HMRC tobacco seizures:

  • Eight properties were targeted on suspicion of energy theft by British Gas’ revenue protection team, with more than £40,000 of energy thought to have been stolen from four of the properties alone
  • a cannabis farm including 29 plants was dismantled in Liverpool
  • one van, being used to transport tobacco that was believed to be illicit, was seized
  • each premises where a suspected offence was detected will now have the business accounts audited and the owner and employees may be subject to personal financial scrutiny by HMRC.

Andy Norman, Head of Customer Services Field Collections, British Gas, said: “Electricity and gas theft in homes and businesses is a serious issue, which places lives at risk and adds unnecessary costs to customers’ bills. This latest joint operation proves, together, we can tackle energy theft more effectively.

He added: “I’d urge anyone who suspects cases of energy theft in homes and businesses in their local community to call our British Gas tip-off line on 0800 587 2737.”

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