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Work starts on new £20 million Southport Hospital

Health chiefs got an early Christmas present when construction of Southport’s new £20 million mental health hospital got underway with a ceremony to mark ground breaking on the site.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel and Chief Executive Joe Rafferty were joined by construction partners and guests for the sod-cutting to commemorate the official start of building and ground works.

It will give a new lease of life to the historic site situated off Scarisbrick New Road, rejuvenating the only remaining hospital provision left on the former Southport General Infirmary site. The new-build will replace Mersey Care’s existing Boothroyd Unit located there, as well as nearby Hesketh Centre, which will close once the new facility is complete.

 The hospital will combine local mental health inpatient care and some related community services on one site, with its own parking and close to a main route well served by buses. All 44 bedrooms will all be single with en-suite bathrooms and patients will have access to inner garden courtyards, therapy and activity areas. There will be an on-site café for patients, visitors and staff, a family visiting room and sacred space, suite of offices and outpatient services.

Mersey Care’s Design Champion and Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel:

“We know that the right physical environment helps recovery and the design of our new building has been developed together with our service users and staff to ensure it’s both beautiful and therapeutic – and a great place to work.”

Chief Executive Joe Rafferty added:

“People in our care deserve the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within the resources we have. This new hospital builds on the success of our most recent hospital at Clock View, Walton, and goes a long way towards parity for the people of Sefton who access our services.”

At the launch were representatives of Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership (LSHP), which has over the past 12 years delivered 15 new health facilities, representing a capital investment of over £150 million across Liverpool and Sefton. LSHP General Manager Mike Webb said:

“LSHP has been honoured to be part of the health transformation that continues to take place across Merseyside. It is great to see a much-needed, modern mental health unit taking shape on the old Infirmary site, replacing two older units and aiding improved patient care.”

Carrying out construction over the next two years will be Farran Heron Joint Venture (FHJV), who built Mersey Care’s award-wining hospital at Clock View in Walton, which opened in March 2015. Commercial Director at FHJV Noel Mullan said:

“Farran Heron Joint Venture aim to have a positive impact on the local community by providing job opportunities and promoting careers in construction with neighbouring schools and colleges. We look forward to working closely with our health partners and the local community while delivering the scheme.”

The construction team are now working closely with Sefton Council to ensure safe access arrangements are put in place before heavy site equipment is moved on site.

Appeal following anti social behaviour in Maghull

Merseyside Police officers working in Maghull alongside our partners and schools are appealing for information after recent incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area.

In the last few months, there have been reports of anti-social behaviour, mainly around the areas of the KGV Park and Maghull Town Hall on Hall Lane. This has included damage to the Christmas tree outside Maghull Town Hall last week and damage being caused to a local bus.

Local Policing Inspector Ian Jones said:

“Although we are not seeing a significant rise in incidents of anti-social behaviour in Maghull, there has been recent damage caused in the area and I want to make it very clear that we will not tolerate any forms of anti-social behaviour and nuisance.

“My team is working closely alongside partners and all local schools to deter youths from becoming involved in this unacceptable behaviour. We know the vast majority of young people have respect for other people and their property but we know the behaviour causing annoyance and distress to the local community, and in some cases can be extremely dangerous.

“I want to make it clear that is not acceptable to throw objects at vehicles, commit criminal damage or abuse or intimidate people. My message is think about what you are doing and how you may make other people feel. How would you feel if a member of your own family was frightened by incidents such as these?

“The support of parents, guardians and other responsible adults is vital. They can minimise the risk by not letting children hang around the streets with nowhere to go and know who they are with and what they are doing when they go out.

“Anyone involved in criminal behaviour could be arrested and receive a fine, a criminal record or even jail time. If your child is under 16 then you will be liable for payment of any fine.”

Anyone with information on anti-social behaviour is asked to call 101, speak to local officers, or you can call Crimstoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111.

Important information to help rough sleepers

Sefton Council has a range of services for rough sleepers throughout the borough which are available all year round.

Services are at hand as we to try and reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Sefton.

If you see anyone sleeping rough or have any concerns about someone on the street, please get in touch. This is especially important during the cold winter months.

To report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton please call the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918 746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.

Alternatively, email housing.options@sefton.gov.uk and provide details of the location and any description of the person.  We will acknowledge your email and give you a response to your report.

No-one needs to sleep rough and services are available including a ‘sit up’ service providing an overnight room at hostels in Southport and Bootle if needed.

Cannabis farm discovered in Seaforth

Merseyside Police discovered a cannabis farm in Seaforth with nearly 450 plants and cropped cannabis.

A warrant was carried out at the property on Sandy Road at 2pm on Friday 8 December.

Officers attended and 447 cannabis plants plus bags of cropped cannabis plants which were ready for distribution were located and recovered by police. The estimated annual yield of the 447 plants would be nearly £1.8m.

Sergeant Gary Sorrell said: “Cannabis cultivation by criminal gangs can cause serious harm in our communities. Criminal groups involved in the cultivation of cannabis are usually involved in other serious organised crime and they often rent residential properties such as this.

“Our communities can help us stop these groups, who are only interested in making money, from turning houses and flats into potential death traps. Nobody wants to live next door to these houses and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property for this purpose, please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up.

“The people who set up these farms often tamper with the electricity meters to steal electricity, and there will generally be a number of hot lamps hooked to overloaded electricity sockets as well as an extensive watering system.

“Electricity and water are never a good combination, and the fire service have seen an increase in the number of fires they have been called to as a result of fires caused by the crude systems put in place by the people who set up these farms.”

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 commonplace, however, together may indicate something more sinister

Anyone with any information can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Three projects to benefit from £37,000 community funding

Sefton Council has announced the latest projects to benefit from the Community Transition Fund.

The fund was established to assist community organisations in developing and growing across the borough.

In order to qualify for funding from the £1m pot, any schemes must be linked to the council’s priorities, in particular the support of Sefton’s most vulnerable residents.

£37,000 has now been approved by Cabinet to help three community groups. They are:

Fillies Girls Football Club, Netherton

The Fillies Girls Football Club, based in Netherton want to develop a new community building on the land adjacent to their football pitch.

The building would be a football centred health and fitness facility, open for community use and for learning and would include a meeting room, kitchen facilities, indoor hall and toilet and changing facilities, which would allow them to open up their club to women’s teams over the age of 18.

They have been granted £25,000.

Community Payback

Community Payback is a type of sentence imposed by Magistrates to offenders on a low to medium tariff. The payback scheme sees the offender take part in unpaid work.

Purple Futures who manage and deliver the scheme in Sefton have requested funding for equipment hire to help facilitate various Community Payback projects.

They have been granted £7,280.

Salvation Army, Bootle

Bootle Salvation Army, based on Stanley Road, Bootle offers a range of facilities and services to any member of the community, including those with limited income, people experiencing homelessness and older members of the community.

They provide a job club every week and would like to purchase some IT equipment to use during these sessions, both for use by clients and staff.

They have been granted £5,182.

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The Community Transition Fund is a fantastic way for community organisations to access much needed money to help kick start their work.

“Community organisations, volunteers and other groups are vital in creating resilient communities and it is important we do everything we can to help them.

“I am delighted that we have been able to support this latest group of projects and organisations.”

/Ends

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