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Next phase of Southport Pier improvement works set to begin

The next phase of multi-million pound improvement works on Southport Pier is set to start in October.
Phases one and two of the Pier project are now complete which includes extensive structural repairs and painting – all completed ahead of programme and below budget.

More than 800 individual repairs have been completed by a specialist contractor and the work has also seen the construction of a new kiosk on the Pier incorporating seating and improving the overall offer of the Grade 2 listed building.

The third phase will begin on October 1 and will see the construction of a second retail kiosk, essential power upgrades, a refurbished pavilion and timber decking repairs.

The work is scheduled to run until the Christmas period and during this time the seaward pier and pavilion will be closed to the public from the halfway house to the pavilion. The landward section will remain open to the public, including the recently completed kiosk.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “This important improvement work on Southport Pier is really starting to take shape.

“The first two phases went really well coming in under budget and ahead of schedule so we are delighted the next phase will start in October.

“While not all of the Pier will be open during the next phase, we believe it is a small price to pay for what will be crucial to this important scheme.

“Hundreds of thousands of people visit Southport Pier every year boosting the local economy and this whole scheme will secure an important landmark for generations to come.”

The final phase of works planned in 2019 will see improved access and restoration of the Marine Lake railings.

The £2.9 million project is funded via The Coastal Community Fund and Sefton Council.

Get a first look: full-size replica of new Merseyrail trains on public display

People from across the Liverpool City Region are being invited to come and experience the new trains coming to the Merseyrail network.

A realistic, full-scale mock-up of one of the train carriages will be on public view on the Wirral and in Liverpool City Centre.

The detailed and lifelike replica train is fully interactive, with working doors and an automatic sliding step which will bridge the gap between the train and platform edge, making the network more accessible to all users – including wheelchairs users.

Visitors will be able to walk along the open and spacious aisles, try the new wider seats and even take a look at the state-of-the-art technology inside the driver’s cab.

Staff will be on hand to talk through the features of the new trains, designed and built by Swiss company Stadler.

These features – chosen with the input and guidance of Liverpool City Region residents and rail network users – include phone charging points and bike racks.

The mock-up trains will be on display
• Pacific Road, Birkenhead, CH41 1LJ: 1-14 October, Mon-Sun 8.00 to 17.30, Tues 8.00-19.30
• Liverpool Lime Street, L1 1JD: 5-18 November, Mon-Sun 7.00 to 18.30

More information can be found at the following link: merseytravel.gov.uk/newtrains

Chapel Lane Formby Trees Update & FAQs

Further discussions have taken place between Sefton Council and Formby Parish Council regarding two dangerous trees in Formby village due to be removed next month.

Both trees, situated outside Cassidy’s and Boots, will be removed between October 4 and 15 after they were declared unsafe and dangerous.

However, Sefton Council has written to the Parish Council asking for them to agree to a number of conditions that could halt the works taking place.

This includes the Parish Council using an independent arboriculturalist to inspect the trees and provide a written statement saying both trees can be retained and pose no threat to the public or to property in the short term.

A written statement would also be needed to indemnify the Council for any costs or claims that may arise should any part of these trees cause damage to people or property during the winter period and beyond.

Formby Parish Council would need to cover all costs for the written statements and works and any commitment would need to be received by the Council by October 1, 2018.

In addition all works required to make the trees safe must be carried out by October 15.

If this deadline is not met the scheduled removal will take place between October 4-15.

The two horse-chestnuts are scheduled to be removed due to the significant health and safety risk the dying trees are causing.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Our priority is and always will be the safety of residents and visitors to Formby.

“We believe both trees pose too much of a risk giving the impending winter weather and have earmarked them to be removed between October 4-15.

“However, following further discussions with Formby Parish Council, we have written to them with a number of conditions to try and draw a conclusion to this matter.

“We have given them until October 1 to meet these conditions otherwise the scheduled work to remove them will take place later that month.”

Sefton Council has published a number of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the removal of these tress and to view it, click here.

Sefton appoints Agilisys to drive digital transformation

Sefton Council has awarded a five year contract to Agilisys to support their digital transformation

Agilisys, the leading cloud and digital transformation specialist for the public sector, has been selected by Sefton Council to deliver a new managed IT services model, which includes the introduction of an innovative, cloud-based platform that will enable the Council’s employees to work even more efficiently, effectively and collaboratively.

The contract award, which follows a competitive procurement process, will see Agilisys take on the existing ICT service from Arvato, who has provided the service to the Council for the last 10 years. Agilisys will work with the Council to build on the existing solid foundations and take Sefton forward on the next stage of its exciting digital transformation journey.

This new partnership with Agilisys will support the Council’s values and ambitions to get the most from new technology by providing digital tools, which support more flexible and collaborative working.

In addition to the enhanced organisational improvements the technology is seeking to enable, Sefton Council is set to gain additional benefits through the partnership.

This includes support and capacity from Agilisys to help the Council modernise working practices, to better meet the needs of citizens and deliver great customer experiences.

Councillor Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources at Sefton Council said:

“Digital innovation has become very important to our workforce and our residents and we have to keep up with the pace of change if we are to remain relevant to those we’re here to serve.

“We realise that in today’s world, people want to work where they get access to information, such as data. The cloud is absolutely the key to unlocking the staggering volumes of data across the council to better understand and meet the needs of our citizens.

“Building on the great work we’ve done in recent years with Arvato, Agilisys’ cloud enabled digital transformation expertise makes them the right partner to help us harness the benefits of new technologies and take us on the next stage of our transformation journey.”

Andrew Mindenhall, chief executive at Agilisys, added: “We are delighted to be working with Sefton Council to help transform the way services are delivered across the region. For nearly 20 years, Agilisys has been helping public sector organisations to adopt new technologies and we are looking forward to developing a long term partnership with the Council.

“By working closely with the team at Sefton, we will draw on our cloud migration and digital transformation expertise to create a secure, reliable, and flexible modern infrastructure that enables new ways of working to benefit both the council and its citizens.”

The 10 year partnership between Arvato and Sefton Council has been successful in delivering a wide range of service improvements for the citizens of Sefton and comes to its agreed end in September 2018. Agilisys will take over from Arvato in the provision of ICT services from 1 October 2018 for an initial period of five years. Colleagues from Arvato will TUPE across to Agilisys in line with this timeframe.

Sefton gives food for thought with annual Access to Food scheme

Sefton Council and Sefton CVS have once again given food for thought at its annual Children’s Access to Food Programme, supplying over four thousand hot meals to those in need.

The scheme, which is in its third year, helps to support families across Sefton who are most in need of help and hot meals, allowing them to end a reliance on school meals to help nourish their children.

Such a scheme would not have been possible without the support and hard work of front line local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector groups who were vital in making the programme come together.

A total of 4,350 meals were served across Sefton during the six week period over the summer holidays.

In addition to Sefton Council’s children’s centre and school provision, Sefton CVS coordinated a network of local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector organisations including The Orrell Trust, Waterloo Community Association, Parenting 2000 and The Inclusion Network to offer additional access to food during the holidays.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “All of our families were so incredibly grateful for the food and it is difficult to see how they would have managed without it.

“Throughout the scheme we also saw a definite reduction in families requesting food vouchers for the food bank, simply because they were able to access free meals.

“There is a need for schemes such as the Access To Food Programme and we are delighted that we have been able to help and support those families that are most in need within our communities.”

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