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New Merseyside Police General Enquiry Office opening times

Merseyside Police is changing the opening hours of its General Enquiry Offices (GEO) across the county on 15 April 2019.

The change follows an extensive review of the GEO service by the force, which found that front line police officers were frequently having to provide cover in the GEOs to keep them open to the public. This meant that the force was having to take police officers off the streets of Merseyside, preventing them from responding to emergency incidents.

The review also identified that the number of people visiting GEOs across Merseyside has significantly reduced in recent years. On average, just one customer per hour attend GEOs in the force, although some GEOs have a higher footfall than others.

To prevent the force from having to backfill the GEO service with frontline officers who should be out on the streets protecting our communities a decision was made to change the GEO opening hours in February 2019, whilst the force sought to recruit additional staff to provide a more sustainable GEO service.

The additional staff have now been recruited and from Monday, 15 April the opening hours of GEOs across Merseyside will be as follows:

Birkenhead, St Anne Street, Southport, St Helens and Huyton will be open between 10am and 6pm Monday to Saturday
• Wallasey, Marsh Lane, Admiral Street, Walton Lane, Speke, Kirkby and Newton-le-Willows will be open between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday
The public will also have access to Community Police Stations that have been introduced across Merseyside. These provide an additional service in our local communities.

Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said: “The GEO service is only one way in which the public can contact us, we have community police stations across Merseyside and at the start of last year we introduced a dedicated social media desk in our call centre giving the public the ability to contact us online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to report non-emergency incidents, or to ask for advice. In the last 14 months the desk has dealt with an average of 2500 contacts every month.

How people in Sefton can access medical help during bank holidays

With Easter fast approaching, Sefton health professionals are reminding people to ensure they use the right NHS service for them, should they or their family members become unwell over the long weekend and also during the first May bank holiday.

GP practices will be closed from Good Friday (19 April) to Easter Monday (22 April) and the early May bank holiday (6 May) but there are several other ways for Sefton residents to access medical help during this time, if they need it.


Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “Pharmacists are a great resource. We recommend taking advantage of all the services available at your local pharmacy for any minor health-related concerns and if you need a GP appointment to think about using the extended access service.

“Pharmacists are highly trained and are able to offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to manage a range of minor health concerns, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy troubles, aches and pains and many more.

“Most pharmacies will have private consultation rooms where they can advise you on self-care treatments and give you advice on your medication.”

If you do need an appointment there are now extended GP appointments of an evening or weekend across Sefton. These appointments can be booked in advance via the GP practice you are registered with or by calling 111.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “The extended access GP service launched last October in Sefton and has been popular ever since. Open 365 days a year the service is really useful over bank holiday weekends like Easter. If you do become unwell and your GP practice is closed you can call 111 to book an appointment with your nearest service as long as you are registered with a GP practice in Sefton.”

Pharmacy opening times will differ over the bank holidays. There will be normal opening times on Saturday (20 April), but a reduced service on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Monday 6 May. You can view the Easter opening times here: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/ or www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/

If you’re unsure which service is right for you, ring NHS 111 to speak to a highly trained adviser who will assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You can also visit 111.nhs.uk to get medical advice on where and when to get help.

Arriva to sponsor 2019 Southport Food & Drink Fesival

Foodie fever arrives in Sefton from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2 with the annual Southport Food and Drink Festival.

And to make the event even better, Arriva North West have just confirmed that they are this year’s headline sponsor!

This is a festival that’s seasoned with all the flavors of the region’s vibrant culinary scene and served in the beautiful setting of the town’s Victoria Park.

People attending the event will be able to travel to the festival via Arriva services across Southport, meaning they are able to enjoy all of the food and drink on offer, without having to worry about driving or parking.

Arriva has recently updated its services in Southport to include contactless payments, helping to make travel to the festival even easier.

The sponsorship of the festival comes as part of Arriva’s wider community work across Southport.

Last year, local residents were actively encouraged to start using public transport to travel to and from matches at Southport FC as part of an ongoing partnership between the football club and the bus company.

Southport Food & Drink Festival is a free event is for all the family, with plenty of entertainment taking place alongside an eclectic mix of food and drink and live music.

There’s an array of street food stalls to choose from serving lots of savory and sweet dishes, an international flavour and healthy as well as vegetarian options.

There will also be a huge variety of food and drink producers from the region, showcasing the very best creations imaginable; from Posh Pots to Retro Shots, herbs and spices, to pies and puddings.

The special Southport FC Arriva bus, One Port, will also be present at the festival over the weekend, giving people the chance to find out more about the partnership and match day travel options.

Tourism Service Manager, Mark Catherall said ‘We have worked closely with Arriva North West to promote Southport for many years. The sponsorship will not only give Arriva a great platform to promote their routes into and around Southport but is also an excellent addition to partnership working.

If you are planning to come to the festival you can leave the car at home, jump the bus, eat good food, soak up the atmosphere and make a day of it.

Talking about the partnership, Arriva North West’s head of marketing, Lisa Pearson, said: “We are always looking for ways to support the local community and we know how important the Food and Drink Festival is to residents and those visiting the local area.

“Our services offer the people of Southport a convenient and comfortable journey, allowing them to relax and enjoy everything the day has to offer.”

Arriva services throughout the rest of Merseyside will be contactless by June 2.

The Southport Food and Drink Festival is from Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2. Entry is free and opening hours are 10am to 6pm.

It takes place in Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport, PR8 2BZ. For further information and to plan your day visit: www.VisitSouthport.com

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Southport BID launches five year vision for resort

Southport’s Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a manifesto that it hopes will enable the continuation and development of its work to bring investment into the town, deliver an exciting events programme and provide a voice for the business community.

BIDS have become an essential part of some of the most successful towns and cities around the UK, each operating on the basis of a five-year term.

This would be the second term for Southport’s BID, which if agreed, would run from 2019 to 2024.

As one of the largest in the country with 950 current members, the levy businesses contribute would bring around £2million across the five year term to be invested directly into the town, in addition to the investment that the BID would proactively attract into Southport.

With a board made up of local independent businesses and on-going consultation with levy-payers, the direction of the BID is always in line with what is important to the retailers, restaurateurs, attractions and accommodation providers of Southport.

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport BID, says, “We know that increasing footfall and expenditure is key to the businesses that we represent, that the creation of business opportunities is critical, as is securing investment opportunities for the town.

“The way that we will achieve success in these areas is through strong collaboration and partnership work, vibrant and colourful plans for our events programme and an ambitious belief in the inward investment that we can achieve.”

The launch of its manifesto also gives the opportunity to highlight some of the major achievements made since 2014, all of which have laid foundations for the coming years. These include over £250,000 investment as the sole funders of Southport’s Christmas (and all year round!) lights, funding Lord Street’s famous floral displays, and the launch of a Southport Independents Marketing Campaign, which gave vital exposure to the town’s incredible small businesses.

The BID has also worked closely with core local organisations as the voice for Southport’s businesses, including Sefton Council, Merseyside Police and Marketing Southport. Accomplishments have included the BID’s work to secure £2million from the Coast Community Fund in conjunction with Sefton Council and its on-going leadership role in a National Lottery Heritage Fund bid that focuses upon the historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade and aims to complement the restoration of King’s Gardens.

It is also currently working on plans to submit an application to the Government’s recently launch High Street improvement fund.

The Southport BID Ballot papers will be dispatched to businesses on 6 May 2019, with the result being announced on 4 June 2019.

All Southport Businesses within the BID district with a ratable value threshold of above £7,000 will be eligible to vote.

For further information visit www.SouthportBID.com or contact the Southport BID office on 01704 538 382.

Unconfirmed report firearm was seen in Bootle

Police can confirm officers attended an unconfirmed report a firearm was seen in Bootle today (Thursday 4 April 2019).

A report was received at 12.40pm that a male wearing a navy-coloured North Face tracksuit was in possession of what a member of the public believed may have been a firearm on Stanley Road.

He was then seen to enter a newsagent on Stanley Road alongside a group of five males, who left on foot a short time later.

Officers are in attendance and enquires to establish the full circumstances are ongoing.

Following a search of the area no weapon or anyone matching the descriptions of the males have been located.

Witnesses are being spoken to and CCTV opportunities explored.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 397 of 4 April or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

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