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Avoid driving penalty heartache this World Cup campaign!

As the World Cup approaches, Liverpool Football Club’s Academy has teamed up with the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership to highlight the dangers of driving the morning after drinking alcohol.

The campaign was launched with players from the Reds U18 side who took part in an interactive session aimed at highlighting the effect that alcohol can have on people’s reactions.

Many people will enjoy a few drinks as they watch the football and most wouldn’t even consider getting into their car and driving afterwards.

However, there is a real risk that people who would never deliberately drink and drive may still be over the limit, or unfit to drive, the ‘morning after’.

This is because it takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors.

Merseyside Road Safety Partnership features local authority members, including Sefton Council, as well as additional partners including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseytravel and Highways England.

Station Manager Steve Pang, Spokesperson for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “The decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle the morning after drinking can have very serious consequences, not only for the driver but also potentially for other road users around them.

“We would encourage people to enjoy watching the tournament but to remember that your safety and the safety of others is vital. If you have been drinking the previous evening and are thinking about driving the next morning don’t take that risk.”

Paul Mountford, Merseyside Police Lead for drink and drug driving, said: “Merseyside Police will be conducting numerous roadside operations and breath and drug testing hundreds of drivers across Merseyside throughout this campaign to ensure that drivers understand the principles of this campaign – that the only safe drink drive limit is zero.

“Many drivers are unaware that even a small amount of alcohol may affect their driving ability, placing themselves at an increased risk of a crash and arrest. They may be arrested for ‘drink driving’ even if they pass a breathalyser if the officer considers them to be unfit. This is particularly relevant the following day when many will not consider their driving fitness after a night’s sleep.

“We are also reminding drivers that we will not tolerate those who take illegal drugs and drive. Similar to alcohol, driving while under the influence of illegal drugs can place the driver and other road users at risk. Our roadside tests aim to not only detect these drivers but also deter them from getting behind the wheel.”

Phil Roscoe, Head of Education and Welfare from Liverpool FC said: “The session with the Road Safety team was really interesting and helped to raise awareness of the effects that alcohol can have on your body, even the morning after having a drink.

“The message from the campaign is relevant at any time of the year, but it is particular important to in the run up to the World Cup to help people enjoy watching the tournament safely.”

The main message from the campaign is not ‘don’t drink’, but ‘don’t drink anything if you are driving’ and ‘don’t drink heavily if you have to drive the following morning’.

Balliol Road to undergo carriageway maintenance works

Balliol Road, Bootle will be temporarily close over two nights to undergo essential carriageway maintenance works next week.

Two sections of the eastbound carriageway, between Pembroke Road and Stanley Road Junction, as well as Stanley Road Junction and University Road, will be temporarily closed overnight on both Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7.

Contractors will close the road off from 6.30pm. It is planned for the night works to end at midnight, followed by a site safety procedure which will be completed on each occasion by 1am.

To maximise opportunity, additional works will be undertaken at the same time on Stanley Road at the junction with Balliol Road.

These works will be signposted accordingly, and a three way traffic lights system will also be in place to minimise disruption.

A signed diversion route will be in place for the duration of the works.

For further information on road closures across the borough visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

Police and council working together following discharges

Police officers in Sefton are working with Sefton Council following two discharges in the borough last night (Wednesday, 30 May).

The first incident took place in Church Walk, Bootle at around 7pm, when officers received reports of several loud bangs. There were no reports of anyone being injured and there was no property reported damaged.

The second incident took place in Bispham Road, Southport at around midnight, when damage was caused to the upstairs front window and downstairs window of a property. The damage was consistent with a firearms discharge. Again no-one was injured during this incident.

Merseyside Police operates in partnership with Sefton Local Authority and are committed to reassuring the communities of Bootle and Southport, with an increased police presence in both areas.

CCTV from the areas is being examined and house to house enquiries are on-going. Both scenes have been subjected to a line search and Crime Scene Investigators have examined both sites.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “As a council we are totally committed to putting our residents first and creating safe communities right across the borough.

“Unfortunately, our strong and vibrant neighbourhoods have been disturbed by a number of anti-social behaviour incidents taking place in Sefton.

“This has got to stop and we would appeal to anyone with information to do the right thing and report it. Through partnership work with Merseyside Police we are working hard to bring those responsible to justice and ensure that our communities remain safe for our residents.”

Chief Inspector Jerry Harris said: “While no-one was injured during either incident, we recognise the impact that incidents such as this have on our communities.

“I’d like to reassure residents in both Bootle and Southport that these are on-going investigations and we are doing everything we can to find those person(s) responsible for these shootings and bring them to justice.

“Guns and those who use them have no place in our communities and residents should not be forced to live in fear. Alongside our partners we are working hard to prevent these types of crime happening on our streets.

“I would also like to appeal for anyone who was in either area, around the times of the discharges, who may have seen anything to get in contact. We’re also particularly keen to speak with anyone living in these areas who may have CCTV or who may have dashcam footage, to get in contact.”

Anyone who saw or heard anything which could assist either investigation, is asked to contact @MerPolCC,101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Council leads call for more domestic abuse support

Sefton Council is calling for more support to tackle domestic abuse and to be addressed at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation in its response to the Government’s latest consultation.

The consultation has been seeking views nationally on both legislative proposals for a landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill and a package of practical action to tackle domestic violence.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:  “Domestic abuse is an absolute priority for the Council and our partners and we have embraced the opportunity to feed into such important proposals for a Domestic Abuse Bill.

“As a society, we need to challenge the acceptability of any sort of abuse.

“We need ensure that domestic abuse is at the top of everyone’s agenda, break the silence and encourage people to talk more openly about the issue, particularly young people, and reduce the stigma for children and young people to access services.

“In Sefton, we already have in place a robust strategy for tackling domestic and sexual abuse. It is based around partners working effectively together, the provision of educational and awareness raising programmes, providing vital victim support and perpetrator programmes, and protection through the criminal justice system.

“Any proposed measures to tackle domestic abuse are welcome but it will take more than new laws to help victims and survivors rebuild their lives, we need more support and to do as much as we can to raise awareness, support victims, and ensure perpetrators are stopped.

“We are determined to ensure victims feel safe and supported and will continue to work closely with our partners to address the needs of survivors and victims, and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Delights aplenty at Southport Food & Drink festival!

Thousands of culinary explorers are expected to attend the free, three day, annual Southport Food and Drink festival this weekend.

The superb setting of Victoria Park, Southport will host the Sefton Council run festival of fabulous fare and delicious drinks between Friday and Sunday (June 1-3).

Street food stalls serving a variety of international flavours and healthy treats will be tantalising tastebuds throughout the three days.

Foods on offer include crepes, gourmet burgers, hot wings, churros, spiral potatoes, paella and curry, to name just a few of the culinary delights visitors can enjoy.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Southport Food & Drink Festival is a fabulous event for all the family, with plenty of entertainment taking place alongside a vast international array of food and drink.

“The festival gets bigger and better every year and we look forward to welcoming people of all ages to this superb free event.

“This is just the start of an extensive events programme taking place across our beautiful borough throughout the year which we are very proud of.”

A huge variety of food and drink producers from the region will also set up shop in Victoria Park, showcasing the very best creations imaginable; from Posh Pots to Retro Shots, herbs and spices, to pies and puddings.

The atmosphere is brought alive with live music throughout the day, including a children’s festival where circus workshops, food themed activities and more to keep little ones will be entertained all day long.

Southport Food and Drink Festival runs from 10am-6pm between Friday June 1 and Sunday June 3.

For further information and to plan your day visit www.VisitSouthport.com

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