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Ovington Drive playground closed to protect park visitors

Sefton Council have taken the decision to close down a deteriorated playground to protect the safety of park visitors.

The playground on Ovington Drive has seen rapid deterioration and decline in recent months and, despite repeated maintenance, it is no longer deemed fit for purpose.

The council want to reassure residents that there are a number of other facilities close by which they can take full advantage of.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “The playground at Ovington Drive is over 30 years old and while we have tried to sustain it with regular inspections and maintenance, the site has recently seen rapid deterioration.

“As a result we have decided to close the facility and decommission the old equipment, which was done with cabinet approval and ward councillors notified.

“While this is disappointing, the nearest alternative playground site to Ovington Drive can be found at Town Lane which is only a quarter of a mile away.

“The Town Lane playground has received substantial investment in the last few years and the equipment there has only recently been re-painted, meaning provision is still available for families to enjoy.”

Council work with partner agencies to tackle waste fires

Sefton Council have been working closely with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and partner agencies after a significant fire in the Hawthorne Road area of Bootle.

Fire crews were called to an industrial unit early on the morning of 20 August to find a building containing a large amount of waste on fire.

Access to the site to extinguish the fire was very difficult, resulting in parts of the building being removed.

A significant amount of Fire Service resources were committed to fighting the fire and local residents and businesses were subject to days of disruption and unpleasant conditions after smoke affected the surrounding area.

Sefton Council and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service worked closely with partners from the Environment Agency and Public Health England to minimise the risks to public health and restore normal conditions as soon as possible.

Sefton Council assisted firefighters by providing a digger to break up the refuse and transport it to open ground where the seats of fire could be extinguished.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said:

“We continue to assist Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service in dealing the fire and will continue to do so until it is fully extinguished.

“We are also currently reviewing how waste management is handled on private sites in relation to this incident and across the borough.

“Sefton Council continues to work with partner agencies including Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency to address how incidents like this can be prevented in the future.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has been proactive in supporting local authorities and the Environment Agency regarding the poor management of waste sites over many years – large waste fires of this type are not unique to Merseyside and are in fact a national problem.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be engaging with local businesses and the community to prevent fires of this type through the early identification of potential risks and problem sites.

Arson Officers and Business Safety Advisors will be visiting light industrial areas within Sefton to identify potentially problematic sites and will engage with local businesses to identify emerging risks at an early stage and undertake arson risk assessments where appropriate. Local Fire Stations will undertake operational audits of businesses in the area.

A multi-agency debrief will take place and lessons learned will inform the development of a robust, coordinated and ongoing strategy to prevent fires of this type as we move forward.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Group Manager, Gary Oakford said:

“Large waste fires such as this are a problem not only in Merseyside, but nationally.

“Poorly managed waste sites are an accident waiting to happen and we have been working proactively with partner organisations over many years to reduce the risk of these fires.

“We will be committing significant resources across the business community in the area over coming weeks to identify any potential risks and prevent fires of this type which are highly disruptive and of great concern to residents and businesses.
 
 “We would like to thank the public for their patience at this time and for observing the minor traffic diversions, we have also worked hard to ensure continuity to local businesses.”

 An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

 “This is an abandoned site with no environmental permit.

 “The Environment Agency as the regulatory body have given advice and guidance to the landowner to make the site safe and to clear the waste.

“The company and directors are currently part of an ongoing investigation.

 “The Environment Agency will continue to work with partners including Merseyside Fire and Rescue and Sefton Council to minimise harm to the local community and environment.”

 For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call 0800 731 5958.

 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over or those referred by partner agencies.

 

 

Mayor throws open doors to Bootle Town Hall

The Mayor of Sefton’s office are throwing open the doors of Bootle Town Hall next month for National Heritage Open Day.

Hour long tours of Bootle Town Hall will be available throughout Saturday September 9, forming one of over 5,000 events across England to reflect the rich and diverse cultural heritage of our communities.

Four tours will take place from 10:30am, 11:30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, showing off the Assembly Hall, Ballroom, Committee Room, Council Chamber and Mayor’s Parlours

Places on the tours can be booked via the Mayor of Sefton’s Office on 0151 934 2062, or by email mayorsoffice@sefton.gov.uk.

Litter warning for motorists after cab driver prosecution

Sefton Council is warning motorists that they are not above littering laws after a taxi driver was caught on dashcam footage throwing rubbish out of his window.

 Paul Morttram, 32, a Sefton licensed taxi driver, was found guilty in his absence of three counts of littering at a hearing at Sefton Magistrates Court on August 15.

 He now faces a fine of £300 and £333 in costs and victim surcharges after originally failing to pay a fixed-penalty-notice.

 Dashcam footage filmed by a concerned motorist on January 9 clearly showed Mr Morttram throwing rubbish out of his drivers’ window three times in the space of two minutes while travelling through Bootle.

 The footage was passed to Sefton Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team and, when interviewed, Mr Morttram admitted to the offences.

 He was issued with three separate fixed-penalty-notices, totalling £150 but after repeated failed attempts to contact the defendant, legal action was taken.

 Magistrates this week found in favour of Sefton Council and Mr Morttam was ordered to pay £633.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:

“We are very pleased with the outcome and want people to realise no matter how big or small an item is, dropping litter is an offence and this applies to all members of the public, regardless of if you’re on the pavement or in a vehicle.

“The best way to avoid a fine or a court appearance is to not drop litter.

“Littering is consistently one of the main concerns raised by residents and the council spend over £3 million per year cleaning up litter.

“We pursue a vigorous enforcement approach by issuing fixed penalty notices and it is only by prosecuting individuals who don’t pay, that the council can present a robust enforcement deterrent.”

Intrepid volunteers aim high for Sefton 4 Good

A Sefton charity has been aiming high with its latest major fundraising project.

A team of 11 brave volunteers abseiled down the outside of the main entrance of Liverpool Cathedral and raised more than £1,000 for Sefton 4 Good.

Team members who took on the 150-foot free-fall drop in wet and windy conditions
included Sefton CVS, Sefton Council and members of the public.

Sefton 4 Good was established by Sefton CVS in 2013 to make it easier for borough
residents and businesses to support local good causes by giving their money, resources, time and skills.

Money raised is distributed via a grant scheme which is particularly aimed at smaller
organisations, or collaborative projects that include small groups.

Sefton’s Head of Commissioning Support & Business Intelligence Peter Moore along with Head of Regulation & Compliance Jill Coule, Daniel Longman and Adam Blackwel took it in turns to abseil down the iconic city cathedral.

Sefton 4 Good Co-ordinator, Mike Howlett, commented:

“This event was a completely new venture for us, so we’re very pleased at how it went and that so many people supported the team and helped us raise a very significant sum for our charity.

“We’re especially grateful to the intrepid volunteers who actually completed the abseil. This was always going to be a very daunting challenge for them, but it was made even more difficult by the far from ideal conditions on the day.”

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