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Have your say on changes to Sefton’s gambling & licensing policies

Sefton Council wants to hear residents’ views on its revised Licensing and Gambling policies which will come into effect later this year.

The local authority is responsible for regulating pubs, clubs, late night takeaways, gambling and gaming premises and activities, including casinos, bingo premises, betting shops and gaming machine arcades across the borough.

The policies can be viewed here 

Under regulations, Sefton Council is required to publish a policy statement which forms the basis for deciding any applications submitted. The authority is now consulting on a revision to its existing policy and is asking people to give their views and opinions on both policies by April 2, 2018.

The Gambling Act of 2005 has three objectives: Preventing gambling from being a source of crime, ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The Licensing Act of 2003 has four objectives: ensuring public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Cllr John Kelly, Sefton’s Council’s Chair of Licensing & Regulatory Committee said:

“We are consulting with operators and businesses in both the licensed and gambling trades but we also want the views of local residents.

“Any opinions on either trade, including on how we can meet each Act’s objectives are welcome and people can write or email us.

“Both draft revised policies is currently available in local libraries and on the Sefton Council website.”

People wanting to register their views should send them in writing to: Kevin Coady, Senior Licencing Officer, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ or email: licensing@sefton.gov.uk.

Countdown is on for 2018 Aintree Grand National!

With ten weeks to go until the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival, Aintree Racecourse announces that all grandstand areas and Festival Zone tickets for Grand National Day are sold out with only Steeplechase tickets still available for Saturday April 14.

This announcement comes one month sooner than last year which shows the demand and the ‘feel good factor’ for the greatest horserace in the world.

All grandstand and Festival Zone tickets are sold out, but Steeplechase tickets can still be bought through randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk for £29.

Aside from Grand National Day, tickets are still available for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival on Grand National Thursday – A Day for Champions, Thursday April 12; and Ladies Day, Friday April 13. Limited grandstand seats and terraces are still available for both days but are selling fast.

For Grand National Thursday, tickets are available from £29 for Festival Zone and hospitality places are available from £125 plus VAT. For Ladies Day, tickets are available from £43 and hospitality from £179 plus VAT. Racegoers can purchase by visiting randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk or by calling 0344 579 3001.

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said:

“We are delighted with the sales on Grand National Day and we are ahead on ticket sales over the three days compared to this time last year, which is excellent. I’d urge racegoers to get their tickets quickly for both Grand National Thursday and Ladies Day so they don’t miss out.

“We’re all excited about the Festival and are working extremely hard to provide racegoers with the best possible experience over the three days. We’ve listened to customers and are continuing to improve many areas including toilets and seating across the site. It’s not just about selling tickets, we want racegoers to really enjoy themselves at one of the best horseracing Festivals in the world.

“With the quality of horses being entered into the Grand National race as well as across the Festival, it’s three days of fun and top class racing that’s not to be missed.”

Tickets for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival are available to purchase at www.randoxhealthgrandnational.co.uk or by calling 0344 579 3001. Racegoers can also buy tickets directly from the sales office at Aintree Racecourse.

New changes for Private Rented Landlords & Tenants

From March 1, 2018 landlords who privately rent out their properties will be required to obtain a new licence from Sefton Council if their properties are located within selected areas in the borough.

Sefton Council approved the implementation of two new housing licensing schemes in September, 2017 in separate areas of the borough. Both schemes will run until the end of February 2023.

Click here to find out more and apply

Sefton designated an area of Bootle as being subject to Selective licensing, (all privately rented properties) and has designated parts of Seaforth, Waterloo, Brighton-le-Sands and Southport as being subject to Additional licensing.

Additional licensing requires all houses defined as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) to apply for a housing licence.  Mandatory licensing for larger HMO properties is currently a national requirement.

A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.

Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

It is an offence, which can result in fines of any amount, if the landlord or person in control of the property:

•           fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or
•           allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence
•           breaches any of the licence conditions

If you are a landlord, a person managing a property within the areas of the designation you are advised to check whether your property will require a licence and ensure that you apply for one per property.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “We have areas where many properties currently fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of their tenants and their wider communities.

“The schemes we have introduced aim to reduce that by making sure private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.

“But it is also about tenants behaving in a way that does not blight or impact on their community and shows respect for their neighbours.

“If you are a landlord renting a property in any of the designated areas, you must check whether your property will need a licence from March 1, 2018.”

Landlords can apply for a reduced fee for either applying within the first 3 months of the scheme, being accredited or when a Sefton accredited managing agent is appointed by the landlord to be the licence holder. Further details of the reduced fees are available on the Council’s website.

Further details of Sefton’s property (and managing agent) accreditation schemes are available on www.sefton.gov.uk/housing. Early application for property accreditation is encouraged.

Bootle Town Hall Heritage Complex Centre

Sefton Council is exploring opportunities to create a cultural and heritage facility within Bootle Town Hall complex of Grade II listed buildings.

 In October 2016, Sefton Council published the Bootle Town Centre Investment Framework – a high level strategic document which looked to harness Bootle’s current assets and help reshape the town into a desirable residential, educational and business location.

 Feedback gained from the Investment Framework highlighted Bootle Town Hall as a great regeneration opportunity with the desire for increased cultural activity a key theme.

 Now a consultation and engagement exercise is set to start, looking at the potential to create a new cultural and heritage facility in the former Bootle Free Library and Museum within the town hall complex. Other civic functions within the town hall would still be maintained. 

 The consultation will run from October-December and a pop-up heritage centre looking potential options will also be in the Strand Shopping Centre during the school October half-term.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “By transforming this historic building into a new home of arts and culture in the town, we believe this would be a major statement of the Council’s ambition for Bootle.

 “Potentially this refreshed physical space will be supported by a learning and skills infrastructure, reaching out to the local community and developing materials that can be used in local schools, adult education centres and beyond.

 “We believe this project will help ensure the town hall remains the civic focus of Bootle and also deliver a new cultural offer that will be sustainable and manageable over the long term.

 “At the moment we are only exploring opportunities and want to gauge what local people think about this. Please take the time to look at the consultation and get involved and help shape the future of this wonderful grade II listed building.”

The consultation will go live later this month via sefton.gov.uk 

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