Sefton Council is warning tenants in the borough to be vigilant after a renting scam was uncovered in Southport.
The local authority’s Trading Standard’s team are investigating after a rental property in the town was advertised on a popular classified advert website, in a bid to lure potential tenants into paying deposits overseas.
While the property was legitimately on the market via a local letting agent, it was also fraudulently placed online at a significantly reduced rental.
When a prospective renter made an enquiry to the online advert, they were told ‘the owner’ had emigrated overseas and they would be required to pay a large deposit before they could access the property.
It was then that the alarm was raised and Trading Standards began their investigations.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “As soon as we were made aware of this scam we have requested that the fraudulent listing be taken down and we are investigating the matter further.
“In this instance the person who was being scammed raised the alarm in plenty of time and thankfully did not part with any cash, but others may not be so lucky.
“If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is and we would encourage everyone to be vigilant.
“Trading Standards regularly receive complaints about scams across the borough, ranging from rogue traders and doorstep salesmen to phone calls and letters designed to trick people into providing bank details.
“If you suspect any kind of fraudulent activity please report it on the Action Fraud hotline via 0300 123 2040 or by calling the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 04 05 06.
For more information on tackling fraud and spotting the signs, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/fraud.
Sovini Group receives Royal Gold Award for supporting the Armed Forces
The Sovini Group has been recognised for their support of the Armed Forces community in a ceremony in London, where they were presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.
On Monday 12th November, The Sovini Group received its Gold Award alongside 50 other organisations in a presentation at Lancaster House led by the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson.
The award is the Ministry of Defence’s highest honour for organisations, and recognises their outstanding support for Reservists, Service leavers, wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, the Cadet organisations and service families.
The Group was previously awarded Silver in 2017 and Bronze in 2016.
The property management and development group has a long standing commitment to the Armed Forces community. They work in close partnership with local organisations such as the Army Reserve unit 156 Regiment RLC, local veteran charities and Brunswick Youth and Community Centre.
The Sovini Group’s work with Liverpool Veterans HQ and Veterans in Sefton has led to over 30 local veterans being rehomed and in many cases saved from homelessness. As part of the rehoming process, the veterans are offered goods to help them furnish their new home and there is ongoing tenancy support for more vulnerable tenants.
The company also offers a volunteer placement programme, which supports veterans with their transition from the Armed Forces into employment within civilian life. Some of those who took part in the programme have gone on to get jobs within the Group, such as at Sovini Trade Supplies in Aintree.
The Sovini Group also employ a number of Reservists and support them through company initiatives such as an additional 10 days leave for training and unlimited unpaid leave if they are mobilised.
Dr Roy Williams, CEO of The Sovini Group said: “It’s an honour to achieve the Gold Award. By adopting the Armed Forces Covenant, we help to make sure the people who make huge sacrifices on our behalf receive the recognition and support they deserve in the workplace and the wider community”
Dave Smith, CEO at Veterans in Sefton, said: “It’s been amazing for us as a veterans charity to work with an organisation like The Sovini Group, who’ve put so much into the Covenant and reached Gold Award standard and put Service Level Agreements together to help veterans. It’s very refreshing to work with an organisation with that high standard and commitment.”
Private Tracy Newman, Customer Empowerment Officer, The Sovini Group said: “The Sovini Group has been fantastic from the very beginning supporting me in my Army Reserve journey. The flexibility they have given me has been invaluable. When I talk to other Sovini staff during Armed Forces partnership events I see real interest from colleagues and going forward I hope to encourage more staff to get involved.”
For more information about The Sovini Group, visit sovini.co.uk
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Sandway Homes revealed: Find out about Sefton’s new Housing Development Company
Sandway Homes is the official name of the newly created Sefton Council owned housing development company.
Last year councillors agreed in establishing a company to develop new housing across the borough.
Sefton Council’s Cabinet has just approved the new company name and arrangements for its board of directors. The newly formed company is now moving forward with developing detailed designs and proposals for priority house build sites across the borough.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “When we consulted on the 2030 Vision, ‘growing living and ageing well’ and ‘making Sefton a great place to live, work and play’ came through as two strategic outcomes that residents wished the council to prioritise and the establishment of the Housing Development Company is key to this.
“We are delighted to be at the point of announcing the official name of Sandway Homes for our new housing development company.
“The name Sandway is inspired by the unique 22 miles of coastline in Sefton and the logo mark is derived from the family crest for the Sefton Molyneux.
“Our mission now is to create quality, ambitious housing in a purposeful, ethical, and sustainable way that puts real people at the centre of everything. This will contribute to providing more housing choice right across the borough and unlock value from unused sites. The funds generated in this way will be used to support other Sefton Council projects and services.”
‘Great’ Southport visited by Great Yarmouth group for tourism tips
A delegation from Great Yarmouth visited Sefton to see at first hand the excellent work taking place in the borough’s tourism sector.
More than 35 people including staff and councillors from Great Yarmouth Borough Council and delegates from the private sector undertook a study visit to Southport.
The main focus was to learn how Sefton works with the private sector, how Southport BID operates, Sefton’s success on putting on major events, destination marketing and how we secure external funding for large investment projects.
During the visit the group had a guided tour of King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and The Atkinson and heard presentations from Sefton’s Tourism team and Southport BID. Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, also met the group.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation from Great Yarmouth to our wonderful borough and the amazing resort of Southport.
“Both Great Yarmouth and Southport have a number of similarities and uses the successful visit to share our expert knowledge, best practice and learning in the Tourism sector.
“We are very proud of our working relationship with many different external partners and we shared this way of working with the delegation during their visit. We really hope the time spent in Southport will be beneficial to all partners involved.”
Karen Youngs, from Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), said: “The trip was organised by the Greater Yarmouth BID with a total of 38 delegates from both the public and private sector of the borough of Great Yarmouth who stayed at the Ramada Plaza.
“All the group paid for the visit out of their own pockets in order to gain an insight on how the resort of Southport manages their BID with the forthcoming 2nd term BID vote in 2019 and the general tourism offer.
“It was agreed that this visit was amongst one of the most informative and interesting study trips with excellent presentations from Sefton Council and the Southport BID.”