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Private Landlords need new licences from March 1

Private Landlords across Sefton are being reminded they will need to apply for a licence to rent out their property from March 1.

From this date, Sefton Council requires landlords of private rented properties in some parts of the borough to apply for a housing licence.

If you are a private landlord in Sefton and haven’t already, you need to check whether you will need a licence to rent out your property and if so, apply for one.

If your property is in the Bootle (L20, L21) area you may need a Selective Licence.

If your property is in Seaforth (L21), Waterloo (L22), Brighton-le-Sands (L23) or Southport (PR8, PR9) AND it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you may need an Additional (HMO) licence.

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

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “I would strongly advise landlords to check whether their properties need a licence and, if so, to apply for one as soon as possible.

“This is a new scheme for Sefton and landlords will need to have applied for a licence by the beginning of September.

“A rigorous enforcement regime will commence after this date and landlords found to be operating unlicensed property will face tough penalties. New staff have been recruited to operate and enforce the schemes which will be funded through the licence fees. The team will also include a new apprentice.
If a property falls within either the Selective or Additional (HMO) licensing areas and is licensable under the Mandatory scheme landlords will not need to also apply for either a Selective or Additional (HMO) licence.

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.

You can check if you need a housing licence, which type of licence you need and apply for a housing licence at www.housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk.

Deadline nears for £115,000 community fund applications

The deadline is looming for organisations who want a share of £115,000 to help make Merseyside a cleaner and greener place.

The funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19.

The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is Wednesday 28th February 2018.

The impact of last year’s Fund saw 10 projects deliver 23 full time equivalent jobs (created or safeguarded), participation by 136 volunteers, 25,970 people directly engaged, 1345 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £134,500 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.”

This year bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture.

Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry. Projects will have ten months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started by June.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

– Download the Expression of Interest Form and Guidance at www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/waste-strategy/community-fund/community-fund-201819/

– Contact the Authority by Email: communityfund2018-19@merseysidewda.gov.uk / Tel: 0151 255 1444

Court grants Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into flawed Highways England consultation

The courts have granted Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into the flawed Highways England consultation over Rimrose Valley.

Leader of Sefton Council Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I’m pleased that the court has granted us permission to proceed with our application for a Judicial Review to look into what we believe is a flawed consultation by Highways England when they decided that their preferred option was to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.

“When Highways England first announced that they would only be taking forward two options to ease traffic on the A5036 – a revamped A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road, which is already one of the busiest roads in the north, or a new £200m road through Rimrose Valley Park in Litherland – we told them that neither option would deliver the necessary benefits for our communities and to consult on a third option to build a tunnel.

“Yet they completely disregarded this approach and ploughed on with a flawed consultation which is why we had no alternative but to apply for a judicial review.

“Getting to this next stage means that the legal system clearly recognises that we have grounds to challenge the way the whole process has been handled.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view – which is why we want to take action.

“Our case has been deemed to have enough evidence to take legal action and we’ll now prepare a strong case for the Judicial Review.

“We will fight this to ensure that that Highways England is ordered to re-open the consultation again, and give our communities a proper opportunity to be consulted on the tunnel option.

“Of course it is not too late for Highways England to reconsider their position, start their consultation process again including the tunnel option and avoid the need for ongoing legal action.

“We hope that common sense prevails.”

Sefton confirms purchase of James Dixon Court

Sefton Council has successfully purchased a residential care home based in the borough.

Following discussions with owners Your Housing Group, Sefton Council has bought James Dixon Court in Netherton with all 24 staff transferring over to service provider Sefton New Directions (SND).

SND will now operate the facility and all staff, residents and their families have been kept updated throughout the process.

Located in Harrops Croft, Netherton, James Dixon Court is a purpose built residential care home that provides accommodation for people aged over 65 and currently provides for 15 residents.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Through the transfer into Sefton Council control, we have been able to protect the future of the current residents at James Dixon Court.

“Staff at the home have transferred over to Sefton New Directions and we believe through this process we can ensure James Dixon Court provides quality and fit-for-purpose care now and into the future.

“I would like to thank Your Housing Group and Sefton New Directions for their professionalism during the transfer and look forward to working closely with SND in enhancing this excellent facility right in the heart of our community.

“I would also like to thank staff and residents for their patience while the future of the home remained uncertain. SND will work with staff, residents and families to ensure the home goes from strength to strength.”

John Cogbill, Chief Operating Officer for Your Housing Group, said: “We can confirm that we have agreed to transfer the ownership and management of James Dixon Court to Sefton Council.

“We have been very impressed by the plans that Sefton Council has for the management of James Dixon Court and are sure that the home has a bright future under their stewardship.

“The welfare of the scheme’s residents remains everyone’s top priority and we’d therefore like to reassure the occupants that both parties have been working in partnership to make sure the transition period will be as smooth as possible.”

Sefton New Directions was established 10 years ago as the first local authority social care trading company and remains at the forefront of the care sector in the borough and beyond with a team of more than 350 enthusiastic and caring staff.

Bob McDonald, managing director at Sefton New Directions, added: “We are going from strength to strength as the organisation prepares to accept the residential care home James Dixon Court into our extensive range of social care services which are provided locally.

“We are very much looking forward to James Dixon Court residents and staff joining the portfolio of services that we offer to Sefton residents.

“New Directions staff support clients to get the best out of life, our commitment is to provide personalised care where and when it’s needed. We work closely with commissioners to constantly review, develop and improve our services to ensure that they provide the support and life-enriching opportunities that our clients and their families want and deserve.”

Sefton fund knife wands to make nightlife safer

Knife wands are the latest piece of equipment being funded by Sefton Safer Communities Partnership to ensure the local night time-economy in the borough is as safe as it can be.

Thanks to the funding, Merseyside Police Community Officers and Targeted Police Teams, as well as local bars and clubs in the Sefton area, will be supplied with knife wands to help them identify people carrying dangerous weapons and keep club-goers from harm.

The wands will go towards enhancing safety in the area and cracking down on the number of serious and fatal stabbings that happen on our streets.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“I’m delighted that through the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we have acquired these extra security measures.

“The purchase of knife wands will help reassure our residents and visitors that Sefton is not only an enjoyable place to experience our vibrant night time economy, but also a safe one too.

“Many of our wonderful bars and nightclubs already have very good security in place but these wands will be of great benefit as both a deterrent and a symbol of reassurance.

“These wands and the wider Op Sceptre national campaign will compliment tactics already in place including weapon sweeps, knife arches, test purchasing and high visibility police patrols.”

Superintendent Matt Boyle said:

“These wands will act as a deterrent to those carrying weapons and a reassurance to the community that we’re doing everything we can to prevent knife related crime in the area.

“Liverpool City Council have already funded a roll out of the wands towards the end of last year following the tragic death of Sam Cook. Reports show these tools have been received really well and are key in keeping our communities safe.”

Merseyside is one of a number of police forces across the UK taking part in a week-long operation (Op Sceptre) aiming to highlight the work regularly being done across the county, and nationally, to combat the issue of knife crime.

As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives in the hope this ensures people can safely enjoy being out and about in the Sefton town centre and surrounding areas. I’m proud to be supporting Sefton Safer Communities Partnership as they roll out a further 45 wands and I hope this gets the message across that it isn’t acceptable to carry a knife.”

 

•Anyone that would like to report any forms of knife crime is asked to contact us via our social media desk @MerPolCC or call 101. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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