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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.

Tips for dining out with a person living with dementia

     Caring for somebody who is living with dementia can mean some planning and adjustments to things we often take for granted. One of those things is eating out, sometimes it can be difficult so Alzheimer’s Society in Southport, have some hints and tips from service users and carers from across Sefton to help you on your next outing.

  • I find people are very kind and helpful when I am out with mum. Mum struggles to pick up a cup without spilling her favourite cappuccino or hot chocolate – I have started getting her a straw which helps enormously, she enjoys it!
  • Child or smaller portions are about the right size and usually easier to eat.
  • I often take mum to the garden centre for lunch – soup and a roll, cappuccino and a cake!  We go early to avoid the queues.  I sit mum at a table then go and get the food.
  • We try to book a restaurant when its open, then we can choose a secluded place to sit to avoid too much noise and distractions. We can order quickly so there is not too much time to wait. We often decide what we are going to eat beforehand so there is even less delay. We tend to have a main meal and dessert, and then home for coffee.
  • I take Mum for a coffee and cake rather than a big meal as she gets agitated after a few minutes and it’s easier to drink up and go if we need to. 
  • With family meals, we tend to get takeaway fish and chips at home so that if dad doesn’t feel up to participating, it’s no big deal.
  • Visit places at quieter times of the day and avoid weekends.
  • Choose places with good lighting, not too loud background noise and, if possible an establishment where staff are Dementia Friends. 
  • Using the same establishment to provide familiarity and also the staff/management can identify your needs. (Lots of napkins, quiet table, close to toilets). Dependant on ability pre-order a selection of finger foods to be placed on the table, avoids any issues with cutlery, everybody can eat the same food. As a past restaurant manager, I would be happy to provide a regular order for my guests. 
  • Having the appropriate drinking vessel for the person with dementia, (if they require a beaker bring one). As a dementia champion i have not encountered many restaurants that have dementia friends training for all staff so please ask for what you need.
  • When my step mum went into a Care Home and found going out difficult, we used to take a picnic into the Home, and eat it in the garden. Her favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and cakes. We would talk about places we had been out for picnics in the past and it brought back happy memories. We had some lovely afternoons without the stress all round if she had difficulties when we were out in a restaurant or cafe.
  • My wife has an eating disorder and can’t manage a regular meal.   As a result I order a main and an extra plate. Initially it was worried it might be a bit embarrassing but nobody batted an eyelid.

     These helpful tips are from people caring for others living with dementia and how they have been able to find workarounds whilst out and about. Most cafes and restaurants are more than happy to help, so always ask if there is something you need or if you have any specific requirements. Living with dementia means just that – living.

     Cllr Cummins Cabinet member for Adult social care said ‘We hope to encourage more businesses in Sefton to become ‘Dementia Friendly’ for carers and people living with dementia alike. These tips for eating out are brilliant because they come directly from those dealing with dementia. We hope to make everyday outings as enjoyable as we can for everybody in Sefton’

     Linda Lawson, Information Worker for the Society said ‘Eating out when you have dementia can be a challenging experience for both the person with this condition and those who care for them. The best suggestions to make this experience more relaxing and pleasurable come directly from those living with dementia as we know they really do work. We want to encourage more cafes and restaurants to become ‘dementia friendly’, small changes such as clear signage, good lighting and staff receiving free Dementia Friends training can make a huge difference to a person living with dementia.’

     If you would like any further information about Alzheimer’s Society and dementia support in Sefton please contact 01704 539 967 or E-mail southport@alzheimers.org.uk or you can visit their website for more information Website www.alzheimers.org.uk or visit the Sefton Dementia Action alliance website to see what’s going on around Sefton http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/local_alliances/3794_sefton_daa

Soaring success for the Southport Air Show

This Weekend saw Southport skies filled with the roar of jet engines and the sparkle of pyrotechnics. This year the Air show was extended to cover Friday evening, this enabled the many spectators to line Southport beach as the sky above was lit up by an array of fireworks, planes and the typhoons scorching afterburner.

 Over the course of the weekend thousands flocked to the Air Show to see a great flying programme that included The Lancaster Bomber, Sally B, and many more, both days came to a close by the mighty thunder of the Typhoon.

 Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Southport Air Show has been another amazing event in what has been an outstanding year for the resort and the whole borough. The fireworks on Friday evening were really special and gave the event a new twist.

 “Thousands of visitors attended the resort over the two days which will have had a real positive impact on local businesses in and around the town, this wouldn’t have been possible without Sefton Councils hard work and dedication to bring these exceptional events to our borough.”

 “The displays were incredible and an amazing experience for everybody in attendance. We already can’t wait for next year’s Air Show which will take place slightly earlier than normal from July 6-8, 2018.”

 Remember The British Musical Fireworks Championship take place on September 29/30 and October 1. The event will see 7 previous champions battle it out for the Champion of Champions crown, tickets now on sale from £4.50 at visitsouthport.com.

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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