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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.

Important investment works start at Netherton Activity Centre

Important investment works are set to start at Netherton Activity Centre to support the local community.

The improvement works have started at Netherton Activity Centre as part of Sefton Council’s commitment to invest in its local communities and support some of the most vulnerable residents in the borough.

The important building works will benefit children, families and regular visitors to the NAC and will make a positive difference to the Council’s new ‘Early Intervention and Prevention’ offer.

Works are expected to take approximately 20 weeks to complete and every effort is being taken to minimise disruption, with the building remaining open throughout.

Parents and carers who use the NAC have been sent letters in advance of the works starting to allow them to prepare for any disruption.

Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said:

“This work is an important step in making sure that our community base at Netherton Activity Centre is fit for purpose, financially sustainable and it will contribute directly to supporting some of the most vulnerable residents in Sefton.

“As people will appreciate, there will be some noise and unfamiliar workers on site, and we’re working closely with parents and carers to minimise any anxiety or distress for the children and young people who take part in the Aiming High activities or use Jakes Sensory World.

“We’d like to reassure people that works will be carried out as sensitively as possible, with users’ needs in mind, and all services will still be available.

“The end result will help us to deliver our ambitions set out in Vision 2030 – ensuring we’re investing to create a borough for everyone.”

Trading Standards catch Crosby rogue businessman

Sefton Council has welcomed the successful prosecution of a rogue trader from Crosby.

Daniel Howarth of Crosby Property Maintenance plead guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act and one offence under the Consumer Rights Act at South Sefton Magistrates Court.

Offences including the unauthorised use of a ‘Gas Safe’ logo on his website and forging building certificates supposedly from Sefton Council saying his work at a property complied with regulations.

Howarth tried to pass Crosby Property Maintenance off as being ‘Gas Safe’ (previously Corgi) registered as well as approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

When challenged about works he carried out at two different properties, he produced fake building certificates, claiming to be from the Local Authority, confirming that building work had been assessed by qualified building control officers and deemed to be safe.

In reality the works were unsafe and homeowners were faced with a bill for further remedial works in order to comply with Building Regulations.

During an investigation into complaints against Crosby Property Maintenance, Howarth gave false information to Sefton’s Trading Standards officers.

He was fined £1505 and ordered to pay costs of £1031.50, totalling £2536.50.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “This case goes to show the absolute importance of double checking who is working on your property.

“A full list of Gas Safe and NICIEIC approved contractors are available via their respective websites.

“Victims of this rogue trader are still counting the costs of his forgery and we are pleased that our Trading Standards team have managed to bring him to justice.

“We urge residents to remain vigilant and if they suspect a rogue trader is operating in the area to get in touch and we can investigate. Residents should always be on their guard against bogus workers and we need the public’s help to catch rogue traders.”

To search for an approved trader in your area you can also visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.

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