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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.”

Community invited to Ovington Drive play area meeting

Design suggestions for a new look play area at Ovington Drive, Kew are to go on public display later this month.

Children from Kew Woods Primary School have been working closely with Sefton Council’s Parks and Greenspaces team to come up with a number of designs and suggestions for a revamped Ovington Drive Play Area.

The results of these ideas will be presented to the surrounding community at Kew Woods Primary on Monday February 19 from 6pm.

Following the community consultation, a final design will be prepared before the next stages of the project.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We’ve been delighted with the response from children at Kew Woods who have come up with a wealth of fun, interesting and quirky ideas for the new look Ovington Drive play area.

“Ideas range from mini basketball hoops to dolphin slides and zip wires to a firehouse!”

“The message is loud and clear that children want a fun and vibrant play area that is inclusive and welcoming for all.

“We hope that the local community around Ovington Drive come along to the meeting and have their say on what matters most to them in a new play area.

“These suggestions, combined with ideas from pupils, will then go toward forming the final design.”

All are welcome to attend the consultation at Kew Woods Primary School, Ovington Drive on Monday, February 19 from 6pm.

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.

Consultation on Sefton Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Sefton Health and Wellbeing Board are required by law to produce a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) every three years, and to make sure that it is available for comments on before it is finalised and published.

The pharmaceutical needs assessment describes pharmacy provision in Sefton together with when and where these are available.  NHS England also uses the PNA when considering applications to open a new pharmacy, move an existing pharmacy or commission additional services from a pharmacy.

The key outcomes for this consultation are:

  • To encourage constructive feedback from a variety of stakeholders and professional bodies.
  • To ensure that residents and professionals provide opinions and views of what is contained within the PNA.

The draft PNA can be found by accessing this link on Sefton Council’s website.  If you require a paper version of the PNA, please contact Steve Gowland on 0151 934 3070.

To comment and feedback there is also a short response form to complete which can be via this link.  Alternatively you can respond formally in writing to the above return address using this form.

All feedback will be considered and the PNA steering group will decide on behalf of the HWB which sections of the PNA need amending.  A consultation report will be included within the final PNA document.

This will provide an overview of the feedback received and set out how comments have been acted upon.  An updated PNA including the consultation process and responses will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March for final publication from April 2018.

The closing date for this consultation period is 18th January 2018

Cabinet agrees not to create three Family Wellbeing Centres following community feedback

Sefton Council’s Cabinet has agreed not to create three Family Wellbeing Centres after listening to community feedback from a recent consultation exercise.

They have agreed to a more joined up approach for the whole family covering ages from pre-birth to 19 year olds, which will complement the work Sefton Council is doing to transform the way it provides early intervention and prevention services.

The recommendations, which were agreed at Cabinet on December 7, are subject to a five-day call in period.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said:

“Due to significant reductions in Government funding over the last few years, the Council has had to make some really tough decisions, but we always try to make these with our communities at the heart.

“This consultation has been a very difficult, emotive piece of work and we have spent a lot of time listening to our communities. As a result we have changed our proposals because of their feedback and all existing Children’s Centres are to remain open. This decision clearly shows that what our communities say do matter to us.”

More than 1,600 people gave their views during the consultation and the Council held 15 public engagement events. While the majority were in favour of a more joined up approach for 0 to19 year olds, they were not in favour of having three main centres.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, added:

“Sefton has an excellent track record for consulting with our communities and this is a great example of this work.

“All along we have been clear that we would listen to people’s views and we have truly listened. As a result of this valuable feedback, we are changing our plans, which will allow us to be more joined up and make the most of the money that we have available to ensure support for those most in need. It will complement the work we’re doing to transform the way we provide early intervention and prevention services.”

In order to retain the centres within their current bases and to keep within the available budget, the Council acknowledges it will not be possible to provide the same level of activity within the centres. As a result, funding to the children’s and family centres going forward will change. It means that the allocated monies will be prioritised on providing services that support parents, carers and all children regardless of age. Report details are on the Sefton Council website.

The Council will work closely with schools on the impact of the funding changes, as there would also be likely implications for employees of both the Council and those employed by schools.

The next step of this process is to begin to engage with service users, staff and partners on what a new 0-19 offer will look like.

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