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Sefton Council loses judicial review against Highways England

Sefton Council has lost its legal fight to order Highways England to re-consult on proposals to ease traffic on the A5036  (Dunnings Bridge Road) by building a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley Country Park.

Following a High Court hearing in Manchester on October 23, a judgement was issued today (November, 16) dismissing the application. Mr Justice Kerr ruled that he would not order Highways England to re-consult and include the tunnel option for the proposed Port Access route through Rimrose Valley.

Despite the strong case the Council made that Highways England had failed to include the tunnel option in its consultation or in any event failed to include it in a lawful way, the High Court ruled in favour of Highways England.

The Council believes the judgement was lost because the Government and Highways England failed to make adequate financial provision for the full range of options including a tunnel. The judge was clear in his statement that the budget for the scheme was a political decision and not a decision for the courts.

Sefton Council’s decision to apply for a judicial review was agreed to be valid by Mr Justice Kerr.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “I’m really disappointed by this decision and I will be seeking legal advice to see if there’s anything else we can do as I firmly believe that the tunnel option is the only option which could balance the need for improved access to the port with the needs of the local community.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view and this is wrong. It is also completely at odds with the Government’s agenda to improve air quality and a slap in the face for local residents who suffer the resulting implications including the loss of a much loved urban green space.

“This ruling is a further blow to us, especially after learning that Highways England has backed a multi-billion-pound tunnel crossing under the River Thames between Essex and Kent. They have agreed to spend billions on a tunnel under the River Thames but ruled out building one in Sefton because it cost too much. It just smacks of double standards and reinforces my belief that we are treated as the poor relation in the North.

“Throughout this process it seems that all Highways England has been concerned about is the cost of the scheme and not one thought has been shown towards the detrimental impact on our communities. In his judgement Mr Justice Kerr said the scheme and allocated finances was ultimately a political decision so I call on the Government to now show some steel and really reconsider this, make the money available as they have done in the South and start to put the health and wellbeing of our communities first.”

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.”

Sefton Remembrance Services: All you need to know

The Mayor of Sefton, councillors and council officers will all attend Remembrance Day services taking place across the borough next week

They will all remember those who died in conflict at services being held on Sunday, November 11.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, will attend a morning service at the War Memorial, King’s Gardens, Bootle at 10.50am and an afternoon service at Holy Trinity Church, Formby at 3pm.

Councillors and other Sefton Council representatives will be present at a total of 11 services being held on Sunday, November 11 throughout the borough.

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These will be held at other locations in Aintree, Ainsdale, Crosby, Hightown, Ince Blundell, Litherland, Maghull, Southport and Waterloo.

As with previous years members of the public are asked to arrive at a service in plenty of time. This is due to the high volume of residents expected to turn out to pay their respects.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “Each year Sefton councillors, officers, members of the public and our armed forces are rightfully present at the many emotional commemorative services taking place across the borough.

“As Mayor I am always very proud to attend to pay my respects and I as many people as possible will do the same on what is a very poignant and important day.

“Remembrance services give us the opportunity to spend some time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women over the years in various conflicts.”

Cllr Bobby Brennan, Sefton Council’s Armed Forces champion, added: “The services we hold in Sefton are very important as we remember those who lost their lives in conflict past and present.

“We owe a huge debt to every single one of the fallen for the peace and freedom we currently enjoy today.”

 

Services

Aintree: Sefton Parish Church, Sefton Village, L29 (10.30am)
Ainsdale: Village Green War Memorial (10:30am)
Bootle: King’s Garden’s War Memorial, Stanley Road (10.25am)
Crosby: Alexandra Park War Memorial Garden, Coronation Road (10:30am)
Formby: Holy Trinity Church, Rosemary Lane (2.50pm)
Hightown: St Stephen’s Road War Memorial (10:35am)
Ince Blundell: Lady Green Lane War Memorial (12:05pm)
Litherland: Sefton Road War Memorial (10:30am)
Maghull: St Andrew’s Church, Damfield Lane (9.50am)
Southport: Lord Street War Memorial (10:25am)
Waterloo: Five Lamps War Memorial, Gt George’s Road (10:30am)

Highways team to hold Over 60s Road Safety session

Sefton Council’s Highways Safety team are to hold a special senior’s road safety event in Ainsdale.

Drivers and other senior road users over the age of 60 years are invited to attend the event at Ainsdale Methodist Church, 688 Liverpool Road, Ainsdale on Tuesday November 13 at 10am.

Sefton’s Highways Team are hoping to use this event to promote safer use of the highway for both pedestrians and road users.

This is the latest in a series of Senior Road User events which have been taking place across Sefton over the last three years.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “Over the last few years there have been an increasing number of casualties involving the over 60s age group in collisions across Merseyside.

“That’s why our Highways Safety team at Sefton Council want to use these types of events to proactively promote safer use of the roads for both pedestrians and motorists.

“The aim is to highlight road safety issues that may affect road users over the age of 60 such as diminishing eyesight, medications and how their driving is affected.”

Guest speakers at the event will include representatives from Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire & Rescue Service, Specsavers and local health clinicians.

Lunch, as well as tea and coffee will be provided free of charge for those attending, however places are limited and booking a place is essential.

To book your place contact the Highway Safety Team on 0151 934 4259.

‘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.”

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