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Sefton tops Merseyside list for council tax collection

Sefton Council are yet again the best performing Merseyside local authority for the collection of Council Tax.

Figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show that Sefton continues to outperform neighbouring authorities in the Liverpool City Region for collection of both Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates.

The annual collection rate for 2017/18 showed that the local authority had a Council Tax collection rate of 96.3%, while collection rates for National Non-Domestic Rates was 98.7%.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “We are proud to once again be the best performing Merseyside local authority for Council Tax and Business Rate collection.

“These figures will provide reassurance to residents that we are maximising our revenue to keep Council Tax down.

“We will always do our best to collect what is rightly owed to us and feel we offer many valuable services through the income we receive from our Council Tax and Business Rates.

“Everyone who is required to pay their Council Tax and Business Rate bills should do so, and anyone who is struggling should contact us directly where we can try and help.”

For more information or help with managing payments, visit www.sefton.gov.uk for more information.

Special toolkit helps schools and youngsters kickstart their volunteer life

A brand new toolkit has launched part of the Year of the Volunteer– packed with information about local volunteer opportunities and creative ideas for fundraising events and activities!

This pack has been produced by Volunteer Centre Sefton, who help individuals and groups with volunteering across the borough.

To download the pack click here

Sefton 4 Good, who help with fundraising for local good causes, also helped put together the brand new toolkit.

For more information about volunteering, please email info@volunteeringsefton.org.uk, and to share your fundraising ideas please contact the Sefton 4 Good team at info@sefton4good.org.uk.

Don’t forget, you can also share your fundraising ideas with Sefton4Good on Twitter @Sefton4Good.

Sefton secures £2.3 million for major highway improvement project in Maghull

Sefton Council is delighted to have secured £2.3 million for a major highway improvement project in Maghull.

The proposed scheme will allow for reduced congestion and improved safety at the A59 Northway junction with Dover Road and Liverpool Road South.

Funding for the project, which is anticipated to begin in 2019, has been allocated by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and reinforces Sefton’s ongoing commitment to supporting infrastructure and growth across the borough.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are delighted to have secured City Region Combined Authority funding for this scheme.

“Sefton is wholly committed to to improving transport infrastructure in the Maghull area and this project will be another step forward, following on from the new Maghull North Station and the M58 Junction 1 improvements due to start later this year.

“We hope that the works, once approved, will start in Summer 2019 and last around six months, with as little disruption as possible to traffic.”

Further details about the project will be announced in due course.

Sterrix Lane undergoes carriageway maintenance works

Sterrix Lane, Litherland will be temporarily close over two weeks to undergo essential carriageway maintenance works.

The stretch of carriageway, between Gorsey Lane and Boundary Road will be temporarily closed for two weeks from July 25.

Access will be maintained for residents and emergency vehicles at all times.

Residents are asked however to make adequate alternative provisions for deliveries, as site health and safety rules will only allow access when it is safe to do so.

The works will be signposted accordingly and a signed diversion route will be in place for the duration of the works to minimise any disruption.

For further information on road closures across the borough visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

200,000 cigarettes seized in Southport shop raid

Counterfeit cigarettes worth more than £40,000 have been seized following a raid by Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police.

Officers acted on information from the public which identified a residential premise in Southport Town Centre being used to store illicit tobacco for a nearby retail unit.

More than 200,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after both premises were visited by Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.

The seizure included counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This incredible discovery would not have been possible without the hard work of our Trading Standards team and partners in Merseyside Police.

 “We hope this seizure serves as a stark warning to others that we will always take action against anybody who chooses to trade in illegal tobacco.

 “Sales of illicit tobacco is completely unfair on those traders who sell UK tobacco products legitimately.

 “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes like this needs to stop and we are determined to protect legitimate traders, consumers and the general public.

 “We actively encourage anyone who may be aware of or suspects that counterfeit cigarettes are being sold in the borough to let us know confidentially.”

 Community Policing Sergeant, Andy Dentith said: “A concerted effort between Merseyside Police and our partners at Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team has led to this fantastic result and a large quantity of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes will now thankfully not reach the public.

” Any breaches of licenses or criminal offences that we find will be dealt with robustly. Our message is simple: we will visit, search and prosecute any businesses which put the health and safety of the community at risk.

 “The recovery of more than 200,000 cigarettes will have significantly disrupted the activities of those involved and we ask anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in the area to contact us.

 “We will continue to work closely with our partners to target dangerous and substandard business premises using all our available law-enforcement powers.”

Anyone who does suspect the sale of counterfeit products or any form of fraud should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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