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Hundreds of volunteers help launch Green Sefton

Hundreds of volunteers turned out to help celebrate the launch of Green Sefton on World Oceans Day (June 8).

Litter picks and waterside clean-ups were held across the borough ahead of a special launch event at Crosby Coastal Park to welcome the formation of Green Sefton, a brand new team to help keep Sefton clean, green and beautiful.

Clean-ups were held at Southport’s Marine Lake, Ainsdale Beach and the Brewery Lane stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

Green Sefton brings together Coast & Countryside, Parks & Greenspaces, Flooding & Coastal Erosion, Risk Management and Grounds Maintenance teams all together to ensure a joined up approach to the vital management, development and oversight of Sefton’s beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces for years to come.

Residents had the chance to meet the Green Sefton team who explained the work they will do, from land management and community engagement to vital work surveying the changing shape of Sefton’s coast and what this means to residents and visitors.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We want to to say a massive thank you to all the community groups, volunteers and green-fingered helpers who came out to help on World Oceans Day.

“Sefton is a clean, green and beautiful borough that is internationally recognised for its natural beauty and we will build on this through the work of Green Sefton and working closely with our volunteers.

“Green Sefton has been created to make sure we continue our focus on a collaborative approach to the management, development and oversight of our beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces.

“We believe this will also encourage more community cohesion, more involvement with our volunteers and residents, as well as eco organisations.”

For updates on Green Sefton events, activities and partnership opportunities, check out Sefton Council’s social media channels.

Record crowds flock to Southport Food & Drink festival

A record 36,000 visitors enjoying all of the delights of the 12th Annual Southport Food & Drink festival last weekend.

Food such as Persian lamb dishes, award winning oriental food, wild boar burgers, vegan food, waffles and chicken to name a few, were on offer from over 80 street traders.

Local producers were joined by businesses from over the North West and sold food such as cheese, pies, scones, brownies and fudge with many selling out each day and leaving with smiles on their faces.

As a family event the little ones enjoyed the children’s entertainment where there were regular magic shows, grass sports, face painting, slime making and crafts. Inflatables and water walking also provided plenty of entertainment.

Families and groups of friends attended the event and thoroughly enjoyed their visit with many setting up a picnic area on the grass and enjoying the entire day and beautiful surroundings of Victoria Park.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Record numbers of both visitors and traders enjoyed this year’s Southport Food and Drink Festival, which continues to be bigger and better each year.

“We had really good weather this, combined with an array of delicious food and mouthwatering drinks, led to a fantastic three days at Victoria Park.

“This is just the start of an exciting events programme organised by Sefton Council, with the Air Show taking place in July followed by the British Musical Fireworks Championship at the end of September – there really is going to be something for everyone.

“The excellent events programme coupled with other tourism activity demonstrates Sefton’s commitment to the visitor economy, with the determination to facilitate its growth across the borough.”

Sefton welcomes over 8.7 million visitors a year contributing over £518 million to the local economy.

Bliss to revitalise Southport Theatre in major investment project

Sefton Council has successfully engaged Bliss, a leading Hotel and Leisure company, to revitalise the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre (STCC) as part of a major investment in the town.

Bliss is already well established in Southport, owning and operating the Waterfront complex, which includes the Ramada Hotel, winner of the Hotel of the Year 2017.

The Council owned STCC, which adjoins the Bliss complex, is a crucial part of Sefton’s visitor economy as the primary conference venue. It is also the biggest theatre in the borough with a seated capacity of over 1,600.

The new plans for the STCC put it at the heart of the Bliss strategy to develop the Waterfront as one of the best and most vibrant coastal destinations in the UK attracting new investment, new visitors and providing a significant boost to the local economy.

This will include new facades and landscaping to create improved flow and visibility around the Waterfront and encourage 360’ usage of the complex and promenades.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are totally committed to ensuring that the STCC has an ambitious future and are delighted that Bliss are confirmed as the new operator.

“Bliss are as ambitious as the Council for the waterfront area and we look forward to seeing great improvements in the overall quality of productions and increased conference numbers at the important STCC as well as wider enhancement to the whole waterfront.

“We strongly believe the STCC is a great asset for Sefton and a building that benefits visitors and residents in a key location in Southport.”

Robert Agsteribbe, Co-founder of Bliss Hotels and Bliss Investment Partners, said: “Together with Sefton Council, we will create a lively, world renowned Waterfront by stimulating growth and economic activity with everyone enjoying the next generation of elevated theatre entertainment with amazing new performance experiences.

“It is our shared ambition that this partnership will lead to Southport being a new leader in Leisure and Entertainment.”

Avoid driving penalty heartache this World Cup campaign!

As the World Cup approaches, Liverpool Football Club’s Academy has teamed up with the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership to highlight the dangers of driving the morning after drinking alcohol.

The campaign was launched with players from the Reds U18 side who took part in an interactive session aimed at highlighting the effect that alcohol can have on people’s reactions.

Many people will enjoy a few drinks as they watch the football and most wouldn’t even consider getting into their car and driving afterwards.

However, there is a real risk that people who would never deliberately drink and drive may still be over the limit, or unfit to drive, the ‘morning after’.

This is because it takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body. On average it takes around one hour per unit of alcohol, though this can vary depending on a number of factors.

Merseyside Road Safety Partnership features local authority members, including Sefton Council, as well as additional partners including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseytravel and Highways England.

Station Manager Steve Pang, Spokesperson for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “The decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle the morning after drinking can have very serious consequences, not only for the driver but also potentially for other road users around them.

“We would encourage people to enjoy watching the tournament but to remember that your safety and the safety of others is vital. If you have been drinking the previous evening and are thinking about driving the next morning don’t take that risk.”

Paul Mountford, Merseyside Police Lead for drink and drug driving, said: “Merseyside Police will be conducting numerous roadside operations and breath and drug testing hundreds of drivers across Merseyside throughout this campaign to ensure that drivers understand the principles of this campaign – that the only safe drink drive limit is zero.

“Many drivers are unaware that even a small amount of alcohol may affect their driving ability, placing themselves at an increased risk of a crash and arrest. They may be arrested for ‘drink driving’ even if they pass a breathalyser if the officer considers them to be unfit. This is particularly relevant the following day when many will not consider their driving fitness after a night’s sleep.

“We are also reminding drivers that we will not tolerate those who take illegal drugs and drive. Similar to alcohol, driving while under the influence of illegal drugs can place the driver and other road users at risk. Our roadside tests aim to not only detect these drivers but also deter them from getting behind the wheel.”

Phil Roscoe, Head of Education and Welfare from Liverpool FC said: “The session with the Road Safety team was really interesting and helped to raise awareness of the effects that alcohol can have on your body, even the morning after having a drink.

“The message from the campaign is relevant at any time of the year, but it is particular important to in the run up to the World Cup to help people enjoy watching the tournament safely.”

The main message from the campaign is not ‘don’t drink’, but ‘don’t drink anything if you are driving’ and ‘don’t drink heavily if you have to drive the following morning’.

Balliol Road to undergo carriageway maintenance works

Balliol Road, Bootle will be temporarily close over two nights to undergo essential carriageway maintenance works next week.

Two sections of the eastbound carriageway, between Pembroke Road and Stanley Road Junction, as well as Stanley Road Junction and University Road, will be temporarily closed overnight on both Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7.

Contractors will close the road off from 6.30pm. It is planned for the night works to end at midnight, followed by a site safety procedure which will be completed on each occasion by 1am.

To maximise opportunity, additional works will be undertaken at the same time on Stanley Road at the junction with Balliol Road.

These works will be signposted accordingly, and a three way traffic lights system will also be in place to minimise disruption.

A signed diversion route will be in place for the duration of the works.

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

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