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Ditch Those Stabilisers return by popular demand

Back by popular demand during the October half term, Sefton Council is delighted to offer a number of ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

Children aged four and above can learn to ride a bike unaided at sessions in Litherland and Southport.

The events have a very high success rate and staff from the Council’s highway safety team will offer a range of practical advice to young riders and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential. Join in the fun at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, October 24between 9am-12pm or Southport’s Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday, October 26 from 9am to 12pm.

Parents of youngsters that have taken part in previous sessions have said:

“Thank you to you and your team for this morning’s cycling session.

“It was brilliantly run and the positive attitude and enthusiasm of you and your team was evident from the start. Great tips, great advice, and great results.

“We have absolutely loved the session learning skills to carry this on and enjoy cycling together as a family!”

Pre booking is essential due to popularity. To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.

Make sure you give ‘Paws For Thought’ when buying puppies

Sefton Council is asking residents to give ‘Paws for Thought’ to ensure they don’t buy illegally imported puppies, following the culmination of a high profile case in Southport.

The “Paws for Thought” campaign has launched this week in a bid to educate people about the financial and emotional dangers of buying illegally imported puppies, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Often illegally imported puppies, which are not vaccinated against rabies, are only ever discovered when a family take their new four legged friend for their first vet visit.

At this point the puppy has to be seized and put in quarantine, with any costs incurred falling on the dog’s owners.

Not only is there a significant financial implication, with fees in excess of £1,000, but the act of removing your cute new four legged friend can be extremely distressing and stressful.

Under legislation, any dogs entering the UK must have been vaccinated against rabies – however the vaccine will not work if given to puppies younger than 12 weeks.

As a result Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team are urging those considering buying a puppy to make sure they know who they are buying from, to check the pup’s vaccination history and always ask to see documentation.

The campaign launches after five people were prosecuted after the Trading Standards team uncovered an illegal puppy smuggling operation on Skipton Avenue, Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said:

“We don’t want people to have their lovely new puppies taken away from them.

“But illegally imported and unvaccinated puppies are an issue, and it is something which can happen in Sefton as we have seen recently.

“The puppies we discovered in Southport were only around eight weeks old when they were brought into the UK, meaning even if they had been vaccinated it would not have been effective.

“Increasing numbers of puppies are being imported illegally in to the UK from puppy farms in Eastern Europe.

“These puppies are being sold via adverts on the internet and are accompanied by false and forged documentation which lead buyers to believe they have been imported legally or bred in the UK.

“We want people to be vigilant, especially in the run up to Christmas when interest in buying puppies is especially high.”

The Paws for Thought campaign advises people to be suspicious if the seller cannot show you the puppy with its mother and litter mates, as well as:

• If the puppy has been vaccinated ask to see the documentation. This must clearly state the veterinary practice where this was carried out.
Be suspicious if the address of the veterinary practice is outside the UK.
• If the puppy has been brought in from outside the UK, it must be at least 15 weeks old and have a pet passport or a veterinary certificate.
Never agree to have the puppy delivered to your home address or to meet the seller to collect the puppy.
• Never pay for a puppy in advance.
Report any concerns using the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06

Earlier this year a joint raid by Sefton Council and Merseyside Police at a Skipton Avenue property discovered seven illegally imported puppies being kept in a poor condition.

Sefton’s Trading Standards team had no choice but to seize the puppies and put them in quarantine.

Fears that the pups were too young to be vaccinated against rabies were later confirmed and sadly one puppy was so ill, it had to be put to sleep.

The remaining six puppies were later successfully rehomed.

Cllr Lappin added:

“The case not only shows a blatant disregard for the law, but put the community at serious risk of the spread of rabies by illegally importing the dogs.

“Hopefully this sends out a strong message to anyone thinking of acting illegally that they will be caught and prosecuted.

“We would like to thank the member of the public that came forward to report their concerns, and would encourage others to be vigilant in order to tackle other incidents of a similar nature.”

Thousands enjoy Southport fireworks spectacle

Crowds in their thousands visited Victoria Park, Southport at the weekend to watch an incredible three day fireworks spectacular.

The Sefton run Champion of Champions competition saw seven previous winners of the popular British Musical Fireworks Championship battle it out between Friday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1 for the ultimate title. 

An incredible display by ‘Sirotechnics Fireworks’, who performed on the second Saturday evening slot, was enough to wow the judges and seal their place as Champion of Champions. 

Sunday’s ‘Bright Sparks Fireworks’ and ‘3rd All-Star Fireworks’, the opening Saturday display, took second and third place respectively.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“The British Musical Fireworks Championship was yet again a fantastic weekend for Southport and Sefton.

“Thousands of families descended on Victoria Park to see the 2013 winners, Sirotechnics, take home the Champion of Champions trophy. Saturday was full to capacity proving what a draw the Fireworks and Southport really are.

 

“I would like to congratulate everybody involved in putting on this year’s championship, which was a fitting and fantastic end to our 2017 Sefton events calendar.

“As the season draws to close once again, it is also important that we acknowledge the huge economic impact these fantastic events have on our borough.”

Bootle pupils help spruce up Derby Park

Pupils from a Bootle primary school donned their rubber gloves and helped make a local park sparkle during a recent litter-pick.

Children from St Monica’s Primary School joined up with Sefton Council’s Parks and Greenspaces team to help spruce up Derby Park, clearing away as much litter as possible.

More than 60 pupils and their teachers worked throughout the afternoon to amass five full bin bags worth of litter, while the Friends of Derby Park group swept away fallen leaves from the park’s steps.

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

“We were delighted that St Monica’s pupils came down to Derby Park to help make it shine.

“The children were shocked that there are people who treat the park with such disrespect by not disposing of their litter in a responsible way.

“At the end of the afternoon you could see the huge difference the pupils had made to the park and it looked so much cleaner afterwards.

“The pupils also got involved in a question and answer session about why it is important to care for the environment and not discard litter irresponsibly.

“We look forward to welcoming them back to Derby Park soon!”

The Friends of Derby Park Group are also on the look out for new members.

If you would like to get involved, please email parks@sefton.gov.uk.

Youngsters make waves at anti-scrambler fun day!

Pupils from schools across South Sefton have been shown how to have fun without dangerous scrambler bikes, thanks to Sefton Council and Merseyside Police.

Hundreds of schoolchildren from All Saints, Lander Road, The Grange, English Martyrs and Hatton Hill donned their gym kits and took part in an exhilarating inter-school sports day at Crosby Lakeside recently.

This is the second sports day by Sefton Council and Merseyside Police, designed to highlight the effects scrambler bikes have on local communities and how children can have tons of fun away from the dangerous bikes.

As well as learning about the vehicles, children took part in a host of activities including raft building, bush craft, archery, orienteering, teamwork and problem solving.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for Communities and Housing said: “This was a fantastic day out for all involved.

“Around 160 schoolchildren took part in the day and our partnership with Merseyside Police is working extremely well to highlight the dangers associated with scrambler bikes and how they can affect local communities.

“By getting involved in the campaign we hope all the young people have learned some valuable lessons and they have now been rewarded with a great day out using our amazing facilities at Crosby Lakeside.

“Next the schoolchildren will be taking part in a competition where they have been asked to make a 90 second video about the dangers of becoming involved in scrambler bike activity.

“The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Police Headquarters in December.”

Sefton Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Jones said: “Education and engagement is such an important part of the work we do alongside Sefton Council and our other partners. This inter-school sports day is a brilliant way for children to channel their energy and creativity in a positive way.

“During our yearly scrambler bike initiative, we not only want to show young people the serious dangers and nuisance that scrambler bikes cause across the community, but also encourage them to learn different activities, skills and pursuits.

“The enthusiasm we saw from everyone was great, and this autumn term will see them get involved in all sorts of competitions and activities.”

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