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Active Alma astounds instructors as she turns 100!

A Maghull woman is proving that age is just a number as she continues to impress instructors at Sefton’s Active Ageing sessions – at 100 years old!

Alma Jones, who celebrated her landmark birthday on Tuesday March 12, is a familiar face at her local Active Ageing Falls Prevention class and she insists keeping active is key to her longevity.

Bootle born Alma regularly joins other elderly residents at St Andrews Church, Maghull for the weekly classes where skilled instructors help Over 65s to develop muscle strength and improve balance, with the aim of preventing potentially serious falls or accidents.

As well as attending the sessions, Alma, a mother of two, admitted to keeping a very active lifestyle from an early age – including rock-climbing, fell walking, hockey and tennis – is the secret to reaching 100!

Alma said: “Not only are the Active Ageing classes fantastic for keeping well and building up your muscle strength, they’re also a great opportunity for people to make friends and have a chat between exercises!

“I love coming to the class. I have always been very active and throughout my life I’ve done lots of exciting things like rock-climbing and made sure I always kept fit by swimming, cycling and general good living.

“I still swam right up until my nineties and played sports too. Now I enjoy this Active Ageing class and I can assure you, you know which muscles you use at the end of it!

“We balance, stretch and make sure we keep as fit as possible in the class. I’d encourage anybody to come to one of our classes as it’s not only a fantastic way to keep fit, but it’s also very beneficial for making friends.”

At a recent Active Ageing class Alma was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a cake from instructors and her fellow members sang happy birthday to her.

She followed up by celebrating her landmark birthday surrounded by family and friends at her home.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Alma is a fantastic lady and she has proven that you can still lead an active and healthy lifestyle, even at the age of 100!

“Our Active Ageing teams, are committed to helping anyone who is unsteady on their feet or wants to gain more confidence walking through their free twelve week courses.”

Active Ageing is a Free 12-week programme designed to help with the prevention of falls for those aged 65 and over and who live within the South Sefton area.

The programme includes a range of exercises aimed at focusing on improving strength and balance to help reduce the risk of a further fall occurring.

For more information about the Active Ageing programme, which is funded by South Sefton CCG, and other available courses, please call 0151 934 2352.

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Make sure you’re registered to vote in the Local Elections

Residents across Sefton are being urged to make sure they are registered to vote in time for the local elections this May.

On Thursday, May 2 residents throughout the borough will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at a local level.

Local government elections select councillors, who are responsible for making decisions on running services in your local area. These include housing, education, transport, planning, parks, leisure, fire and public safety, social care and waste management. Across Sefton there are 22 wards.

Vote being cast at a polling station

In order to vote in this important election, residents must be on the electoral register.

The deadline to register to vote in local elections is fast approaching and Sefton Council is asking residents who have not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Friday, April 12. Anyone can apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes just five minutes and Sefton has had more than 15,000 new registrations in the last 2 years.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regulation and Compliance, said: “Time is running out to make sure you can take part in the local elections. These elections are an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here across Sefton. Putting it simply, if you’re not registered by April 12, you won’t be able to vote.”

Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, added: “If you have recently turned 18 or moved home, it is particularly important that you act to ensure that you are registered to vote. It takes just five minutes online and means that you can take part in this important election.”

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you will still be registered to vote. If in doubt, check your details by giving us a call on 0345 140 0845.

Phased improvement works on Buckley Hill Lane

Phased improvement works are set to start at the junction of Buckley Hill Lane and Edge Lane, Netherton to benefit traffic flow in the area.

The improvements will include the installation of a new left hand turning lane on Buckley Hill Lane and general works to help enhance pedestrian facilities at the junction.

Contractors will undertake the works from March 11 and are expected to take up to two weeks to complete the first phase of the improvements.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “This will require the installation of temporary traffic lights to be used during off-peak hours between 9:30am and 3:30pm so we are kindly asking motorists to make sure they plan their journeys accordingly.

“The second phase of improvement works is expected to begin on March 25 and this will necessitate the closure of the southbound carriageway of Buckley Hill Lane, between Almonds Turn and Edge Lane, for up to ten weeks.

“However we are making sure that adequate diversions and signage are to be in place during this closure to help reduce delays and northbound traffic should remain unaffected throughout.”

Residents and businesses in the area have already been made aware of the works.

For more information about roadworks or diversions across Sefton, visit www.roadworks.org

Bliss Hotel deal revamps Southport’s waterfront

Bliss Hotel is about to become the newest kid on the block, changing the landscape in its inaugural location of Southport; the North West’s premier coastal destination.

Bliss Hotel has rebranded and refurbished the current 133 room Ramada Plaza Hotel which anchors their multi-faceted leisure resort, The Waterfront, which includes a casino, theatre and conference centre sitting on the Marine Lake.

Bliss has recently secured a £15m funding package to support the project which will deliver the new hotel together with a wider and ambitious planning consent over the entire site before pursuing a strategic Bliss Hotel expansion drive for the ‘Super Soulful ‘Hotel Brand to other locations in the UK.

Bliss Hotel will be the first brand in the U.K. to trade under the Wyndham Trademark franchise agreement and immediate works will deliver completion of Bliss Floor 5 comprising new designed rooms showcasing their handmade Millbrook King Sized beds and formation of new and exclusive 60m2 penthouses with incredible views across the Marine Lake and coast beyond.

Bliss Hotel Co-Founder Daniel Broch said: “What a moment for Southport and Bliss Hotel; our shared vision’s about to become a reality fuelled by the enthusiasm and excitement of all those involved – creating anything from scratch is hugely inspiring and challenging; we’re aiming high”

Jez Marvin, from the architects Unwin Jones Partnership added: “The Bliss Hotel project and Waterfront regeneration represents a fantastic opportunity for Southport, the North West and for all involved.

“Unwin Jones Partnership are delighted and excited to have been selected as architect. Bliss have assembled a team full of talent, ideas and energy – we are looking forward to creating something truly amazing together.”

Sefton joins partners to host ‘Empty Homes’ event

Sefton Council is joining forces and partnering up with other local authorities across Merseyside and Cheshire to host a free ‘Empty Homes’ event.

The event at Liverpool Town Hall aims to offer advice and support to owners of empty properties across the region.

The drop-in session is an initiative from the Merseyside and Cheshire Sub Regional Empty Homes Group to reduce the number of empty privately-owned homes across the region.

There will be a host of information and empty property owners can browse stalls to learn about Council services and their empty property schemes or attend seminars on issues including selling a property at auction, probate, Universal Credit and fire safety.

The event takes place at Liverpool Town Hall, on Wednesday, March 20, between 3pm-6.15pm. For more information contact Elizabeth Walsh on 0345 140 0845.

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