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Trading Standards catch Crosby rogue businessman

Sefton Council has welcomed the successful prosecution of a rogue trader from Crosby.

Daniel Howarth of Crosby Property Maintenance plead guilty to four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations act and one offence under the Consumer Rights Act at South Sefton Magistrates Court.

Offences including the unauthorised use of a ‘Gas Safe’ logo on his website and forging building certificates supposedly from Sefton Council saying his work at a property complied with regulations.

Howarth tried to pass Crosby Property Maintenance off as being ‘Gas Safe’ (previously Corgi) registered as well as approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

When challenged about works he carried out at two different properties, he produced fake building certificates, claiming to be from the Local Authority, confirming that building work had been assessed by qualified building control officers and deemed to be safe.

In reality the works were unsafe and homeowners were faced with a bill for further remedial works in order to comply with Building Regulations.

During an investigation into complaints against Crosby Property Maintenance, Howarth gave false information to Sefton’s Trading Standards officers.

He was fined £1505 and ordered to pay costs of £1031.50, totalling £2536.50.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “This case goes to show the absolute importance of double checking who is working on your property.

“A full list of Gas Safe and NICIEIC approved contractors are available via their respective websites.

“Victims of this rogue trader are still counting the costs of his forgery and we are pleased that our Trading Standards team have managed to bring him to justice.

“We urge residents to remain vigilant and if they suspect a rogue trader is operating in the area to get in touch and we can investigate. Residents should always be on their guard against bogus workers and we need the public’s help to catch rogue traders.”

To search for an approved trader in your area you can also visit

Gabrielle to headline Ladies Day at 2018 Grand National

Aintree Racecourse is pleased to announce Gabrielle will be headlining Ladies Day at the Randox Health Grand National Festival on Friday April 13.

Gabrielle will be performing in the Aintree Pavilion from 17:30, after the days racing, singing some of her chart topping hits including ‘Dreams’, ‘Rise’, ‘Out Of Reach’ and Give Me A Little More Time’.

Gabrielle’s career got off to an incredible start in 1993 when she broke the record for the highest chart debut by a female with the single ‘Dreams’. A 23-year-old club singer from Brockley, South London, she was the archetypal outsider. Following her dreams Gabrielle launched her career wearing an eyepatch that made her visually striking a voice that made her distinctive – and her differences contributed to her becoming Britain’s most successful soul singer.

In 2000, Gabrielle notably returned to the charts with the hit single Rise, which featured a Bob Dylan sample of ‘Knocking on Heavens Door’ and again reached the number one spot. The multi-platinum album ‘Rise’ followed in the same footsteps and topped the charts at number one.

In an industry where longevity is becoming increasingly rare, the hits have been unstoppable: ‘Give Me A Little More Time’, ‘If You Ever’, ‘When A Woman’, ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Out Of Reach’ which she wrote for the soundtrack of Bridget Jones’ Diary. Then there are the multi-platinum albums; ‘Gabrielle’ ‘Rise’ and ‘Dreams Can Come True’. Gabrielle will be performing songs from all of her multi-platinum albums on Ladies Day.

Gabrielle said “I can’t wait to perform at Aintree’s unique Ladies Day, Liverpool is one of my favourite cities. I am looking forward to seeing everyone dressed up and dancing to all of my songs after a great day of racing.”

In 2013, Gabrielle released a seventh album with the iconic Island records. A double album of all her greatest hits, some of her favourite album tracks and seven brand new songs. With the new songs came a new sound, the album titled Now and Always 20 Years of Dreaming also includes a new version of the classic Dreams re produced and re-recorded by Naughty Boy.

2014 saw Gabrielle go on her first UK tour since 2008, The Now and Always tour was a huge success and Gabrielle felt re connected with her fans, at every show she could be seen taking selfies from the stage with audience members.
Over the years, Gabrielle has picked up a number of prestigious awards including
Brit Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Female Vocalist, MOBOs for Best Single and Best Album, an Ivor Novello for Outstanding Song Collection and Gabrielle appeared with not just one but two albums in the official UK 100 records of the decade.

Gabrielle is currently recording a new studio album, her first in eleven years which will be released in 2018.

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse said: “We are delighted to have such a talented and globally recognised female artist headlining Ladies Day of the Randox Health Grand National Festival.

“Gabrielle has a superb collection of hits and we are excited for her to put on a great show for the crowds at Ladies Day.

“Ticket sales are 2,000 ahead of last year so we are in a fantastic position. I would recommend racegoers to buy early to avoid any disappointment.”

“We look forward to announcing further exciting acts in our Randox Health Grand National music line-up soon.”

Tickets for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival are available to purchase at or by calling 0344 579 3001. Racegoers can also buy tickets directly from the sales office at Aintree Racecourse. Hospitality packages are currently available to purchase, please call 0151 522 2911 for more information.

New forum to give a voice to those with disabilities in Sefton

A new forum to help give a voice to those living with disability has been launched with support from Sefton Council.

Ability Plus, a brand new scheme open to and representing people of all disabilities across the borough, is a joint initiative by members of the previous Sefton Access Forum and Ability Network groups.

The forum will allow anyone wanting to consult or engage with Sefton’s disabled community to get a better understanding of the needs of disabled people and the experiences they have of various services.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, welcomed the creation of Ability Plus, saying: “Our aim for Ability Plus is to make Sefton accessible, safe and welcoming to any disabled people living, working or visiting the borough.

“Members of Ability Plus are all experts by experience, and will act as a critical friends to services across the borough giving feedback on their services and the experiences disabled people have.”

The first meeting of the Ability Plus forum takes place at Bootle Town Hall on Monday February 19 at 1.30pm.

For more information or to register your interest in attending, call 0151 934 3202 or email

Intelligent cat’s eyes to improve Switch Island road safety

Intelligent cat’s eyes, which light up in response to changing traffic lights, are to be used for the first time at a motorway junction to improve safety for drivers.

Highways England is installing around 170 of the innovative LED road studs at one of England’s busiest motorway junctions – used by over 90,000 vehicles every day.

The intelligent cat’s eyes are being introduced as part of a £3 million project to improve journeys and safety at Switch Island in Merseyside, where the M57, M58 and 3 A roads all join together.

The LED road studs light up when traffic lights turn green so drivers can clearly see which lane they should follow. Cables under the road surface connect them to traffic lights through a nearby automatic controller unit.

The studs can be visible up to 1,000 metres away – far greater than traditional reflective cat’s eyes – and have been proven to help stop drivers drifting between lanes, reducing the risk of collisions.


Construction work on the Switch Island scheme, which is being funded by the government’s £220 million congestion relief programme, is due to start on Monday February 5 and is expected to take around a year to complete.

The scheme is designed to improve the flow of traffic and enhance safety, following 49 collisions at the junction in the past two years – an average of one every fortnight. New traffic lights will be installed at a height of over 5 metres – higher than HGVs and double-decker buses – so that drivers approaching the junction can clearly see when the lights are changing.

Other improvements will include changes to the road layout and lane markings, new barriers between carriageways, coloured high friction surfaces and better signs. And a new 400 metre shared cycle path will be created through the junction, which will link up with the existing cycle path alongside the A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road.

Jerry McConkey, Sefton Council’s Transportation and Highway Infrastructure Service Manager, said:

“We have worked closely with Highways England and Merseyside Police to look at the issues at Switch Island and develop improvement proposals.

“As a result, we are delighted that these important safety measures are about to be introduced with Highways England implementing the latest technology solutions. This will further improve safety and give drivers a much higher level of confidence when negotiating this busy junction.”

The new intelligent cat’s eyes which are being installed at Switch Island were designed by Oxfordshire-based company Clearview Intelligence. Managing Director Nick Lanigan said:

“The introduction of intelligent road studs, reacting to traffic light changes on a busy roundabout is a continuation of the traditional cat’s eye legacy but takes advantage of new technology available. The new studs have been proven to reduce lane transgression by over 50% in certain conditions so it’s a great way to help improve the safety for all road users.”


Countdown is on for 2018 Aintree Grand National!

With ten weeks to go until the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival, Aintree Racecourse announces that all grandstand areas and Festival Zone tickets for Grand National Day are sold out with only Steeplechase tickets still available for Saturday April 14.

This announcement comes one month sooner than last year which shows the demand and the ‘feel good factor’ for the greatest horserace in the world.

All grandstand and Festival Zone tickets are sold out, but Steeplechase tickets can still be bought through for £29.

Aside from Grand National Day, tickets are still available for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival on Grand National Thursday – A Day for Champions, Thursday April 12; and Ladies Day, Friday April 13. Limited grandstand seats and terraces are still available for both days but are selling fast.

For Grand National Thursday, tickets are available from £29 for Festival Zone and hospitality places are available from £125 plus VAT. For Ladies Day, tickets are available from £43 and hospitality from £179 plus VAT. Racegoers can purchase by visiting or by calling 0344 579 3001.

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said:

“We are delighted with the sales on Grand National Day and we are ahead on ticket sales over the three days compared to this time last year, which is excellent. I’d urge racegoers to get their tickets quickly for both Grand National Thursday and Ladies Day so they don’t miss out.

“We’re all excited about the Festival and are working extremely hard to provide racegoers with the best possible experience over the three days. We’ve listened to customers and are continuing to improve many areas including toilets and seating across the site. It’s not just about selling tickets, we want racegoers to really enjoy themselves at one of the best horseracing Festivals in the world.

“With the quality of horses being entered into the Grand National race as well as across the Festival, it’s three days of fun and top class racing that’s not to be missed.”

Tickets for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival are available to purchase at or by calling 0344 579 3001. Racegoers can also buy tickets directly from the sales office at Aintree Racecourse.

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