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Mayor launches plea to find family of Seaforth war hero

The Mayor of Sefton is asking for help to trace the family of a Seaforth World War One hero.

Arthur Evans received the Victoria Cross after an incredible act of single-handed bravery under heavy German fire in France, 1918.

On the day in question Lance Sargeant Evans’ patrol spotted an enemy machine-gun on the east bank of a river.

Heroically Evans volunteered to swim across and singlehandedly forced four German soldiers to surrender after shooting two others.

Later Evans’ fellow soldiers came under fire and he again, singlehandedly, used cover fire to help withdraw the injured.

Little is known about Arthur’s life away from the battlefield and he sadly passed away in Sydney, Australia at the age of 45.

He is one of five local Victoria Cross recipients who are being honoured by Sefton Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government with special commemorative stones at civic memorials across the borough.

Ahead of Arthur’s stone being laid on August 31, the Mayor of Sefton is urging any members of his family to come forward to be a part of the service.

Cllr Dave Robinson, Mayor of Sefton Council, said: “We know Arthur was born and raised in Seaforth and after the First World War emigrated to Australia.

“All efforts so far to locate any family have proven unsuccessful and now we are hoping a public appeal may bring to light any existing family who still live in the area or perhaps further afield.

“Arthur was a true hero and his actions on the battlefield of Etaing, France, are something of legend.”

Any one who believes they may be related to Arthur Evans or knows more about his family are encouraged to email shaun.pimblett@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 2062.

Sefton Council’s Southport Heritage project wins National Lottery support

Sefton Council has received initial National Lottery support for the Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

The Council managed to beat off fierce competition from 23 other submitted bids nationally to be one of only 5 areas within the UK awarded the grant.

The grant (which is made possible by National Lottery players), will fund a project which aims to:

• enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the Seafront so that the two become better integrated: and
• increase the levels of economic activity within the target area to reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

The project will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade in order to complement the previously awarded Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of Kings Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Community funds for the pier.

Development funding of £70,100 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help Sefton in partnership with Southport BID progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m at a later date, which it is hoped will contribute to a combined funding pot of around £2.4m.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work, involving structural and external repair of historic buildings; the reinstatement of authentic architectural features (e.g. traditional shopfronts, windows) and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

The project will also bring community and educational benefits to the town and in conjunction with partners such as Southport Civic Society and education and training providers, will include a programme for promoting the heritage of the town including education, training and skills development for the repair and looking after historic buildings. It is hoped that this will bring about significant volunteer opportunities.

The target area for the project is located within Lord Street and the Promenade Conservation Areas which includes a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings, layout and landscaping. This heritage is important to residents, businesses and visitors alike, contributes to the economy of the town as well as giving a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “Considering we were competing against other local authorities for this funding and how massively oversubscribed it is, the fact we are successful is a testament to the strength of our bid.

“This was a real team effort and involved a lot of hard work with our planning and conservation officers along with partners.

“The project will focus on the areas between Lord Street and the Promenade linking up the town centre with the seafront to build on the recent Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of King’s Gardens and the Coastal Communities Fund of £2m for Southport Pier.

“We strongly believe the money will enhance these links so that the two areas become more integrated while increasing economic activity with the aim of reducing the number of vacant, underused and poorly maintained properties.”

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great example of an effective and strong public and private sector partnership working together to attract external funding to Southport.

“BIDs aren’t just about delivering events and organising marketing and promotional campaigns. There is increasing evidence that investors and funding bodies are becoming more attracted to areas where BIDs operate and that has to be good news for the future development of our town”.

Southport Townscape Heritage Project has initially been granted round one development funding of £70,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,625,000.

Atkinson to put the spotlight on volunteering heroes

Sefton residents will be able to find out more about hundreds of volunteering opportunities across the borough at an upcoming event in Southport.

Volunteer Centre Sefton will be holding a Volunteer Fair at the Atkinson on Lord Street in the town from 11am until 3pm on Wednesday 6th June, as part of Sefton Council’s 2018 Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer initiative.

Volunteer Centre Sefton – which is part of Sefton CVS – has more than 40 years’ experience of helping local people to find the right volunteering roles, as well as offering advice to organisations who are looking to recruit volunteers.

Information on a wide range of opportunities will be available at the Volunteer Fair, from groups seeking green-fingered residents for gardening projects to organisations looking for people who can support families in crisis or ex-offenders.

Organisations attending the event will include the Friends of Kings Gardens, literacy charity Beanstalk, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Southport FC, the Orrell Trust and Sefton Community Learning Service.

Representatives will also be attending from Citizens Advice Sefton, Parenting 2000, Home-Start Southport and Formby and Merseyside Offender Mentoring.

Mike Howlett, Volunteer Centre Sefton’s Senior Citizenship and Volunteering Officer, said: “At this event we’ll be looking for people to join our existing volunteers in the borough who do such a fantastic job in terms of helping to improve the lives of thousands of local people.

“As well as being a good way to meet new people, volunteering can be tailored to the lifestyle of each individual – what you do, where you do it and how much time you give is totally up to you.

“We’re hoping for a very good turnout at this Volunteer Fair at the Atkinson. Our message to everyone is that communities across Sefton need your knowledge, skills and commitment.”

* Anyone unable to attend the event who would like information about the opportunities on offer can get in touch with Volunteer Centre Sefton on 0151-920 0726 or email info@volunteeringsefton.org.uk.

Lord Street to temporarily close overnight for maintenance

Lord Street, Southport will undergo essential carriageway maintenance works from June 11, which will last for approximately five days.

Sefton Council’s Highways team will be issuing letters to residents and businesses on Lord Street, to let them know about the upcoming carriageway resurfacing project.

Work is due to commence on Monday June 11 and will take approximately five working days to complete.

The works will take place on isolated areas of the carriageway between Duke Street and Manchester Road.

Cllr John Fairclough, Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said:”Sefton is a borough on the move and making sure Lord Street’s carriageway is maintained is a key priority for us.”

“Due to the location of the site and the amount of surrounding properties and businesses, we are intending to carry out the works of an evening after 6.30pm to minimise inconvenience and disruption as much as possible.”

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.

Pedestrian access to shops and amenities will be available at all times, as well as access for emergency vehicles.

Diversions will be in place via Duke Street, Victoria Way, Esplanade, Seabank Road and vice versa.

Works nearing Eastbank Street and Nevill Street junctions will be signposted accordingly.

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

Bank Holiday travel info for event goers and visitors to City Region

Event goers and travellers are being urged to plan their journeys ahead of the upcoming, event packed bank holiday weekend for the Liverpool City Region – 25 to 28 May.

Events including the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta, the Liverpool Bordeaux Wine Festival and a homecoming parade for Liverpool FC on Sunday 27 May should they win the UEFA Champions League are all expected to attract thousands of people to the waterfront and city centre.

Merseytravel, bus and rail operators and other partners have put plans in place using all available resources to support people as they travel.

People are strongly advised to plan their journeys as transport services will be much busier than normal, both before and after these events, due to an increase in demand and queues are expected.

A summary of key travel information and advice is below but travellers should check with transport operators for more detailed and up to the minute information both in the run up to and on their day of travel.

Key advice and information:

  • Plan ahead and allow extra time for your journeys – services will be busier, expect queues.
  • Check timetables – be prepared for some changes to services, particularly for buses as there will be diversions due to road closures.
  • Be prepared and be patient as it will be extremely busy. Leave plenty of time to get where you want to go.
  • Consider picking your journey times carefully and staggering your day to avoid busy times.
  • The Mersey Ferries are a good cross river option with hourly services during the weekend.

Sunday 27 May – if the Liverpool FC homecoming parade takes place:

  • Large numbers of people are expected to come in and out of the city, there will be significant demands on public transport, with queuing expected.
  • Travellers need to plan and allow extra time for journeys – services will be busier.
  • Check timetables in the run up to and on the day of travel – be prepared for some changes to services, particularly for buses as there will be diversions due to road closures.
  • Be prepared and be patient as it will be extremely busy. Leave plenty of time to get where you want to go.
  • Consider picking your journey times carefully and staggering your day to avoid busy times.
  • There are engineering works on mainline routes into Liverpool which will reduce the number and frequency of services.
  • Lime Street mainline station will be very busy, queuing systems will be in place
  • James Street and Lime Street lower level stations will be closed to help manage the expected crowds.
  • Remember that bus and rail services will be running Sunday services.
  • Bring water, hats and sun cream in the event of hot weather.
  • Consider staying local and utilise the full length of the route. Decide which part of the route you want to wait at and arrive in plenty of time.

Merseyrail

Merseyrail will be running a strengthened service with 6 carriage trains on selected lines throughout the bank holiday weekend to accommodate the increased number of passengers that are expected to enjoy the weather and city centre events.

Sunday 27 May

The normal Sunday service will run with trains every 30 minutes however services will increase to every 15 minutes on the Southport line from 10:10. Services from Chester will depart 5 minutes earlier and arrive in to Chester 5 minutes later than the usual timetable.

If the Liverpool FC homecoming parade takes place, both James Street and Lime Street lower level will be closed to help manage the expected crowds. Wirral Line passengers will need to use Liverpool Central only and Northern Line passengers must use Moorfields only, as both of these stations are able to better accommodate the increased number of people that are expected to travel.

In the event that the parade does not go ahead, both James Street and Lime Street lower level stations will remain open and both Liverpool Central and Moorfields will serve Wirral and Northern line passengers as normal.

Monday 28 May

Merseyrail services will depart Chester 5 minutes earlier and arrive in to Chester 5 minutes later than the usual timetable.

Northern Rail

There is planned strike action by members of the RMT union on Northern rail services on Saturday 26 May. There will be very limited services running. Travellers should check the Northern Rail website and National Rail Enquiries on their day of travel for the most up to date information.

Lime Street Station

Lime Street station will be incredibly busy this weekend and passengers will see crowd control queuing measures in place. This will ensure that Network Rail and train operators can keep passengers moving safely.

Upgrade works on the Halton Curve near Frodsham and Weaver Wavertree resignalling scheme will mean changes to journeys over the bank holiday. Passengers are reminded to check before they travel and leave plenty of time for their journey.

Bus services

Arriva services are due to run as planned, with double deck buses on as many routes as possible to increase capacity.

Stagecoach services are due to run as planned.

Bus users should be prepared for some changes to services, particularly as there will be diversions due to potential road closures.

Mersey Ferries

Services will be running as usual. Please be aware that on Monday 28 May, special cruises are in operation to follow the Tall Ships event, visit the Mersey Ferries website for more details.

Mersey Tunnels

On Sunday 27 May, as the potential Liverpool FC homecoming parade is planned to pass the Mersey Tunnels’ entrances and exits, closures will be required and will be published in advance via the Mersey Tunnels website.

On Monday 28 May off peak traffic is expected to be higher than normal due to the bank holiday and people travelling to and from the day’s events.

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