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200,000 cigarettes seized in Southport shop raid

Counterfeit cigarettes worth more than £40,000 have been seized following a raid by Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police.

Officers acted on information from the public which identified a residential premise in Southport Town Centre being used to store illicit tobacco for a nearby retail unit.

More than 200,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after both premises were visited by Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.

The seizure included counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This incredible discovery would not have been possible without the hard work of our Trading Standards team and partners in Merseyside Police.

 “We hope this seizure serves as a stark warning to others that we will always take action against anybody who chooses to trade in illegal tobacco.

 “Sales of illicit tobacco is completely unfair on those traders who sell UK tobacco products legitimately.

 “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes like this needs to stop and we are determined to protect legitimate traders, consumers and the general public.

 “We actively encourage anyone who may be aware of or suspects that counterfeit cigarettes are being sold in the borough to let us know confidentially.”

 Community Policing Sergeant, Andy Dentith said: “A concerted effort between Merseyside Police and our partners at Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team has led to this fantastic result and a large quantity of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes will now thankfully not reach the public.

” Any breaches of licenses or criminal offences that we find will be dealt with robustly. Our message is simple: we will visit, search and prosecute any businesses which put the health and safety of the community at risk.

 “The recovery of more than 200,000 cigarettes will have significantly disrupted the activities of those involved and we ask anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in the area to contact us.

 “We will continue to work closely with our partners to target dangerous and substandard business premises using all our available law-enforcement powers.”

Anyone who does suspect the sale of counterfeit products or any form of fraud should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sefton joins campaign to Escape The Control of Domestic Abuse

Controlling money, always criticising and being purposely isolated from friends and family are just some of the signs being highlighted as ‘coercive control’ in a new campaign on Domestic Abuse.

The ‘Escape the Control’ campaign, launched across Sefton and Knowsley,  is a joint initiative between the two Local Authorities to help people understand how extreme controlling behaviour is Domestic Abuse and what signs to look out for.

Coercive control is an act, or a pattern of acts such as threats, humiliation and intimidation that is used to punish or frighten the victim. This can include things like controlling where they go and what they do, or exaggerated expressions of love such as they ‘can’t live without you’.

In 2015, coercive control became a crime in England and Wales, punishable by up to 5
years in prison and/or a fine.

Posters and leaflets explaining the signs to look out for will be available from next week in GP and Health Centres, Leisure Centres, Dentists, Hairdressers and many more everyday locations where victims and those worried about others can access them without having to go through official channels.

‘Escape the Control’ will also be featured across buses, taxis and fire engines in  Sefton directing people to more information on the Escape the Control website.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:  “The number of people accessing domestic abuse support services continues to increase, with the number of high-risk clients being supported increasing by 63% between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

“Extreme controlling behaviour or coercive control often begins very slowly and can
be hard to understand. We want people to be aware of the signs, both for themselves and for friends and family and to know what to do in that situation.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside, Emily Spurrell, added: “I welcome this new campaign to highlight the signs of controlling behaviour and how
individuals can help themselves or others.

“Everyone has the right to live free of fear. If you are unreasonably under suspicion from your partner or a member of your family to the point where you are unable to remain in contact with your circle of friends; if you are constantly questioned about who you were talking to or who you were texting; perhaps you have no access to money, even the money you earn.

“This is coercive control which is domestic abuse and that is a crime. Merseyside Police take coercive control extremely seriously and would urge anyone with concerns to report it.”

More information about the Escape the Control Campaign, including stories from people who have lived through it, is available at: www.escapethecontrol.co.uk.

Global printing firm Domino sets up shop in MySefton

A global developer and manufacturer of coding and marking products, headquartered in the UK, is celebrating the official opening of its new fluids facility in Bootle.

Domino Printing Sciences has moved its fluids manufacturing to a new 172,000 sq ft (16,000 sq m) state-of-the-art factory on the Senate Business Park, enabling a significant increase in productivity and capacity, as well as reduced lead times through investment in leading-edge production processes.

The expansion will also result in the creation of 19 new jobs over the next nine months, bringing the total workforce to 88.

Nigel Bond, Domino CEO said: “This new facility, located less than a mile from our previous factory, will accommodate the expansion of our fluids manufacturing capacity in line with growing demand, including a wider range of products and greater volumes. Not only will this meet our customers’ rapidly changing requirements, but also enable them to be even more responsive and competitive within their own marketplaces.

“Very importantly, this significant global investment underlines our ongoing commitment to a presence in Liverpool, continuing as the epicentre of our fluids business as it has for the last 35 years.”

At the Opening event, guests included Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool region, Koide-san on behalf of Brother and Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, together with representatives from Sefton Council, Liverpool City Region LEP and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was carried out by Domino employees Martin Hiddleston, Christine Linden and Dave McMahon, followed by site tours.

The new facility is five times larger than the previous factory and is arranged on three floors. It includes the manufacturing area, Quality Assurance labs, dedicated customer training and seminar facilities, administration offices and conference facilities, as well as ten-metre high warehousing space. From here products are shipped directly to major customers, sales channels and more than 200 distributors worldwide.

State-of-the-art technology with in-line mixing capability and innovative materials handling processes, automated filling lines and robotic automated handling and palletisation systems will increase productivity and capacity, enabling faster lead-times.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We are delighted to watch Domino go from strength to strength as they expand its operation within Sefton, investing in the borough’s economy and creating new job opportunities.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Domino and their ambition sits within our economic and regeneration plans as part of our Vision for 2030. It also demonstrates that our borough is well and truly open for business.”

Dave Jenkinson, Fluid Operations Director said: “This is an important milestone for Domino and everyone who has worked so hard to bring this new facility to fruition. Two years ago we held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction and here we are today, seeing a state-of-the-art factory that is fully operational.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in this including Fletcher-Rae architects based in Manchester and Eric Wright Group as the main build contractors. We are also grateful to Sefton Council for its support in making this happen, as well as the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership who have helped with the opening today.”

In welcoming the guests, Nigel Bond, Domino CEO said: “I’m delighted to be here this morning to open our new production facility which is a further major investment for our company, following on from the recent opening of a new factory in Shanghai serving the local market in China and the expansion of our HQ buildings in Cambridge. These collective investments demonstrate our confidence in the business, the robustness of the markets we serve and our ambition to grow our market share and provide our customers with the highest service levels possible.

“Domino has had a long association with Liverpool, establishing our primary ink and consumables factory in the local area back in 1984. Our employees in Liverpool have done a wonderful job since that time, so it was never in question where we would build this new facility; the only question was could we find the right site within a radius from our existing buildings, to keep all the skills and the team together.

“This operation here in Liverpool is absolutely critical to the success of Domino, not only in terms of sales revenue, but more importantly, our brand reputation, and our people here have done a great job in helping Domino build a reputation. So, in summary, this new building and site is absolutely critical to our future and I hope our people enjoy working in these new state-of-the-art surroundings and that we continue on our journey of growth and success, which the operational performance of this facility is such a critical part.”

Speaking after the opening of the factory, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “As Metro Mayor, one of my priorities is to attract more inward investment into our area – but that should always complement the need to retain and grow our existing local businesses. For me – Domino’s investment in their brand new factory is a massive vote of confidence in our city region and the direction it is heading. I hope that their example will be followed by other local businesses and we stand ready to support them in whatever way we can.”

Sustainability credentials for the new facility include photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate power from solar sources, and drainage of all rainwater and surface water into attenuation ponds on site for natural drainage or evaporation.

Domino recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special event to recognise staff contributions to its success, held at its Cambridge headquarters. Staff in Liverpool will hold their own celebratory event with a Family Day in August.

Sefton care home puts spotlight on making memories

A Netherton care home has been chosen as the Sefton representative in a Merseyside-wide summer initiative to highlight the importance of memories and reminiscence among older people living with dementia.

James Dixon Court on Harrops Croft has been selected as the borough’s recipient of a Sense of Summer memory basket, produced by the multi-award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, created by National Museums Liverpool.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, put forward James Dixon Court which is operated by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions.

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, resources and activities to enable carers to support people living with the condition.

The new Sense of Summer memory baskets are designed to stimulate discussion about the past, and the contents are inspired by the great outdoors, bringing together items related to gardening, home-grown produce and summer picnics.

The basket includes objects that can form topics for reminiscence, and suggestions for outdoor and garden-themed activities that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living with dementia.

The basket also contains multi-sensory objects that will work well for people with different levels of sensory communication, including items that stimulate smell, hearing, touch and sight.

Commenting on the Sense of Summer initiative, New Directions Head of Operations Paul Bamber said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been chosen as the Sefton recipient of this very valuable new resource, and would like to thank both House of Memories for their support and Cllr Cummins for putting us forward.”

James Dixon Court Service Manager, Martina Barr, added: “There’s nothing our residents like more than to get together and chat about the past, so this memory basket is very much appreciated and will certainly get a lot of use.”

Just one care home in Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens has received a summer memory basket, a development inspired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge earlier this year to build a dementia-friendly Liverpool City Region.

The baskets are sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation (FPC), based in Ainsdale, who has supported a number of other House of Memories projects..

FPC Partner Moira O’Shaughnessy commented: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the Sense of Summer memory baskets. Attending the presentation at James Dixon Court provided us with a unique opportunity to see the benefits that the residents experience from them in action.”

Do you know your rubbish responsibilities?

Sefton Council is reminding residents across the borough of their duty of care when using doorstep salespeople to get rid of household waste.

The plea follows an incident whereby three sofas and a bed were dumped outside South Sefton Recycling Centre on July 16.

Environmental Officers are now investigating and are confident that they will find those responsible.

Many residents hire third parties to take away household waste and large bulky items from their properties – but most do not know the rules and regulations that cover these types of waste disposal.

By law, individuals are required to make sure the individuals or firm removing their waste is authorised to do so and is registered with the Environment Agency as an official waste carrier, and uses an approved trade waste site.

It is also vital to retain the name and address of the person or firm disposing of your waste.

If flytipped waste is traced back to a particular property, the householder could be fined if they cannot properly identify who they used to get rid of their waste.

Similarly, residents should also be cautious of any door-to-door salespeople offering their services for work to be done on or around a property.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Recently we have experienced issues with members of the public not complying with their legal responsibilities to ensure any waste they produce is removed by a registered carrier.

“This can be from a doorstep call, social media or shop noticeboard but the responsibility is with the household to check they are legitimate first before they employ them.

“Too many residents are employing people to take waste away which is then being flytipped in the borough.

“Householders are required to make a simply check with the Environment Agency in order to ascertain if the person that they are passing their waste to is a registered waste carrier.

“Ask to see their waste carrier license issued by the Environment Agency or contact the Environment Agency directly on 08708 506 506 and ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check. Alternatively you can check online on the Environment Agency website.

“Even after you’ve checked, keep their details so that if flytipping does occur, you can show that you acted responsibly.

“You can do this is many ways, such as asking for an official invoice or a form with all of their details on.

“If they are not prepared to give you their details, don’t employ them. Always consider getting a number of quotes for any pieces of work or ask friends and family for recommendations.”

For more information about waste disposal visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins-recycling

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