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Tickets selling out FAST for Musical Fireworks Championship

Time is quickly running out for people to get their hands on tickets for the 2018 British Musical Fireworks Championships in Southport.

Seven amazing pyrotechnics companies will go head to head over three nights as the annual fireworks contest returns to Victoria Park from September 28 to September 30.

Two companies will wow the crowds on Friday, three on Saturday, two more on Sunday with the winning display announced later that evening.

And to wow the thousands of spectators even more, local bands from across Sefton and Liverpool will play a special pre-show gig on each of the three nights.

They will set the tempo for three days of pyrotechnic wonderment as seven companies vie it out for the illustrious championship.

Gates open each night at 6pm, with bands performing from 7pm and fireworks displays scheduled to start at 8pm.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “The British Musical Fireworks Championship really is an amazing event and one which has lit up the sky for nearly 20 years.

“It’s festival of colour and light that would not be possible without the continued support of Sefton Council.

“To celebrate this years event we have incredibly talented local bands who will give thousands of spectators a truly unforgettable experience.

“Crowds from all over the North West attend the event at Victoria Park and ticket sales have yet again been very strong in the lead up to this year’s event.

“Local businesses really benefit from the added footfall to the town over the weekend and I am looking forward to seeing the quality of displays on show this time round.

“If you are thinking of attending please try and get tickets in advance to avoid missing out, Saturday seated tickets have already sold out.”

Tickets are still available for all three nights starting from £5.50.

For further details and to book tickets head to www.visitsouthport.com.

Blood pressure: do you know your numbers?

Health leaders in Sefton are urging people to get their blood pressure tested as part of a national campaign to combat a silent killer.

Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Know Your Numbers!’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of having your blood pressure tested and understanding what your numbers mean.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing added: “High blood pressure is a largely preventable and treatable condition but contributes to the leading causes of death. Having your blood pressure checked is an important step to knowing and reducing your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.

“I urge all Sefton residents to take advantage of Know Your Numbers! week by getting your blood pressure checked to help keep your heart happy.”

Colette Page is a Practice Nurse Lead at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG. She said: “It’s really quick and easy to test your blood pressure, which makes it a great way to get a picture of your general health. If your reading is high, there are lots of ways to help bring your blood pressure down such as improving your diet, reducing your salt intake, quitting smoking and exercising more.

“People can find these lifestyle choices a bit daunting but there’s lots of information and support available to help you make some little changes that can make a big difference to your health.”

Graham MacGregor, chair of Blood Pressure UK and a professor of cardiovascular medicine, said: “High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, which is why it is often referred to as the silent killer. The only way to know you have it is to have a check. If detected, it can be easily treated, thereby reducing your risk of a stroke or heart disease.”

As part of this campaign, local NHS organisations and health charities have come together to offer free blood pressure checks which are being offered at a range of locations across Sefton this week. Health and lifestyle advice will be available from the friendly staff.

For a full list please visit www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/know-your-numbers-sefton-blood-pressure-stations or www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/know-your-numbers-sefton-blood-pressure-stations.

For more information about the Know Your Numbers! campaign, visit www.bloodpressureuk.org.

Help save a life on World Suicide Prevention Day

Sefton residents  are being urged to give up just 20 minutes of their time to take free suicide prevention training and help save a life.

Across the UK around 6,000 people die by suicide each year and every one has a huge impact on the people impacted by it and the emotional and social effects are enormous.

Sefton Council is now urging businesses to roll out training developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA).

It coincides with World Suicide Prevention day (10 September) and comes from the Cheshire and Merseyside NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board (a collaboration of partners working to prevent suicide) and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust – a member of the ZSA.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board has a vision for Cheshire and Merseyside where suicide is eliminated and people are supported at a time of crisis.

 “We aim to be a Suicide Safer Community accredited region and the more people who take this training, the more support we will have in ensuring that our vision becomes a reality.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “This is a life-saving initiative and we want to see as many people as possible complete this training over the next few months and come together on World Mental Health Day (10 October) to celebrate our success.

“The training is simple and effective and can be done anywhere, anytime, on any device, by simply logging on to the website.”

The ZSA, has developed a free, online suicide prevention course by using expertise from clinicians and those with personal experience to offer advice and provide real life scenarios to illustrate how best to approach a difficult conversation with someone who is struggling.

You can access the training here: www.zerosuicidealliance.com

World Suicide Prevention day marks the beginning of 30 Days of Sefton in Mind. The campaign aims to keep a conversation about mental health at the forefront in the 30 Days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day (October 10). Follow the hashtag #30DaysofSeftonInMind to get involved.

Superheroes are landing at Splash World!

Superheroes will be taking over Splash World in Southport for an entire action-packed weekend in September.

Splash World’s own mascot Murtle the Turtle will be joined by Superman, Spider Man, Captain America, Wonder Woman and Supergirl on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 from 10am to 4pm.

Photo opportunities and the chance to win exclusive prizes throughout the weekend will be included with Splash World admission.

Southport-based party company StarKidz will bring the characters to life and provide fun and entertainment around the centre and at the poolside.

For an extra £5 per person, guests can enjoy a special VIP experience from 1pm-2pm including party games and lunch with the characters! There are limited places on the VIP experience so call 01704 537160 to book in advance.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Splash World is one of Sefton’s major tourist attractions bringing in more than 120,000 visitors each year.

“I think that the superheroes will bring even more fun and laughter to the centre and I hope that everyone who heads along has a great time!”

Standard tickets can be purchased on the day at the centre or gold passes can be booked online at http://www.splashworldsouthport.com/

Landlords reminded of HMO legislation change

Landlords across Sefton are being reminded of a change in legislation regarding houses in multiple occupation (HMO).

The Government has extended the scope of Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing from October 1.

All landlords of HMOs throughout the borough that meet the following criteria are required to have applied for a licence by that date, so should make an application NOW:

• 5 or more occupants (who comprise two or more separate family units)

• Shared amenities such as bathroom, kitchen, or toilet facilities or where all the units of accommodation are not fully self-contained (i.e. although a kitchen, bathroom or WC are provided for the tenant’s use elsewhere in the building, they are not actually situated within their unit of accommodation)

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “Previously a Mandatory HMO Licence was only required for those properties that meet this criteria, but were also at least 3 storeys high.

“The storey element has now been removed from the definition, which now means a property that meets the criteria and is 1 or 2 storeys, now also requires a Mandatory HMO licence.

“This applies to such properties that are located anywhere in Sefton so we are asking any landlords that are affected by this to please get in touch and apply for a licence.”

It is a criminal offence if a licence application has not been made by October 1 and a landlord can be subject to a prosecution or receive a Civil Penalty which can carry a maximum fine of £30,000.

An application can be made via housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk

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