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Experience Southport’s Winter Wonderland like never before!

It’s time to get your skates on and experience Southport as a winter wonderland this festive season.

The resort’s Town Hall Gardens will be transformed into an open air ice rink surrounded by a host of Christmas chalets as part of a joint festive campaign by Sefton Council and Southport BID. 

Running from December 7 to January 5, the open air wonderland will compliment a series of Christmas themed events and displays put on by local businesses and organisations across the town.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour cabinet member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We are incredibly excited for the open air ice rink and winter wonderland. 

“Thousands of families visit Southport and Sefton throughout the festive period to experience our fantastic food, drink and shopping offers and we know the wonderland will prove to be a massive hit, bringing more people than ever to the town.

“We’re delighted to be working closely once again with the Southport BID to put on this fabulous event and we continue to do all we can to support and boost tourism in the town.

“Get your skates on and prepare for a host of festive fun!”

Rob Uffendell, Southport BID Chairman added: “Last year’s ice rink was a great success and we are pleased that with Sefton Council’s support we are bringing it back.

“It is going to be an even bigger and better experience and the BID has invested in an exciting Christmas Tree and lights this year that will create a spectacular experience.

“We want to make sure Southport is a great destination for Christmas this year with locals and visitors coming in to skate, eat and shop!”

The winter wonderland launches shortly after Southport’s huge Christmas Switch On, which takes place on Sunday November 18 from 1pm.

For more information about Southport’s festive calendar visit www.visitsouthport.com

Seftons’ health experts urge residents to get flu jab- It’s free because you need it!

Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are urging residents eligible for the flu jab to make sure they get protected.

Free flu vaccinations are available to those who are most seriously affected by the flu because they need it. This includes pregnant women, who can have the vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, children aged 2 to 9, residents of all ages with a long-term health condition, everyone aged 65 and over, and people who are carers or work in health or social care roles.

While most people can expect to recover from flu in about a week, each winter, tens of thousands of people in England end up in hospital because of flu with thousands dying from complications of seasonal flu.

People who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice or pharmacy and parents with children in years 1-5 will be asked for permission for them to receive the nasal spray vaccination at school. Parents of pre-school children over two years old will be invited in by their GP practice and can book an appointment for their child to have the flu nasal spray.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I strongly recommend that all those who are eligible for a free vaccination make sure they get it to protect themselves from the adverse effects of flu.

“The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu and drastically reduces serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.”

Chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Dr Rob Caudwell, said: “Anyone of any age with an existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes should get vaccinated, even if they generally feel healthy and well. This is because a dose of flu can greatly worsen their condition and make complications like pneumonia more likely.”

Acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, Dr Craig Gillespie, said: “Carers are also eligible for a free flu jab as well as those they look after.

“If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or if you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply check the NHS website or contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “As a member of front line staff working directly with patients, I am offered the flu jab and always have mine. It’s so important for those who are eligible so please take it up if you are.”

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice or pharmacist to get it.

You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign and see whether you are eligible at: www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine. If you have any further queries simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacist.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority formally adopts official definition of antisemitism

Following consultation with the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council, the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), and leading members of the Jewish community in the city region, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in full.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s proposal to adopt the definition was unanimously agreed at the Combined Authority meeting on Friday 19 October. 

The definition, which was set out by the IHRA in Bucharest last year, will help to ensure there is clarity around what antisemitism is. This is a clear and practical working definition of antisemitism, and it is hoped that its adoption will create confidence within the Jewish community in the Liverpool City Region, and make it easy to recognise what is and is not antisemitic.

Marc Levy, North West regional manager at the JLC said: “The Merseyside Jewish community has always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.  This was further cemented in a recent meeting where Steve agreed to adopt the full IHRA definition on antisemitism.  The Jewish community strongly believe it is vital that there be a clear and practical definition that allows society to fight antisemitism in all its forms.

“I am delighted that this has been acted upon so swiftly and I would like to place on record my thanks to Steve for taking the concerns of the Jewish community so seriously.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our city region has a strong record in standing against antisemitism and all other forms of hate crime. We cherish and celebrate the differences of all of our communities and traditions, but ultimately recognise that there is more that unites than divides us.

“As a Combined Authority we are here to serve all of our communities and that includes supporting the excellent work done by our constituent local authorities to build community cohesion.  Adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition should help to build on that work and send a strong message that we will not tolerate antisemitism or any other hate crime.”

Ramada celebrates ten years in Southport

The award-winning Ramada Hotel in Southport is celebrating its 10th Birthday.

Officially opened on October 23, 2008, the now iconic staple of Southport’s promenade scene, the 4-star Ramada hotel has welcomed thousands of people through its doors over the last decade.

Lisa Little, General Manager said: “We are delighted to be celebrating such a milestone birthday. We feel that our strength has been the partnerships we have made and ingratiating the business into the town and its offer.

“We work with other businesses, organisations and Sefton Council to attract people into the town and offer the very best customer experience once they visit us.

“We are undergoing huge change here, moving into becoming the Waterfront national leisure destination alongside the Southport Theatre, Floral Hall Ballroom and we look forward to the next ten years!”

In January it will undergo a rebrand becoming the first Bliss Hotel in the UK. 

Judicial Review to be heard at High Court

Sefton Council’s Judicial Review application against Highways England will be determined by the High Court sitting at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on Tuesday, October 23.

Sefton Council asked the High Court to review the decision by Highways England not to consult on the option of a tunnel for the proposed Port Access route when they undertook a consultation exercise to determine their preferred route option.

The council will argue that despite having promised to do so, Highways England failed to include the tunnel option in its consultation or in any event failed to include it in a lawful way.

Sefton Council believes the tunnel option would have merit and is the only option which could balance the need for improved access to the port with the needs of the local community.

As part of the hearing, Sefton is seeking an Order quashing the preferred route announcement and an Order requiring Highways England to re-consult about the tunnel option before any decision as to the preferred route is re-taken.

The Council has instructed a leading QC to represent them and although it is possible a judgement will be given on Tuesday (October 23) it may be deferred to another date.

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