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Southport falls silent to honour Victoria Cross hero

A Special commemorative paving stone has been laid in Southport to recognise war hero Private Richard George Masters VC.

The laying of the commemorative stone is the latest of five permanent tributes to former residents across Sefton who received the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Members of Private Masters’ family joined the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, to unveil the VC Commemorative Flagstone as part of special service held at the War Memorial, Lord Street, Southport on Saturday April 21.

Prior to the service, 238 Sefton Squadron RLC paraded from Nevill Street to the Monument in tribute to him.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to pay tribute to a true Sefton hero.

“Private Masters did what nobody else thought ever possible and his actions on the battlefields of France saved hundreds of lives in just a day.

“So many men from across the borough fought in the Great War and this is just the latest in a number of events taking place across Sefton to remember their sacrifices.”

Private Richard George Masters was a 41-year-old Ambulance driver stationed near Bethune, France in 1918 when an enemy attack left his fellow soldiers cut off and facing certain death.

Although thought impassable, Private Masters single-handedly drove his ambulance across the battlefield, through a barrage of heavy fire and bombing, in a bid to rescue the wounded.

He made journey after journey throughout the afternoon. When the gunfire stopped and the dust settled, Private Masters had rescued nearly 200 men.

His heroics did not go unnoticed and Private Masters was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Wildcats Girls’ Football on the prowl for new talent in Sefton

Sefton’s young girls are invited to show off their football skills at Dunes Splash World’s new 3G sports pitches from Tuesday, April 24.

 SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centres from The FA will provide Sefton’s girls aged 5-11 with regular opportunities to play football as well as promoting opportunities to progress to local clubs within the Southport area.

 Created exclusively for girls, the weekly sessions will take place every Tuesday from 4-5pm and will provide a fun and engaging environment for girls who are keen to try their hand at a game of football.

 Active Sefton hopes the initiative will inspire participants to engage with football, meet new friends, develop fundamental skills, learn new things and create the foundation for a lifelong love of football.

 In addition, Active Sefton will be developing further opportunities to be involved in football, including walking football and soccercise sessions in the coming months. 

 Tina Pilkington, Health and Wellbeing Development Manager at Sefton Council, said: “Women’s football has truly gained momentum in recent years and this makes it all the more important for local authorities to ensure that doors are open for young girls to have access to the sport.

 “The Wildcats will give Sefton’s girls a taste of football at a grassroots level and when better to launch this than during National Girls Football Week?”

 Kelly Simmons, FA Participation and Development Director, said: “Since the launch of SSE Wildcats we have seen great enthusiasm from the girls taking part to continue learning and playing football.

 “The centres have proved a huge success and we are pleased to be able to considerably grow the size of the initiative in 2018, offering a much higher percentage of girls across the country the opportunity to enjoy football in a safe and inspiring environment.”

 The first session in free and sessions thereafter will cost £3 each. For more information about the Wildcats visit THEFA.com/play-football.   

Investment works start at Southport Town Hall

Major improvement works have started at Southport Town Hall as part of Sefton Council’s commitment to invest in its local communities and improve access to its facilities.

Work started on April 16 and will take approximately 20 weeks to complete.

Once completed, the important building works will improve accessibility and will benefit children, families, business and regular visitors to Southport.

As Southport is a listed building, all design elements are being carried out sensitively.

Work will be carried out in three phases and some will be carried out during the weekends to ensure minimal disruption.

While the building will remain open, customers to the One Stop Shop are being advised that there may be some longer waiting times or some services moved to The Atkinson.

This work is an important step in making sure that the community base at Southport Town Hall is fit for purpose, financially sustainable and it will contribute directly to the Council’s early intervention and prevention offer, helping some of the most vulnerable residents in Sefton.

Take to the dancefloor for St George’s Day tea dance

Bootle Town Hall is set to host a marvelous afternoon of music and entertainment for the St George’s Day Tea Dance on Monday April 23.

Hosted by Sefton OPERA  and the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Dave Robinson, the event will feature popular groups Memory Lane, Bootle Belles, Ernie and Elvis! 

The afternoon of music and entertainment runs from 1.30pm to 4pm. Tickets cost £3 and refreshments will also be on sale. 

For more information or to book call 0151 330 0479 or alternatively email admin@seftonopera.org.uk.

Tails start wagging with interactive Good Dog Code posters

Tails will be wagging with the launch of a brand new smartphone campaign from Sefton Council Good Dogs Code.

The Sefton Good Dog Code has launched a series of QR codes which will be displayed across parks, beaches and main roads in Sefton to encourage good and responsible dog ownership in the borough.

The interactive smartphone adverts are simple to use. After taking a photo of the code on a phone camera, users are directed to the Sefton Good Dog Code website which details how dog owners can encourage others to be responsible for their pets.

Local residents and dog lovers have worked alongside Sefton in the creation of the Code, which tells residents to clean up after their pets, respect those who don’t like dogs, follow the rules and ensure their dog is socialized before it mingles with other dogs.

Steve Smith, Sefton Council’s Environmental Health & Trading Standards Manager said: “The code was jointly put together by ourselves and residents to promote responsible dog ownership.

“Along with the poster and flyers, we’ll now be placing QR codes around our parks, coastal areas and cemeteries which links to the online version of the Good Dog Code.

“There are plenty of ways you can be a responsible dog owner, from making sure you clean up after your pets to respecting none-dog lovers.

“Unfortunately some dog owners are not responsible and have no regard for their community. For these few, legislation is tough on them.

“Enforcement action such as fixed penalties and possible court action can be taken against these dog owners.”

Lyn Hilton the founder of local volunteer group ‘Sefton Dogs’ added: “What began as a campaign to ensure that our dogs could enjoy off lead experience at the beach and on our local nature reserves changed into a volunteer movement which aims for a friendly, informed and responsible approach to dog ownership in Sefton.”

Since July 2017, Sefton has had a Public Space Protection Order across the borough with informs dog owners about certain rules which must be followed.

For more information about these rules and to learn more about the Good Dog Code, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/thegooddogcode.

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