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Live music comes to Southport Market for Christmas time

Southport Market’s winter wonderland will be open throughout most of the Christmas period with festive fun for all ages.

Live music performances throughout December have now been announced on top of a packed out Christmas calendar of yuletide entertainment, which already includes visits from Santa, cosy film showings and outdoor market shopping.

Starting from Thursday, December 2nd, local artists such as Dave Broe, Olivia Armstrong, Greg Last and even a festive choir will be performing live at Southport Market.

Full performance details are:

Dave Broe (Swing) from 7.30pm – Thursday December 2nd
Olivia Armstrong (Soul) from 7pm – Thursday December 9th
Festive Make Noise Choir from 12pm – Monday December 13th
Greg Last (Festive Feels & Piano) from 12.30pm – Tuesday December 14th
Dave Broe (Swing) from 7.30pm – Thursday December 16th

The announcement coincides with the release of Southport Market’s Christmas opening times, which sees the incredibly popular venue open as normal including Christmas Eve (Friday, December 24th).

Traders and Market staff will take a well earned rest over Christmas Day and Boxing Day before the venue reopens from Monday, December 27th.

While remaining open for New Years Eve and New Years Day, the market will again close on December 4th and 5th, before resuming normal opening times from Thursday, December 6th.

For more information visit www.southportmarket.com

Christmas Opening Times
13th – Christmas Eve: Open
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: Closed
27th – 3rd (Bank Hol) – Open
4th – Closed
5th – Closed
6th – Open as normal

People in Sefton being urged to support the local economy and shop local this weekend but to do so safely

A parade of shops in Southport
A parade of shops in Southport

As the end of what has been another difficult year for local shops and businesses approaches, Sefton Council urging people to support Small Business Saturday on 4th December.

Hard-hit

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Sefton is lucky to have a range of one-off and specialist shops and businesses, many of which will have been hard-hit by the effects of the pandemic.

“I would urge people across the Borough and beyond thinking about doing some Christmas shopping this weekend to try and make those purchases locally.

“Especially as this weekend it’s Small Business Saturday, which celebrates small business success and encourages people to ‘shop local’.

This year shops and businesses are being encouraged to sign up free to the online Small Business Finder designed to help customers locate them. They can add their location and details by registering via bit.ly/RegisterSBF2021N.

Shoppers can then visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com and use the Small Business Finder to search their area or to look for specific types of shop.

Small Business Finder

Cllr Atkinson continued “The Small Business Finder is a great tool to help people find local shops and services they may not necessarily be aware existed so I hope businesses across Sefton will sign up for it and Sefton shoppers will use to check out what’s in their area.”

Although Sefton Council is keen for people to go out and support local businesses, it is also reminding people that they need to wear face coverings and masks in shops and on public transport. This in line with the Government regulations introduced this week to help prevent spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Protection

Cllr Atkinson added: “Wearing a face masks in indoor public spaces such as shops and public transport, is now required and is what we have been advising people to do all along.

“For most of us putting on a mask takes no effort at all and a global study has shown that face coverings provide us and those around us with the best non-clinical protection available.

“However, there are people who are unable to wear a face covering, maybe because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, and we need to be respectful of these people too.”

Cllr Atkinson also urged that before going out shopping or celebrating, people carry out and LFD test using one of the free kits available from pharmacies and other locations.

Find out more about Small Business Saturday.

People could face stark choice between staying warm or eating this winter warns Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities has said that rocketing energy bills could result in some of the Borough’s families making the stark choice between eating and heating their homes this winter.

Cllr Trish Hardy
Cllr Trish Hardy

Cllr Hardy said:

“We’ve already experienced freezing temperatures this week, and I know those struggling to make ends meet, will be grappling with difficult choices.

“They will be trying to decide which bills they prioritise, and for some that may mean going without a decent meal.

“Energy price rises, combined with the Government’s cutting of £20 per week from Universal Credit in October, has resulted in families across Sefton facing a tough winter ahead.

“I want to reassure our communities that our dedicated Affordable Warmth Team are here to help.

“They can help you to heat your home more efficiently and make your bills more affordable. The team are there for people in Sefton dealing with fuel poverty concerns and can help prevent them having to choose between putting food on the table and heating their home.”

In October, the national energy price cap increased by 12% which resulted in an estimated £100 increase on fuel bills each year. The recent gas crisis has pushed those bills up further to well over £200 more compared to last winter. At the same time, people relying on Universal Credit have faced a £1,040 annual drop in their income.

With this in mind, Sefton Council is using Friday’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day to remind the Borough’s families on low incomes to contact the Council’s Affordable Warmth Team by email at energy@sefton.gov.uk or by calling 0151 934 2222, for assistance and advice on a range of topics.

Advice includes support for first time gas central heating, cavity wall insulation, boiler replacements and loft insulation. Smart meters are also available to all homes to help families monitor their energy usage.

Friday 3rd December is Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, spearheaded by National Energy Action (NEA), the national fuel poverty charity. It works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty and supports those experiencing it to be able to live in a warm and safe home.

The charity reports that around 10,000 people die across the United Kingdom each year, simply because they are unable to keep their homes warm. And that over 4 million households across the UK are in fuel poverty.

Enjoy a living history lesson on Lord Street

Shoppers along Southport’s famous boulevard are being given a fantastic history lesson as they pass the iconic Grade II listed 509-515 Lord Street building, which is currently undergoing a huge restoration project.

Contractors have recently fitted Information Boards describing the background to this ambitious scheme which is part of the wider Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

Council Officers have developed the Boards which have been put together following meticulous research of the building’s history by looking through dusty old files and documents at various libraries.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “It’s really interesting to watch the re-development of this iconic building and I am delighted that we have these Information Boards.

“What we wanted is a clear way to tell the incredible story behind the journey this building has gone on, welcoming in a brand new chapter in the history of Lord Street.”

The £1m renovation, which is taking place thanks to a significant grant contribution from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will see the building’s heritage features restored as well as nine high specification apartments and two ground floor retail units being brought back into use.

Paul Halsall of building owners, Lord Street Developments, added: “The Information Boards have really caught the attention of passers-by and they do make a good read, especially with the images of old posters and flyers relating to former occupiers, you can really become immersed in the history of the building”.

“This high-quality refurbishment due for completion next Spring sets a high standard for subsequent design in Southport town centre and will provide nine self-contained apartments in addition to high quality retail space in the twin shops”.

For further information about the Southport Townscape Heritage project, to follow progress on individual buildings and to learn more about further grant opportunities, take a look at the Southport Townscape Heritage project Facebook page or the dedicated www.southporttownscape.org.uk website.

You can also follow updates via Twitter on @SouthportTHP

Sefton Cabinet agrees ‘Dynamic Purchasing’ system for residential rehabilitation services

Sefton Council’s Cabinet today approved a Dynamic Purchasing System for commissioning Residential Rehabilitation for drug treatment and recovery.

Service providers will be invited to join the new system which, by fixing prices for similar client groups will cut down the time and cost of placement negotiations. Costing £270,000 for three years from April 2022, the Dynamic Purchasing System will also enable the Council to take advantage of changes in the marketplace which may take place over the coming years.

Completion rate

Sefton Council sees Residential Rehabilitation as an integral part of any drug treatment and recovery system and a vital option for some people requiring treatment for substance dependency. Between June 2019 and March 2021, Sefton saw a completion rate of 78% of placements.

The number of admissions almost doubled, from 34 in 2019/20 to 64 in 2020/21, in line with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, which is thought to have resulted of behaviour change and greater vulnerabilities during the pandemic. The increased rate was sustained, with 33 placements in the first six months in 2021/22.

Specialist interventions

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Dependent drug and alcohol users require a range of services and interventions that can include residential rehabilitation, along with specialist clinical and medical programmes and psychosocial interventions.

“Our Integrated Substance Misuse: Assessment, Treatment and Recovery Service provides these users with a care pathway, which starts with community rehabilitation but can require residential rehabilitation. This enables people to make a sustained recovery in a safe and therapeutic setting.

“It is a cost-effective service that delivers results, but it comes at a price.

“Today’s decision has put the Council in a position where we can continue achieving positive results but also, with the Dynamic Purchasing System in place continue commissioning services flexibly, while also taking advantage of potential changes in the marketplace over the coming years.”

Further information

Further information about local services for drug treatment and recovery can be found at www.merseycare.nhs.uk/our-services/south-sefton/ambition or by calling Ambition Bootle on 0151 9445334 or Ambition Southport on 01704 534759.

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