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Multi-million Town Centre Improvements Approved

Southport and Crosby Town Centres are set for a major economic boost following the approval of two major investment schemes at Sefton Council’s Planning Committee last night.

The multi-million pound plans, which were approved following extensive discussions, will see the construction of a 96 bedroom hotel along with the remodelling of the Marble Place shopping centre. The new development will build on the main aims of the Southport Development Framework, maximising the resorts current assets and improving the quality of the accommodation in the town. It is anticipated that Marble Place will deliver up to 50 local jobs.

Sefton Council’s Planning Committee also granted planning permission for the refurbishment of the 1930s Glenn Buildings on Moore Lane Crosby, including the replacement of the shop fronts. The scheme will see the creation of more flexible spaces, while the existing retail unit next door will be demolished and redeveloped across two floors.

 

 Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “The approval of these two schemes is hugely significant in the delivery of the Vision for Sefton 2030 and our regeneration aspirations for both Southport and Crosby.

“The investment demonstrates the confidence that the private sector has in our borough and lets everyone know that Sefton is open for business.

“We will now continue to work closely with developers to ensure that these schemes deliver lasting change through sustainable regeneration and the creation of local job opportunities.”

 

 

Cllr Daren Veidman, Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “The planning team have worked hard with potential investors to make sure that the schemes work for both the developers and for our communities.

“Ultimately we want the right form of regeneration that supports the Vision for Sefton 2030 and builds on our assets.”

 

Further details on the planning applications are available via Sefton.gov.uk

All Liverpool City Region travellers advised to plan ahead of rail strike

All travellers in the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of industrial action on both the Merseyrail network and Northern services on Monday (13th March).

While train users will be most directly impacted, the whole transport network is expected to be busier as people find other ways to travel.

Merseyrail services are planned to run every half hour on all routes from around 7am to 7pm. All trains will be six carriages long. However, passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and Twitter feed before travelling  as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.

Meanwhile, passengers who travel with Northern are also advised to check before they travel as the operator will also be running a greatly reduced, and revised, timetable. Services by other mainline train operators will continue to run as normal.

Key advice for everyone in the City Region needing to travel on Monday 13th March:-

  • Check before you travel: If you’re a rail user plan based on current information available, but be prepared to adapt your plans as timetables may change on Monday 13th.
  • Rail stations are likely to be busier as a result of reduced rail services. Don’t aim for the last scheduled train, get there early.
  • If you’re not a rail user, you’re still likely to be affected as people find alternative ways to travel. Leave longer for your journey and avoid travelling at peak times where possible.
  • Bus may be a good alternative for you on strike day, with an extensive network across the Liverpool City Region. Services will be monitored and strengthened on key routes.
  • The Mersey Ferries will be a good alternative if you’re travelling cross river, with frequent commuter services and free car-parking at Seacombe for 370 cars. Valid cross-river rail tickets and passes will be accepted, including for cyclists. Current arrangements remain for the cross-river bike bus.
  • Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the City Centre.
  • Speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or the possibility of working from home.
  • If you have no option but to drive, consider car sharing.
  • For travel advice and options on Monday 13th March visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk/railstrike
  • For the latest on Merseyrail services visit www.merseyrail.org/strike or follow @Merseyrail on Twitter. You can also call 0151 555 1111
  • For the latest on Northern services visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.northernrailway.co.uk/industrialaction and  follow @northernassist on Twitter.
  • If you need additional help in planning your journeys call Merseytravel on 0151 236 7676

Said Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Managing Director at Merseyrail:

“We expect to be able to run the revised timetable published earlier this week, as long as other staff who are not on strike come to work as normal. However, it is possible that services change prior to, as well as during, strike action, so we strongly advise passengers to check our website and Twitter feed before travelling.’

Said Sharon Keith, Regional Director for Northern said:

“We are acutely aware of the important role that Northern plays in keeping the north of England moving, would ask for your patience on Monday, and ask all our customers to individually take time to consider whether your journey is necessary and if it is, please plan carefully.”

Said Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel:

“Industrial action is intended to be disruptive and it will be. While rail travellers will be most directly affected, other people travelling in and around the City Region that day are likely to be impacted as people take to the wider transport network. Consider when you travel and how, to play your part in keeping the City Region moving as best it can.”

Formby Point

Discussions have taken place between Sefton Council and the National Trust over the potential land transfer of land in Formby. Sefton Council has just published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point). In light of this, positive conversations have taken place regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust. If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK. The dunes themselves are home to some very rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast are also home to rare red squirrels. The land at Lifeboat Road adjoins an area whose significance is reflected by being part of the Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area for birds. The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “As part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Board, we constantly work with partners to continue to conserve and enhance the natural landscape that forms the Sefton Coast. This is done while managing growing visitor numbers in a sustainable and responsible manner. “Residents and visitors to the borough made strong representation through the consultation process for the Sefton 2030 Vision for their desire to access and enjoy all the benefits the Sefton coast has to offer. The consultation also revealed how people wish to preserve the cultural, historical and ecological assets that are much cherished. “In light of this, discussions are taking place with National Trust with the view of transferring land to them to develop further and secure the future of this fantastic coastline. “We see this as an amazing opportunity where National Trust can improve and invest on this piece of land for the benefit of our communities and the many visitors to our borough.” It is hoped the acquisition of the land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols will enable the National Trust to have a much bigger positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature.

 

Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said: “The Formby Coast is very important both to the people who love it and use it and because of its environmental significance and the wildlife that lives here. “As one of our key neighbours and partners in the management of the coastal area at Formby, we are continually talking to Sefton Council, local people and with our other partners, about the best way to managethis special area for the benefit of both wildlife and people. “2017 marks 50 years since parts of Formby came into the care of the National Trust. This stretch of coastline is of international significance for its sand dunes and is home to rare wildlife including red squirrels and Natterjack toads. “Our aim is to ensure that this special place can continue to be used and enjoyed by future generations, whilst recognising that the coast is a continually evolving and changing environment. “We are excited about the future opportunity to invest in better visitor facilities and access across this area of the Sefton coast, working with local people to help us design our plans. “By working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partner organisations, we will continue to care and protect this special piece of coastline in a way no other organisation can.”

Any objections or representations to the proposed disposal must be made in writing and addressed to Mr David Street, Assets and Property Manager,Sefton Council, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ, no later than March 22, 2017.

 

Skimming Pebbles’ at Formby Library

The next in the series of monthly talks at Formby Library will see local poet, Shirley Tomlinson, reading from her latest book “Skimming Pebbles”.

Come and enjoy an afternoon with the award winning poet as she reads her poems of warmth and wit and explains what inspires her to write.

The talk starts at 2pm on Tuesday, March 14 and places are free, however booking is essential. To secure a place please phone Formby Library on 01704 874177 or email Formby.Library@sefton.gov.uk.

For more information about Sefton Libraries, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/libraries

Budget 2017/2018

Due to huge budget savings Sefton Council has to achieve and the spiralling cost of Adult Social Care, Council Tax for 2017/18 will rise by 4.99% for Sefton Council services. The total Council Tax, including Police and Fire services charges, will increase by 4.55%. This evening (March 2) councillors at Bootle Town Hall approved a Council Tax increase in 2017/18 of 1.99% along with a Social Care Council Tax Precept of 3% in 2017/18. This results in an overall increase in Council Tax for Sefton Council services of 4.99% in 2017/18. Due to central Government policy, between 2011-17, Sefton Council has faced a funding gap of £169m. Between 2017-20 a further £64m of savings has been identified to set a balanced budget. This is a total funding gap of £233m. In total, the Council will have lost 51% of Government funding between 2010 and 2020. This is equivalent to £722 from every household in Sefton. Delivering a further £64m savings on top of the £169m achieved to date will have a significant impact on the delivery of Council services. The approved report also explains how the budget setting process links with the Sefton 2030 Vision. It also outlines the four key areas of a new Framework for Change which the Council is now embarking on: Economic Growth, Public Sector Reform (changing how the council does things), Service and Corporate Savings Options and Strategic Investment.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “By law we have to set a balanced budget and it is with a heavy heart we have opted for a 4.99% Council Tax increase for Sefton Council services for 2017/18.  “This includes the maximum we can raise it specifically for Adult Social Care. But what is deeply disappointing is that the Government knows that Adult Social Care is underfunded and their response is to pass the buck onto local Council Tax payers. “Not only is this unacceptable, it will not even scratch the surface of what this Council needs to care for its older vulnerable people. We will of course continue to prioritise services to vulnerable people but this is getting more and more difficult as cuts get deeper and deeper. “Ultimately we have no option other than to increase our Council Tax. Savage cuts by Government of over 50% means that the only alternative is to make even bigger cuts to other local services. “The average Band C property will go up by about £1.17 a week for Sefton Council services. This small weekly increase in Council Tax is essential for us as the Government has reduced our money by the equivalent of £722 from every household in Sefton between 2010 and 2020. “Our residents told us what matters to them through the Imagine Sefton 2030 consultation and what money we have needs to achieve the best outcomes for all our communities while protecting the most vulnerable. “To put it into context, the £64m we have to save is the equivalent to our total spend each year on safeguarding children, emptying your bins, libraries, getting rid of your rubbish, parks and open spaces and cleaning your streets. Try to imagine losing all of that! “How we operate will have to change and people must understand that we cannot do everything we have done in the past. What money we have needs to achieve the best outcomes for all our communities. “The foundations for the future are now being laid through the drive for economic growth across the whole of the borough. This will lead to the creation of more quality jobs, economic prosperity and potentially new income streams for the council.”

The increase in Council Tax for a Band C property (for Sefton Council services) will rise from £1.217.93 in 2016/17 to £1,278.70 for 2017/18. Including Police and Fire services the rise for a Band C property will be from £1,427.43 in 2016/17 to £1,492.31 in 2017/18. This excludes the amounts charged by Parish Councils for homes in their areas.

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