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Important Travel Information: Aintree Festival

Sefton is preparing to welcome thousands of visitors to the borough as part of the three day Aintree Grand National Festival which starts on Thursday (April 12).

Sefton Council is one of the many agencies that will help thousands of festival goers get to and from Aintree Racecourse as smoothly as possible this week.

Working alongside Merseyside Police, Merseytravel and several other partners, the Council’s traffic management team helps coaches, cars, limousines and even horse boxes get to the right place at the right time.

They also help residents who aren’t attending the festival to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

A number of diversions and traffic management measures will be in place throughout the festival’s three days (Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14) including temporary closures.

Residents who are not attending the festival are advised to avoid the A59 Ormskirk Road from Switch Island through to the Black Bull junction.

Ormskirk Road, as well as Park Lane between Bridle Road and Ormskirk Road, will be closed between 4pm and 9pm on all three festival days.

Heavy traffic is expected on the A59 from 10am – 2pm.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted via Switch Island, Dunningsbridge Road, Netherton Way and Southport Road.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “The Aintree Festival brings thousands of racegoers, tourists and visitors to our beautiful borough and once again all eyes will be on Sefton as the home of impressive international events.

“We are working with partners to help keep the borough moving during the festival and to keep disruption to a minimum.

“People wishing to attend the race meeting itself are encouraged to use the Merseyrail network and alight at Aintree station.

“After racing finishes for the day buses will be operating from Park Lane into Liverpool City Centre and we would ask visitors who are in the region for a number of days to try and explore our wonderful borough even further.”

Mayor’s Musings: From football to Bootle’s Broadway

Hello and welcome to the Mayor’s Musings! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Easter period.

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Mayoral offices and I’ve been delighted once again to be meeting so many diverse and interesting communities across our beautiful borough.

March 20

I welcomed seven lovely members of the EDDA Arts and Community Centre journalism group for a tour of Southport Town Hall. I happily took lots of questions on the history of the Sefton Mayor and the beautiful parlour within the town hall.

Shortly after that I was off on the road for a quick trip to the Ramada Hotel, Southport for the launch of Southport FC’s #OnePort vision. Here I was treated to a first look at the Yellow’s stadium plans, how they work with the community and their partnership with Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer celebrations.

To cap off a wonderful day I sat down along with 60 volunteers, community members and Sefton Library staff for the Human Library celebration meal at Bootle Library. I’m still full from it. Delicious!

March 21

I was delighted to have been invited to Halton Borough for a special Civic Heads day. Along with my fellow Mayors from across Merseyside, we were treated to a tour of The Brindley Theatre, Norton Priory, Runcorn Town Hall and the Halton Stadium.

March 23

I managed to deftly avoid the ‘Witches Curse’ of Ruggidore thanks to the incredibly talented acting troupe of the Crosby Gilbert and Sullivan Society at Southport Little Theatre. A wonderful production in a wonderful venue.

March 25

I attended the fantastic performance of the very apt ‘From Bootle to Broadway’ enacted by exceptionally talented young people from Bootle’s SPACE project at the ACC Convention Centre.

March 27

The Senior Road User’s event at St Helens Church, organised by Sefton Council and partners, was a fantastically educational afternoon.

It was a pleasure to meet with some of our senior residents and talk with them on road safety, healthy eating and healthy activities.

March 28

Sefton CVS’s Citizens For Good awards are an event I always look forward to with great delight. It’s amazing to meet so many community spirited and passionate residents from across Sefton.




March 29

I capped off a jam-packed two weeks of adventures up and down the borough with an absolutely delightful performance by the SONG theatre company who lit up the stage at the Atkinson in their performance of ‘All Shook Up’.

I look forward to even more civic visits very soon!

Cllr Dave Robinson
Mayor of Sefton

Residents should contact community officers over Aintree Festival concerns

Merseyside Police is encouraging residents in Aintree and Maghull to contact their Community Policing Team with any issues or concerns they have ahead of the Aintree Festival which gets underway next Thursday (12 April).

With more than 150,000 race-goers set to attend the event across three days from Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 14, the community’s dedicated community officers want to make sure residents experience minimal disruption.

Despite the large crowds attending the festival, the vast majority of race-goers have a safe and enjoyable day and a multi-agency operation involving police officers from across the Force will once again aim to ensure this year’s event is no different.

Community officers will speak to residents living in some of the busiest streets around the racecourse to let them know who they can contact if they experience any problems with issues such as car parking, litter and anti-social behaviour during the event.

Community Inspector Ian Jones said: “The Aintree Festival puts Merseyside on the sporting map and the world stage. Thousands of visitors have a great time and we are very grateful to local residents for their patience and co-operation in helping us successfully police the event every year.

“We recognise that large numbers of people can have an impact on the local community and I want to reassure people that, as well as the policing operation for the event itself, my community team will be there to address any concerns residents may have.

“Not only will these officers be dedicated to responding to any calls about issues such as anti-social behaviour and disorder outside the racecourse, they will also be looking to speak to anyone living locally who may have experienced problems in previous years.

“We are particularly keen to hear from these people so we can talk to them and make sure those problems don’t crop up again so the event is a winner for all.”

Aintree and Maghull residents can contact their neighbourhood team by sending an email to or call the non-emergency number 101.

Netherton Activity Centre’s Fitness Suit undergoes major upgrade

Netherton Activity Centre’s fitness suite will be temporarily closed next week while it undergoes a significant refurbishment.

The suite will be closed between Friday April 13 and Friday April 20 while contractors complete the required works.

During the renovation, the fitness studio timetable will be in operation and will not be affected by the Fitness Suite closure.

Chris Porrino, Sefton Council’s Senior Health & Fitness Development Manager, said: “We are extremely excited to be bringing the latest in exercise innovation to our already excellent service offering.

Netherton will have the very best training kit available, including  strength & conditioning rack, cable cross over, functional training rig, battle ropes and Plyo boxes to name just a few!

“The new Cardio and Strength kit is the best there is and has the latest in multimedia connections with everything from TV to app integration through your smartphone.

“Improvements to our group exercise studio will also be made with replacement spin bikes and the installation of Les Mills Virtual class instruction being made available to our users!

“We have a number of other fitness suites across Sefton which our Netherton members are invited and welcome to use while the works are ongoing.”

Netherton Activity Centre’s fitness suite is set to reopen on Saturday April 21.

Waterloo flag to fly at half mast for much loved Dave

The flag at Waterloo Town Hall will fly at half-mast tomorrow (Friday, April 6) in honour of a Cleansing Operative who helped keep Sefton’s streets spotless for almost five decades.

David McCallister, 62, worked for Sefton Council for more than 44 years and sadly passed away on March, 22 this year.

A valued member of Sefton Council’s Street Scene team, David joined the authority in August 1973 and initially worked from a former depot based at Cambridge Road in Crosby.

His work as a Cleansing Operative saw him cover an area that encompassed Blundellsands, Seaforth, Waterloo and Crosby and he also undertook occasional duties as a Refuse Collector.

Dave McCallister who sadly passed away in March

Tomorrow (April 6), friends and colleagues will pay their final respects to David at his funeral held at Thornton Crematorium where former Crosby MP Claire Curtis-Thomas will deliver a eulogy.

Tributes to the “workaholic” music-lover have flooded in from co-workers, with many describing David as “irreplaceable” and “one of a kind”.

Gary Berwick, Sefton Council’s Cleansing Services Manager, said: “Dave was one of our finest Street Cleansing staff members and an irreplaceable member of the team.

“He worked diligently in all weathers and his passing is a sad loss indeed. I can’t describe how much he will be missed.”

Ronnie Jones, Attendant at Waterloo Town Hall, said: “David’s reputation was second-to-none. Not only was he an excellent employee but he always had a smile on his face – he was never happier than when he was working.

“He was very much liked by Sefton residents and made a real difference to the borough.”

Praising David’s “old school” work ethic, Dave Dolan, Traded Services Officer, added: “Dave was one of a kind and completely irreplaceable.

“He cleaned the road where I lived and was always smiling, come rain or shine. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he was always happy to go the extra mile.

“Dave was a shining example of a great employee, with a terrific, old-school work ethic. He was diligent, thorough, well-respected and very much part of the community. He will be greatly missed.”

Mark Magee, Deputy Convener of Unite and David’s former line manager, said: “He was an unassuming, humble man who will be hard to replace; not just because of his work ethic but because he was always smiling.

“He was a true gentleman and an important member of the community. He will never be forgotten.”

A funeral for David will take place at Thornton Crematorium on Lydiate Lane in Thornton at 3.20pm on Friday, April 6. All are welcome to attend.

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