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Sefton Corporate Learning Centre launches e-learning programmes

Sefton Corporate Learning Centre (CLC) has launched brand new e-learning packages that are open to the public for the first time.

The CLC has offered classroom based learning to individuals and businesses for several years but has now decided to extend its online learning opportunities further afield.

Courses in ‘Autism Awareness’ and ‘Private Fostering’ can be completed online at a cost of £20 for an individual or £15 for more than 10 individuals from the same organisation.

Part of Sefton Council’s learning and development portfolio, the Ainsdale-based centre has previously only provided e-learning to Sefton Council staff. These new online packages mark a significant move towards making learning accessible to more people both in Sefton and further afield.

‘Autism Awareness’ intends to provide a basic understanding of autistic spectrum disorders and ‘Private Fostering’ will help learners to know more about situations where children are looked after in a ‘private’ arrangement by someone who is not a close relative.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “E-learning is an excellent way to extend your knowledge in a way that it right for you. The course can be completed at your own pace within an environment that it most suitable for you or your organisation.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for organisations to create a highly skilled workforce with up to date skills and knowledge at a low cost and with little disruption to workplace.”

To find out more about Sefton CLC and the courses on offer visit

It’s time to Stoptober

Smokers in Sefton are being urged to tackle the Stoptober challenge by quitting smoking for 28 days.

Colette Kearney, Team Lead for Smokefree Sefton, one of Living Well Sefton’s partners, said: “Evidence shows that if people are smoke free for 28 days they are five times more likely to quit for good. If you’re thinking of stopping smoking then boost your chances of quitting successfully by using the support of our Personal Quit Plan which is tailored just for you.”

Their clients know first hand how Smokefree Sefton can help and comment: “I want to thank the team because after an injury I became inactive and started to smoke more than 40 cigarettes a day. After reading I was four times more likely to quit with the team’s support, I went to one of their clinics and my advisor helped me every step of the way. Now I enjoy having more money and I’ve even taken up sport again.”

The Smokefree Sefton team is working in partnership with Sefton Council and Health and Safety Executive to give staff help and support to stop smoking during October.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Stoptober presents a great opportunity for people who have been thinking about giving up smoking to take on the challenge and start living a healthier lifestyle.

“I’m delighted that Smokefree Sefton will be offering its services to businesses throughout Sefton this month, including supporting staff at Sefton Council who are ready to make a positive lifestyle change.”

To make it easier for people get free support during the month, the team’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) bus is driving out to various locations including Bootle Strand, Marion Square Netherton and the foodbanks in Bootle, Waterloo and Southport.  Awareness events are taking place in Asda Bootle throughout the month.

For more information on how the Smokefree Sefton team can help you quit smoking visit their website:

Or call 0300 100 1000 to find your nearest stop smoking clinic.


Mayor’s Musings: From yacht racing to tomato tasting!

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Mayoral offices!

Over the last three weeks, I had the pleasure of attending a staggering 26 engagements from welcoming new citizens to Britain to yacht racing and everything in between.

Tuesday September 4

It is with great pride that I take the lead in welcoming new citizens to both Sefton and Britain.
While this particular ceremony was rather small, with only two people receiving citizenship, we still made sure we congratulated and celebrated their landmark day with their family and friends.

Wednesday September 5

I was delighted to attend a Battle Of Britain event at RAF Woodvale earlier this month.
The annual event was extra special given it is the RAF’S Centenary celebrations and a fascinating evening was had by all who were given the opportunity to meet people who fought in the Battle of Britain and find out more about the aftermath.

Saturday September 8

The West Lancs 24hr Yacht Race Launch gives me the perfect opportunity to see something which not everyone knows about!
Founded in Southport in 1894, the 24hr Yacht Race was introduced to give racers the opportunity to show off their skills. It was a pleasure to attend and represent Sefton at this event.

Wednesday September 12

The Elderberries Tomato Festival is a celebration of one of the most delicious and versatile fruits around!
But it’s also a great way of recognising all the hard work in which the local farmers and residents do to keep the local tomato industry going.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much the community comes together at these events, which re-iterates how strong our local community is.

Saturday September 15

The M.V. Derbyshire was a Liverpool ship which sank off Japan in 1980 with the unfortunate loss of 44 lives.
She remains the longest British Ship ever to be lost at sea. The Derbyshire Family Association pursued a twenty-year campaign to establish that the crew were mot to blame for the sinking.
The opening of a tribute to the ship was incredibly emotional, as it brought closure and peace to the families affected by the tragedy.

Friday September 21

It was with great pride that I officially opened Riverside Housing ‘Eton Court’ – another fantastic example of how strong and close unit we are as a community.
‘Eton Court’ will be used for social Landlords, retirement living and general needs, as well as providing a homeless unit and both women’s and men’s hostels.

Reminder: Plan your Giants journey in advance

Check timetables and plan your journeys a few days before the event – don’t leave it until the last minute.

These are important messages from transport leaders as the Liverpool City Region gears up to welcome back the Giants for Liverpool’s Dream – their third and final visit to the streets of Liverpool and, for the first time, Wirral.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join the event, taking place between 4th and 7th October, placing a significant increase in demand on public transport services during the four days – as well as closing many major road routes.

City Region transport providers have worked together to put plans in place to help keep people moving and there will be changes to some services and timetables as a result of the event.

Whether they travel by rail, bus, ferry or car, anyone travelling to, from and around the city region during this time to either enjoy the events or for other purposes is strongly advised to check timetables, plan their journeys and allow extra travelling time to avoid disappointment.

For the latest information about services, customers should check with the relevant transport operator in the run up to and on their day of travel. Information will also be available online and via social media.

There will be extra staff from a variety of transport providers deployed at key locations during the four days to provide information and support people with their journeys.

Thursday 4th Oct – Normal Thursday timetables apply – there will be no additional late night services so please check last train and bus times
Friday 5th Oct – Commuters are advised to check for any changes to their usual timetable and need to be prepared to make changes to their journey.
Saturday 6th Oct – There is a strike on Northern rail services – passengers should check direct with Northern for the most up to date information.
Sunday 7th Oct – Fans travelling to and from Anfield for the Liverpool FC vs Manchester City game which kicks off at 16:30 are advised to allow extra travelling time and be aware of these key changes to our services – especially in and around Liverpool City Centre.

Thursday services will run as normal, passengers are advised to check their last train times before they travel.
There will be changes to services on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th Oct.
A special events timetable will run and passengers are encouraged to visit the Merseyrail website or pick up a leaflet from any staffed station.

The following applies to all three days:
• Trains will not stop at all stations to allow for additional and more frequent services.
• James Street and Lime Street lower level (underground) will be closed to aid crowd control and movement
• Wirral line services will start and end at Liverpool Central station and will not be stopping at Moorfields.
• Northern line passengers travelling to the city centre should use Moorfields as trains will not be stopping at Liverpool Central.

Northern Train Services

Due to a strike on Northern rail services on Saturday 6th October and on-going engineering works, passengers are advised to check with Northern for the most up to date information.
Mainline and City Line services
Trains will be running but check with operators for the most up to date information.

Lime Street station

The station will be incredibly busy during the event, there will be crowd control measures in place, and queues will be likely. This will ensure that Network Rail and train operators can keep passengers moving safely.

By bus

Buses will be running but there will be diversions to routes due to road closures and services may be subject to delays – especially in and around Liverpool City Centre.
Queen Square & Liverpool ONE bus stations will be closed for some periods during the event, there will be alternative drop off and pick up points notified in advance.

Mersey Ferries

The Mersey Ferries will be running as normal on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th Oct.
On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th Oct, River Cruise Explorer services will be suspended to allow for two shuttle services to run about every 20 minutes – one between Woodside and the Pier Head (09:30 to 18:40) and one between Seacombe and the Pier Head (09:20 to 18:50). Commuter ticket prices will apply.

Mersey Tunnels

The Wallasey (Kingsway) Tunnel will be open as usual. There are planned closures at the Birkenhead (Queensway) tunnel which will see the closure of the Liverpool Dock branch exit for periods on Friday 5th, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th (details are on the Merseytravel website). The route of the Giants in Liverpool sees them very close to the Tunnel entrance/ exit in Liverpool on Saturday 6th Oct – which could lead to temporary closures for crowd safety reasons during the day.

Key advice:
• Plan ahead- due to large crowds being expected. For the majority of the time it will be impossible to see all of the Giants at one time so plan ahead, decide where and when you want to watch the event and how you will get there.
• Use public transport where possible to avoid congestion.
• Consider walking to watch the event if you live close enough
• Check timetables – before and on your day of travel, be prepared for some changes to services leading up to the event. Use journey planners.
• Leave plenty of time to get where you want to go services may take longer than usual
• Be patient as services will be extremely busy, expect queues.
• Consider arriving early or later if you can to avoid peak times
• Consider delaying your journey home – Services will be busy at the end of each day’s events, so consider staying in town for some food and drink and travelling back later
• Consider buying your tickets in advance to avoid queues on the day

Sefton welcomes Planning Inspectorate decision on Waterloo flats plan

Two separate planning applications to convert office space into flats in Waterloo have been dismissed on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

Earlier this year Sefton Council received two separate planning applications from DPP Planning on behalf of Mr Alan Verinder for 1-3 Crosby Road South, Waterloo – both seeking to convert the existing offices and extend them to provide 30 and 32 flats respectively.

Sefton Council’s Planning Committee had originally refused both applications in January 2018, citing significant concerns over the design and layout of the proposed extensions, and impacts on heritage assets.

However, an appeal was lodged but that has just been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

The concerns were fully supported by the independent Inspector, Katie McDonald, who noted in her report: “I find that the proposal would be harmful to the host building, and this would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the (Conservation Area). This would be in conflict with the Local Plan for Sefton.”

A separate application by Mr Verinder for costs against Sefton Council was also dismissed. In dismissing the claim, the Inspector noted that Sefton Council had proper regard to the impact on the Conservation Area and found that they had: “exercised their duty to determine the planning applications in a reasonable manner having regard to the particular merits of the cases, taking account of all available information.”

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, and Chair of Planning Committee, said: “This decision has fully vindicated the Council’s approach to resisting unacceptable forms of development where harm will result to heritage assets.

“It also fully endorses the Council’s consistent approach to assessing all planning applications on their own merits and we welcome all the Planning Inspectorate’s comments in relation to these applications.”

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