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Local schools feature on Children in Need single

Seven Sefton schools have come together with other schools from the region to sing and record a charity single in aid of Children in Need.

Pupils from Bedford Primary School, Freshfield Primary School, Formby High School, Redgate Primary School, Trinity St Peter’s Primary School, Valewood Primary School and Waterloo Primary School sang on a new track titled, ‘We Are All Stars’, which shines the spotlight on young people and celebrates their talents and learning gained through the world of education.

To help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK, the team behind the Educate Awards partnered with Formby High School’s senior assistant headteacher, Steve Cook and music technology teacher, Gary Heatherington, to write the song.

Schools were notified about the exciting opportunity and were encouraged to write in for a chance to take part.

After an intensive teacher training session and a month of top secret rehearsals, over 300 students from primary and secondary schools in Chester, Lancashire and the Liverpool city region, recorded the single at Parr Street Studios.

Cameras also captured the once in a lifetime opportunity so that a music video detailing the process will accompany the track at a later date.

Other schools that took part included; Bickerstaffe Primary School, Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School, Queens Park Primary School, Riverside Primary School, Saughall All Saints Primary School, and Whitefield Primary School.

The recording also features the voices from members of the G:Force Gospel Choir.

Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said:  “There is an incredible amount of talent within primary and secondary schools today and what better way to showcase this than with a song dedicated to Children in Need.

“Everyone worked so hard to make this unique song come to life and we’re thrilled with how it has turned out – they have really helped us put a spotlight on education in the North West.

“We’re looking forward to playing the music video at the Educate Awards ceremony on Friday 16 November which is also when Children in Need takes place.”

The song is available to download on iTunes and Spotify. All proceeds will be donated to Children in Need.

The Educate Awards, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, is now in its seventh year and is the largest education awards in the North West, taking place at Liverpool Cathedral.

Since launching in Liverpool in 2012, the awards has grown rapidly, now recognising schools and colleges right across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

From inspiring teachers, superb support staff to innovative projects across the curriculum, the awards identifies the work of schools and colleges which are delivering outstanding education and helping students achieve their full potential.

For more information, visit:  www.educateawards.co.uk.

Why not ask your pharmacist?

Health experts in Sefton are reminding residents to ask their pharmacist about the range of services available in local chemists during a week long campaign, running from 5 to 11 November, and beyond.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week, which highlights the range of services and support that is available to people from their local chemist with a focus this year on medicines safety.

Ask Your Pharmacist week complements ‘Stay Well this Winter’, which encourages people to look after themselves during the colder months, as part of the wider national campaign, ‘Help us Help You’. The campaign reminds people to see a pharmacist if they need advice on minor illnesses and / or medication; and for older people it is a reminder to keep warm during the winter months by putting on an extra layer or turning up their heat.

Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead. In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most.

Graeme Batten, pharmacist and chairman of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) in Sefton, said: “We offer expert advice and support on a range of topics without an appointment; we can offer advice on the correct and safe use of medicines and devices as well as healthy living advice such as looking after yourself in the winter months. Many pharmacies also offer blood pressure checks and other services such as stopping smoking and providing emergency hormonal contraception.

“We specifically help patients manage their medicines with a medicine use review (MUR) consultation and support with new medicines in a private consultation room. This gives us the opportunity to discuss how to use medicines safely and the side effects and benefits of your medicines with you.

“My advice in Ask Your Pharmacy week and all year round would be to pop in to your local chemist and have a chat about how they can help you.”

Another way to make the most of your local chemist is by signing up to NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s Care at the Chemist scheme, which is aimed at more vulnerable residents who do not normally pay for their prescriptions. Care at the Chemist is available at a number of pharmacies across the borough and provides expert advice and medications for a wide range of conditions, without the need for a doctor’s appointment.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs, said: “If you are one of our more vulnerable residents and you do not normally pay for your prescription, then Care at the Chemist is a great way for you to be seen by a health professional, who can advise on treatment for a number of ailments and offer medication where appropriate.”

For a list of pharmacies signed up to the Care at the Chemist scheme and how to register, visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website at southseftonccg.nhs.uk and NHS Southport and Formby CCG website at southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk.

Sefton Council Proposes Changes to Council Tax on Long Term Empty Homes

Sefton Council is running a consultation on a proposed change in Council Tax charges for empty homes across the borough.

New legislation will give Sefton Council additional powers to increase the Council Tax premium charged to properties that have been empty and largely unfurnished for more than two years from 50% to 100% with effect from April 1, 2019.

There are about 645 homes in Sefton that have been empty for two years or more (excluding those that are exempt from Council Tax, for example where the owner has gone to live elsewhere to receive care, or provide care to someone else).

The proposed increase in the empty homes premium is intended to encourage owners of long term empty domestic properties to bring them back into use and to increase the amount of Council Tax income raised from those that continue to leave their properties empty.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regulation and Compliance, said: “We are currently seeking views on the on the proposed changes to the premium charged in Sefton from April 1, 2019, as well as other potential changes to the premium that could be made in the future. Please take the time to give us your views and get in touch.

“As well as charging the empty homes premium, there are other Council initiatives to help bring empty homes back into use like the property accreditation scheme that also helps empty owners find tenants for their property.”

The consultation is open until December 3, 2018. For more information and to share your views please visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-empty-homes-consultation.aspx

North Liverpool Key Corridor

Traffic restrictions are currently in place on the A565, Derby Road between the junction of Millers Bridge and Bankfield Street, in Liverpool, to facilitate road crossings and other works within the existing carriageway as part of the North Liverpool Key Corridor Works.

Between Monday  5th November and Friday 9th November, the section will accommodate northbound traffic only, with southbound traffic diverted.

Waterloo Road from Cotton Street to Paisley Street will be closed from Monday 12th November to Friday 7th December.

Access to all premises will be maintained throughout the works. More details of the scheme can be found on the Sefton Council website at https://www.sefton.gov.uk/parking,-roads-travel/transport-policy/north-liverpool-key-corridor.aspx

Sandway Homes revealed: Find out about Sefton’s new Housing Development Company

Sandway Homes is the official name of the newly created Sefton Council owned housing development company.

Last year councillors agreed in establishing a company to develop new housing across the borough.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet has just approved the new company name and arrangements for its board of directors. The newly formed company is now moving forward with developing detailed designs and proposals for priority house build sites across the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “When we consulted on the 2030 Vision, ‘growing living and ageing well’ and ‘making Sefton a great place to live, work and play’ came through as two strategic outcomes that residents wished the council to prioritise and the establishment of the Housing Development Company is key to this.

“We are delighted to be at the point of announcing the official name of Sandway Homes for our new housing development company.

“The name Sandway is inspired by the unique 22 miles of coastline in Sefton and the logo mark is derived from the family crest for the Sefton Molyneux.

“Our mission now is to create quality, ambitious housing in a purposeful, ethical, and sustainable way that puts real people at the centre of everything. This will contribute to providing more housing choice right across the borough and unlock value from unused sites. The funds generated in this way will be used to support other Sefton Council projects and services.”

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