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Platform Upgrade Work: Merseyrail getting ready for 2020

Transport leaders have announced a programme of platform upgrades designed to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of the new, state of the art trains in 2020 that will transform how people travel.

The phased programme of upgrades will take place between 20 October 2018 and 16 June 2019. These vital works, delivered by Network Rail, will involve upgrading existing platforms and realigning track to ensure that they are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This means that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There will be 11 phases of works during this period. Only short sections of line will be closed at any one time, with all stations on that section closed. Closures will vary in duration, but most will be between nine and 30 days at a time.

High quality, rail replacement buses will get passengers to where they need to go as quickly as possible and some of these will be express services.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

More detailed information will be made available in advance of each phase and travellers will be encouraged to plan ahead and consider their travel options including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Key advice:
• You can still get to where you need to go
• Check before you travel. Closures are taking place at different locations at different times on the network so it’s important to keep checking what’s happening and when. Some timetables may change.
• Plan ahead – use journey planners and National Rail enquiries
• Leave more time for your journey. Timetables may change and your journey may be longer.
• Consider avoiding travelling at peak times where possible.
• Consider your options –including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries.

For more information and further details about how your rail journeys will be affected visit www.merseyrail.org/itshappening

Sefton secures £2.3 million for major highway improvement project in Maghull

Sefton Council is delighted to have secured £2.3 million for a major highway improvement project in Maghull.

The proposed scheme will allow for reduced congestion and improved safety at the A59 Northway junction with Dover Road and Liverpool Road South.

Funding for the project, which is anticipated to begin in 2019, has been allocated by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and reinforces Sefton’s ongoing commitment to supporting infrastructure and growth across the borough.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “We are delighted to have secured City Region Combined Authority funding for this scheme.

“Sefton is wholly committed to to improving transport infrastructure in the Maghull area and this project will be another step forward, following on from the new Maghull North Station and the M58 Junction 1 improvements due to start later this year.

“We hope that the works, once approved, will start in Summer 2019 and last around six months, with as little disruption as possible to traffic.”

Further details about the project will be announced in due course.

200,000 cigarettes seized in Southport shop raid

Counterfeit cigarettes worth more than £40,000 have been seized following a raid by Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team and Merseyside Police.

Officers acted on information from the public which identified a residential premise in Southport Town Centre being used to store illicit tobacco for a nearby retail unit.

More than 200,000 illegal cigarettes were seized after both premises were visited by Trading Standards officers and specially trained tobacco sniffer dogs.

The seizure included counterfeit and non-duty paid products which cannot be legally sold in the UK.

 Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “This incredible discovery would not have been possible without the hard work of our Trading Standards team and partners in Merseyside Police.

 “We hope this seizure serves as a stark warning to others that we will always take action against anybody who chooses to trade in illegal tobacco.

 “Sales of illicit tobacco is completely unfair on those traders who sell UK tobacco products legitimately.

 “The availability of cheap illegal cigarettes like this needs to stop and we are determined to protect legitimate traders, consumers and the general public.

 “We actively encourage anyone who may be aware of or suspects that counterfeit cigarettes are being sold in the borough to let us know confidentially.”

 Community Policing Sergeant, Andy Dentith said: “A concerted effort between Merseyside Police and our partners at Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team has led to this fantastic result and a large quantity of illegal and potentially dangerous cigarettes will now thankfully not reach the public.

” Any breaches of licenses or criminal offences that we find will be dealt with robustly. Our message is simple: we will visit, search and prosecute any businesses which put the health and safety of the community at risk.

 “The recovery of more than 200,000 cigarettes will have significantly disrupted the activities of those involved and we ask anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in the area to contact us.

 “We will continue to work closely with our partners to target dangerous and substandard business premises using all our available law-enforcement powers.”

Anyone who does suspect the sale of counterfeit products or any form of fraud should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sefton care home puts spotlight on making memories

A Netherton care home has been chosen as the Sefton representative in a Merseyside-wide summer initiative to highlight the importance of memories and reminiscence among older people living with dementia.

James Dixon Court on Harrops Croft has been selected as the borough’s recipient of a Sense of Summer memory basket, produced by the multi-award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, created by National Museums Liverpool.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, put forward James Dixon Court which is operated by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions.

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, resources and activities to enable carers to support people living with the condition.

The new Sense of Summer memory baskets are designed to stimulate discussion about the past, and the contents are inspired by the great outdoors, bringing together items related to gardening, home-grown produce and summer picnics.

The basket includes objects that can form topics for reminiscence, and suggestions for outdoor and garden-themed activities that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living with dementia.

The basket also contains multi-sensory objects that will work well for people with different levels of sensory communication, including items that stimulate smell, hearing, touch and sight.

Commenting on the Sense of Summer initiative, New Directions Head of Operations Paul Bamber said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been chosen as the Sefton recipient of this very valuable new resource, and would like to thank both House of Memories for their support and Cllr Cummins for putting us forward.”

James Dixon Court Service Manager, Martina Barr, added: “There’s nothing our residents like more than to get together and chat about the past, so this memory basket is very much appreciated and will certainly get a lot of use.”

Just one care home in Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens has received a summer memory basket, a development inspired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge earlier this year to build a dementia-friendly Liverpool City Region.

The baskets are sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation (FPC), based in Ainsdale, who has supported a number of other House of Memories projects..

FPC Partner Moira O’Shaughnessy commented: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the Sense of Summer memory baskets. Attending the presentation at James Dixon Court provided us with a unique opportunity to see the benefits that the residents experience from them in action.”

Sefton announces huge plans for English Language support

Sefton Council has revealed plans to help migrant schoolchildren get a better start at early years education.

In May the local authority announced that it was successful in securing a £244,000 grant to help Sefton schools increase their already impressive levels of educational support to migrant children who come to live in the area.

Work has already begun on a two year English Language Support project which will be rolled out to primary schools across the borough.

As part of the project, migrant schoolchildren who are learning English as an additional language will now have access to weekly support sessions, while their families will receive access to linguistic lending libraries.

Teachers and support staff in primary schools across Sefton are also undergoing additional training to help them further improve their skills to support new migrant children who move to the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The legacy of this amazing project will leave schools across Sefton with specially trained staff, a sustainable English Language network and a bank of key resources for staff to build upon in years to come.

“Not only will this project help support migrant children in learning English, but it will also foster an inclusive ethos which our schools pride themselves in, welcoming everyone as equal, valued members of the community.

“Sefton has a proven track record of being an incredibly welcoming borough for all and this project will further our efforts in making sure children from all backgrounds have the best start in life, learning equally with their friends and peers.

For more information about Sefton schools and learning opportunities, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning.

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