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Counterfeit One Direction perfume case ends in successful prosecution

A recent court case involving counterfeit goods seized in Sefton was only ever going to end in one direction, thanks to the dedicated work of the local authority’s Trading Standards team.

Sefton has welcomed the successful prosecution of a Formby man after he plead guilty to the manufacture and possession of counterfeit goods potentially worth around £1million.

In 2016, Sefton Council’s Trading Standards team seized vast quantities of materials and packaging capable of producing approximately 2000 Jo Malone candles and 80,000 bottles for One Direction perfume, from an industrial premises in Formby.

It was thought the goods were destined for car boot sales up and down the country in the lead up to Christmas.

Christopher Costello, aged 48, was arrested in connection with the offences and pleaded guilty to four offences at Sefton Magistrates Court on September 17.

He was sentenced to 9 weeks custody, to be suspended for 12 months, and has been made to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

He will also have to pay £715 in costs and victim surcharge.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “I am delighted at the outcome of this case and would like to thank our hard working Trading Standards team who have worked tirelessly from start to finish on this investigation.

“Importantly, this not just about inferior quality merchandise but also about public safety and making sure that the products you purchase are safe.

“We continue to warn the public to be wary of any potential counterfeit goods as there have been serious safety concerns with candles and perfume in the past.”

Anyone who suspects the manufacture or sale of counterfeit goods should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

Take control of your energy bills with the Merseyside Collective Switch

Switching your energy tariff with the Merseyside Collective Switch is both quick and easy, and it could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Run by local charity Energy Project Plus, in partnership with your local authority, the Merseyside Collective Switch aims to negotiate the cheapest energy tariff on the market, available exclusively to its members.

Once you’ve registered, you will be able to access exclusive offers and can make sure you’re not missing out on a great deal on your energy.

Most of the big suppliers have increased their prices this year. If you haven’t switched recently you may be on your suppliers most expensive tariff. There are savings to be made by shopping around, and you may find a better deal with your existing supplier with no disruption to your service or billing.

The winning tariffs have often been the cheapest on the market, so better than you could get elsewhere. Previous winners have included Big 6 suppliers such as British Gas, E.on, SSE and EDF Energy as well as smaller suppliers such as Ovo and Green Energy.

Offers have been included for prepayment meter (or pay as you go) customers as well as direct debit and pay on receipt of bill customers, so there’s something for everyone.

The Merseyside Collective Switch also includes a full market comparison, so if the winning deals aren’t right for you, you can find one that is.

The service is free, and there’s no obligation to switch if you decide not to.

It only takes 15 minutes to switch and members saved an average of £260 a year on their energy bills in our last Autumn Collective.

Registration for this round closes on 23rd October.  We will then contact you to let you know about the deals that have been negotiated for the group.

To join the Collective Switch visit www.LCRenergyswitch.co.uk or call the local Save Energy Advice Line on freephone 0800 043 0151, where you can also get other free and impartial support to help you save energy at home.

Jigsaw Group helps house more than 250 people with affordable homes in Bootle.

On September 18, Peter Dowd MP joined Jigsaw Homes Group Chief Executive, Hilary Roberts to officially launch our new development on Buckley Hill Lane, Bootle, with a ceremonial tree planting.

 Jigsaw Group worked closely with Sefton Council, Homes England and Seddon Group to deliver the £5.6m development of 57 new homes in August 2018. Comprising of 39 bungalows, 14 apartments and four houses all available for affordable rent, the development offers a mix of properties all let to local people with a housing need.

The development incorporates numerous energy efficiency features and the design maximises the effective use of space.

 Less than two miles away on Beach Road, Jigsaw Group developed a further 35 homes for affordable rent.  In total, the two developments provided new homes for more than 250 people in the area.

 Hilary Roberts, Jigsaw Homes Group Chief Executive said, “This highly enjoyable event celebrated our successful partnerships in delivering much needed affordable homes in Sefton.  We will continue to seek opportunities to provide more affordable homes across Merseyside.”

 Peter Dowd MP said “It was a pleasure to be at the official launch of the new development on Buckley Hill Lane. It’s a brilliant example of what positive partnerships can deliver, new affordable homes for local people and providing long lasting home security.  It’s good to see a Labour Council working proactively with developers to tackle the housing crisis.”

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, added: “Both the Buckley Hill Lane and Beach Road developments offer much needed and good quality housing for residents in Sefton. This scheme highlights how positive working relationships between a developer and the Council can bring about high calibre housing design and expediently delivered developments.”   

 We pride ourselves on providing quality new affordable homes.   As an approved Homes England partner, Jigsaw Group, formed following the merger of New Charter Group and Adactus Housing Group, is one of the biggest developers in the country.  The Group delivered 800 new homes in the last financial year and successfully housed over 3,000 people across the local authorities it works in.  Looking ahead, the Group’s development strategy aims to provide 2,700 new homes over the next three years.

 For more information, visit www.jigsawhomes.org.uk or Twitter @JigsawHG.

Big Blues Festival Countdown

It’s nearly that time of year…one of The Atkinson’s favourite events returns with a stronger than ever line up.

 The Big Blues Festival is now in its fourth year and once again it promises to be a weekend of great music, great food,  great ale and great fun as we celebrate what rock, rhythm and blues has to offer!

 The line-up is as big as it is bold and presents music that is desperate to be heard, with headliners  DrFeelgood and  Ian  Siegal, it’s a weekend you really don’t want to miss!

 Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s, Dr Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in the U.K. charts.

 Dr Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Milk and Alcohol, Roxette, Back in the Night, Down at the Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later Alligator – which gave the group their first gold record.

 The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, both 29 years in the band and Steve Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 23 years. Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999 after the tragic death of Lee Brilleaux. The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World and enjoy a loyal following at home and abroad.

They are supported by George Shovlin and George Lamb the winners of 2017 Little Blues Acoustic Stage.

 Ian Siegal needs no introduction; he’s a force within the UK blues scene winning countless awards. In more than a quarter century of touring Ian Siegal’s mission statement has barely changed: songs that are real, shows that resonate, vocals served raw. Today he is considered by many to be the most compelling British blues artiste since the great names of the sixties.

 In 2018 he will be touring a new album, his first studio recording of new songs in six years. Produced by American Jimbo Mathus, it is classic Siegal: full of the dark and light, clever word play and rough-hewn voicebox he is known for. It also marks the first studio recording with the band he hooked up with in 2013. Frequent touring has evolved a distinctive sound featuring Dusty Ciggaar’s tex-mex infused guitar licks. We are delighted to have him headlining the Saturday night of our 2018 Big Blues Festival.

 Xander and the Peace Pirates are a testament to musical integrity and personal strength. Combining soul, blues and rock, their pervasive blend of inspired song writing and memorable performances has already seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.

 Brothers Keith and Stu Xander were discovered on YouTube by Gibson Brands CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, and during their subsequent performances for the company at numerous international events from LA to Dubai, the band caught the attention of not just an ever-growing collective of fans but also industry legends such as Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling Stones) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

 Defying all expectations, lead singer and guitarist Keith Xander was born without a right arm below the elbow and plays guitar using a prosthesis and hook with a pick attached at the end. Although many who have seen Keith play believe him to be an extraordinary guitarist despite of his falsely perceived ‘disability’, he is a virtuoso musician in his own right and his playing rivals the best in the industry. The band established themselves as a live-performance juggernaut.

 Sam Kelly’s Station House has been in the business more than 40 years . His “Station House” band has been featuring on the U.K. music scene for many years. A “groove” band with dancing very much in mind. Their musical catalogue includes Johnny Guitar Watson, Keb Mo, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Gary Moore, Stevie Wonder, Little Feat, to name but a few. The band’s unique sound is influenced by New Orleans second line, soul, jazz, calypso, reggae and British funk.

 With three ‘lead’ singers supported by percussionist and internationally acclaimed drummer, the result is an eclectic fusion of music with its roots firmly based in the blues.

 The UK blues sensation Rebecca Downes is fast establishing herself as one of the star attractions amongst the new vanguard of blues performers in the UK, with her unique and powerful voice, drawing influences ranging from Blues and Soul to Jazz and Rock.

 Tom C Walker will be on the road with his new 4-piece band. A finalist of the UK Blues Awards, in 2017 he released the Into Space EP with the single Sweet Angel, straight in the Top 20 in the IBBA Blues charts while selling thousands of copies world wide in the first few months of release.

 In July 2017 The Tom Walker Trio hit the road for Tom’s first headline UK tour, “The Into Space UK Tour,” quickly selling out the Birmingham show before playing before Mungo Gerry at the legendary Ealing Blues Festival.

 Big Blues Festival tickets are on sale now £48 festival ticket / £35 Saturday ticket / Headline gigs are available for Dr Feelgood and Ian Siegal £17 available online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/big-blues-festival-2018/ via the Box Office on 01704 533333 and over the counter during opening hours.

 Don’t forget the Blues Matters  Little Acoustic Stage entertaining everyone in the foyer on Saturday lineup includes;  Mojo Hand – 1.30-2.15pm, Michael Woods – 3.15 – 4pm, Rowland Jones – 5-5.45pm and Trevor ‘Babajack’ Stieger –  5.45-6.30pm.

 Join the mailing list online and stay up to date with the events, activities and exhibitions coming up at The Atkinson. Plus receive offers!   

Sefton launches Gumbelievable campaign to target sticky issues

Sefton Council is giving residents and visitors to the borough something to chew on as the Local Authority launches its ‘Gumbelievable’ campaign.

 Working with The Chewing Gum Action Group, Sefton Council and its partners will be taking to various hotspots around the borough in the coming weeks to hand out special packs to gum lovers, in a bid to combat the amount of gum which is dropped on the street.

The packs include pocket-sized containers full of disposable wrappers for people to use when they want to responsibly dispose of their used chewing gum.

Beer mats will be handed out in pubs and bars across the borough while huge banners warning people not to risk hefty fines will be placed outside Sefton run leisure centres.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Dropping gum, like any form of litter, is a disgusting and unsightly thing to do and you can be fined for it. 

“We are doing all we can to raise awareness of this issue and by giving out these packs, putting up posters and spreading the message far and wide, nobody can have an excuse to drop gum.”

 Sefton officers will be on Chapel Street, Southport on Saturday September 29 in the build up to the British Musical Fireworks Championship which is expected to bring thousands of people to the borough.

 They can be found handing out ‘gumbelievable’ packs near to Southport Train Station from 2pm.

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