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Cash Boost for Southport Pier

The Pier in Southport is set to benefit from a significant cash boost to make improvements to the popular tourist attraction. 

Sefton Council has secured an additional £2 million, thanks to an award from the coastal community fund, to carry out important repairs and maintenance on the oldest cast iron pier in the country. 

Planned works will include extensive structural repairs, improvements to the end pavilion, the creation of new retail units, easier access to the beach, and improvements to the railings on Marine Lake.  

The overall project will deliver over £2.9 million worth of improvements creating additional jobs, increasing visitor numbers and securing Southport Pier as a valued asset for many years to come.  

Phil Cresswell, Head of Regeneration and Housing, said: ‘We are delighted to have received this funding from the coastal community fund. The grant will allow us to deliver significant improvements with added features and attractions, along with better accessibility for more people to enjoy the Pier.  

“All of this will be supported by a comprehensive visitor welcome package that allows us to showcase the Pier as a main focal point of Southport.” 

The coastal community fund, managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is designed to support economic development of coastal communities by promoting sustainable economic growth and jobs. Southport is one of 33 projects in England to receive funding at this stage. 

The Pier project is included as part of the Southport Development Framework, receiving this grant enables us to make a start and attract further inward investment, this shows that Sefton is open for business with a continued focus on growing the visitor economy.

Care at the Chemist scheme to continue

Health commissioners in Sefton have confirmed that following a recent review the Care at the Chemist scheme, available via community pharmacies, will continue from the 1st April 2017 although it will be available from fewer pharmacies. 

Pharmacists ordinarily and routinely provide health advice to their customers regardless of Care at the Chemist but the scheme additionally ensures residents have access to a range of medicines for minor illnesses for which they might otherwise consider a trip to the doctor.     

Medicines that are supplied to a patient as a result of their Care at the Chemist consultation are free for those who do not already pay for their prescriptions. All items available on the scheme are also available to buy over the counter.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, like many other CCGs, are required to make savings where possible but are keen to keep this valuable service where they can to help those residents who need it.

Following reviews of current services the CCGs have informed pharmacies that the consultation fee for the scheme will be reduced for 2017-18 which has led to a number of pharmacies choosing to no longer provide the additional  service. There will however be 14 pharmacies across Sefton who will continue to offer the service.

The range of medicines currently available is also being reviewed in order to make the scheme more efficient.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “In this challenging financial climate we are having to make savings on many of our services but we do understand how valuable Care at the Chemist is, particularly for the borough’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. We are therefore pleased to be able to support the pharmacies who voluntarily wish to offer this service to patients.”

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We are still reminding people to use their pharmacy for health advice for minor illnesses. Whether it is through the Care at the Chemist scheme or not, pharmacists can offer you advice on a wide range of minor health conditions and offer medication to assist.” 

 

A full list of pharmacies offering Care at the Chemist as of 1st April 2017 can be found on each CCG web page below:

www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/care-at-the-chemist
www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/care-at-the-chemist

Formby Point Update

Comments in relation to the potential land transfer of land in Formby from Sefton Council and the National Trust have been received.

Earlier this month, Sefton Council published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point).

The closing date for comments was March 22 with most correspondence in support of the scheme. This included a petition with 69 names on it in full support of the potential land transfer.

Positive conversations have taken place and will continue regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust.

If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK.

The comments made will now form part of a report going to Cabinet in May which will look at the possibility of transferring the land to the National Trust.

Sarah Kemp, Executive Director at Sefton Council, said: “So far the feedback over the potential transfer of land in Formby to the National Trust has been very supportive.

“We strongly believe this potential land transfer will enable the National Trust to make a significant contribution to the outcomes of the Sefton 2030 Vision. It will also enable a positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, the local economy, natural wildlife and the environment.

“Further discussions will take place with National Trust with the view of transferring the land to them to develop a richer visitor experience with local communities and secure the future of this extraordinary coastline. This will be reported back in May.”

The dunes themselves are home to rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast provide a wonderful habitat to rare and much loved red squirrels. 

The significance of the land at Lifeboat Road recreation area and Ravenmeols has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area.

Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said: “We are really encouraged by the feedback received to the potential land transfer and the petition in its support. We appreciate just how important the Formby Coast is to the people who love it and use it and for the rare wildlife that makes its home here.

“As we head towards the milestone 50th anniversary of our care for land at Victoria Road on 12 April, our aim is to continue to ensure that this special place can to be used and enjoyed by future generations. We want to continue caring for and protecting this special piece of coastline, working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partners.

“We are excited about the future opportunity the land transfer would offer to invest in things that local people and users have told us they would like. These include better visitor facilities and access, working alongside local people to shape our plans.”

The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.

First ever health and wellbeing event for those affected by cancer

The first ever ‘Health and Wellbeing event’ for people affected by cancer is to be held in south Sefton.

The free event, a joint venture between NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Sefton Council, will be held on Tuesday 18th April at The Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull. It is for anyone who has been affected by cancer, whether directly or through supporting a friend or family member.  

The event will run from 12.30pm – 3.30pm where there will be lots of information stalls for people to visit and access support from cancer nurse specialists, support groups and other key organisations. There will also be a healthy eating demonstration and a virtual gym session.

Dr Debbie Harvey, Macmillan GP at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “These events are ideal for people to come along and meet others who have had a similar experience. It is always useful to share and the hope is that there may be an activity or group out there that suits an individual’s needs, so you might go away with an idea of what we can help you with. It’s a friendly and informative event and everyone is very welcome.”

Clare Byrne, lead cancer nurse at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is the first event we are running in the community in south Sefton but similar events have been a huge success in Southport.

“The events aim to support people in adjusting to life with and beyond cancer by providing information on the wide range of services which are available locally as well as healthy living activities.”

Anyone affected by cancer, either recently or in the past, as well as family and friends supporting others are welcome to book onto this free event.

The events are friendly and educational with the opportunity for visitors to chat to cancer nurse specialists, key organisations and support groups.

The Health and Wellbeing events are free of charge and refreshments are provided, but booking is essential. To book onto the next event please call 0151 920 0726 ext 217

Aintree Grand National Travel Information

Please see the latest information issued by Merseytravel regarding travel details for the Aintree Grand National meeting on Saturday April 8:

Merseyrail timetable overview

  • 7½-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 11.15 and 13.30, calling at Moorfields only.
  • 7½-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 17.30 and 19.15, calling at Moorfields only.
  • 15-minute service to Aintree from Liverpool Central between 10.00 and 11.00, calling at Moorfields only.
  • 15-minute service from Aintree to Liverpool Central between 16.30 and 17.30, and between 19.15 and 21.00, calling at Moorfields only.
  • Rail replacement buses to run from Ormskirk to Old Roan from 10.30 till 14.00, stopping at Maghull only. Buses to run from Old Roan to Ormskirk from 16.30 till 20.00, stopping at Maghull only.
  • Six departures from Southport to Liverpool Central (09.22, 09.37, 09.52, 10.42, 10.57 and 11.12). There are no services to Southport in the morning.
  • Five departures from Liverpool Central to Southport (19.08, 19.23, 19.38, 20.30 and 20.45). There are no services from Southport in the evening.
  • Half-hourly service from Hooton to James Street from 10.15 till 14.15 and from 17.15 till 20.45.
  • Half-hourly service from James Street to Hooton from 10.15 till 14.15 and from 16.45 till 21.15.
  • Half-hourly service between West Kirby and James Street from 10.00 till 13.30 and from 16.45 till 21.00.
  • Half-hourly service from James Street to West Kirby from 10.30 till 14.00 and from 17.00 till 21.30.
  • No services between Chester and Hooton or between Ellesmere Port and Hooton. Existing bus services to offer direct connections between Chester, Ellesmere Port and Liverpool.
  • No services on the New Brighton line. Existing bus services to offer direct connections between New Brighton and Liverpool.
  • No services on the Kirkby line. Existing bus services to offer direct connections between Kirkby and Liverpool.
  • No services between Hunts Cross and Liverpool. Existing bus services to offer direct connections between Hunts Cross and Liverpool. Other train operators will be running trains between Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street.

Key travel advice

  • Allow plenty of time to travel.
  • Check before you travel: you can get in and out of Liverpool on mainline rail services and to Aintree and back by Merseyrail, but services may not fully cover all routes or follow the normal timetable. Merseyrail services and Northern services will also finish earlier than usual.
  • Stick to public transport wherever possible. This is to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the city-centre and around Aintree, and because trains are likely to be very crowded.
  • Full details of Merseyrail services and rail replacement buses are on the Merseyrail website (www.merseyrail.org/strike), on Twitter (@Merseyrail) and on posters at all stations or call. A booklet covering timetable information and travel advice over the three-day Grand National festival will be available at stations.
  • For the latest on Northern services visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or northernrailway.co.uk/industrialaction and follow @northernassist on Twitter.
  • Use Merseytravel’s journey planner to see your other travel options www.merseytravel.gov.uk/journeyplanner and get more details on routes and timetables at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travellingaround
  • If you need additional help in planning your journeys, call Merseytravel on 0151 236 7676. 

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