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Trees in Formby

Vital tree works will take place this week (commencing January 29) along Chapel Lane, Formby.

Chapel Lane will be temporarily closed to vehicles while the works take place each day. The road will reopen to traffic during the evenings.

The works will also allow for the planting of seven new trees before the end of March 2018, with replacement trees expected to be a mix of species including non-fruiting horse chestnut.

A study of the Chapel Lane trees by Sefton’s Parks and Greenspaces team has found that five existing trees are in need of pruning works, while five large and one small horse chestnut trees were found to have severely declined in recent years.

The 6 dying trees must be removed before they pose a significant health and safety risk.

Three large and one small tree are planned to be removed this week and the remaining two will be monitored and removed over a phased process.

Local residents and businesses nearby have been fully informed throughout this process.

Link Road Success

The A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has been praised through a top industry award.   

At the start of the Broom’s Cross Road contract, Sefton Council registered the scheme with CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental QUALity scheme).

CEEQUAL is the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering. It promotes and celebrates the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping, and public realm projects.

The whole A5758 scheme was assessed, from original concept, through design, construction and completion. Following a detailed assessment against the CEEQUAL award criteria, the scheme was awarded the ‘excellent’ standard.

A certificate to celebrate ‘excellence’ was recently presented to Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, at a Full Council meeting at Bootle Town Hall.

The 2.8 mile link road opened in the summer of 2015 and was constructed by main contractors Balfour Beatty. Broom’s Cross is the site of a medieval wayside cross near Thornton.

The road provides a faster, more direct link between the A565 in Thornton and the motorway network at Switch Island. It has also helped reduce ‘through traffic’ in the community of Netherton.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “It was a great honour to receive the award from CEEQUAL for a scheme that has made the whole of Sefton more accessible.

“It demonstrates the Council’s ability to deliver high quality infrastructure schemes across the borough.”

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “The road took a number of years to develop and construct and the fact it has been recognised through a top industry award goes to show how the time was well spent in planning and building a wonderful link road.

“Thousands of vehicles use the road every single day because of the improved links to the national motorway system at Switch Island.

“Construction of the road particularly resulted in environmental improvements to the area, including the creation of four new wildlife ponds and the planting of 39,000 new trees and shrubs.”

The total cost for the road was £20.4m – with £14.5m from the Department for Transport and £5.9m from Sefton Council.

Chris Broadbent, CEEQUAL Managing Director, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to present a CEEQUAL Award to this project to recognise the significant environmental and sustainability achievements of the Thornton to Switch Island Link Road team.”

Paul Weaver, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s North & Midlands regional business West Delivery Unit, added: “We are delighted that the A5758 Broom’s Cross Road (Thornton to Switch Island Link Road) has achieved the ‘Excellent’ status from CEEQUAL.

“It recognises our on-going commitment to the environment throughout the construction of this new ‘link’ road. At Balfour Beatty we strive to leave a positive footprint on the local environment including the integration of environmental and sustainability initiatives throughout the project lifecycle from conception to construction.”

For more information about the scheme and the Sefton case study visit: www.ceequal.com/case-studies/a5758-brooms-cross-road-thornton-to-switch-island-link/

Merseyside Police Dismantle Cannabis Farm Worth Over £1 Million a Year at House in Bootle

Merseyside Police have discovered a cannabis farm worth more than £1 million per year in Bootle today, Friday 12 January 2018.

At around 7.10pm yesterday (Thursday, 11 January), officers were called to a house on Hawthorne Road after reports of squatters in the premises.

Officers from the force’s specialist Cannabis Dismantling Team (CDT) attended and made the property safe. A large cannabis farm with 271 plants was found across four floors of the property. The electric supply was found to be have been bridged. Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.

Sergeant Gary Sorrell from the CDT said: “The excellent result shows the scale and organisation that some criminal groups are capable of. But more importantly, it demonstrates that we can and do identify such significant farms on a regular basis, taking away the harm and risk that they bring to our communities.

“If anyone has seen suspicious activity in or close to the South Park end of Hawthorne Road in recent days, please pass the information on, which may prove vital in tracking down those responsible and bringing them to justice.

“Criminals who set up these farms cause considerable misery for hard-working people who just want to earn an honest living, and attract violence including knife and gun crime to those communities in which they operate.

“Nobody wants to live near a magnet for crime. And as in this case, electricity is often bypassed, causing a huge fire risk to neighbours. If you are aware of cannabis being grown in your communities, please let us know and we can remove these potential death traps. If you recognise some of the signs, you can report any concerns and we will do the rest.”

Some of the signs that cannabis is being grown are:
• Strange smells and sounds
• Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
• Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting
• Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
• Heat from an adjoining property
• Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather
• Individually these activities may seem common place, however, together may indicate something more sinister

Anyone with information on the cultivation of cannabis can call police on 101. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111 or via their online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.

Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing

From March 1, 2018 landlords who privately rent out their properties will be required to obtain a new licence from Sefton Council if their properties are located within selected areas in the borough.

Sefton Council approved the implementation of two new housing licensing schemes in September, 2017 in separate areas of the borough. Both schemes will run until the end of February 2023.

Sefton designated an area of Bootle as being subject to Selective licensing, (all privately rented properties) and has designated parts of Seaforth, Waterloo, Brighton-le-Sands and Southport as being subject to Additional licensing.

Additional licensing requires all houses defined as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) to apply for a housing licence.  Mandatory licensing for larger HMO properties is currently a national requirement.

A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.

Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

It is an offence, which can result in fines of any amount, if the landlord or person in control of the property:

•           fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or
•           allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence
•           breaches any of the licence conditions

If you are a landlord, a person managing a property within the areas of the designation you are advised to check whether your property will require a licence and ensure that you apply for one per property.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “We have areas where many properties currently fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of their tenants and their wider communities.

“The schemes we have introduced aim to reduce that by making sure private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.

“But it is also about tenants behaving in a way that does not blight or impact on their community and shows respect for their neighbours.

“If you are a landlord renting a property in any of the designated areas, you must check whether your property will need a licence from March 1, 2018.”

Landlords can apply for a reduced fee for either applying within the first 3 months of the scheme, being accredited or when a Sefton accredited managing agent is appointed by the landlord to be the licence holder. Further details of the reduced fees are available on the Council’s website.

Further details of Sefton’s property (and managing agent) accreditation schemes are available on www.sefton.gov.uk/housing. Early application for property accreditation is encouraged.

Appeal Following Collision Involving Scrambler Bike and Pedestrian In Litherland

Merseyside Police is appealing for witnesses following a collision involving a scrambler bike and a pedestrian in Litherland this evening (Tuesday 19 December).

Officers were called at 5.10pm following reports a black and white scrambler bike had collided with a pedestrian on Gorsey Lane, near its junction with Pendle Drive, before crashing into barriers. The rider of the bike left the scene on foot and is reported to have ran into a nearby housing estate. It is believed he was wearing a blue helmet.

The pedestrian, a 62-year-old man, has been taken to hospital and is being treated for leg, arm and back injuries. His condition is described as serious.

An investigation is currently underway and part of Gorsey Lane has been temporarily closed.

The scrambler bike will be recovered from the scene and forensically examined.

Detective Inspector Simon Vaughan said: “Our inquiries into this incident are at an early stage but we believe the scrambler bike was being ridden in a dangerous and anti-social way prior to the collision.

“This incident again illustrates the risk that scrambler bike riders pose to other road users and pedestrians. These people have no regard for anyone but themselves and don’t care about the consequences of their actions.

“If you saw this bike being ridden in anti-social manner on Gorsey Lane shortly before this incident, or witnessed the incident itself, please come forward. We would also appeal to anyone who may have dashcam footage or CCTV footage of any part of this incident, before, during and after to get in touch.

“We will continue to take pro-active action against those involved in the criminal use of scrambler bikes on our roads and will do everything possible to locate and seize suspected stolen or nuisance bikes and arrest those who are putting the safety of others at risk.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure communities across Merseyside that we understand their concerns about scrambler bikes and are relentless in our efforts to tackle them.

“Such behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated on the streets of Merseyside. I would urge anyone with information which could help us take these bikes out of circulation and make our streets safer to keep coming forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 101 quoting log 805 of 19th December. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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