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Sefton spreads Christmas cheer with communitrees

Sefton Council is once again helping to spread Christmas cheer across the Borough with a series of new, living and cut Christmas trees for its communities.

Following extensive hard work over the last six months, the local authority’s Communities & Neighbourhoods officers have been working hard to ensure as many areas of the Borough have access to their own festive firs.

Sustainably sourced

Nine trees, all sustainably sourced, will be lit up and decorated in host of festive themed ways as the Borough comes together to celebrate its first ‘normal’ Christmas since the start of the pandemic.

New living fir trees have been installed in Melling and Birkdale, complimenting the already embedded trees in Crosby Village, Litherland, Hightown, Hillside, Seaforth and Thornton.


Four other community owned trees, in Crosby Village, Crossens, Marian Square and Southport (Bispham Road), will be illuminated thanks to funding from Sefton Council

Sustainable, cut tree will also be installed outside Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and at the Bootle Canalside site.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Every year around the start of summertime our hard working Neighbourhoods teams begin to put plans in place to ensure Sefton is a Borough of Christmas joy.

“What follows is six months of hard work, continued engagement and planning with the aim of ensuring that our communities Christmas trees are not only something to be proud of, but also contribute to  protecting our planet, supporting sustainable forestry, as well as remaining cost effective.

“An incredible amount of work goes into this project and we always ensure we keep sight of our shared goal of making Christmas special for everyone in Sefton.

“Site visits, ground and aerial surveys, changes to highway layout and then the creation of a pit or housing for the tree all needs to be completed before a tree can be installed and this takes months of work. I am proud of the efforts our teams put into this each and every year and we continue to look at new ways of sustainable Christmas tree provision.

“In cases where a cut tree is installed, we have a duty to ensure that it is sourced sustainably, will continue to contribute positively to the environment while in situ and, most importantly, new saplings are planted in is place for future generations.

“We take great pride in delivering as grand a Christmas as possible for our communities while being constantly faced by a number of different challenges. It is a testament to our team’s hard work and ongoing dedication that every year we continue to deliver festive trees in time for the holidays and numerous switch-on events.”

Widely praised

The living tree project, which began in 2017, was part of a widely praised sustainability plan to ensure communities had access to a Christmas tree which would develop and grow within its adopted surroundings.

Work is now underway to reassess the living tree project and explore a number of sustainable options now available to the local authority which will guarantee sustainable and eco-friendly tree provisions for the 2022 holiday period.

Southport Liveable Neighbourhoods Extended

A consultation on the Southport Liveable Neighbourhood scheme is being extended until mid December in order to continue ongoing engagement and discussion with the community.


Numerous ideas and suggestions have been put forward as part of the proposed scheme, which is part of Sefton Council’s ongoing work to create low traffic communities within the Borough.


The Southport Liveable Neighbourhoods Scheme was put forward earlier this year in partnership with transport charity Sustrans, in order to meet national, regional and local policies to encourage walking and cycling for short journeys, and help address Climate change, air quality, safety and the impact of traffic noise and congestion in our neighbourhoods.

The scheme is also intended to support safer walking and cycling to school for young people. 


Engagement sessions, leaflet drops and online surveys have so far been held to best capture the thoughts and input of the community where the Liveable Neighbourhoods project is proposed and Sefton Council has repeatedly reaffirmed its desire to work collaboratively with residents and businesses.


In order to continue this collaboration, Sefton Council have extended the Southport Liveable Neighbourhoods consultation deadline until Sunday, December 19th.


An open drop-in public engagement session will also be held at the Salvation Army Centre on Shakespeare Street, Southport on Tuesday, November 30th.

People are encouraged to book in advance of this drop-in session and are advised that the venue will be subject to covid secure measures.


Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said:

“These proposals are completely a collaborative process, where we want to work with and listen to the local community to co-design improvements to our neighbourhoods.


“That is why we have extended our in-depth consultation process, further allowing for an open forum for the whole community to get involved in, regardless of their views on the environment, transport and travel.


“We want as many people as possible to get involved in the process and there are lots of way for people to get involved. We will be writing to all households and businesses within this area to encourage continued engagement in this important conversation.


“We are working closely with Sustrans to ensure that we are seeking to engage the whole community in the Liveable Neighbourhoods; from school children to adults of all ages and business owners”


You can get involved to help design your streets here;




Fast becoming part of Bootle Strand Shopping Centre’s increasingly diverse offer is a community hub, continuing to support a thriving voluntary and charitable sector.

Acquisition of the Strand Shopping Centre in 2017 gave the Council control over the space and how it can be used to benefit the local community and economy. The Council’s aim was to make the Strand more than simply a place to shop and in line with that intention, it is becoming a space where people can spend time, find support, get involved and connect with a strong focus on social as well as financial outcomes.

Since 2017, Sefton Council and the centre have supported a number of voluntary organisations to take up residence in the Strand, as it becomes the heart of the town centre’s physical, social and economic regeneration.

The Strand is now providing a valuable gateway to inclusive support for the local communities. This is particularly the case for those with additional needs or those who need extra support. Organisations now located in the Strand include Y-Kids who run Kingsley and Co, a community children’s bookshop. Books cost as little as £1 to inspire creativity and encourage reading among children. The organisation contribute to the Strand’s community events programme on a regular basis, running events and competitions throughout the year, the latest ‘Dino Dig’ event saw 2000 people attend.

In December 2020, the Big Onion opened, transforming 6000 sqft of unused to let space to provide three layers of opportunity including a market space for 19 independent retailers, an employability hub and a community centre. The Big Onion supports young, local entrepreneurs who run stalls selling everything from craft items, bath bombs to collectibles and plays an integral part of our inclusive strategy to support local entrepreneurialism and talent, create jobs and strengthen communities.

The Strand also hosts Bootle Tool Shed, a community workshop who aim to combat social isolation among Bootle’s older population and produce fantastic products for people up and down the borough.

The community offer covers mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion, craft skills training, provision of musical instrument lessons and reading and employment support.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council said:

 “High streets up and down the country have suffered in recent times and we know that regeneration must mean more than solely new retail space.

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, town centres will have to present a diverse range of amenities and services with a strong community focus to succeed. Therefore, in this new era, the Strand must be more than just a shopping centre.

“I am delighted to see that work by dedicated and inspirational voluntary organisations is creating a community hub at the Strand, in the heart of one of the towns hardest hit by COVID-19.

“Purchasing the Strand Shopping Centre in 2017 gave us the opportunity to support our voluntary sector in the amazing work they do in our community. Our focus remains on economic and social outcomes for Bootle town centre, as well as the financial performance of the Strand. The Council’s ownership of the centre means we can agree tenancy for certain units with these fantastic organisations and create this thriving voluntary space in the centre of our town.

“After the disappointment of our Levelling Up Fund bids for Bootle and Crosby being rejected, we need these community groups more than ever to bring energy and passion to regenerate these areas that have once again been neglected by the Government.”


Rowland Parry, Centre Manager said

 “We have a great respect for the local Bootle community and have worked hard to attract tenants to the Strand Shopping Centre that are aligned to the needs of our population in Bootle and bring great value to local communities.”


Eddie Flynn, Bootle Tool Shed said:

 “The amount of people we reach would not be possible in any other setting, whether we are doing community projects or helping out aged community members, this could be something as simple as fixing a gate for somebody, to bigger park projects, we are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to the future.”


Y-Kids CEO Claire Morgans said:

“Operating out of the Strand allows us to connect with a huge portion of Bootle’s residents and enables us to be truly accessible to the community.

“Our family of charity organisations here at the Strand see the centre as a community hub for people to get support for themselves and to support each other.

“The future of town centres must have community as it’s heart. The passion for Bootle already exists in those of us who have worked in the voluntary sector for many years, the key to Bootle’s regeneration is to harness that energy.”

Sefton Council launch Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board to mark Adult Safeguarding Week

Sefton Council is marking Adults Safeguarding Week with the launch of its Safeguarding Adults Board, focused on the protection of adults and promotion of safeguarding across the Borough.

Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board’s purpose  is to help protect adults with care and support needs from abuse, harm and neglect. It brings together leaders and representatives from local organisations to ensure that safeguarding arrangements are in place and services in Sefton are high-quality and safe.

Partner agencies include senior representatives from acute hospitals, adult social care services, Merseyside Police, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Merseyside Fire & Rescue, probation service, public health, Healthwatch Sefton and the voluntary sector.

The Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board replaces the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board and provides a focus on Sefton-specific issues and priorities.

The Council will be sharing messages throughout the week to improve understanding of safeguarding adults, types of neglect or abuse that would require someone to need safeguarding and how to raise a concern with the department to secure support for the person(s) involved.


Cllr Paul Cummins, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:

“I am glad that Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board has launched in time for Adults Safeguarding Week so we can protect people in Sefton and raise awareness of this crucial issue.

“It can be hard to recognise signs of abuse or neglect and even harder to take action and raise a concern, but we all have a responsibility to each other to speak up if we see signs of abuse or neglect.

“Our fantastic teams will be sharing useful information all week to make it easier to spot abuse and neglect and to explain the process of raising any concerns.”


Nat Hendry-Torrance, designated Safeguarding Adult Manager for the CCGs in Sefton said:

“This year’s theme for Safeguarding Adults Week is ‘Creating Safer Cultures’ . This is about how organisations and individuals can take steps to minimise harm occurring in the first instance, while ensuring correct policies and procedures are in place so that safeguarding concerns that are raised, are recognised and responded to effectively.”

“As a newly formed Board for Sefton, our aim is to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and work together to make Sefton a safe place for all.”


People can find out more about the Sefton Safeguarding Adults Board on our website.




Students in Sefton show they are the climate leaders of the future for COP26

Students in Sefton have been given the chance to take part in their very own COP26 session on the last day of the UN conference in Glasgow.

Students have the chance to quiz local leaders and each other on the future of our planet, our emissions targets and will ask themselves what more can be done at a local and individual level to protect our planet.

Students will take part in a conference of two distinct but linked sessions, moving from UN-style dialogue through to what’s happening locally and what difference students can make.

Key speakers include:

  • Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education
  • Jon Gordon, Head of Enterprise at Autism Initiatives, Food (Community Farm)
  • Balazs Nagy from Hungary, our EU Independent Rapporteur
  • Anne-Marie Clegg, Environmental Education Officer, Sefton Council


Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:

“I was delighted to be invited to the Sefton Mock COP26 sessions to talk about climate action in Sefton.

“The Council declared a climate emergency back in 2019 and pledged to be net zero carbon by 2030 for all council operations so to come to this mock COP26 session and be quizzed on our plans by the climate leaders of the future has been a fantastic experience.

“There is so much passion for our planet among young people in Sefton and from everything I have seen today, we are in safe hands!”

The event was run by the Liverpool World Centre and aimed to bring students closer to global climate negotiations. Y7-Y11 school students were invited along to bring them closer to the international decision-making process, and to inspire local action.

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