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Sefton Council work with HSE to ensure businesses are COVID secure

Sefton Council has been working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) checking on businesses to make sure they are COVID-secure.

Sefton Council’s Environmental Health officers and HSE inspectors have been conducting spot checks and inspections on businesses from all different sectors in the area to check they are following government guidelines.

Being COVID-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk from coronavirus to protect workers, visitors and customers.

Sefton Council is responsible for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in sectors which includes shops, pubs and restaurants, whereas HSE regulates health and safety in areas such as construction and manufacturing.

By putting in COVID-secure measures to protect employees, visitors and members of the local community, it will help businesses to continue operating, which is key to the local economy.

During the checks, advice and guidance can be provided to help businesses implement work practices that reduce the risk of virus transmission, but where businesses are not managing this, enforcement action can be taken. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, prosecution.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, from Sefton Council, said: “As the Liverpool City Region has further lockdown measures in place, ensuring workplaces are COVID-secure needs to remain a main priority for all businesses in Sefton and beyond.

“It is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

“Being COVID-secure can help reduce these risks and we want every business in the borough to follow the guidelines that ultimately protects our communities.

“Working with the HSE has enabled us to target the whole of the Sefton area from small businesses to large manufacturers, whether Local Authority or HSE enforced, ensuring all workplaces understand the importance of being COVID-secure.”

Sally Nicholson, HSE Head of Operations, North West, said: “Across the country we are working with local authorities, like Sefton Council, ensuring businesses are checked and are COVID-secure.

“All workplaces are in scope which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check, by us or a local authority.

“If you are contacted by the HSE or your local authority, please engage with us as it is your duty to ensure employees and visitors at a workplace are protected from the virus.

“By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of local communities as well as support the local and national UK economy.”

HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.

For more information on HSE’s spot checks and inspections, see www.hse.gov.uk/campaigns/spot-inspections.htm

For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk

Self Isolation Payments Scheme for Sefton residents who are self isolating

People on low incomes may be eligible for a £500 payment if they are required to self-isolate.

If you are in receipt of certain benefits and cannot work during your self-isolation period then you can apply for the one-off Test and Trace Support payment.

The new scheme is aimed at ensuring people self-isolate when they are required to, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

People who fail to self-isolate when required could face fines of up to £10,000.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

You must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from when your symptoms begin, or if you have tested positive and show no symptoms. You must self-isolate for 14 days if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The Test and Trace Support Payment comes into effect from Monday 28 September, with claims eligible to be back-dated from the launch date.

Applications for those who qualify must be made to Sefton Council. Claimants will be asked to provide proof of NHS Test and Trace requesting they self-isolate, a bank statement and proof of employment or self-employment (such as evidence of self-assessment returns).

From 28 September you face a penalty between £1,000 and £10,000 for failing to self-isolate when required.

More information on how to apply for the payment will be available soon on the Sefton website https://www.sefton.gov.uk/sefton-home.aspx

Cllr. Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council Cabinet Member, said:

“Self-isolating is vital in stopping the spread of coronavirus, which is why these new measures have been introduced. Self-isolating is one of the simplest and most effective means of containing the virus and we need everyone to take responsibility and play their part in ensuring people are protected.”

High tides mean Ainsdale Beach Car Park closed Friday 18, Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September

Ainsdale beach car park will be closed  on Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September because of high tides.

This is to prevent the risk of damage to vehicles parked on the beach.

 

Neighbours from Litherland transform their overgrown alleyway into an amazing community garden

It all started during the lockdown, when the residents of Rufford Road, Jenny and Helen setup a Facebook group to keep an eye on their neighbours, making sure everyone was OK during this worrying time.

Realising how little outside space they have whilst working from home and seeing how much potential space was going to waste in the alleyway.

The residents decided to give the alleyway a new lease of life and started to transform it into a community garden for all the residents to enjoy.

After getting in touch with their local councillors to help with the removal of the bulky waste and rubbish, the resident set about pressure-washing and weeding the cobbles before putting out garden furniture and planters.

The cobbled alleyway now hosts puppet shows, swing ball competitions, board games and even socially distanced toasted marshmallow evenings. 

The space has been decorated with bunting and garland lights, along with hanging baskets, colourful flower pots and Miss Hurst their very own seagull scarer.

They’ve also started to grow their own produce, such as strawberries, chillies, coriander and mint.

Jenny McKechnie, Rufford Community Garden Said: “When we started this the alleyway was full of fly-tipping, we had couches, hoovers and washing machines, but within less than two months we’ve managed to get the alleyway all cleaned.

“It’s a lovely safe space for the children to play in and the children love playing out here.

“Having the community garden keeps the alleyway clean and safe, so you can enjoy the space we’ve created as well as your own backyard, knowing that the alleyway is clean.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:   We are really delighted to see what an amazing job the community has done in Rufford Road.

“The residents have worked with the Council, turning what was an ugly alleyway, filled with rubbish and weeds, into a wonderful community space, where everyone can enjoy and help bring the community together.

“The residents have used their time in lockdown to create something special and have been able to make some fantastic friends along the way.

“I would also like to say a big well done to everyone involved in making this community garden possible”

Cllr John Kelly, Sefton Council’s Ward Member for Litherland Said: It great to see some many residents taken control over the rear of their properties.” 

“We will help the resident as much as we can in cleaning up their alleyways, with the resources we have within the area, but ultimately, it’s down to the residents to take control and look after their alleyways.”

Helen Davis Taylor, Rufford Community Garden Said: “I would highly recommend anyone thinking of transforming your alleyway.

“Speak to your neighbours and try to encourage as many households to get involved and create a great community space.

“It’s an excellent way to get to know your neighbours and make new friends.”

Rufford Road Community Garden has set up an Instagram page to share tips and inspire others to get outside and clean up the Alleyway spaces – you can see more at https://www.instagram.com/ruffordcommunitygarden/

Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership warning people that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated

We are warning that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated as organisations across Sefton urge people to continue to be sensible on the Sefton coastline this Bank Holiday weekend.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners.

The partnership has again joined forces to remind visitors to the area to respect local residents and the beaches, parks and beauty spots in Sefton.

Sefton Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “Throughout August, we have been reminding visitors to Sefton to act responsibly and I am pleased to say the overwhelming majority have done so.

“We have had some reports of littering, fire and BBQs being lit as well as people drinking alcohol on the beaches. We have also seen cars being parked illegally and without consideration for homeowners whose drives have been blocked.

“We know that this coastline is a beautiful part of the world and are realistic about the fact that people will want to spend time here over the Bank Holiday, especially in nice weather.

“But we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, underage drinking, drug taking and other issues that could have a detrimental impact on other people visiting as well as local residents.

“I want to remind everyone that a Public Spaces Protection Order has been in place since 2018 prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in areas including Formby, Crosby and Ainsdale beaches – and we have taken alcohol from people approaching the beach areas.

“We will be out in force – on foot, in patrols cars, on quad bikes and anyone acting anti-socially should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner, and we will also support other agencies in their work.

“We will continue to encourage people to keep to coronavirus guidelines, to protect themselves and others, and if necessary we will disperse people and take enforcement action.

“Those who are looking to enjoy our open spaces sensibly and safely should not have to be confronted with anti-social behaviour of any kind, and I want to reassure those affected that we will again make a co-ordinated effort to prevent such incidents from occurring so that your own enjoyment of the area is not spoiled by an ignorant minority.

“We have a number of tools at our disposal to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour, including the introduction of Dispersal Zones, but it is our hope that people visiting the area will treat the environment and residents with respect.”

Community Safety Coordinator for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Michael Buratti said:
“We want people to have fun and enjoy the Sefton coast, however this must be done without creating fire risks and increasing demand on emergency services. We would like to remind people that deliberately starting a fire is arson.

“Deliberate fires are investigated and the Arson Team will be working with Merseyside Police, Local Authorities and other agencies to identify offenders. Parents – please speak to your children about the very real consequences of arson for themselves and others.”

Kate Martin, Area Ranger at National Trust Formby, said: “Everyone who visits Formby and the Sefton coastline can see how special this place is. However, litter and fires can seriously impact our conservation work to protect what makes it so special, from some of the best mobile sand dune habitat in the UK to our rare wildlife such as the native red squirrel, Natterjack Toads and Northern Dune Tiger Beetles.

“That’s why, together with our partners in the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership, we’re asking all visitors to ‘leave nothing but your footprints’. Take your litter home or use the bins provided in our car parks. Don’t use barbecues or light fires, as a single spark can cause a lot of damage to our precious nature and wildlife, as well as take away valuable time and resources from our emergency services.”

Dave Mercer, Senior Reserve Manager for Natural England’s Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve said:  I’d just like to mirror the message from our colleagues at the National Trust; the amazing nature reserves on the Sefton coast are here for the quiet enjoyment of the countryside and for the very special rare wildlife they support.

“Our staff and volunteers work hard all year to ensure they are safe and inspiring places for all visitors to enjoy – when you visit please follow the countryside code and keep dogs under close control, ‘share with care’ when cycling and of course take all your rubbish home with you.  We’ve had several dangerous wildfires to deal with this year so please leave the BBQ at home and help protect people and wildlife.

You can follow #MySefton and #Beachsafe on social media for more advice, news and videos, and via the following channels:
@SeftonCouncil @MerseyFire @Merseytravel @RNLI @BTPMersey @NaturalEngland @NTFormby

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