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Local Testing Site for Southport- Updated Statement

One of the first Local Testing Sites in Merseyside will be in Southport.

Southport Town Hall will host a walk-in test centre from 6th August.

Some neighbouring businesses had expressed concern about the location of the test centre and in particular the exit and entrance to the Test Centre being within the One Stop Shop via Cambridge Arcade.

Sefton Council have negotiated with the private sector providers working on behalf of the DHSC, and they have agreed to make some changes to the layout of the test centre, including how people enter and exit the building, which should address the concerns of local traders.  Access to the Test Centre will be via Corporation Street.

The availability of a semi-permanent test facility within walking distance of a large proportion of residents is vital to the country’s recovery from Covid-19.

It’s important that anyone who has the coronavirus symptoms of a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in their normal sense of taste or smell visits  or calls 119 to book a test.

Local children are being asked to brighten up the test centre by sending in drawings, paintings, and other colourful artworks which will be displayed in the two test sites in Sefton (Bootle and Southport).  You can post completed masterpieces to Sefton Council, Bootle Town Hall, Oriel Road, L20 7AE, or email them to

Sefton residents urged to donate face coverings to foodbanks

With face coverings becoming compulsory in shops from Friday 24 July, foodbanks across Sefton Borough are now accepting donations of face masks or coverings in addition to other items.

South Sefton Foodbank, Southport Foodbank and Shoreline Foodbank are accepting donations of face coverings using the Foodbank Collection Points in local supermarkets and shops.

Donations could range from disposable masks to homemade coverings, which the Foodbanks will then distribute to their users.

Debbie Shelley Manager at South Sefton Foodbank and Richard Own Chief Executive Officer at Compassions Acts, said: “People are incredibly generous in their donations of food and toiletries to support the foodbank, if amongst the things they would like to donate to us they include face coverings this would be really helpful.”

They added: “We realised that face coverings are not always easy to find and represent an additional cost for people who may already be facing financial challenges. By donating face coverings you will be helping people to access the services they need to support them at this time. We are reliant of the kindness of local people to support the foodbanks in the north and south of the borough. These are challenging  times with more  people using the foodbanks for support, we cannot thank local people enough for their ongoing generosity”.

Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while still allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably. They can easily be made from things people have at home like an old t-shirt, or by simply tying a scarf or bandana behind your head. You can leave a donation at your local supermarket at the Foodbank collection point.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Many vulnerable people in our communities are facing a number of issues and worries at the moment so I am pleased to see this initiative to help ensure masks and face coverings are available to everyone across the Borough.”

She added: “I hope the people of Sefton will continue to show the generosity they have throughout the pandemic and remember to add masks or face coverings to their donations when they visit the supermarket.”

Find details of foodbanks in Sefton here

For more information and FAQ’s on face coverings, click here

Prepare to don face coverings in shops from Friday 24th July

Face coverings will become mandatory in shops from Friday 24th July and Sefton Council is urging people to fully comply with the rules and keep each other as safe as we can on our high streets.

With shops now open and people encouraged to get back out onto our high streets, it is important that we do everything we can to protect our community and continue to reduce the level of transmission.

Face coverings protect others from droplets from your nose and mouth if you are asymptomatic. If we all wear one, we can reduce transmission between households

Many people may be confused by the new guidance or unsure how to use a face covering properly.

Margaret Jones, Interim Director of Public Health for Sefton, explained: “A face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.

“They can be easily made from things you have at home like an old t-shirt, or you can simply tie a scarf or bandana behind your head.

She continued: “Whatever you use, it is important to wash your hands before putting it on and after taking it off. Face coverings can be reused, just store in a plastic bag until you have the chance to wash it with your other laundry.”

Below is a handy FAQ series to help people understand face coverings

Where should you wear a mask?

People already have to wear face coverings on public transport and in hospitals

From Friday 24th July, face coverings will be mandatory in shops.

Which type of mask should you choose?

It is not necessary for you to wear a medically approved surgical mask.

Cloth masks or homemade face coverings are sufficient to reduce transmission

Are homemade masks effective?

Face coverings are effective in blocking droplets from your nose and mouth.

They are designed to protect others from catching COVID-19 from you, they are not designed to protect you from catching COVID-19.

However if everyone wears a face covering, transmission can be reduced which will protect us all.

What material should you choose?

Tightly woven fabric with a high thread count is best. A combination of fabrics, for example an absorbent inner layer and a waterproof outer layer works well.

Is a scarf just as good?

A scarf is acceptable, but it is not as effective as a face covering that fits snugly around your nose, chin and cheeks.

How many layers should your mask have?

The best masks are made up of three layers or more, with a filter layer in the middle, like a paper towel or piece of silk that can be replaced

How should it fit?

A face covering should fit snugly on your nose, chin and cheeks but still be breathable and comfortable.

How clean do your hands need to be before touching your face covering?

You should wash your hands before putting on a face covering and do the same when you remove it

How do you prevent your glasses from steaming up?

Tuck your  face covering under your glasses and secure the face covering with your glasses lower down on your nose.

If it fits snugly on your nose and cheeks this problem should be reduced.

Should you change your mask during the day?

One face covering should be sufficient throughout the day, if it becomes damp it is less effective and can cause skin irritation so you should try to avoid this

How often should you wash it?

You should wash your face covering after every use.

How should you wash it?

You can wash your face covering with your normal laundry

Do children have to wear face coverings?

Children under 11 are exempt from mandatory face coverings and children under 3 should not wear one. Children with breathing difficulties, disabilities or who are unable to put on or take a mask off unassisted are also exempt.

Who shouldn’t wear a face covering ?

People with breathing difficulties, disabilities or who are unable to put on or take a mask off unassisted are also exempt.

If you are travelling with someone who relies on lip-reading, you are not required to wear a mask

You can find the full details of the Government’s rules on face covering here.

Sefton Council remembers during Srebrenica Memorial Week

The UK’s Srebrenica Memorial Week for 2020 will be taking place from 5th to 12th July.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, in which over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War, simply because of their religious identity.

As an organisation we believe that we must ensure that we never forget about the genocide and reaffirm our commitment to standing up against all forms of hatred and prejudice that targets groups based on their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or any type of difference.

Southport Town Hall will fly the flag from 3rd July to the 12th July to mark this anniversary and to encourage our community to remember this atrocity.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Every Action Matters’. The theme will seek to encourage every person to reflect upon their own behaviour and choices that they take, and demonstrate that however insignificant it may seem, every action matters, whether positive or negative.

‘Every Action Matters’ calls upon everyone to look back at the lessons from Srebrenica and think forward about our individual moral obligations to do something, no matter how small, to make a difference. It aims to motivate people to show people that their actions can, and do matter, and that we must always challenge hatred, prejudice and genocide denial.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said : ‘It is now more important than ever for us to come together to celebrate diversity and to stand together in solidarity against hatred and discrimination. We mark this sad anniversary to make sure we do not forget the horrors of the past and to ensure we all learn from them.’

You can find out more and take part in the ‘Every Action Matters Personal Challenge: 11 actions to mark 11th July’ here

Our libraries will be highlighting important books on Srebrenica throughout the week on their social media channels, follow them here.

At 7pm on the 11th, the Remembering Srebrenica organisation will be broadcasting the UK National Srebrenica Memorial Day Commemoration online on their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts, more details in the following link:

Local residents and businesses invited to help shape the vision for Southport’s future

A consultation is to be launched next week (Monday 29th June) on a future vision for Southport. The consultation is part of the first stage of the Towns Deal, which was launched by the Government last year. As part of the Towns Deal, Southport is one of just 100 towns across the country invited to bid for a share of the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Deals Fund.

Since November 2019 a number of conversations have taken place with local residents and businesses to discuss how that money might be spent if the bid is successful. Over a thousand items of initial feedback have been gathered from the Government’s #MyTown campaign, interviews with representatives of local groups and surveys completed by social media users. This feedback has helped to shape a number of ‘Big Ideas’ that will feed into the Southport Town Investment Plan, a document that will become the first stage in the process of securing a Town Deal.

Work on the Town Investment Plan is being undertaken by Sefton Council and overseen by the Southport Town Deal Board, a group made up of a number of representatives from key businesses and community groups in the town.

Rob Fletcher, Chair of the Town Deal Board, said ‘This is an exciting opportunity to invest in Southport’s future – the resilience of its economy and culture for the benefit of the community. Following initial conversations we have gathered feedback from residents, businesses and leaders in Southport. This feedback has helped us put together a number of Big Ideas and themes, which could help to guide the future of the town.

These Big Ideas aim to encourage more people to visit and stay in Southport, provide better opportunities for local businesses to grow, and ensure residents have every opportunity to make the best of our very special town.”

Consultation on the draft Vision and the Big Ideas for Southport will run from Monday 29th June until Monday 20th July – local residents, businesses and visitors are invited to provide their comments online at

Those without internet access are encouraged to call the consultation hotline on 0808 168 8296.

Rob Fletcher, added ‘This consultation is part of the first stage of an evolving process to unlock Government funding for Southport. The Big Ideas on the website present our initial thoughts; we encourage everyone in Southport to participate and share their own views on how £25 million could be used on projects in the town. The consultation will run until Monday 20th July. Following submission of the Town Investment Plan there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved during the next stages of the Town Deal and we plan to undertake further engagement in the future.”

Following the consultation, the Town Deal Team are due to submit a Southport Investment Plan to the Government later this summer.

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