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Sefton Council clears the air on pollution initiatives

As National Clean Air Day (June 20) approaches, Sefton Council is reflecting on the work it has done to protect the borough’s air and help minimise the effects of air pollution on residents.

The Council continues to support and maintain a number of initiatives aimed at limiting the impact heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) using major port routes have on air quality. A port booking system was recently developed which means that all vehicles destined for the port in Bootle now have a specific arrival and departure time. This has reduced waiting times for HGVs waiting to enter and leave the port and therefore reduced pollutant emissions from the port estate.

The Council also continues to fund the ECOstars fleet recognition scheme which rewards operators for ensuring their fleets are energy efficient. There are now around 3,000 vehicles taking part in the scheme with 4 and 5 star ratings.

Improvements to traffic light systems continue to be made to ensure that Sefton’s infrastructure is optimised for maintaining vehicle flows and minimising congestion. This work includes the implementation of a Hurry Call System at Millers Bridge which prioritises green lights for approaching HGVs.

The council is also working closely with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to identify HGVs operating with emission controls systems deactivated. During the pilot of the project, 10% of vehicles stopped were fitted with cheat devices, this project is set to continue in the Summer of 2019.

But it’s not just HGVs that are air pollution culprits, the Council recently launched its anti-idling campaign to target buses, taxis and parents on the school run and encourage them to switch off their car engines when waiting for passengers.

Sefton Council continues to work closely with schools to ensure that its youngest residents are aware of both the causes and risks of air pollution and the steps they can take to avoid it. Southport Eco Centre is set to launch it’s ‘Clean Air Crew’ website on Thursday (June 20) which is jam-packed with teaching resources and interactive learning opportunities. The site has been developed thanks to active engagement with schools and can be found at www.southportecocentre.com/cleanaircrew 

Thanks to recent grant funding from DEFRA, the Council is preparing to introduce an intensive road cleaning project that will aim to reduce particulate levels in Sefton’s air pollution hotspots. This grant funding from DEFRA will also help to fund research into the use of solid fuels for domestic heating and help to develop a behaviour change project.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “Air pollution isn’t something that the Council can tackle alone and while there are a number of schemes and programmes in place to approach the issue, we all need to do our bit to make a difference.

“This may be as little as turning off your car engine when you’re doing the school run or it could be making the decision to switch to alternative travel like walking, cycling or using public transport.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: “Air pollution continues to pose a real threat to public health and we are dedicated to remaining transparent to our communities about the threat posed by air pollution and the steps residents can take to avoid exposure.

“You can check air quality readings online at www.breathingspace.sefton.gov.uk.”

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Sefton Council, said: “Each year I develop a Public Health Annual Report to look closely at key issues that affect the health and wellbeing of residents. This year the report focuses on air quality in further detail.

“As we approach National Clean Air Day, I’ve decided to release a short excerpt of the report ahead of its official release. You can view the clip by visiting www.sefton.gov.uk/PHAR.”

Diane Blair, Manager at Healthwatch Sefton, said: “Air quality is an issue which local residents have raised with us and we have this on our work plan to monitor.

“We will continue to work with Sefton Council to share local feedback we receive and gain assurances that air quality remains a priority area”.

Brendon Prescott deputy chief nurse at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said “Air quality can have a significant impact on health, particularly for children, older people, those with underlying conditions and those exposed to higher levels of pollution because of living or commuting in urban areas.”

“That’s why together with Sefton Council we’re supporting clean air day and helping to raise awareness amongst residents of how their health can be affected by air pollution and of the actions they can take to reduce their exposure to harmful pollutants.”

Next of kin appeal Kenneth Statham

Sefton Coroner’s Office are appealing for information to find the next of kin for a Southport man who was found deceased earlier this week.

67-year-old Kenneth Statham was found on Tuesday 11 June at his home address in Stamford Road. His death is not being treated as suspicious. 

Anyone who may be able to assist is asked to contact Coroners Investigation Officer Clair Sajewicz on 0151 777 3754 or via email at Sefton.coroners.office@merseyside.pnn.police.uk

Girlguiding in Birkdale needs you!

Girl Guides Birkdale District is looking for adults over the age of 18 to run Rainbows (age 5-7), Brownies (age 7-10) and Guides (age 10-14).

If you live in the Southport area and are interested in volunteering with young people, then you could be just right for the guides.

The right person will be willing to give up 1-2 hours per week to help girls reach their full potential in girlguiding by running meeting activities, helping out on trips and working towards badges.

There is a particular need for people who are willing to take on the responsibility of running a unit to help prevent the closure of units in the area.

There will be plenty of support from the district team and a great opportunity to complete a leadership qualification, learn new skills and have fun.

All leaders will need to supply two references and undertake a DBS check (paid for by girlguiding).

Girlguiding is a great way for young people to meet new friends and it’s groups like theses that the Council is keen to promote during Sefton’s #YearofFriendship. The work of volunteers is crucial to these activities and also presents opportunities for the adults taking part to meet new people and make make new friends themselves.

If you’re interested in getting involved or would like more information please contact girlguidingbirkdaledistrict@gmail.com

 

Diabetes programmes in Sefton gains accreditation

Programmes in Sefton that support people living with diabetes are the first in Merseyside to be recognised by a nationally respected institute in time for Diabetes Week 2019.

The two patient education programmes offered by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are Diabetes and You, which helps educate people that have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and Diabetes and More, which focuses on supporting those who have been living with diabetes for more than twelve months.

Dr Nigel Taylor, diabetes lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Our diabetes programmes consist of two, two and a half hour sessions, and are run by a team of diabetes specialties nurses, dieticians and paediatricians.

“Both of these diabetes programmes are incredibly valuable to the people of Sefton. Not only do they support people living with Type 2 diabetes, these programmes also support their carers and family members.”

Following a review by the Quality Institute for Self Management Education & Training (QISMET), the Diabetes and You and Diabetes and More programmes have gained accreditation for their high quality service and effectiveness. QISMET is an independent not-for-profit body that supports self-management providers and commissioners to achieve the highest possible quality service for people living with long-term health conditions.

Residents who have attended past programmes have found them highly beneficial, as this person explains:

“I found the sessions very informative and will take on board the advice I have been given.”

Another former attendee said: “I was in a bit of denial because of the health diet and exercise elements but this has given me insight and really improved my knowledge.”

Dr Doug Callow, diabetes lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Diabetes Week is a great opportunity to learn how to manage your diabetes but of course we promote this all year round. These sessions will teach you about healthy eating, your medication, lifestyle advice and more. I would encourage anyone who has Type 2 diabetes to attend.”

The education sessions are held at a variety of locations and times across Sefton. If you would like to attend, you can request a referral from your GP or practice nurse.

Diabetes Week takes place from 10 June – 16 June 2019. For more information visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/diabetes-week

For more information on QISMET visit their website.

Council grants help high streets bloom

Sefton Council has delivered almost £9000 in grants to help community groups improve their local high street.

Ainsdale in Bloom, Bootle in Bloom, Crosby and Waterloo in Bloom, Litherland in Bloom, Lord Street in Bloom and Maghull in Bloom have all benefited from a cash injection from the Council that will allow them to invest in new equipment, plants and greenery.

This money was made available thanks to a Government grant aimed at helping local authorities clean up their high streets.

In Bloom groups are volunteer led community gardening groups who dedicate their own time and resources to help improve the appearance of their local highways, parks and greenspaces by planting plants and flowers and installing artwork.

However, In Bloom isn’t just about flowers, it encourages volunteers and the local community to improve their environment by undertaking litter-picks and tackling grot-spots.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for locality services said: “The work of In Bloom groups is invaluable to our communities, especially as we see an increased demand on our services. These volunteers are a credit to Sefton and play a key role in helping to keep our borough clean, green and beautiful.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support these groups financially and better enable them to continue doing their brilliant work and help Sefton’s high streets bloom.”

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