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Huge response confirms need for Sefton Council’s free school meals scheme

On the second day of the scheme, Sefton Council is already dealing with thousands of applications for its October half term free school meals vouchers.

Sefton Council announced it would be running the scheme following Government’s decision not to provide free school meals during the current holiday. It has teamed up with ASDA to provide vouchers that families who qualify for free school meals can use to buy food.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “The response to our scheme has been huge and shows exactly why Sefton Council needed to step in swiftly and set up this scheme in partnership with ASDA.

“We have had thousands of applications already and are now working hard to process them as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Hardy has thanked Sefton’s local businesses and voluntary organisations who are providing packed lunches, food hampers and meals to local families.

“They are proving that together we are a Stronger community,” she said.

Details of the half term school meals scheme can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/half-term-meals.

Families who qualify for free school meals but don’t have Internet access can get printed vouchers from the Borough’s Family Wellbeing Centres. And those families who do not currently receive free school meals can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out if they are eligible and how to apply.

Cllr Hardy added: “Free school meals have been shown to improve health and help tackle health inequalities, as well as removing the poverty trap faced by parents trying to move into employment. That is why, with so many families being affected by coronavirus and the Government’s Tier 3 COVID restrictions, it was vital for the Council to set up this local scheme.

How to apply for free school meals in Sefton during October 2020 half term

Families in Sefton who receive free school meals, can now apply for meal vouchers for the October 2020 half term.

To apply for e-vouchers, Sefton residents need to fill out the form with their name, address, telephone number and email address and their children’s names, schools and dates of birth.

You can find the form here. 

The e-vouchers can be printed off or downloaded to a mobile phone and used in-store at any ASDA branch or used online at www.asda.com to buy food. The vouchers cannot be used to buy alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, phone top ups or stamps.

You can find out more about the scheme here.

Families who receive free school meals but who do not have access to e-mail can collect printed vouchers from a Family Wellbeing Centres. They need to phone to make an appointment and will need to wear a mask or face covering and remember to maintain space when they visit.

Sefton’s Family Wellbeing Centres are:

North Sefton

Linaker Family Wellbeing Centre
Linaker Street
Southport
PR8 5DQ
Tel: 0151 2886765

Farnborough Road
Birkdale
PR8 3DF
01704 572579

Talbot Street Family Wellbeing Centre
St Andrews Place
Southport
PR8 1HR
01704 534975

Formby Library and Family Wellbeing Centre
Duke Street
Formby
L37 4AN
0151 934 2063

Central Sefton

Netherton Family Wellbeing Centre
Magdalen Square
Netherton
Bootle
L30 5QH
0151 282 1405

Hudson Family Wellbeing Centre
Moorhey Road
Maghull
L31 5LE
0151 531 0117

Thornton Family Wellbeing Centre
Stannyfield Drive
Thornton
L23 1TY
0151 934 4991

Menai Family Wellbeing Centre
Menai Road
Bootle
L20 6PG
0151 288 6055

Litherland Family Wellbeing Centre
Boundary Road
Litherland
L21 7LA
0151 288 6661

South Sefton

Cambridge Family Wellbeing Centre
Cambridge Road
Bootle
L20 9LQ
0151 282 5436

Seaforth Family Wellbeing Centre
39 Caradoc Road
Seaforth
L21 4NB
0151 286 7807

Marie Clarke Family Wellbeing Centre
Linacre Lane
Bootle
L20 5AQ
0151 330 5260

Waterloo Family Wellbeing Centre
Waterloo Primary School
Crosby Road North
Waterloo
L22 0LD
0151 928 6539

People who do not have an e-mail address and who cannot get to a Family Wellbeing Centre can ring Sefton Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 from 8m to 6pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you do not currently receive free school meals, you can find out if you are eligible and how to apply here.

Sefton residents are eligible for free school meals if they receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit ONLY (not entitled/receiving Working Tax Credit) and have an income of less that £16190.00
  • Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit and have a net household income of less than £7400 per annum
  • Support under VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act

Announcing the scheme, Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “Sefton Council is putting in place a scheme to support children and their families accessing free school meals in the borough during this half term. We will be sharing more information on how to access the scheme as soon as possible.

“We will also continue to provide additional funding and support to our local voluntary sector partners, including the local food banks who are well stocked to enable them to help some of Sefton’s hardest hit families during these difficult times.

“Our family wellbeing centres in Talbot Street (Southport), Marie Clarke (Bootle) and Netherton also remain open to families who need their support during half-term. We have also increased the funding available to our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme, and would encourage anyone in Sefton who may need extra support at this time to contact the council on 0345 140 0845.”

Cllr Hardy added: “I would also like to express my sincere thanks to local businesses in Sefton, and our voluntary organisations, who  have once again come out in support of their local communities and have offered to provide packed lunches, food hampers and meals to struggling families. They have proven that Together We Are A Stronger Community”

Find out about Sefton’s October half term free meals scheme here.

Council is encouraging Borough’s entries for 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Sefton Council is encouraging the Borough’s artists as well as arts organisations and other community groups to get their nominations in for the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards.

Due to be announced in February 2021, the Awards will celebrate Liverpool City Region’s thriving culture and creativity, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 Awards will recognise arts and cultural events, and innovation and creative activity, which has taken place within the Liverpool City Region between 1st April 2019 and 12th November 2020. Nominations can be completed online and the closing date for entries is Friday 13th November 2020.

Nominations for the Awards can include individuals, organisations, businesses, groups or partnerships that have ‘demonstrated outstanding creative achievement through cultural activity at a local, Borough or Liverpool City Region level’.

Categories include Artist of the Year, Arts Organisation of the Year, Student Inspiration and special Covid-19 Creative Response awards for individuals and organisations. And, there is a Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’ Award to celebrate an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to Sefton’s Borough of Culture 20202 celebrations.

Find out more about the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards, the categories and the nominations process. 

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council and Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy Portfolio holder for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “Our Borough has a wealth of individuals and organisations involved in the arts and is a hotbed of creativity. We want to see that reflected in the entry for these prestigious City Region Culture and Creativity Awards.

“The Awards are for any creative activity that brings people together within their communities. They can be real or virtual and can include voluntary and community based social activity, creative approaches by businesses and researchers and those involved in the creation and delivery of professional arts and cultural events and performances.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives including the arts and our own Borough of Culture 2020 celebrations have been affected but I have seen huge levels of creativity despite the restrictions and these Awards with the special categories will celebrate that innovation.”

Cllr Maher also highlighted the fact that the period covered by the Awards starts from 1st April 2019, before anyone had heard of COVID-19.

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “These have been unprecedented times that have affected our Borough of Culture celebrations but we saw an unprecedentedly creative response from everyone involved.

“When the COVID-19 restrictions hit, individuals and organisations behind the planned Borough of Culture 2020 reacted swiftly. They adapted their projects and made them digital so that people could enjoy them and take part in the activities online, through home-based activities or even by post.

“Local people were able to enjoy and take part in online comedy and bingo create an origami squirrel and take part in a photography competition. ‘Playing In’ packs were delivered to vulnerable families along with food parcels, older people created memory boxes and we are marking the whole year by burying a time capsule.

“The 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards and particularly the Borough of Culture ‘Star of the Year’ category, are an ideal way to recognise this adaptability and determination to deliver projects that have helped lift local people’s spirits and provided fun things for people of all ages to do.”

Find out more about the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards, the categories and the nominations process. 

Finalists will be announced on Monday 5th January 2021 and the Liverpool City Region community will be able to vote for their chosen winner for the People’s Choice Award.

The Awards ceremony, which will be a digital event with presenters still to be announced, will take place on Friday 19th February 2021.

Finalists will be chosen from a panel of judges including Cultural Partnership Co-Chairs, Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll, Michelle Charters the CEO of Kuumba Imani, Alastair Machray, Editor in Chief, Reach PLC Merseyside and North Wales, Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool and Dinah Birch, Pro Vice Chancellor for Cultural Engagement, University of Liverpool.

Promotion and use of art and creativity can include but is not limited to the following art forms:

  • Performing Arts (including: Theatre, Dance, Music, Poetry, Opera)
  • Visual Arts (including design and public art)
  • Digital and VR
  • Photography
  • Film and broadcast media
  • Literature (including comedy and comics)
  • Museums, Galleries and Heritage
  • Sculpture
  • Craft
  • Technology

Public consultation on possible improvements at Southport Golf Links now underway

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton team has launched a public consultation on ways to improve the course and facilities at Southport Golf Links.

As well as the tees, greens and fairways, people taking part are asked to rate current facilities including the reception and shop, changing rooms and toilets and parking and signage.

Participants are asked to indicate and prioritise on possible future improvements they would like to see at Southport Golf Links, including a new driving range, a chipping and bunker area, a putting green and floodlights. They can also comment on improvements they would like to see to the current facilities, including the White House Café.

Work to improve the course by redesigning is also among proposals on which people can express their views. And, as part of Sefton Council’s commitment to combating climate change, the consultation also includes questions about renewable energy, sustainable irrigation, recycling and reducing the use of plastics and improving existing wildlife habitat on the course.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The results of this anonymous survey will help our Green Sefton service plan any possible future developments at Southport Golf Links and we want to hear from current users but also golfers who might consider using an improved course.

“Although no specific funding has yet been identified for investment at Southport Golf Links, as a result of feedback from last year’s similar consultation on Bootle Golf course, plans are now underway to create the new driving range that people told us they wanted to see as part of improved practice facilities at the course.”

Take part in the consultation.

The consultation opened last week and closes on Friday 20th November.

Southport Golf Links was originally opened in 1912 as a 9-hole course on reclaimed land bordering the Irish Sea. During the 1930s more land was reclaimed and it was extended to 18 holes. The course’s designer was Harry Shapland Colt who, in his time, was one of the world’s leading golf course architects.

Government agrees City Region gyms will re-open

On BBC Radio Merseyside this morning, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region said:

I’d like to read a short statement on behalf of; Cllr Rob Polhill (Halton) – Cllr Graham Morgan (Knowsley) – Mayor Joe Anderson (Liverpool) – Cllr Ian Maher (Sefton) – Cllr David Baines (St Helens) and Cllr Janette Williamson (Wirral), which reads:

“On behalf of the Leaders and MPs across our City Region – I entered into further talks with 10 Downing Street last night to highlight the inconsistencies of the measures that we had been placed under – following the Government’s decision to impose Tier 3 restrictions in our area.

“Collectively we have consistently requested the scientific evidence that supported the imposition of the suite of measures under tier 3 – and we have pointed out the inconsistencies of approach following the announcement that Lancashire would not have exactly the same package of restrictions as our City Region.

“Talks continued till late last night – and the Government have agreed with the case that I put forward  – that they would now bring us in line with other Tier 3 area – so that (like Lancashire and Greater Manchester) – soft play areas would be closed – but that gyms could reopen.

“I argued that gyms in the Liverpool City Region were no less safe than those in Lancashire – that had been allowed to remain open.

“I also convinced them that – as we now had local Test and Tracing (and had been chosen as a pilot area to trial new Test Technologies) – we could manage the safety of gym users as well as anywhere in the country.

“The Government will now include the provision to rescind their original decision – when they lay the legislation before Parliament tomorrow – on the orders for Greater Manchester.”

 

 

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