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Southport-based Great Escape project will help local jobseekers learn new skills and increase employability

Poster for Great Escape initiativeJobseekers in Sefton are being offer the chance to develop new skills that would enable them to deliver arts-based projects in local communities.

Drama and music

The Great Escape is a series of drama and music workshops taking place at Southport’s Market Quarter. Funded through the European Social Fund and supported by Sefton Market, The Great Escape is being led by local drama school and an agency Acting Angels and Job Centre’s Sefton Partnership Manager.

Successful applicants will be paid £10 for each of the eight, weekly tutorial sessions the go to. They will also receive £5 expenses for both the interview, enrolment exit appointments.

Confidence & self esteem

Participants must be aged over 19 and be residents in Merseyside. The weekly sessions are based around building individuals’ confidence, improving their self-esteem and broadening their social circle.

Those taking part will also learn a new set of arts and community-based skills that will increase their employability.

To apply or find out more people should contact Acting Angels on 07970 365 422 or email dramaschool@actingangels.co.uk.

Sefton’s Blundellsands & Victoria ward councillors funding study to help determine future of Crosby’s Coronation Park Lake

Sefton’s Blundellsands and Victoria ward councillors have committed funding for a report on possible future uses for the lake in Crosby’s Coronation Park.

Prioritised

Following a recent consultation about the potential development of the Park, improvements to the lake have been prioritised by the Coronation Park Friends Group working with Green Sefton.

Cllrs Natasha Carlin, Christine Howard and Diane Roscoe who represent the Blundellsands ward and Cllrs Leslie Byrom, Janet Grace and Michael Roche who represent the Victoria ward have agreed to make funds available for a consultant feasibility report on potential ideas for the lake.

Family-friendly

Announcing the funding, the two wards’ councillors said: “The Lake is an important focal point in Coronation Park, and we want to develop a new vision for it that is family-friendly and is sustainable, not relying on mains water.

“There have been suggestions that it could be more of a natural feature where local people can experience local wildlife in the future.

“Like local residents and the Coronation Park Friends Group we are keen to see the lake returned to an attractive feature of the park and look forward to seeing the outcome of this feasibility study.”

Find out more about Sefton’s parks and greenspaces.

Council’s work on Sefton’s very own ‘Nile’ reduces Birkdale residents’ flooding risk and provides boost for Borough’s amphibian friends

Sefton Council has finished the first part of works to improve drainage in the Birkdale coastal area.

As a result of the work, the risk of flooding to properties in the area by surface water has been reduced and habitats in the green beach area have been improved.

A flooded slack in winter. Picture by John Dempsey
A flooded slack in winter. Picture by John Dempsey.

Nile and Taggs

The works has been carried out on the Nile and Taggs watercourses in the dune system on the coastal side of the Coastal Road in Birkdale. These channel surface water drainage from properties inland and the road itself.

The existing system is believed to be part of the Cheshire Lines railway line, which was built in the late 1800s.

Dune and saltmarsh

Since then, the level of the beach has risen and the dune and saltmarsh area is also more than 150cm (5 feet) higher in some areas. This has restricted the water from draining onto the foreshore, resulting in flooding inland and silt building up in the watercourses, further compounding the issue.

The improvements have cleared the debris and reconnected the watercourses with the open coast, allowing the water to freely drain away. The work was designed to ensure that water drains through the reserve area constantly but slowly, allowing it to be filtered naturally and behave much like a sustainable drainage system, before the water eventually finds its way across the green beach and onto the foreshore.

Short and long-term

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Flood risk is a serious issue for residents across the Borough and our officers are dedicated to finding both short and long-term mitigation and solutions to it.

“It’s fantastic to see the delivery of vital improvements like this being delivered by our Green Sefton team.”

Careful steps were taken during the work to ensure that there was no disturbance to existing areas of botanical importance or to any of the ‘special features’ of the Site of Special Scientific Interest, such as the flocks of wading birds or wildfowl that call the foreshore home.

Essential drainage works at Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve will also indirectly improve the habitats in ways that will increase opportunities for our insect, amphibian and botanical natives.

You can find advice about flooding on our website.

Partnership was ‘key’ in face of COVID says Sefton Council Health Service Annual Review

Partnership and the importance of working together is the underlying theme of a new video and report from Sefton Council’s Public Health service.

Protect and support

Looking back at the COVID-19 pandemic, the new annual report highlights how the Council’s Public Health team worked closely with colleagues in the health sector, Sefton Voluntary Services (CVS), care homes and schools to protect and support people across the Borough.

The video report also highlights the important role played by Sefton’s residents, communities and businesses in protecting each other from COVID.

Quickly adapted

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “This report looks back at the effects of the COVID-19 and the way in which our Public Health team and out partners quickly adapted and found new ways of working with each other to deal with the unprecedented pandemic.

“It is a testament to the dedication of our officers and their colleagues in what they did and continue to do all they could to protect those most vulnerable to the serious and potentially fatal impact of the coronavirus.

“But it is also a tribute to the way in which residents and businesses stepped up and followed the guidance and rules to keep each other safe and shows the strength of community in our Borough.

“Once again I would like to thank everyone across Sefton for all the sacrifices they have made and also to all Council’s and our partners’ hardworking staff who have delivered services to keep us all safe and well during incredibly difficult times.”

Caution

Cllr Moncur said that while the COVID-19 has still not gone away, and the Council is still urging people to ensure they are fully vaccinated and to exercise caution when out and about in busy places.

He added: “COVID-19 presented us with huge challenges but also plenty of valuable lessons in Public Health and right across the Council in how we can work together and as we move forward.”

May start for Council consultation on selective and additional licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

In May, Sefton Council will be a carrying out a public consultation on its proposal to extend its Selective and Additional (HMO) licensing schemes for a further five-years.

Under the scheme, private landlords in some parts of Sefton have been required to licence their properties since 1st March 2018. It ends on 28th February 2023.

Further five years

In December 2021, Sefton Council’s Cabinet agreed to consult with residents, private landlords, businesses, and other stakeholders on proposals to re-designate their Selective and Additional (HMO) licensing schemes for the further five-year period from March next year until March 2028.

The 12-week consultation will start on Monday 9th May 2022 and will cover the proposals to re-designate Selective Licensing across Bootle. It will also include proposals for Additional (HMO) Licensing across parts of Seaforth/Waterloo/Brighton-le-Sands and central Southport.

Improvements

As a result of the current licencing schemes, Sefton Council has been able to make improvements in the standards of management by private landlords and the living conditions for tenants.

Extending the scheme for a further five years will enable the Council to build on this success and bring about further improvements in landlords’ management practices as well as in property conditions across the private rented sector to benefit tenants and the communities affected.

Standards

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Thanks to the Selective and Additional (HMO) licensing schemes, we have brought about significant improvements to the standards of management and property conditions in the private rented sector in the parts of the Borough where the scheme was introduced.

“Through re-designating the licensing schemes, we can build on the improvements already made and will continue to engage with landlords to realise our vision of creating strong and resilient communities and the opportunity to live in good quality homes.

“We remain committed to make these areas safe and attractive places in which to live and through the proposed redesign of the licensing schemes we are seeking the full co-operation of landlords and their tenants in making this happen.”

Further details on the proposals and consultation will be available closer to the Monday 9th May start date.

Anyone wanting to be kept updated on the proposed licensing schemes, can contact landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk.

You can find out more about Additional (HMO) Licensing in Sefton here.

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